It's the dawn of a new year, and the dawn of a new beginning for Chimaira. Exit Andols Herrick, enter Richard Evensand. Yes, drummer Andols has officially left Chimaira since the band returned home from their most recent stretch on the road, and now joining Chimaira will be Soilwork's Richard Evensand. Oddly enough, Richard cites a "slap contest with Chimaira's drum tech" as his weirdest experience in Soilwork. Chimaira had previously been on two tours with the Swedes from Soilwork. As Chris Spicuzza recalls, "we'd watch him every night. We'd always tell people to watch the drummer (during each Soilwork show), because he was so damn good." Well, this goodness is now part of Chimaira. And Richard is expected to be flying into the greater Cleveland area from Sweden in the next week or so to start practicing with the band before they head out to the UK for their upcoming February European tour. A message from the band on the situation is as follows: "This may come as a shock to most of you, but we assure you this changes nothing for Chimaira. No shows have been canceled, no plans have been put to rest....we continue to overcome enormous obstacles and we persevere through and through. We wish Andy the best and we welcome our new drummer Ricky. "So with the new year, the new chapter in Chimaira begins...." As for Andols, his parting message to all is as follows (and let it be known we wish him all the best as well): "As many of you might know by now, I have decided to leave my brothers in Chimaira to pursue other interests. This was a very difficult and emotionally taxing decision, and it was something I had been pondering for quite a while. Basically, I am really burned out on the touring lifestyle. It takes a special kind of person to be on the road 3/4 of the year, performing night after night. You have to live it and love it 100% or it will break you down. Unfortunately, the schedule got the best of me. I got to the point where I wasn't having fun performing anymore, and that is extremely hard to deal with. "I plan on returning to college to finish my degree that's been on hiatus for 5 years. As far as drumming goes, right now all I know is that I have been very unhappy with my playing for a while, and after some time off I want to really improve in every aspect and become more well rounded as a musician. Perhaps even some session work could be in order in the future. Music has been a major part of my life, ever since I first started music lessons in 1986, and more so when I first picked up a pair of drumsticks in 1988, so we will see what happens in the future. I just want to take everything one day at a time. Chimaira is in good hands now, with Richard Evensand taking over. I had the pleasure of watching him play on two tours with Soilwork, and he is incredible. Trust me, you will all be saying Andy who? when you hear him! "I'd like to thank my Chimaira bros for five years of great memories and accomplishments, my family and girlfriend for their support, Roadrunner Records, Scott Koenig, Stick Shefrin, Ian Friedman, our road crew, all the great drum companies I've worked with, all the great friends I made on the road, and all the great fans. "I am fully confident in the continued success of the band, and I will be there supporting them 100%, just like you all should! "Best wishes to everyone" - Andy Herrick