Twenty-five years ago, four teens found each other in Fresno, California and formed a thrash/metal band that would release its 25th Anniversary Box Set in 2009. In between, The Crucified played Cornerstone Festival several times, released two proper studio albums and several demos and played with everyone from Pantera to P.O.D.

Now, former drummer Jim Chaffin sat down with CMCentral to talk about the reasons for coming back together and what it was like to bring up the idea of actually touring again after all of these years.

CMCentral:  It's been such a long run for the band, so I'm wondering if it's more meaningful now to still be creating music at this point?

Jim Chaffin:  I don't know if it's more meaningful. I think I probably appreciate it a little more now because of the people that have contacted us and thanked us for whatever influence we had on them. That's always cool. At the time when you're doing things, we're just tied up in the moment and we didn't understand fully what kind of impact we were going to have on the scene as a whole. We just knew that we wanted to be something. So looking back, it seems that God has opened up my eyes to see what kind of an impact that it had, in spite of what I thought was going on at the time. It reached a lot farther than I thought it was doing at the time. So in that way, I appreciate it a lot more.

CMCentral:  Were you nervous to re-enter the scene in this stage?

Jim:  [Pause] Not really. I mean, I'm a musician, so I have a bit of an ego. [Laughs] I mean, I've seen other bands and I've seen what they're doing and I don't think it's any better or worse, in some cases, than what we're doing. The only nervous was probably about relevance. Especially in the United States, the scene changes at the drop of a hat. Things come and things go. So having an opportunity to play in the States has been great, but I understand that we're not the newest, latest thing coming out. We don't have any new music coming out per se.

So I don't think we've felt intimidated. Well, maybe we are a tad bit nervous. After we played the first show, it was over. All of that was gone and we knew we could still kick butt and still make people move, even with music that was done 15 years ago.

CMCentral:  So what made this the right time to come back? Was it the 25th anniversary?

Jim:  That was definitely a big part of it. That was mainly it. We had got together because of our old manager, Tim Anderson, to talk about putting out a box set and we finally all four got in a room together and hung out and stuff. Then it just came up to talk about some shows and the feeling was, 'Hey, yeah, let's do it. Let's go.'

So it was incremental. The whole idea to begin with was just to put the box set together just to do it—just for fans and stuff. Pillars of Humanity was out of print, so getting ahold of that and getting that back out was a big part of it, too. So we figured an anniversary box set would spark some interest as well.

CMCentral:  How was that first coming back together? Was it odd at all?

Jim:  It was pretty awkward. I live in the same town as one of the guys and the other two guys live in L.A. So we all only saw each other once in a great while and we've all moved on to other projects. Jeff and Mark were doing Stavesacre for years and Greg's on his own doing things locally here and got married and had a kid and all that stuff. So we didn't see a lot of each other.

In the different bands I was playing in, people would ask about the other guys from The Crucified. They'd ask why the other guys were doing what they were, and I'd just say, 'I don't know.' People would ask, 'Why aren't you guys doing The Crucified?' I'd just say, 'I don't know. I always wanted to do it, but I'm not the whole band.' So when we got together, it was nice to see each other and hang out again and stuff, but that sort of stuff was looming over everything.

You're wondering if you should say anything about doing a show or will someone get mad or do I really want to hear their response or something like that. It was just off the cuff asking about shows and everyone was like, 'Okay, cool.' Then I'm thinking, 'I can't believe how easy it was.' [Laughs] It took a couple meetings to get comfortable with each other and it's been a whole lot of fun. That was almost a year ago, so it's been a good time. We've obviously all grown up in a lot of ways. We're a little more mature and laid-back.

CMCentral:  Favorite fan response to the reunion?

Jim:  I can't think of one off of the top of my head. Any good response is appreciated, you know? I know one that I don't like. [Laughs] 'Why don't you guys quit living in the past?' I don't like that one.

CMCentral:  Really, you've heard that one?

Jim:  From other musicians, we have. It's like, 'Hey man, ain't nothing else going on. It was great when it was happening and we're just throwing it out there and seeing what happens. If people are interested, I'm not going to take it back and say it was the past.' So I don't appreciate that, but the biggest thing I'm excited about is going overseas.

I had a chance to go overseas with another group I was playing with called Once Dead and I had more people asking me about The Crucified than Once Dead. [Laughs] These weren't 40- or 50-year-old guys. These were 19-year-olds who had our demo tapes from Germany or something. I'm like, 'You're kidding me! How old are you?' I'm anxious to go over there and enjoy that. But we've had some pretty good responses, but nothing that stands out more than others. It's unfortunate that for me, the negative stands out more than the positive.


For more information about The Crucified, please visit www.myspace.com/thecrucified.
 

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**This interview first published on December 3, 2009.