November 27, 2013
Working with Mark Hunter and Chimaira

Around 10 years ago, I was riding around with my friend Ryan Smith from my hometown of Princeton Indiana, and he popped in a CD that made my head turn. “So… who is this?” I asked. Ryan replied, “I knew you’d like it. This is Chimaira.” Impossibility of Reason was the record. As a drummer, I’m inspired by speed, control, and tastefulness. Chimaira had exactly what I was looking for at the time. My band Deliver Us From Evil covered tracks like Cleansation, Power Trip, and Pure Hatred. I still play the pattern at the end of Eyes Of A Criminal during sound checks. Cool stuff! The crowd loves it… which helped introduce our fans to this legendary band.


In 2007, my band played a show in Owensboro KY with another awesome band, DååTH, who had just been signed to Roadrunner Records. Back then, they did not have a full time drummer but they still ripped. Eventually, they recruited Kevin Talley (who’s a buddy of mine and former Chimaira), who hired me to shoot all of the media for their second release “The Concealers”.
My band also had the opportunity to join them on a string of dates in 2010.

A decade passed, and Chimaira’s “Impossibility” lineup left the group for various reasons leaving founding member Mark Hunter to reform the band. Learning that Dååth went on hiatus, Hunter teamed up with three of its members, Emil, Sean and Jeremy, and the drummer of another band I like, Bleed The Sky’s, Austin D’Amond. Chimaira’s NEW lineup are all OLD friends! Haha. I worked with them in Louisville earlier this summer and got these rad shots…

chimaira_mashup chimaira_louisville_01_logo

After working in the majestic land of India this September, I flew home, and Deliver Us From Evil played the Indianapolis Metal Fest with Chimaira. It was a killer reunion with some friends I had not seen in a bit. I sat and talked to Mark as he was curious about India. He expressed wanting to travel there with me. More on that later… As our conversation ended, I was made aware that Mark has a solid knowledge of various methods of health maintenance and wellness coaching. I was raised a certain way by my mom, so many of the things he was describing were already familiar to me. Pretty sweet. We played a show at the Murat in Indy, and it was a blast. I had not been on stage in a bit, so it was refreshing. That next Monday, we met up in St. Louis and got these shots. Some of these are still exclusive so I’ll show you what I can. DSC_5458 DSC_5422 lens_flare DSC_5861 DSC_5813 DSC_5706 DSC_5683 DSC_5604 alex_jeremy_emil  

After all of that went down, Mark and I stayed in contact, and he was interested in me help launch his wellness coaching career. He needs a photographer. So… he flew me to Cleveland, and we went on a photo mission. DSC_7059_1   You may automatically think, “What does the frontman of a metal band know about wellness coaching?.” When you think of metal bands, you might think of endless debauchery, anger, screaming, and craziness. Well, I can tell you as a person in a metal band, that isn’t always the case. There are some extremely smart people in this game. And what I witnessed first hand after staying at Mark’s house over four days is he has quite a bit of experience helping people get through their day to day ailments.  DSC_7067  

During the 80′s and 90′s, people were literally dying because of drug addiction and plain abuse to their bodies. I’m sure they had no understanding or education of how to maintain themselves on the road. How to eat, no sleep, mixed with constant inebriation, and absolutely no maintenance at all. Now, many musicians have become aware that they have to start to take care of their health in order to keep playing music… and to keep from dying early. Mark’s girlfriend Lauren has had Crohn’s disease since she was twelve.mark_laurenShe battles it every day and has had multiple surgeries leaving her with around nine feet of intestine. Reality sunk in when I saw Mark walk out of his bedroom with an IV stand. The next day, we had to take Lauren to the hospital to be admitted in ICU. DSC_7100 She bounced back of course, but seeing someone go thorough that and knowing that it is a consistent thing in their life makes me feel like all of the small accomplishments I have had don’t even compare. Mark hits the road then heads home to contribute. Because he cares. I was impressed how he compartmentalized his state of mind, and pulled it together when we went back out to shoot. He had just dropped her off at the hospital, and he still brought the energy needed to get the job done. A true professional. I was impressed. He could have easily blown off the shoot, and I would have totally understood. Knowing the behind the scenes story, I think this photo captures what was truly on his mind.DSC_6586 Mark is in the process of coaching new clients, as well. The motivation is about making a difference and spreading awareness. Educating people on how they can live their lives with much more quality than they ever expected.DSC_6370 Grass-fed beef, fresh ingredients, and Bulletproof® Coffee are on top of the agenda. Great stuff. I was sold. DSC_7235 DSC_7246 Bulletproof® Coffee was interesting. Kerrygold Unsalted Butter and MCT Oil are blended to the coffee to provide the body with necessary fats to get you through the beginning of your day. Tastes pretty great too surprisingly enough. DSC_7326 DSC_7331 My team and I currently worked on Great stuff and lots of valuable info.

Here is the video I shot and directed for Chimaira edited with the help of my friend Ben Woehler.

Check out Chimaira’s latest record CROWN OF PHANTOMS chimaira_-_crown_of_phantoms

And thanks to Cupcake for keeping us safe in Cleveland.


All photos by Alex Morgan. Behind the scenes of Alex working by Chris Koyle.

Artwork provided by Chimaira. Bulletproof® Coffee