Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult magazine recently conducted an interview with CHIMAIRA vocalist Mark Hunter. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ghost Cult: “Crown Of Phantoms” is very strong album. Does the overall quality validate the new lineup?
Hunter: I certainly hope it does; it was our goal. “Crown Of Phantoms” is the culmination of three years of going through tons of changes, harsh realities but also excitement. It’s something brand new and when you put all those things together you get “Crown Of Phantoms” as a result. These are exciting times for the band and it’s the polar opposite of where I was with the band two years ago.
Ghost Cult: With all the old members leaving, a lot of people on the Internet thought CHIMAIRA was done for. Did you ever seriously considering pulling the plug on the band entirely?
Hunter: Many people on the Internet thought we were done for. By the timing and the speed things were unraveling, I had the luxury of not thinking rationally and I simply soldiered on. It was happening so fast and not thinking about quitting was a sort of defense in a way. I defended what I hold dear and what I wanted to fight for. Of course there were moments of insecurity and doubts. Luckily, I had a good team and a good support system of friends and family around me telling me that I was crazy if I wanted to change the band name or quit altogether. They pointed out that bands like MEGADETH and BLACK SABBATH went through countless lineup changes. BLACK SABBATH had a super successful era without Ozzy. Of course, with MEGADETH, “Rust In Peace” was one of their best albums and it wasn’t recorded with the same lineup who did “Peace Sells”, which is another MEGADETH classic. There are more examples of bands that went through major lineup changes and still had major success. Of course, to be in this situation is scary as hell.
Ghost Cult: In the biography, it stated that the new album brings the essence of CHIMAIRA into new uncharted territories. What’s the essence of CHIMAIRA, according to you?
Hunter: I think that we’ve been a band that over the past fourteen years encapsulates the best elements of heavy metal. In our music, you can hear elements of death metal in one instant only to hear influences from classic thrash metal the next moment. CHIMAIRA has always been a hybrid metal band and we’ll continue doing that. We’re a band that never quits, no matter the odds. If anything, that message is really clear at this time.
Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult magazine.