COAL CHAMBER - MIKE COX


How's the tour going so far and what's it like to be on the road with Coal Chamber again?

Yeah it's great man. It's like we have a new lease of life in us and we look at it as if this is our first record together and that we are trying to prove ourselves again and we are working hard at it. All of the tours have been really good and the support from all the fans has been insane. It's like we never left. We took a long time off so to get the same reaction and everything is very humbling and awesome.


Yesterday saw the release of your new album in the UK called 'Rivals', which is the first time you guys have recorded an album together in 13 years. What musical style have you taken on Rivals and can you make any comparisons between 'Rivals' and any of Coal Chamber's previous releases?

Everything is new. Obviously Coal Chamber is going to sound like Coal Chamber. Usually when me and Meegs start writing together it's starts sounding like fucking Coal Chamber you know but two of the songs that we did in 2009 which was me and Meegs just fucking around and then Nadja played on it, we just put it away and we just never used it. Then when it became time, we never planned on making another record but it kinda just happened, we used those songs from 2009 and they actually made it on to the record.


                                                           


I was actually going to ask if you used any old musical ideas, riffs or lyrics that you had written in the past towards the new album?

No nothing from back in the day. The earliest was those songs from 2009. After we broke up I quit playing altogether for like 5 years and we didn't write shit, we didn't talk so everything on the record kinda just wrote itself and we were writing like a song a day once we started the record and then it just snowballed. It was just a great experience and it turned out better than what we thought it would. Not to say that we couldn't write a good record but just the production and everything sounds nasty and exactly what we were trying to go for.


Obviously you have all matured and changed in the last 13 years, do you think you have created a better album now compared to what you could have potentially released straight after 'Dark Days'?

I think so yeah because we have all gotten way better as musicians. You know if we had written a record after dark days then it would have been a fucking train wreck. We were already on a train wreck so to take the time off like we did, it just needed to happen for us to even survive as individuals and as a band because if we didn't take the time off, one of us could be dead right now. We were living a pretty extreme lifestyle that's for sure.


For me 'Dark Days' is actually my favourite Coal Chamber album so it's interesting to hear that you think you could have done a better album now than straight after 'Dark Days' so would you say 'Rivals' is a progression/more mature version of 'Dark Days'?

It has the same grittiness to it, it's really nasty, gritty and dark. We always wanted to make sure our records have a dark element to it but yeah I'd say it's a progression, it has the same groove to it but I think this one is a little more intense but on Dark Days everyone was in such a dark place hence the name of the record, the fact that we even made it through the whole record was surprising to me. Where as on Rivals now, we are all trying to get it done. There was no chasing people down and we could all be in the same room together but back then we had none of that.


So what would you say is the main difference from now compared to back then?

Friends. We are all friends now. We weren't friends back then, we literally disagreed on almost everything. Through the time that we took off it made us become friends first and if we weren't friends first then we weren't going to do this again and this isn't a one time thing to cash in on a bunch of money or any of that shit. We are here to stay. If this was a one time record then none of us would have done it so we are starting over, we have a lot to prove and we have a lot of time to make up.


When Coal Chamber got back together for the reunion shows in 2011 you said that there wouldn't be a new album but is that something you actually wanted to happen or did it take some convincing?

A little bit of both. We kinda just wanted to do shows to kinda put an exclamation point on our career but part of you wants it to do well. We didn't start talking about doing a new record until after a couple of tours, after they started doing really well because you don't know what to really expect after 12 years. Then talk of a new record started coming in and everything has just been firing on full cylinders since, everything has come full circle and its kinda like a locomotive train that's not stopping. If people come out then cool and if they don't then we will keep working our asses off.


What's the meaning behind the album title 'Rivals' and what significence does it have to you? Is that the title because that's how you guys use to look at each other?

We kinda took it as if your beating a rival in your head, your biggest enemy is yourself if you let it be. All of us couldn't come together for so many years because we were too stubborn in our heads to even fathom the idea so we all over came the rival in our brains to make this record. That's what I take from the title but the biggest obstacle is yourself if you let it be. If you tell yourself that you can't do something then your not going to be able to do it so we tried to over come that. Anything is possible man, I'm stood here doing an interview with you after 12 years off so anything is possible.


The album has a special guest appearance on it from Al Jourgensen, How did that come about because his vocals fit perfectly on that song.

Yeah yeah it's perfect. It's like it was meant to be. Well it just happened that Dez knew him and we had a guest spot available on the record and it just all fell into place perfectly and you know when we wrote the song we werent like "oh we will get someone to sing on it". There were just open parts on it. It was such a surreal thing for me as Ministry are one of my favourite bands ever.


Was it always in your plans to do the reunion shows with Chela and then get Nadja back in the band? Was it a natural step to get Nadja back into Coal Chamber or did you consider having Chela continuing the bass duties for 'Rivals'?

The timing was just right. To begin with the timing wasn't right but we had to go do the reunion tour but now she is back everything is back to normal. Everything has been going really well, the shows, the album, everything has just been falling into place. The stars are aligning if you believe in all that. I'm starting to because everything is fucking awesome.


What does the future hold for Coal Chamber? Will there be more tours and albums or will it all come to an end at the end of the current touring cycle?

We're going to keep going wherever this takes us. You know Dez has Devildriver and we all have other projects but we are taking this as far as it can go and this is definitely not the last record. There's no way that we are going to come back to this point and just stop you know. It's been too fucking long so were going to see where all this shit takes us. Were excited.


Thanks for your time Mike and I can't wait for the show later tonight.


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