Candiria are an American progressive metal band from Brooklyn, New York. Formed in 1992 by vocalist Carley Coma, guitarists Chris Puma and Eric Matthews, and drummer/bassist/keyboardist/trumpeter Kenneth Schalk, the band was part of the second wave of New York hardcore, but subsequently expanded its performance to also play jazz, hip hop and progressive rock.[2]

OriginBrooklyn, New York, U.S.
GenresProgressive metal,[1] jazz, fusion, hardcore punk, hip hop, progressive rock, rap metal
Years active1992–present
LabelsToo Damn Hype, Devastating Soundworks, MIA, Century Media, Earache, Lakeshore, Metal Blade
MembersCarley Coma
John LaMacchia
Michael MacIvor
Julio Arias
Danny Grossarth
Past membersChris Puma
Eric Matthews
Eddie Ortiz
Robert Corbino
Kenneth Schalk


Candiria was initially formed in 1992 by vocalist Carley Coma, guitarists Chris Puma and Eric Matthews, and drummer/bassist/keyboardist/trumpeter Kenneth Schalk.[3] "Candiria" is supposedly the plural form of candiru, a parasitic fish found in the Amazon river. However, original member Kenneth Schalk stated that the band made up their name while unaware of the fish.[citation needed] The alleged plural is incorrect anyway: the name of the fish comes from the now extinct Old Tupi language, from where it passed on to Portuguese and later to other languages; in Portuguese, the plural form is simply candirus.[4] The band formed in the second wave of New York hardcore.[2]

Their first album Surrealistic Madness was released by Too Damn Hype Records in 1995. Chris Puma was replaced by John LaMacchia in 1997, just before their second album Beyond Reasonable Doubt. The band then moved to M.I.A. Records, which released their third album The Process of Self-Development in 1999, and Century Media released their fourth album 300 Percent Density in 2001. That album reached No. 44 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart.[5]

On September 9, 2002, Candiria was in a serious accident near Cleveland, Ohio while driving their touring van. A tractor trailer rear-ended the band's equipment trailer, which then caused the van to flip over several times, eventually landing on its roof. Four members of the band were ejected from the vehicle, and all members plus their driver were hospitalized for serious injuries. Candiria then went through a long and painful recovery period.[6] The band were rumored to be paid $29 million in compensation (pending appeal).[7]

Candiria reemerged in 2004 with the album What Doesn't Kill You..., the cover of which features a photo of the band's van after the 2002 accident. The album indicated a more melodic direction for the band, which received varying amounts of criticism and praise from different sides.[8][9] The album reached No. 47 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart.[5] John LaMacchia temporarily quit the band for personal reasons after the album's release. Their next album Kiss the Lie was delayed for several years as the band continued to recover from the 2002 accident. LaMacchia returned during the recording process, but guitarist Eric Matthews quit the band, due in part to the continuing effects of his injuries. Drummer Kenneth Schalk departed during this period as well.

By March 2009, Carley Coma and John LaMacchia were the only remaining members of Candiria. Coma had stated that any future Candiria efforts would most likely be electronica-based projects as they were without a rhythm section.[citation needed] However, bassist Michael MacIvor had been helping out since 2007 and became a permanent member in 2009. Guitarist Eddie Ortiz also joined during this period, and original drummer Kenneth Schalk returned to the band. Their sixth studio album Kiss the Lie was released in 2009. Also starting in 2009, LaMacchia and Schalk created a series of albums titled Toying with the Insanities in which old Candiria songs are remixed in collaboration with notable DJs and producers.[10][11]

Original guitarist Chris Puma died of undisclosed causes on September 20, 2009.[12] On April 29, 2014, Candiria released a two track 7-inch entitled Invaders, their first new material in five years. In April and May 2015 Candiria made their first live appearances in New York City in a decade. Kenneth Schalk quit the band again due to family commitments in July 2016,[13] and was replaced by Danny Grossarth. Guitarist Eddie Ortiz also quit the band during this period and was replaced by Julio Arias. Candiria signed with Metal Blade Records in 2015.[14] Their seventh full-length album While They Were Sleeping was released in October 2016.[15] They played on the Vans Warped Tour in 2017.[16]

Side projects and other bandsEdit

Kenneth Schalk, Michael MacIvor, and John LaMacchia have been involved in a free-jazz side project named Ghosts of the Canal, who have released two full-length albums, Sessions from the Flats (1999) and Five Episodes from the Subconscious (2002). This project employs unconventional instrumentation like Rhodes and didgeridoo.[17] MacIvor and LaMacchia also formed the classic rock band A Family Plot,[18] and LaMacchia is a member of Spylacopa along with Greg Puciato, Jeff Caxide, and Julie Christmas, which released the albums Spylacopa (2008) and Parallels (2015).[19] Schalk was also a longtime member of the band Fuel.

Carley Coma has performed with the Christian rock band Hope Kills Fear, which was formed to create "emotional, thought-provoking songs to spread a message of hope, faith, strength and perseverance."[20] In 2011, Coma also released one album with the hard rock band Park Lane.[21]

Musical styleEdit

The band's music frequently employs dissonance and unusual time signatures, traits more commonly associated with free jazz,[2] in addition to polyrhythms,[22] as well as sonic experimentation and genre-bending, playing rap metal, hardcore punk, hip hop, jazz, progressive rock,[23] ambient music, deathcore[24] grindcore and funk.[25] The band has also played in the jazz subgenres bop,[2] swing and post-bop, in addition to jazz fusion.[24] The band describes this sound as "urban fusion".[25] It has also been categorized as progressive metal.[1]

Band membersEdit


  • Carley Coma — vocals (1992—present)
  • John LaMacchia — lead guitar (1997—present)
  • Julio Arias — rhythm guitar (2015—present)
  • Michael MacIvor — bass (1997—present)
  • Danny Grossarth — drums (2016—present)


  • Chris Puma — lead guitar (1992–1997; died in 2009)
  • Eric Matthews — rhythm guitar (1992–2004), bass (1992–1997)
  • Robert Corbino — bass (Warped Tour; 2017)
  • Eddie Ortiz — rhythm guitar (2004–2014)
  • Kenneth Schalk — drums, keyboards, trumpet (1992–2016), bass (1992–1997)



Studio albums
  • Subliminal (EP) (1994, self-released)
  • Deep in the Mental (EP) (1995, Devastating Soundworks)
Other releases
  • Mathematics [7-inch] (1999 Stillborn Records)
  • The C.O.M.A. Imprint [compilation] (2002, Lakeshore Records)
  • Toying with the Insanities Volume I [remixes] (2009, Rising Pulse Records)
  • Toying with the Insanities Volume II [remixes] (2009, Rising Pulse Records)
  • Toying with the Insanities Volume III [remixes] (2010, Rising Pulse Records)
  • The Invaders [7-inch] (2014, Rising Pulse Records, Giant MKT)


  1. ^ a b "Candiria – While They Were Sleeping".
  2. ^ a b c d "Candiria: Bio". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  3. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry (2005). New Wave of American Heavy Metal. New Plymouth: Zonda Books. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-9582684-0-1.
  4. ^ Dicionário Houaiss da Língua Portuguesa. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Objetiva. 2007. ISBN 978-85-7302-383-1.
  5. ^ a b "Candiria: Chart History". Archived from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Candiria". Archived from the original on September 1, 2012. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  7. ^ [1] Archived February 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Candiria - What Doesn't Kill You... (album review 2)". June 23, 2006. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  9. ^ "Candiria - What Doesn't Kill You Review". September 29, 2009. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  10. ^ Slevin, Patrick (October 1, 2009). "Candiria: Toying With The Insanities Vol. 1". The Aquarian Weekly. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  11. ^ . March 6, 2012 Archived from the original on March 6, 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Harris, Chris. "Candiria Guitarist Chris Puma Dies". Noise Creep. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  13. ^ "Candiria Confirm Departure Of Drummer Ken Schalk". July 29, 2016.
  14. ^ "Candiria signs to Metal Blade Records; new album planned for 2016". September 24, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  15. ^ "Candiria returns with new album, 'While They Were Sleeping'". August 25, 2016. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Warped Tour 2017 lineup announced". March 22, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  17. ^ Vallier, John. "Review: Sessions from the Flats". AllMusic. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  18. ^ Neilstein, Vince (August 25, 2009). "Candiria's John LaMacchia: The MetalSucks Interview". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  19. ^ Wingerschmidt, Kip (April 22, 2015). "Spylacopa's Parallels is a True Envelope-Pusher". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  20. ^ Stagg, David (October 31, 2010). "Hope Kills Fear". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  21. ^ Teitelman, Bran (September 19, 2011). "Park Lane's Carley Coma Discusses Debut Album, Life After Candiria". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  22. ^ "They Could Have Been A Contender: Candiria". Louder Sound.
  23. ^ "CANDIRIA were ahead of their time". Metal Injection. July 8, 2009.
  24. ^ a b "Candiria: While They Were Sleeping". Pitchfork.
  25. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason. "Candiria biography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 8, 2008. Candiria's uniquely sprawling urban fusion sound combined elements of grindcore, funk, hip-hop, and jazz.

External linksEdit