Chimaira's Mark HunterRob Arnold

Chimaira’s Mark Hunter & Rob Arnold Weigh In On Being Mentioned In Machine Head’s “Do Or Die”


Chimaira vocalist Mark Hunter and guitarist Rob Arnold have weighed in on their band being mentioned in Machine Head‘s divisive new track, “Do Or Die“. While that song largely finds Machine Head vocalist/guitarist Robb Flynn laying into his haters, his vitriol wasn’t limited solely to song, as he also slammed those who heavily criticized the track in an online rant shortly after the song’s release.

Fans of Chimaira and Strapping Young Lad also had some discussion regarding the song thanks to the below verse:

“We’re not Chimaira or Strapping Young Lad
You wanna hate it but you need it so bad
This ain’t just a paycheck to pay self expression
Machine Head‘s in my fucking veins”

As many suspected, the reference was indeed in relation to comparisons made to the two aforementioned bands in regards to songs featured on Machine Head‘s latest album “Catharsis“. In particular, “Beyond The Pale” sounding similar to Strapping Young Lad‘s “Love?“ (you can see Townsend‘s original reaction to that here), and more relevant to this story, “Volatile” and Chimaira‘s “Cleansation“.

Appearing on the latest episode of Rob Arnold‘s ‘Everything You Love‘ series. Hunter weighed in on his take on the track, revealing that Flynn had reached out to him ahead of time and explained it wasn’t meant as a dis. Hunter said of the matter:

“I’m just thankful that we were reached out to and made aware that the track existed and that our name was mentioned and that it wasn’t a slam. It was in regards to how some of the people on the internet said that one of their songs—one of their riffs rather—sounded like our riff from “Cleansation“, and then one of their songs sound liked a Strapping Young Lad song.

My response to that is like man, I could go through each one of our songs, our albums rather, and be like ‘stole this from Machine Head, stole that from Machine Head.’ I think metal is one of those genres that you’re just influenced by so many bands.

And it’s not that you want to necessarily rip them off. But you may love a feeling or a vibe or maybe even just a part that you want to like, feel that way yourself, in a weird way.

And I’m not saying that’s how they were with our music, sometimes it’s subconscious. It’s like you write a riff and then you’re like ‘oh shit, that’s somebody else’s riff.’ You have no idea. Stuff like that happens and it’s just a weird anomaly.

Robb has always been kind to us as a band, a friend of the band. He’s always been a mentor in a way. So for him to reach out ahead of time and even share the track with us before it was live was a really good gesture. And he does have respect for the band and we have respect for him.”

Hunter then went on to say he was flattered to have his band’s name mentioned in the song. Much of the rest of the episode saw Hunter and Arnold explain how influential Machine Head were to Chimaira as a band, while also speaking of their relationship and time spent on the road together.

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