drummer Sam McCandless of ColdIn 1998, Florida-based metal band Cold released its self-titled debut album, a dark, intensely brooding musical vision. But the band’s strong songwriting, combined with impressive musicianship, allowed them to avoid being lumped in with bands treading similar ground. Drummer Sam McCandless will tell you straight, Cold was never part of the nu-metal thing. “We always thought we were more of an alternative band, like Jane’s Addiction,” he explains. The drummer’s powerful, yet intricate, and tribal drumming, which permeates the band’s latest release, Year Of The Spider, certainly supports that view.

Between 2000 and 2001, Cold spent eighteen months on the road with bands like Marilyn Manson, Godsmack, and Staind in support of their gold-selling sophomore release, 13 Ways To Bleed On Stage. But Sam believes the cumulative experience of touring with such seasoned acts helped prepare the band for recording Year Of The Spider. “We’re all influenced by ’70s bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin,” the drummer notes. “We wanted to make a classic-sounding record of thirteen really great songs. I can do the programming thing, but this album is more natural’more rock ‘n’ roll’so we didn’t do a lot of that this time.”

McCandless’s main objective for Year Of The Spider was to “go big” with his drum sound. “I wanted to sound bigger than Bonham,” he jokes. “Bay 7 Studio, where we recorded, is really dialed-in, so the drum sounds on this album are really insane – especially the toms. The drum sound is the best I’ve had on any of our records.”

Gail Worley