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        New Tazewell is a quiet little town that interrupts the otherwise rural, hilly landscape of sleepy upper eastern Tennessee - hardly a place where one might expect to find an active hardcore metal scene... but it is the hometown of Coexist, an extreme hardcore band formed in January of 1999 when Chris "Cyrix" Butcher and Mat "Mingus" Harmon laid to rest various unsuccessful previous music projects to pioneer a new project. Primarily inspired by various "new bands" and "new metal" influences, Cyrix (vocals) and Mingus (drums), along with their first guitarist and bass player, began writing lyrics and rehearsing, striving to carve out a signature hardcore sound and concept. Coexist spent their first few months in secluded practice, working with a body of five original compositions. The band perfected their songs and attempted a bit of self-produced recording in March / April, and committed to playing their first show in May.
        It appeared Coexist was off to a strong start, but quite suddenly, their guitarist and bassist decided to quit the band, leaving Cyrix and Mingus in the same position they were in when they formed Coexist in January. Discouraged and unable to perform live without a string section, Mingus announced that Coexist as a band was "over before it even began," to the disappointment of the very small number of people who even knew the band existed. But all was not in vain, for in a matter of a few weeks, Coexist acquired a new guitarist (Arthur Ramsey) and a new bass player. So the band gathered hope and resumed its efforts. Instead of rewinding back to January and re-rehearsing all the same material they'd written with their former members, Coexist started from scratch yet again and began composing new music to surpass the quality of their former material. The band ventured out and played their first show with their new line-up in mid-July, 1999. Their debut performance turned many heads and gained the attention of other bands making similar music in their area. No longer able to remain hidden in the practice room, Coexist made plans to play other shows in the near future and continue writing.
        Despite their progress to this point, however, the band reached a decision to "vote out" their bass player due to internal conflicts - this preserved Coexist, but the band was, for the second time, without a bass player and unable to perform live until they found one. Enter, in a timely manner, new bassist Chris Blackburn. Chris came on board in mid-August, 1999 and quickly learned the Coexist repertoire of songs to enable the band to continue playing shows. Coexist's performance at a mini-fest in September 1999 proved that the band, despite its numerous trials since its foundation earlier that same year, possessed great resilience and creativity, and they began to win the respect and admiration of other hardcore bands in their area. The band also had begun to build a fanbase, both locally and outside their hometown.
        Confident that they had finally established themselves as "Coexist" with a permanent, mutually agreeable line-up of members, Cyrix, Mingus, Chris, and Arthur made the decision in September 1999 to record their material as an EP / demo. The band hired Dwell Studios of Knoxville, TN to record, mix, and prepare the Coexist EP for release. The band discontinued live performance as they spent four consecutive weekends tracking an EP / demo entitled "Enter The Nightmare, Exit The Ecstasy." This debut release achieved the band's goal of establishing the true abilities of Coexist as a hardcore entity, encapsulating the full range of Coexist's songwriting and performance capabilities - serene, melodious interludes juxtaposed with hideously dissonant and heavy hardcore catharsis. The "Enter The Nightmare" EP has enabled Coexist to demo their music to many venues and labels, progressing the band to playing out more regularly than ever and building a broader base of support.
        The new millenium has been a continuous process of growth for Coexist. The band has performed many shows in and out of state in support of nationally-known acts. The bandmembers have honed their compositional skills and their more recent material is notably more developed than their earlier works, giving greater attention to technicality and even introducing a bit of "emo" influence. In October of 2000, the band added to their line-up Ken Heintz on turntables / sampling / keyboards, broadening Coexist's sound even further. December 2000 brought about some changes in the band after an abrupt departure with their bass player chris blackburn left them once again without a bass player enter in perfect time new bassist Jeff Cain. Coexist now stands as a five-piece band and has just released their new ep entitled "the harmony of a drain" on February 23rd 2001.


Chris Butcher    - vocals
Arthur Ramsey    - guitar
Jeff "the pain" Cain    - bass
Mat Harmon    - drums
Ken Heintz    - Keyboards/DJ