Chimaira Members Reflect On Working With Deftones’ Stephen Carpenter & Appearing On In New “Pass Out Of Existence” Retrospective


Chimaira vocalist Mark Hunter and programmer/sampler Chris Spicuzza recently guested on the Roadrunner Records-themed ‘Meep Meep Podcast‘, discussing their full-length debut (and first album for Roadrunner Records), 2001’s “Pass Out Of Existence“. In addition to recounting the band’s early history, they also spoke of how the group came to be, getting signed with Roadrunner, touring on the record and more.

If you’re not aware, “Pass Out Of Existence” featured a notable guest spot from Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter on the track “Rizzo“. As the pair explained, they first came about meeting Carpenter while frequenting the Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood, CA while working on the album.

Hunter commented of the collaboration:

“He came to the studio and brought his guitar and it was all organic. There was nothing pre-planned. It was not spur of the moment—we knew he was coming. But everything was organic and on the spot. The song was written and tracked all in one day.”

Spicuzza added:

“I wish we had more time to write a song, because it was just kind of a get up and run and go, like get it done with. It was a total vibe situation where Stephen just started riffing out.

And then it just went from there, the guys just built upon what his ideas were. He definitely took the creative lead on the song from what I remember, because we wanted his influence on the song, so why not have him lead it? And I think he wanted that outlet that he wasn’t getting in Deftones. He wanted more of the Meshuggah/Fear Factory chugga sound that Deftones wasn’t really incorporating back then.

It was a cool experience, I mean I was freaking out inside, because I gotta act cool but this dude is in like my favorite band ever and he wants to be on a song of ours? It’s like what the fuck.”

Of course the interview around that era wouldn’t have been complete without discussing the band’s appearance—which itself has a bit of shared history with When asked if they got signed because of their appearance, Hunter stated:

“Interestingly enough we were already in discussions with them [Roadrunner Records.] The brief answer is that it was basically having Farmclub under our belt was the icing on the cake that sealed the deal, and actually put us into a better position when it came time to actually sign with Roadrunner, because so much positivity had come from it.”

Spicuzza then spoke of his experiences first in street teaming and gathering music industry connections through that. He explained that he went on to leverage those connections and burgeoning music industry knowledge to help gain Chimaira exposure to assist in getting the deal offer from Roadrunner Records. He continued:

“One other major piece was a couple of the webzines started covering us as well. One was I don’t remember if it was the Pimp Rock Palace back then, and the owner of the site, his name’s wookubus, who I still talk to basically every day, still to this day; He found out through, I’m guessing throught underground, talk about music, and picked up on us. He reviewed our album, gave it a great review, and he started spreading word about us.

You know back then A&R people used to go to him for advice, because he was, you know, the the leader of the pack of finding new bands. You know, he was a quintessential part of the whole, modern, whatever you want to call it nü-metall movement. Around 2000 we were in New York doing a showcase at The Continental in New York City and he tipped us off to a woman named Marcie Jacobson, who worked at Geffen at the time—which Geffen was part ofFarmclub.

And she went to the show and checked us out, she loved it. She loved out energy and that was it, that’s how we got on Farmclub. She liked us so much that she pushed really hard for us to be on the show. And so, basically thanks to those two that was why we made the show. Obviously like we put in some hard work and we wrote some good songs but you know that was a big part of that.”

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