CHIMAIRA Guitarist Says His Band Wasn't 'Appreciated' While Signed To ROADRUNNER

Andre Mihsin of reports: Following the success of 2003's "The Impossibility Of Reason", Cleveland, Ohio's CHIMAIRA released their much stronger and more mature self-titled record. But instead of establishing CHIMAIRA as a premier act in the American death metal scene, the immediate reaction to the album was lukewarm.

"The fans don't always agree that your next album is your best album," says guitarist Rob Arnold. "But every band, for the most part, tries to keep progressing, and we're fortunate the people kind of recognize that and see that.

"But it's taken some time. It's only recently that people are starting to recognize the greatness of the self-titled record, which I really appreciate and am happy for. And I don't want that to sound conceited in any way. It's just the blood, sweat and tears that went into that record and just what compositions the songs are in, and I'm just hearing more and more about people saying, 'That record rules.'

"I knew it was going to take people a long time to digest and it certainly took longer than I ever expected. But it's good to hear people noticing that progression. Now people are starting to realize that it was a band maturing and a band continuing to be hungry and realizing that you have to delve into every crevice of your creative mind to come together and try to be better than you were before and write something that's entertaining yet innovative."

Despite the album's eventual acclaim, the initial poor reception resulted in CHIMAIRA getting buried toward the bottom of the Roadrunner Records roster below such high-profile acts as SLIPKNOT, NICKELBACK and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE.

"The basic fundamentals of a record label, those things were given to us at Roadrunner and they certainly did give us a chance," explains Arnold. "They gave us enough to survive, but at the same time they weren't giving us exactly what we needed because it is so difficult to be successful in an extremely heavy metal band without a radio outlet.

"And that's what they wanted, they wanted us to create radio songs so that they can use that venue to create album sales, and that just wasn't the band we were. Therefore, they moved us into another category of the bottom of the totem pole bands that they weren't going to put any marketing into, and we weren't satisfied with that. We knew our potential could be realized somewhere where we could be a top of the totem pole band where metal would be more appreciated. It's kind of weird to say that we weren't appreciated as a metal band at Roadrunner Records, which is the most popular label. We needed to see if we could get out of there and try our craft somewhere else. And if it didn't work somewhere else, then so be it. Then we could blame ourselves."

Read the entire interview at


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