Interview with Matt DeVries of Chimaira

It’s safe to say that Chimaira has earned a spot as one of the most known bands in metal today. After just celebrating 10 years as a band, Chimaira is stronger than ever, and have a newly released 3 disc dvd called Coming Alive. With Mayhemfest coming to an end for the year, it was cool to be able to sit down with Matt for a few minutes before their set:

Amanda: Congratulations on celebrating your 10 yr anniversary as a band….after 10 yrs, how is the vibe of the band, compared to when you first started out?

Matt: It’s real good, we’re kind of rejuvenated, had a fresh start with where we’re going with our contract, with our labels; we kind of make our own rules at this point, and don’t have to quote un-quote do what anyone says. At this point in the game, we’re able to choose our own label, and just do what we want.

Amanda: Your new 3 disc dvd ‘Coming Alive’ just came out a few weeks ago- What can fans like me, who haven’t had a chance to see it yet, expect?

Matt: It’s actually a really good package; you get three discs two or which are dvds. The first one is about 3 hours of footage from recording, to writing and touring, to just stage antics, and just fun stuff in general. If you want to be a fly on the wall, and see what we do for a year and a half, that’s what you’ll get, and it’s all HD! Todd Bell shot it, he did our previous dvds, and we just love working with him. The second disc is our Chimaira Christmas; we do an annual Christmas show that we shoot with 13 cameras all HD, and then the third disc is a cd version of the dvd, of the Christmas show. It’s all put together real well, and it’s a nice boxed package, and all for twenty dollars!

Amanda: Damn, that’s real cheap, especially since you can hardly find a box set for under 50 bucks anymore, so very cool. Since you were just talking about choosing your own labels, how do you think Ferret compares to Roadrunner label-wise?

Matt: Ferret was awesome; they were real good to us. We’ve known the label, you know, people that have worked there a real long time. They are the type of label that wouldn’t sign a band unless they’re really into it. That’s hard to find now-a-days, people are usually looking at numbers before they even care what the band is all about. They pushed us real well, and we’re happy with what they did with both discs.

Amanda: And what would you say about Roadrunner?

Matt: Roadrunner’s cool, they got us to where we were, they got our name established in the metal community, but we just weren’t happy with their loss of focus towards the end of our contract with them. They were great around the world, but in the states the kind of dropped the ball. It’s something where when we look back, we are like; they actually did do a fantastic job. We think they could’ve done more, even though they did a lot.

Amanda: I have an off topic question for you: Boxers or briefs?

Matt: Boxers, no briefs, sorry. I was thinking tightie-whities for some reason… Briefs definitely, especially for shows like this.

Amanda: How have you guys been handling the heat so far this tour?

Matt: Today was actually pretty decent.

Amanda: Yea, I heard Phoenix has actually been the worst so far, right?

Matt: 116 degrees in the sun.

Amanda: Oh god, YUCK!

Amanda: What’s your favorite song to play live?

Matt: I think it varies every tour; this tour would definitely have to be Black Heart because we hadn’t played it very often before this tour, and it’s just fun to open up with.

Amanda: Is there anything that you have wanted to do on this tour, but have not yet had the chance to?

Matt: I haven’t been able to meet Rob Zombie yet.

Amanda: NO? Does he make himself that unavailable?

Matt: Well he’s just so busy; whatever he’s doing with the band and his movies and what not. He’s a busy man.

Amanda: Who do you think has the biggest stage presence out of all of you guys?

Matt: Geez I don’t know- Then I’d have to call someone out, and I don’t want to do that. How about I just say, Chris has great stage presence.

Amanda: Are there any questions that you’re just sick of being asked?

Matt: There’s only one, which is ridiculous, and it’s when someone asks where our name came from. I don’t know why people even ask. That’s about it, if people start off asking that, you just know it’s going to be one of ‘those’ kind of interviews. Definitely with a new band, I understand why you’d ask that, but since we’re not, it’s kind of stupid.

Amanda: Yea, you should kind of know who you’re talking to, as you’re going into it.

Matt: Exactly.

Amanda: What’s in store for you guys after Mayhem?

Matt: We only have about a week left, and then we’re home for about a month, month and a half, and then we go to the UK for a headlining run; we’re just figuring out what bands are going to be with us, so I’m not sure yet.

Amanda: No plans for SLAYER to be heading out with you guys any time soon?

Matt: That would be great, but no, this one’s just a three week tour, and then we’re working on another US headlining tour for after that.

Amanda: Awesome, so that should be announced shortly then?

Matt: Yea all the dates should be up shortly.

Amanda: How do you feel your music has changed from This Present Darkness, to The Infection?

Matt: Umm, that’s hard to answer. I mean it’s obviously changed a lot, I think we’ve matured as musicians, and our music has gotten more technical or maybe quote un-quote harder to play, and I think the song writing has gotten better maybe a little catchier. I don’t know, I still like playing our old songs too though.

Amanda: Last question, if you could dig up one dead person and bring them back to life for a day, who would it be?

Matt: Oh wow, that’s a tough one- I’d have to say Dimebag, that’d be awesome!

Amanda: Hellyeah! I ask everybody that question, and you’re actually the first person to say Dime…That would be one hell of an awesome day!