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Cardiac Arrest - Thereís No Escaping the Vortex Part I

By: Mike Sloan

Blistering.com: How did you guys come across Nick Gallichio to replace Jim? Was he a friend of the band for quite some time?

Actually, he was a friend of Jimís and Jim was prepping him for this. Heís played in a lot of local bands in the past and weíve actually played several shows with some of his past bands. Heís one of those guys who jumps around and whatever; heís a younger guy. Younger guys usually donít know how to handle confrontation or always practicing or touring or whatever. [laughs] they donít have that maturity yet. So Jim knew him well and was prepping him. Then he told us that he has the guy to replace him and wanted to put him in the band as his replacement. We were like, ĎUhÖno. We donít really know this guy! Just because heís your friend and youíve been prepping him doesnít mean heís in the band [laughs].í

In the end it all worked out because heís awesome, but we were all kind of mad being put in that position of, ďOkay, hereís your new drummer who is going to replace me.Ē In the end it worked out because Nick really earned his spot in the band. We gave him a lot of shit for a whole year when he joined the band [laughs]. He came in right when Jim left so it was actually seamless. He learned the Cardiac songs right away. It took a while for us to all gel with him together [personally], but honestly heís doing really well. He had to learn all of the stuff Jim played. He doesnít have to do it exactly how Jim did it, but he stuck to the formula, I guess, and did a great job. He added his own little things here and there but he kept what Jim did intact. Itís actually really great having him because even though heís young, heís got a lot of really good ideas and he knows where to go right away. Thatís definitely a benefit when weíre writing new material.

Blistering.com: Vortex of Violence continues the trend of that classic Cardiac Arrest sound, which is the awesome throwback to the old school, traditional style of death metal. Youíre not breaking any new ground in terms of style and you donít just add in cheesy gimmicks because itís trendy; itís just classic old school American death metal. How important for the band is it to keep that style and sound with every new album?

Knizner: Well, you know me and Iíve been playing this style of music for 20 years now. Thatís really all I know how to play. People are always saying that Cardiac Arrest is the new old-school and itís like whatever [laughs]. Itís all I know and itís all Iíve ever played. Iím not looking for a new sound and I donít ever think that we have to sound this way or that way. Itís just not us. I was lucky enough to find Adam who plays the same way. Heís younger and I wish he could have been playing as long as I have band-wise because he really did miss out on the really early part of the death metal scene. I wish he was there for all of that because he came into the scene like ten years later. Heís younger but he knows how to write tunes and heís a great solo player. Sometimes you find a guitarist who is great at writing songs but canít play a solo or one who can play great solos but not write great songs. Luckily he can do both. We work well together and thatís just the thing; weíre both fans of metal. We like old death metal, we like regular metal, we like hard rock, punk. Stuff that I grew up on. Adam is the same way. Dave [Holland, bass] likes a lot of industrial and doom, that sort of stuff. Nick likes black metal, but we wonít talk about that stuff (laughs).

Blistering.com: Thereís nothing wrong with black metal, man. Emperor, Immortal, Bathory, etc have some great albums.

Knizner: I like some old stuff but that scene it kind of, I donít know. Itís just not my thing. I can appreciate it and all, but itís just not for me. Trends come and go and then they come back, itís how it is. What are you going to do? But we all like different things in the band but weíre never out to try and sound a certain way; itís just how it comes out. We can probably sit back and write some really tech-y riff but it would come out sounding like us, like not-so-tech-y.

Blistering.com: In keeping with what you just said, Cardiac Arrest never has tried to add anything hip or trendy like clean vocals, overly-technical riffs, keyboards, etc.

No, and why would we do that? We donít need any of that. That just doesnít make any sense.

Blistering.com: Exactly, thatís my point. You donít need any of that. However, while jamming in your practice space, has any band member ever tried bringing anything like that to table, maybe wanting to add a new wrinkle to something? And if so, how quickly was the idea shot down and how much ridicule did he get?

: No, not really. Sometimes David wants to get experimental but not in a bad way. Heís come up with a couple of things, but we told him that itís just not us. I donít want to ever not be us just for the sake of trying something different. People can say that weíre close-minded or whatever, but itís not us. We just want to play metal. If you want to try something like that, start up a side project.

Cardiac Arrest official site


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