Chimaira Vocalist Mark Hunter Says ‘New Wave Of American Heavy Metal’ Was A ‘Marketing Trick’

Surat Lozowick, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia
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When it comes to the New Wave Of American Heavy Metal, several bands come to mind: Trivium, Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, and Chimaira (just to name a few). However, via a recent interview with Chimaira frontman Mark Hunter, the singer says that the band’s use of the term “New Wave Of American Heavy Metal” was a matter of clever marketing.

In a conversation with Metal Hammer, Mark is asked about some of the band’s past merch; specifically, the band had shirts back in 2001 that had the words “New Wave Of American Heavy Metal” on them. Mark is asked if there was really a movement or if that was just meant to be a buzz term. This is how Hunter replied:

“It was just a marketing trick. When I bought CDs back in the day, a lot of albums had a tag that said New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, and I thought it was really cool. I’d never seen anyone promote themselves that way over here.

“We were working on [Chimaira’s second album] The Impossibility Of Reason at the time and transitioning from the ‘nu metal’ of Pass Out Of Existence. We loved Morbid Angel, Deicide and Suffocation, so being labelled ‘nu metal’ stung a little bit. The marketing around Impossibility… became about being metal and this whole new feeling of it. Coincidentally, a lot of our peers were doing the same thing: they were starting a new feeling, a new movement, themselves.”

What do you make of Mark’s point here? When it comes to those American bands that rose to prominence in the early aughts, is there a label that comes to mind you would use to associate with all of them? Later on in the interview, Mark is asked if there are plans for any kind of band reunion – here is what he said:

“We entertained it right before Covid hit. We had some offers in the summer to play festivals but, with all due respect to those generous offers, if we were to come back, we’d do it on our own terms. Unfortunately there’s nothing driving anyone to push the band back into high gear, largely because a couple of us have careers we can’t just walk away from.”