Lately, I’m Rihanna and Arsis is my Chris Brown. I just want some hot concert action from the authors of the 2008 instant Metal classic We Are The Nightmare. And the Arsis guys sweetly promised it to me, before suddenly opting to choke me with my seat belt (i.e. pulling out of a tour with The Faceless).
Oh, but we can change, they vowed, pointing to a new and better tour with reactivated legends Carcass, which kicks off tomorrow in Philadelphia. And I believed them until BAM! right in the 'nads: Arsis announced last week that they would not be part of the Carcass/Suicide Silence/Samael/Psycroptic tour due to "major personal and communication issues". I’ve been such a fool. Sigh.
But seriously, Arsis is already fighting a reputation for frequent line-up changes. So, now, what the shit is up with these cancellations? Yesterday, we phrased that very question several annoying ways to Arsis drummer/totally awesome guy David Kinkade (Borknagar, Divine Empire, Malovolent Creation, Council of the Fallen), who threw away ten minutes of his life talking with Hipsters Out Of Metal! about frontman James Malone, new Arsis music, and fun in Metal.
HooM! You can confirm that Arsis will not appear on the upcoming Carcass tour?
David Kinkade: Yes. The situation is that the singer/guitar player/main guy, James Malone, is ill. That’s the best thing I can say. He’s not dying of AIDS or anything. He’s just a little bit sick right now. He’s got some loose ends in his personal life that he needs to tie up before we can continue with Arsis, y’know?
HooM! Why hasn’t there been an official announcement?
DK: Actually, we’re between management [deals] right now. We’re supposed to be signing with new management pretty soon. Again, a lot of [Malone’s] personal problems right now have held – yeah, I guess I would say they’ve held back the band. We’ve been unable to go forward with our band stuff. We were supposed to be doing the Carcass tour; that’s not happening. Also, there was a miscommunication with somebody about a few weeks ago with The Faceless tour that we obviously didn’t do. We cancelled that tour and didn’t even send out a press release.
HooM!: Is Arsis functioning as a four-piece right now [since the guitarist Ryan Knight’s departure for The Black Dahlia Murder]?
DK: I think we’re a three piece. We have Nick Cordle, the second guitarist, who [handled Arsis bass duties] for the Morbid Angel tour. Then myself – and I play in a whole bunch of bands: Malevolent Creation, Council of the Fallen, and Borknagar from Norway. So we’re basically a three-piece but we have a few bass players in mind.
We’ve got some festivals in Europe scheduled for May and the guy we’re looking at was a recommendation from Ryan Knight. It’s another guy named Ryan who lives in Georgia. So hopefully we’ll do the next tour and festivals. Or whatever we’re able to do.
HooM!: What can you tell us about this prospective bassist?
DK: Before Ryan Knight joined Arsis, he had this project called The Knife Trade; the Ryan we’re looking at [to join Arsis] played in The Knife Trade. There’s a whole bunch of Ryans in that band. [laughs]
HooM!: I’d be disappointed about missing this tour with Carcass.
DK: Definitely. Another shitty thing about it is that we had an arrangement for [openers] Psycroptic to use our backline – our guitar cabinets, bass cabinets, our drum kit, and all that shit. They’re from Tasmania so it’s not like they can fit all their gear on a plane. But we found out that Arsis isn’t doing the tour seven days before [it starts], and I had to get in touch with Nuclear Blast and our booking agent. And tried to get in touch with the band, which was next to impossible. So it was pretty hard.
But Psycroptic will use one of my drum kits for the first day of the tour in Philadelphia, and then they’re using someone’s else’s for the rest of the tour. So at least we were able to work something out where we’re not completely shafting those guys.
HooM!: Huh. Sudden cancellations? Lotsa member changes? This sounds like a drug thing. With James.
DK: … A drug thing?
DK: He doesn’t do drugs, though. James Malone, to be completely honest with you, is one of the uh more interesting people I’ve played in bands with. I mean, the dude counts his calories and carbs and all that stuff. He only eats certain meats. He’s into tofu. He puts hot sauce on everything. He eats salads with ketchup on them. So he’s very picky about his health. Even though he’s a smoker. [laughs]
He doesn’t drink. Anymore. And he certainly doesn’t do drugs. If anybody does drugs in the band it’s me. [laughs]
DK: I used to do a lot of heavy, hardcore shit. Now I’ll occasionally smoke. I like a good, tasty-ass beer almost every night. But that’s about it. There are no drugs in Arsis.
DK: He just spends so much time paying attention to small details – like what to eat – that it basically makes him sick. It’s not like he’s dying of AIDS or anything. He’s just a bit ill.
HooM!: So, it’s nothing too serious.
DK: Well it could become serious if he doesn’t start watching what he does. He’s definitely acknowledged his problem and is doing everything he can to fix it right now.
HooM!: It might be a bit premature to ask this, but when can we expect new Arsis music?
DK: Actually, we’re writing. Nick has two or three songs written for the new album already. But it depends, really. The only timeline we have is if we get these four or five dates done in May and we’re feeling good about everything, we’re gonna do another European tour in Fall. Around that time, we’re gonna try to meet up and get something done in the studio.
DK: I’m hoping by the end of the year we’ll have something.
HooM!: So am I.
DK: I’m not gonna hold my breath. But it’d be nice. For now, buy the new Borknagar record [laughs].
HooM!: Well, we appreciate your clearing up the Arsis situation.
DK: I see a lot of the stuff that’s written online. As soon as we announced Arsis isn’t doing the Carcass tour, a lot of kids were leaving really asshole-ish comments. First of all, Arsis is not breaking up. There are personal issues not just with James, but with everybody in the band; I’m doing, like, five projects right now. But the band is not breaking up and for kids to assume that, and write comments [to that effect], is completely stupid. Oh Arsis is gonna break up and James Malone is gonna form some gay-ass project. That’s not metal. Metal is all about having fun. [laughs]
The stuff that I get ripped on for! These little Christian posers that give me shit for the dumbest things ... who cares? It’s metal. If we come around, you’re still gonna come to the show! I think kids need to shut up. If they’re going to make a lot of derogatory comments about bands, then they need to make the sickest possible project ever and sell about 40 million copies of it. Then they can come talk to me.