As this news story is being posted, somewhere down in Florida, Chimaira frontman Mark Hunter is enjoying an early bird special at the Boca Breeze Diner…or something like that…wearing white pants, loafers, geriatric-lookin' sunglasses, and a Somebody In Cleveland Loves Me t- shirt, no doubt. Ahhh, the goodness of Florida. That reminds us, TODAY (January 13th, 2004) marks the day that drummer Richard Evensand arrives in Cleveland, OH for the first time as a member of Chimaira. Welcome to Cleveland, Richard. Chimaira practices with the new drummer start up tomorrow, and will be ongoing until the band leaves for Europe. For more info on the new member of Chimaira, and to commemorate this fine day, we turn to an IM conversation had with Mark Hunter earlier today. Enjoy: Mark Hunter: what's up man? Roadrunner Records: Mr. Florida. how are ya? Mark Hunter: Doing well…just killing time between meals...figured since today marks the landing of the new drummer it might be fun to try and interview me about it since I am not there and I've been hanging with Goofy and Micky. Roadrunner: son of a bitch. let's start this off. where exactly are you now? Mark Hunter: I am in Boca Raton, Florida Roadrunner: is that near magic mountain? Mark Hunter: about 4 hours south actually, and 3000 miles west. Roadrunner: 3,000 miles WEST? What Magic Mountain you talking about? Mark Hunter: I am talking about Magic Mountain in California's Disney area, it is a 6 flags park. I have not been to Epcot, I watch the Simpson's and they told it me was a waste of time. Epcot is 4 hours north of where I am at right now. I did however go to MGM and hang with the muppets Roadrunner: are there girls in bikinis there? Mark Hunter: yes, they wear the "thong" a clothing item popularized by Sisqo, or however you spell it Roadrunner: are you wearing a thong? Mark Hunter: indeed. A thong, flip-flops and a Hawaiian shirt, and nothing else. Roadrunner: and yet they let you in? Would've thought that was a family park. Back to more important details, are there good afternoon drink specials? Mark Hunter: I have been eating Cuban food, since we are close, and they have a drink called the mojito, they never have special prices down here...they don't call it a tourist trap for nothing! Roadrunner: did you hear the rumors on the web about you guys covering a Jimmy Buffet song? Mark Hunter: who do you think started them? Roadrunner: So, new drummer is flying into the greater Cleveland area today... Mark Hunter: indeed Roadrunner: from where, exactly? Mark Hunter: he arrives in 3 hours from Helsingborg, or something to that effect, in Sweden Roadrunner: flying in from Sweden? boy, his arms must be tired. Mark Hunter: you my friend are a nerd (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) Roadrunner: who is the welcoming committee for Richard? Mark Hunter: Rob, Jim, Matt, and Chris from the band, they are taking him to a good ol' American style Australian restaurant - Outback Steakhouse - so he can get that terrible Euro food out of his system right away. Roadrunner: first time in Cleveland for Richard? Mark Hunter: nope, this will be the 3rd time. He played here twice with his old band (Soilwork) Roadrunner: when do the practices commence? Mark Hunter: tomorrow afternoon, I am super excited. so excited I will call while on the beach drinking a mojito and ask how it is going Roadrunner: what do you guess will be the first song they jam to? Mark Hunter: I hope it is the jimmy buffet song we are working on Roadrunner: did Richard bring his own drumset from Sweden, or do you guys have a rig for him? Mark Hunter: he is going to use the kit we have, which was Andols' kit, but in Europe and on touring we are working on getting him a new kit Roadrunner: speaking of Sweden, do they just call them 'meatballs' over there? Mark Hunter: haha good question. when I was there, to be honest with you, I couldn't even find them at a restaurant Roadrunner: your opinion: biggest culture shock Richard will face in Cleveland? Mark Hunter: getting used to food with taste and flavor…actually the food in Sweden was quite good. So I guess he will have to get used to being around Jim so much Roadrunner: back to Sweden, do they just call it a 'massage' over there? Mark Hunter: its called an oriental massage, but you need to ask the Swede the Swedish questions! all I know is that the girls are hot and tall and blonde and that the chef was the best character on the muppets Roadrunner: so, what is the practice schedule, and when are you guys heading across the Atlantic to start this upcoming European tour? Mark Hunter: we are going to practice almost every day and we plan on leaving on January 30th. we are getting the opportunity of a lifetime, we are doing "Chimaira the BBC sessions" the first day in England. all I know is that the BBC said they wanted us to come record some songs for the radio. We are doing 4 songs - 3 Chimaira songs and 1 cover song. the jimmy buffet cover Roadrunner: touche. Mark Hunter: actually we don't know what cover it will be yet, but we have some ideas. one of them will really throw fans for a loop if we choose it Roadrunner: well, you already did a cover from the cure, so that throws that band out of the mix…Hey, 2nd new member to the Chimaira family, any hazing rituals to welcome Richard, outside of the night at Outback tonight? Mark Hunter: well, Matt didn't really get much unless he passed out, so Richard is fine as long as he can stay awake… Roadrunner: one last question: when are you touching back down in Cleveland? Mark Hunter: well I wish never with this 75-80 degree weather, but I guess I got a job to do so I will be home the 16th Roadrunner: that reminds me...so the WHOLE band finds it important enough to welcome in the new guy, but not you? Do you think you are better than the rest of the lot? Roadrunner: indeed. I wish I could be there, but I had planned this before I knew what was going on. I'll see him in a few days. plus, I am just the singer, I don't need to be there the first few days of jamming. ill get there when everything is tight and ready. Roadrunner: yeah, that's what she said… Thanks. Mark Hunter: Always a pleasure