Coal Chamber is a band that has been surrounded by hostility since they began in 1993 and when they called it quits after 10 year of survival, many were not surprised. But what do you expect from a band that came on to the scene with brute force and was signed up and thrown into the Touring fires of Rock-N-Roll almost immediately starting with a main support slot for Danzig then on to Ozfest.
"I think we all hated each other from the start when we found each other in Recycler." Meegs replies, "But it was the music that kept us together."
Coal Chamber was part of a new Hollywood uprising; taking over the Sunset Strip alongside bands like Korn, SpineShank, Fear Factory and Snot. Marked with the dreaded "NuMetal" label, they proved simplicity and heaviness goes hand in hand and dominated the scene with a rather darker, more evil approach to what the others bands were doing. Releasing 4 albums (one being gold and the others damn well close) they proved to not be a one hit wonder.
Fast forward to 2011 Meegs Rascon, Mikal Cox, and Dez Fafara decided the time away helped mend the past and gave them a new respect for what they accomplished.
Banding together and rekindling what they had before, proved to be stronger than the animosity from the past. Coal Chamber headed out on a reunion tour hitting many of the huge festivals and embarking on some headlining tours in the United States and Europe. Showing a more matured and focused outlook, the band agreed a new album needed to happen. Bringing Nadja back into the fold, they stepped into a North Hollywood Studio and began writing. "It just felt like we never stopped! The songs were there, the friendship was better, and we really got along and the music flowed." Says Meegs.
Nadja adds, "Mikey, Meegs and I have never really stopped being friends or speaking. We hang in many of the same circles." She continues, "L.A. is like a small town and we see each other everywhere."
After the songs were put together and tight, the band headed out to a Florida studio with producer Mark Lewis. Lewis, known for his work with such bands like Devil Driver, Chimaira, and Cannibal Corpse, was ready to take Coal Chamber to that next level.
"Working with Mark was cool except for it being in Florida," Meegs laughs "But he got a heavier sound from us and pushed us to where we needed to go."
"I was there for just a short while and laid down my parts pretty quickly and got the hell out of the Florida heat." Says Nadja.
"Yeah, Nadja came in ready and recorded some solid bass tracks and did great!" Meegs adds, "Mikey and I were there for a month or so just hammering away."
Asking Meegs what it was like in the studio this time around working with Mark, he replies, "I like using different guitars and adding sounds and trippy Sh*t and I think it annoyed Mark." Meegs Laughs, "He's used to real precise heavy riffs and he did pull that out of me but I added crazy pedals and effects that just fill in the holes." When asking what their weapons of choice in the studio were, Nadja says "My Schecter Stilettos mainly, I been using them forever and they always play great! It's my sound, my tone. I also used a Hellraiser Extreme and my Ultra Bass."
Meegs proudly stated, "I mainly used my Custom PTs that Schecter made for me, the one with all the burn marks and the Black one with a mirrored pick guard. I been playing both live since the reunion. I also borrowed a few others like a Blackjack SLS with a Sustainiac, but I mainly used mine and a Hellcat VI Baritone that I layered all the heavy stuff with and it just gave us this new tone and was amazing." Meegs adds, "Mark also would like to keep that one, hahaha!"
After the Album was finished the band headed back to L.A. to start working on a huge U.S. and European tour. Asking how they picked the bands for this tour, Meegs told us that management played a big part doing that, but they had the final say so. "I love Filter! They are amazing and Combichrist are cool and give a whole different vibe and American Headcharge are a solid band." He Continues, "I like how every band is different. It gives the fans a variety and makes the whole tour different than just throwing a bunch of same sounding bands together because that can get boring."
With the variety of talent on this tour, the only common denominator is they all play Schecter Guitars.
We asked what they are looking forward to the most on this tour and Meegs replies, "Playing some new songs and doing what I love." Nadja adds "This time around we are all different people and have grown a lot. We all get along and have been laughing and joking around." She continues, "We all have the same goals. It should be fun and I know we'll have a blast!"If you go to one show this spring, I encourage you to pick this one. If the show in Los Angeles was any indication on how the whole tour will be, than you will not be disappointed.
4/4: Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
4/7: Norfolk, VA @ The NorVA
4/8: Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
4/10: Pensacola, FL @ Vinyl Music Hall