On Wednesday afternoon, at around 2 p.m. ET, Arsis frontman Jim Malone told MTV News that one of the toughest things about being in the technical death-metal outfit is the unpredictability of the road. Then, not even three hours later, while Arsis were on their way to Minnesota, the band's trailer flipped and settled deep in a snow bank alongside an ice-coated highway somewhere in Iowa.
"Everyone's fine," Malone reported from the scene of the accident. "The trailer flipped, broke loose of the hitch and is now stuck. Better the trailer and not us. We're waiting to get it towed, since it's unusable. It's lodged in ice, and we can't get to our gear, but we're sure it's all smashed."
As a result, Malone said that in all likelihood, the rest of the band's headlining tour — which had been scheduled to run through March 15 in West Springfield, Virginia — will be nixed, as Arsis won't be able to afford a new trailer.
For Arsis, Wednesday's incident was just more of the same bad luck they've been dealing with throughout their career. Take last summer, when Arsis had to drop off of the Summer Slaughter tour with Necrophagist, Decapitated, Cephalic Carnage, Cattle Decapitation and others.
"Our van broke down in Sacramento, and we were told it would be a day or two to fix," Malone recalled during his chat with Metal File. "We decided to wait it out in a motel, and soon, a day or two turned into two weeks. So, we were stuck in a motel for two weeks with no transportation. I think we drank the gas station down the street out of Natural Light — and I know that I personally drank them out of their cheap Merlot."
After two weeks, the band headed home to Virginia, and two months later, Malone got the call — their van had been fixed. He drove out to California, and ended up driving the van back home by himself.
Then there was last week, when Internet rumors of Arsis' demise caught steam and inevitably ended up being reported as actual news by several heavy-metal sites. But it wasn't true, and Arsis had to do some damage control.
"We were just having some difficulties on this Exodus tour, and a situation arose — getting into Canada is hard for us anyway, and I lost my passport on top of that," he said. "So, we decided to go home for a few days, to regroup and finish out our headlining dates. People make assumptions and whatnot. We did miss shows, and we didn't make the proper press statements to explain why we were missing these shows, I guess. So, people made their own conclusions. And that's fine."
But the rumor was actually the handywork of a jealous longhair.
"Essentially, there is a guy from the same area Arsis originated from, and he's currently in a band with a former member of Arsis," Malone confessed. "There was an issue with a girl that I think this guy was interested in, and she was paying me more attention. I don't think that helped the situation at all, and this guy went online and started these rumors. The thing is, playing eight-string metal is not the place for groupies. Girls that are at our shows are usually with their boyfriends, and if they're alone, they probably have issues."
With any luck, Arsis' bad-luck streak won't impact their upcoming tour with Death Angel and God Forbid, kicking off in early May. The band will be touring in support of We Are the Nightmare, which hits stores April 15.
"We all feel really amazing about the album," Malone said. "We wanted to raise the heaviness bar, but at the same time, we also wanted to have catchy songs. I think the songs are all technical and brutal, but they're still catchy and well-written at the same time. That's what we were trying to do, which is something Arsis has always tried to do, to a degree. We just took it up a notch, all the way around. I finally feel we have an album that has production, that really fits our sound. We didn't go into it thinking we'd make it crazy brutal, it just came out that way.
"Lyrically, it deals with my own life experiences — whatever emotions I'm feeling at that time," he continued. "I think when one's writing, they can write better about things they've experienced and what they know. We're not the death-metal band that's going to write about hacking up bodies. I've never done anything like that and don't plan on it. We'll leave that to Cannibal Corpse."
The rest of the week's metal news:
Metal File can exclusively reveal the details of the second annual Metal for the Masses tour, which kicks off on April 12 in Wilmington, Delaware. The lineup will feature As Blood Runs Black, Stick to Your Guns and Winds of Plague, along with openers Veil of Maya. Dates for the six-week trek are booked through May 25 in Fresno, California. ... At long last, reunited Swedish metal legends At the Gates have booked a U.S. gig. The band will perform at the Fillmore at Irving Plaza in New York on July 10, along with openers Darkest Hour and Municipal Waste. The show is believed to be the first of many the band will roll out over the coming weeks. ...
Iron Maiden are warning their fans not to believe everything they read. In a message on their Web site, the band said those unannounced tour dates that have made their way onto Maiden's Wikipedia page are bogus. "It's very much a work of fiction," the message says. "Dates aren't official until they are announced here on [IronMaiden.com]." ... This week, head on over to MTV's Headbangers Blog to catch a clip of 3 Inches of Blood frontman Cam Pipes and Slipknot kitman Joey Jordison — who produced 3 Inches' last LP — talking about the making of the band's video for the song "Trial of Champions." ...
The dudes from Belgian death-grinders Aborted have begun tracking their next album, which they've yet to christen. "Things are going very smoothly — we are scheduled to finish up all rhythm guitars, then go on to leads and finish up the bass," the band reports. "After that, vocals and samples." No word yet on when we can expect the record to hit stores. ... The lineup for this year's Dude Fest, set for Indianapolis on June 20-22, has been revealed. Set to take the stage that weekend are Demiricous, Lords, Nachtmystium, Plague Bringer, Skeletonwitch, Torche, Transistor Transistor and Weekend Nachos. ...
108 have a new member in Alan Cage, known for his work with both Seaweed and Quicksand. Cage replaces drummer Tom Hogan, who left the band for other musical pursuits. 108 are hard at work on their new album, which will be released later this year. ... Tennessee death metallers Whitechapel have booked studio time for next week. That's when they'll begin tracking their Metal Blade Records debut, which is being produced by former Red Chord guitarist Jonny Fay. ... French metallers the Old Dead Tree have found a new drummer: Raphaël Antheaume, who had been in French symphonic-metal band Penumbra.