Coheed and Cambria

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Interviews

Coheed and Cambria - Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever

  • December 15th, 2006
  • Sonic Radio Station - Edmonton, Alberta

It had been over three years since Coheed and Cambria had come near Edmonton, and that show could only be described as an immense dissapointment as lead singer Claudio Sanchez came on stage very drunk and couldn’t make it through more then just two songs. Now they were back, this time in Edmonton instead of Calgary, to redeem themselves, and they certainly did with a great performance at Sonic 102.9’s Jingle Bell Rock. A few hours before the show started though I had a chance to sit down with Claudio and Travis of Coheed and Cambria at the radio station and talk to them about their show in Calgary, their new album, their DVD and more. Thanks for Claudio and Travis for doing it, and to Derek for setting it all up. 

Bobby: First off, this is a one-off show you guys are playing in Edmonton, so thanks a lot for coming. What made you guys come out and play the one-off show?

Claudio: I think, you know, just on our last tours we never really had a chance to come through the market. I mean, we haven’t been here in what, two years I think. So when the chance came up, we took the opportunity.

Bobby: This is, of course, the Jingle Bell Rock which is a Christmas theme. I know last year they had giant snowmen on the stage, candles, Christmas decorations everywhere. Are you excited for Christmas?

Claudio: Umm… yeah. I mean, I’m always excited for holidays in general. Usually means some time off, so that’s always nice. So yeah, I’m excited for the holidays this year.

Coheed and CambriaBobby: When Christmas comes, what do you think would be the one ultimate Christmas present that you guys could get?

Claudio: You want to start on this?

Travis: I don’t want anything.

Claudio: The ultimate Christmas present… get a new set of lungs, I’d be into that. *laughs*

Bobby: You guys are on the road a lot. Just on the way here I hit some black ice, spun around, ended up in a ditch and had to get a tow truck to get me out.

Claudio: You did? Really? Oh man, that sucks. Apologies.

Travis: That’s terrible.

Bobby: You guys are obviously on the road, that ever happened to you guys? Any accidents, any black ice?

Claudio: You know, no accidents. Usually when a situation like that comes up, we try to stop. Back in the day anyway, when we were still in the van/trailer just because we were all very paranoid. It’s scary, you don’t really want to be a part of that. Especially towing a trailer, nobody knows where you’ll end up. I remember one time we were driving through Wisconsin, or… it was like Wisconsin, somewhere in that region of the States. And we were driving during this huge snowstorm and we saw a tractor-trailer spin in the opposite direction. It was like “okay, now it’s time for us to stop.”

Travis: That was Pennsylvania.

Claudio: Oh, okay.

Bobby: You guys obviously tour a lot, out of all the shows you’ve played, what do you think the worst choice you’ve made before doing a show? Or biggest mistake you made at a show?

Claudio: I don’t know… Well, actually, the worst thing you could do is really get drunk. *laughs*

Bobby: Yeah, that’s my next question.

Claudio: *laughs* Yeah! I knew that was where it was going. *everyone laughs* What is your next question?

Coheed and CambriaBobby: What about Calgary, Warped Tour ’04?

Claudio: Well, that was just a very bad day. I had gotten some troubling news, and for some reason… I’ve never really done anything like that, and because of the news I kind of just let my hair down. But yeah, I mean that was just a bad day and really the only time that’s really ever happened. I guess this is our chance to kind of make up for it.

Bobby: In November you guys announced that Josh and Mic had left the band. You mentioned that you had Matt Williams and Chris Pennie practicing with you guys, are they going to be full time members?

Claudio: It’s hard to say. I mean right now we’re having a really good time with the two of them and it feels really good. But I know Chris still has a responsibility to Dillinger, so we’re really unsure right now. But we’ll see. We’re taking it one step at a time. It’s kind of hard to replace members but this time around it’s actually a blast, so we’ll see where it goes.

Bobby: On Halloween you guys released your second live DVD, The Last Supper, why did you decide to release another live DVD?

Claudio: You know, it was just something management thought would be a good idea – and so did the band. It’s always nice to kind of catalogue moments in a band’s lifespan, or in anything’s lifespan honestly, and it’s always nice to go back and reflect. It’s actually very funny, I mean it being called “The Last Supper;” it really is the last full Coheed and Cambria set with Josh and Mic. So I think it’s actually kind of cool that we did get it on tape.

Bobby: Lately a lot of labels and bands, Victory Records especially, have been getting into re-releasing CDs that are still available. Like you guys re-released Good Apollo IV six months or so after it was originally released, why did you do that? Why do you think so many people are re-releasing CDs so soon?

Claudio: Me, personally, I think it just has to do with the state the record labels are in, and the business of selling records. They’ll do anything to sell more. When they presented us with that idea, it was like “okay, if we really want to do that” – which sometimes you’re not too into, we want to load it as much stuff as you possibly can to give the audience their money’s worth. In my opinion personally, when I see something like that, it seems a little unfair. That you go and release something six months prior and then all of sudden here’s a better product. Just obviously to get somebody who’s already purchased it to purchase it again. Sometimes it just the state of the record industry right now, it’s something that’s just kind of unavoidable, most labels are doing it. So when you do it, you just have to try and do it your best to make it worth someone’s wild.

Bobby: There are rumors that your next CD will be called “Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV Volume Two,” is that true?

Claudio: Yes, it is to an extent. Yes, it is going to a continuation of that part of the story. As far as naming it that… I mean, we got a lot of flack last time because the album title was so long, and in my personal opinion I just kind of want to avoid that. For the true Coheed and Cambria fans, they’ll know it as that title and we might even release it, a special limited press with the full title. But it’s really hard to say. Once the record’s done, then we’ll really know what the actual title of it is going to be. It’s just really to avoid press coming to us and *in a cheesy reporter voice* “Wow! That’s a really ridiculously long title!” and it’s like “oh awesome, did you even listen to the record?” They just kind of get stuck on things like that. So this time around I want the focus to be on the music and not necessarily the oddities.

Coheed and CambriaBobby: It’s also been said that this will be the conclusion of the Coheed story line and the Armory Wars. Can you tell us a bit about that? I know it’s being illustrated by Gus Vasquez, but what are the Amory Wars exactly?

Claudio: The Amory Wars are basically the overall title of the Coheed and Cambria saga. For a while it was originally titled The Bag On Line Adventures, which I just thought was just a very long title. All the titles are kind of long, so I wanted to find a place in the story and really rename it – and that was it. But again, yeah, it’s just the overall saga of the two characters.

Bobby: All your CDs revolve around concept albums, the Armor Wars. I’m not going to ask you to explain it because that takes away from some of the listening experience. You want to be able to dissect it yourself. But why did you do it in the first place? Why make it all concept albums? Not even have all single ones, but have all the five albums be a part of the same one. Why not even release them in the right order of the story?

Claudio: Yeah, okay, let me pick portions of that question to answer. Anyway, my style of writing has always been very conceptual and kind of rooted in the real. I mean, a lot of the songs are definitely very real. They’re rooted in personal experience, things that I’ve endured, but I think it’s just my personality itself. I like to wear a mask. I’m kind of like a shy, reclusive individual and this way I kind of get to hide the real inside a piece of fiction.

Why out of order? I decided to do that because the story revolves around the two characters, Coheed and Cambria, only in the first part, that being “Second Stage” and what will become the prequel to that record. So I thought it would be nice to kind of start it with them and then end it with them so to speak. So that’s pretty much that.

Bobby: You’re very artistic. You have the band, the comic books, the whole concepts and you even directed a home movie for “The Final Cut” which was released online a couple months ago. Do you have anything else in the works like that?

Claudio: Nothing really. I mean, I think that’s pretty much it. Nothing’s really coming to the top of my head. I probably do, but it’s probably so in the infant stage that I shouldn’t even bring it up just yet.

Bobby: Okay, I love going to concerts. I try to go to as many as I can but of course there are always some that are a bit more memorable than others. So thinking back, what are some concerts you guys have been to or played at that are really memorable for you?

Claudio: Mine would have to be, if it’s a Coheed show I always use this one, it was the Metro in Chicago when we did the evening switch. We came out and did a forty-five minute acoustic set and we’d return and play an hour and a half full band electric. It was just exciting because it was the first time it was just us, and it was just overall a great show between the band’s performance and the crowd’s reception.

Travis: I usually love all of our New York shows.

Bobby: New York, why New York?

Travis: Because it’s kind of home.

Bobby: Now onto a bit more unusual questions that I just like to ask to end off all my interviews just to keep it interesting. First off, when you guys were growing up, whose poster did you guys have on your wall?

Coheed and CambriaTravis: Lots.

Claudio: You can pick one.

Travis: Of course I had a lot of Led Zeppelin posters, a couple of Black Sabbath ones.

Claudio: My poster, I mean I still have it up, was Bruce Campbell from the Army of Darkness.

Bobby: Now, if you guys, as a band, were stranded on a desert island with no food and nothing to eat, which one of the band members would you eat to survive and why?

Claudio: *laughs* Well, now there’s just me and you…

Travis: Probably eat me, go ahead. There’s nice meat on here.

Claudio: No, I mean, what could we do?

Travis: Depending on if Chris and Matt were with us, they’re both smaller so they wouldn’t be a good meal. I’d probably be the best one, go ahead.

Claudio: Travis would be the best meal.

Bobby: For me, I would go for my smallest friend just because he’d be the one who would complain the most, so just to get rid of him.

Travis: *laughs* Maybe if we take Matt we’ll eat Matt then.

Claudio: Matt doesn’t really complain.

Travis: Nah, he doesn’t complain that often, but maybe he would on an island.

Bobby: Okay, if you guys were a member of he opposite sex for a day, week, month, however long you wanted, what would you do and why?

Claudio: I don’t know… God, I don’t know. I’m kind of grossed out by that question. *laughs* I don’t know.

Travis: Me neither.

Claudio: I’m sorry.

Travis: *asking their tour manager* What would you do Chuck?

Chuck: Oh, I’d do a lot of things.

Travis: Would you really? Like you’d be like “I’m gonna take some dick”?

Chuck: I don’t think I’d be able to do it either. I can’t think of what I would do.

Travis: You could get away with a lot of things if you were a nice, good looking girl. You could speed around, steal shit.

Chuck: Do you still have the emotions of a man?

Bobby: Yeah, why not?

Chuck: Then obviously I’d like hang out in locker rooms.

Travis: Ah! There we go.

Bobby: Could you tell us something about the band or one of its members that not many people know about? Like a little quick one of you do on the road or something like that?

Claudio: Quirk… Travis?

Travis: There’s really not anything that interesting, I don’t think, you know what I mean? You can’t think of anything right?

Coheed and CambriaClaudio: I’m trying. We get this question often, normally it’s more in the form of “what record do you listen to that no one would ever expect?” I can’t really tell you man.

Bobby: That’s okay. People who don’t tour don’t always do interesting stuff either. I guess that’s about it, thanks a lot. Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to add?

Claudio: I guess that’s pretty much it.

Bobby: Okay, thank you.