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Cardiac Arrest - Thereís No Escaping the Vortex Part II

By: Mike Sloan

We continue the chat with Tom Knizner, guitarist for Chicago-based Cardiac Arrest. To read the first installment, click here.

Blistering.com: If Cardiac Arrest never alters their sound at all and essentially becomes the AC/DC of death metal, you know the media and fans will start to gripe and nitpick about your approach. Iím willing to assume that all the members of the band lay awake at night worrying about that.

Tom Knizner:
[laughs] Oh yeah, for sure. Actually, thatís been happening already. Oh, I donít care; we donít care. Number one, itís all about ad space that gives you good reviews, if you even get reviews. Thatís the nature of it all. I didnít understand it years ago but Iíve opened my eyes over the years. But when it comes to reviews, theyíre just opinions and nobodyís ever going to please everybody. Itís the whole, ďwe like what weíre doing so thatís what mattersĒ mindset. If people like it, thatís awesome. But if they donít like it, well, thanks for checking it out, I guess. You canít dwell on any negative review or whatever. If you think itís going to pick up steam because you didnít like it or something, well, thatís not going to happen.

Blistering.com: Cianide has been on a roll lately and Bones has been getting some good press lately. Nachtmystium has been gaining plenty of accolades over the years and now you guys are finally starting to get some notoriety. Macabre always kicks ass, too. It seems like the Chicago metal scene is starting to really get stronger recently. What changes have you seen over the past five or so years in the scene and is it as strong as it seems on the outside?

The Chicago scene has always been here but for whatever reason, people didnít pay attention to it. [Paul] Speckmann has been here forever with Warcry, Funeral Bitch, Abomination and of course, Master. He moved away and then moved again, then all of a sudden thereís this resurgence of Master and whatnot. Then everybodyís talking about how the Chicago scene is back and whatever, but he never got the recognition a long time ago. Weíve always had Cianide and Macabre and a lot of other great bands, but nobody seemed to bother.

The sceneís cool, I guess, but it depends on what you mean by ďscene.Ē Is it going to shows? Is it the local bands? Is the amount of bands from other parts of the world that come through? It all depends on what you mean by it. As far as bands, Chicagoís always had good bands. On the South Side youíve always had Cianide and now us, and Macabre, like you said, have always been here. Macabre are the kings here, and well-deserved. Theyíve always been great. Bones, too. You can go over to Scott from Cianideís house and youíll have all the bands there. Thereíll be us, Cianide, Bones, the Kommandant guysÖ weíre all friends. There are a lot of other bands, too. Thereís competition between us all but itís never like weíre going to go punch them or try to sabotage their shit or anything like that.

Each band has its own unique sound, too, and thatís maybe why the Chicago scene has largely been ignored because there isnít a true ďChicago Sound.Ē You had the New York sound, the Florida sound, the Bay Area sound. We didnít have that; we are all very different, even in the early days. There was always something different about every band. There is no Chicago sound but all those other scenes borrowed heavily from Chicago, no doubt. Bands always respected Chicago everywhere. I mean, read some of those early thanks lists from a long time ago from Entombed, Napalm Death, a lot of those bands. Chicago bands have always been respected but the fans always wanted to hear something like Deicide or someone else form Florida. Everything Florida-related was always great to everybody.

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