Just last week, I was hanging out on the Chimaira tour bus getting vaped as fuck in the middle of Times Square with nobody the wiser. It was a fun time hanging out with those dudes, and everything seemed fine and dandy. Then, today the bummer hit, as Chimaria frontman Mark Hunter released a statement announcing that both guitarists, Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries will be leaving the band at the end of the year. Here is the full statement:
"I would like to start off by thanking our fans for a great tour. This last run was a blast, and truly the most fun we've had in a long while. The energy from the audience was exactly what we needed, and a welcoming return. Thank you guys!"
"Unfortunately, as much fun as we were having, behind the scenes we were aware of some unfortunate realities that prevented us from 'living the dream' and having the time of our lives. We had another bomb to drop on the fans.
"Early in July we were informed that Rob Arnold and Matt DeVries would be leaving Chimaira at the end of 2011. Of course this was a huge blow, but there were no hard feelings. 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.
"I would personally like to thank Rob and Matt for all of their hard work, years of service to Chimaira, amazing songs, and for their friendship. Together we built something special that will remain for generations to come. I'm looking forward to spending another 5 weeks on the road with two of the best (and criminally underrated) guitarists in modern metal.
"What's next for Chimaira in 2012?
"More on that very soon.
"Rather than try and make light of unpleasant news, or downplay this by hyping up a new line-up, let's take a few to honor Rob and Matt. My favorite solo of Rob's is on The Heart Of It All and my favorite riff of Matt's is The Dehumanizing Process. I'll be cranking those today. What about you?"
While Mark Hunter is undoubtedly the face of Chimaira, these guys are the backbone. I am curious to see how the band chooses to continue without them.