Guitarist Matt DeVries has released the following statement to ThePRP.com regarding his decision to leave Cleveland metallers CHIMAIRA:
“I wanted take a moment away from the road and personally reach out to each and every one of you to reflect on my recent decision to leave CHIMAIRA.
“I’ve been with CHIMAIRA for over 10 years now, and in that period of time, I’ve had the chance to achieve a number of goals I set for myself early in life establishing myself as a musician, finding my own style and developing it within a band, touring every corner of the world, and connecting with people from all walks of life. I’m fortunate that my skills as a guitar player and musician have afforded me the opportunities to reach those goals.
“Over the past year, I looked closely at what drove me, and asked myself where I wanted to go as both an artist and as a person. What motivated me as a kid from Cleveland wasn’t necessarily the same thing that now drives me today as a man with a family. I realized that as much as CHIMAIRA had defined my past decade and made me who I am today, it was time to explore my next decade of music, and grow into the person I need to be. For that reason, I have decided to leave CHIMAIRA.
“It goes without saying that CHIMAIRA has some of the best fans in the world, and I’d like to thank each and every one of you out there who has ever supported us. Every show, every photograph, every backstage meet-and-greet, every truck stop, every scorching hot day on a summer festival, and every cold night out by the bus I will never forget you. You have inspired me, driven me, and taught me humility through your own personal experiences and words in ways I never thought possible. I am forever in debt to you. Thank you.
“To my brothers in CHIMAIRA both past and present, both band and road crew thank you for your support, your desire to go for it in the face of adversity, and most of all, your passion to pursue a dream together. To my sponsors ESP guitars, Peavey, In Tune guitar picks, EMG pickups, ISP technologies, Keetch clothing, Scorpion cases, Guitar-Cable.com, Dean Markley strings, Jagermeister Music we’ve had some great years together, and I’m looking forward to many more writing great music with you behind me. The Matt DeVries rocket has only just taken off!
“Music’s in my blood, it’s who I am, and it’s my life. You might wonder if my departure from CHIMAIRA will change that, and my answer is simple no way. Planning for 2012 is already underway! For starters, I’m looking forward to the opportunities within SIX FEET UNDER, and seeing what potential lies ahead. I’m also very excited about the possibility of providing instruction to other guitar players through online educational platforms, and am currently in talks with JamPlay to make that happen. I’m also a big believer in the next generation of social media, and am committed to connecting with those interested in working with me or wanting to follow me. To help me do that, I will be launching a massive online campaign in 2012, complete with a new website, significant Facebook presence, revitalized Twitter feed, and fresh YouTube content all with a surprise in mind.
“Finally, I’m thrilled at the possibility of writing new music for organizations that I have long been interested in, and also at working the daily grind in two new ground-floor startups that I’m developing with those close to me. The music industry of tomorrow will merge technology with music, and it will flourish only by developing younger artists in a unique way that sits outside traditional thinking. I’m proud to be part of that movement in 2012.
“If you get a chance to see me on this final tour run with CHIMAIRA, please feel free to stop by and say hi. It’s a great tour with a great lineup, and I’m having a blast talking with friends and fans alike on my final run.
“2012 is gonna be a great year. Let’s make it happen together!”
Matt DeVries and fellow CHIMAIRA guitarist Rob Arnold will be leaving the band at the end of 2011 Vocalist Mark Hunter says, “We understand that life invades art, everything runs its course, and we have to take different paths. We respect their decision and wish them only the best. We made heavy metal history together and that is all that matters at the end of the day. ‘Chimaira Christmas 12’ will be their last show, and we’ve been preparing to make it one that you’ll never forget.”
CHIMAIRA‘s new album, “The Age Of Hell”, sold more than 7,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 54 on The Billboard 200 chart. The band’s previous CD, “The Infection”, opened with 15,000 units back in April 2009 to land at No. 30. This figure was roughly in line with the first-week tally registered by CHIMAIRA‘s 2007 album, “Resurrection”, which shifted 16,000 copies to enter the chart at No. 42.
“The Age Of Hell” was released in the U.S. on August 16 via eOne Music; in Germany on August 26; and in the United Kingdom, Australia and the rest of Europe on August 29 through Long Branch Records.