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There is an unsettling presence lurking in upstate New York. The brainchild of a indie-vious mastermind, even the loaded name is too tricky and terrifying to completely understand. And, when this presence rears, its mind-boggling, sense-melting head, indie rockers and comic nerds alike will cower in the brilliant shadow of progrock's glorious and blistering second-coming.

Slated for release in early 2002, The Second Stage Turbine Blade will be Coheed & Cambria's proper introduction to the world. Promised are ten short, relentless musical sci-fi narratives conceived by singer Claudio Sanchez. This rollercoaster of sparse guitars, driving rhythms, and lush tones provide the perfect backdrop for a story that promises to redefine the conventional concept album.Interview conducted in person, December 2001.

Names: Claudio Sanchez (vocals, guitar), Patrick Sayers (lead t-shirt, number one fan and roadie)
Band: Coheed and Cambria

Tim: How would you describe your music?
Patrick: Well there has been descriptions for the band that has been everything from emo meets Rush. As a basis of comparison I would say that there is a hybrid of progressive rock with melodic pop sentiment.

T: What bands….like Rush and Journey?
P: Journey is a big influence.

T: How can Journey be an influence without a keyboard though?
P: When you have dueling guitars there is that somewhat synthesized sound that happens when two guitars clash and make the beauty known as harmony. (laughter)

T: Coheed and Cambria are from New York?
P: Yes, they are based in the outskirts of New York city in two counties of Rockland and Olster county.

T: How did you all get together?
Claudio: It is kind of a long story. The original drummer of the band lived in Woodstock, which is a neighboring town to Kingston, where Josh, the new drummer, and Mike are from. Basically, we played with that guy for a while and he ended up having a baby and that complicated things so we ended up getting Josh and Mike. Mike has actually been in the band for a while. He played with us before we got Josh.
P: They originally started as a band called Shabutie and that dates back to high school. Over that time they invited Travis into the band and there were member changes that evolved it into something entirely different and that is kind of where Coheed and Cambria came from.

T: So the name is from a book?
C: Sort of, it's not like a real book. It is more like an idea for one that I've been trying to come up with. There is no real foundation, but there are ideas. For lack of a better name, we went with that. It was actually the name of a side project that I was doing and I guess everybody in the band kind of liked it. Originally, we were going to call ourselves Paris in Flames, but then we found out it was a Thursday song. We felt kind of weird and uncomfortable with that so we went with that one. Kids already knew that that name was out there.

T: It is ironic that you would mention Thursday because I was thinking that you guys sounded a lot like them. This was my first time being exposed to you, tonight, and I was think that a lot of the guitar work and presentation of the band is a lot like Thursday. You can call me on it if this is complete bullshit.
C: I agree with you because we are big fans of At the Drive In and I would think that Thursday is too because there sound is a lot like At the Drive In too.
P: I think another similarity is that they are from New Jersey or somewhere near there. We've seen shows that they've put on. They've been in the area where we grew up, which is this blend of influence. There is a hardcore influence that comes from New York City but having grown up on pop there are so many bands of our generation that are coming out these days that play that formula.

T: ….Are an emo influenced band with a hybrid of some throwback like rock and roll or psychadelia or progrock?
P: Yeah. I wonder….I don't think anyone ever sat down and says what element can we use that is going to set us apart or what can we borrow from the past. All of us have just grown up on all different kinds of music and it never really mattered where it came from. We just feel so intensely about so many different kinds of music that when we sit and listen to Iron Maiden or King Crimson or any other bands that do these odd things it is something that mean as much to us as hardcore bands that we grew up on. In essence, all of that brings something to the music that we enjoy.

T: The first song that I can remember being religiously into was that Phil Collins song "She's an Easy Lover." What is the first song that you guys can remember being floored by?
P: The first time I heard a record that made me apes about music was Kiss Love Gun. I have a brother who is double my age who grew up on 70's rock. He gave me this hand me down record that made me love rock and roll music. I was probably four or five and ever since then I have been head-banging. That really sent me down a path towards getting into bands like Quicksand and stuff like that. That is my lineage.
C: Mine would have to be a tie between - and you will probably laugh at me because it was his hit but it wasn't even his song - "All Along The Watchtower" the Jimmy Hendrix version because it reminds me of my dad. My first introduction to rock was sitting in the car with my dad listening to Howard Stern and him stopping it abruptly to throw in Electric Lady Land. That just is nasty. My own experience would have to be "No Quarter" by Led Zepplin because that shit is just rough.
P: We are really not the consummate indie rockers that we should be. We like a lot of hessian rock.

T: How long have you played together as a cohesive unit, as Coheed and Cambria?
C: About a year.

T: When did you begin talking to Equal Vision? How did they get interested in you guys or how did you start communicating with them?
C: Ashton?
P: There is a mutual friend that we have who knew people at EVR. He really like their demo and put it their way. I don't think that the demo is what got them signed because there was a lot of hesitation a first. It was something that was different than what they were doing and one thing led to another. They came out to a couple of shows and from there…

T: So did you do the demo then with the intention of pitching a record label or did you do it to give to your friends?
C: The demo was recorded with the old drummer and we did that almost two years ago. I think it was made with the intent of working with a producer at the time. He was going to try to shop our record for a deal, but things fall apart and we were left with these two songs and Ashton saw us play and really liked it so he brought it to Equal Vision. They dug the two songs so we kept recording more and more demos because they kept wanting to hear more material. So, we'd record two songs at a time and give it to them and that's how we came up with an album.

T: So the album will be all the different demos?
P: It is kind of a cyclical process. There are a few songs from those original demos that have been reworked, but when they went in to demo more material then it ended up that they reworked it with the guy who produced the original demo. They are lucky that it could come out to be an actual record.

T: Do you feel like it will be a cohesive record being that it is all things that you recorded at different times?
C: Yeah. It totally works.
P: All of the songs follow a lineage that tie into the story of The Second Stage Turbine Blade, which is the same material that the name of the band comes from. They are all songs that were written at different times, but they do still follow a path. As you guys here the material more and know what the lyrics are it will make more sense.

T: So they are all chapters of this book that is forming in your head?
C: Yeah. I want it to be a comic book.

T: Do you draw then?
C: Yeah, but I wouldn't have the patience to do the actual comic book. I'd like to have the idea and present it to a writer and artist and have them do it.

T: Tell me a little bit about this story. Can you get into this without getting into…
C: I could, but then I'd probably sound like a moron. It would be so broken. I sound like an idiot trying to explain it.
P: Just in the conversations that I've had with Claudio about it, there are intertwining parts in the story that aren't going to come out in the CD because the idea is to take it a little bit further with any future albums or if it does make it into a comic book form, having it all intertwine as one.
C: I wouldn't go as far as to say it is a concept album because we all have short attention spans. To throw out these jagged pieces might be a little misleading or unfair.

T: So you guys are comic book fans?
C: Comic book geeks.

T: Do you guys have your Dark Knight on reserve?
P: They played with Garrison last night and those guys were big comic book nerds as well. It was interesting to run into people….I mean you have that one music thing and that is cool, but then there are other topics too. It was run to talk comic books with other rockers. We got to look at their Dark Knight. I've definitely fallen out of the buying process.

T: They are to expensive now and there aren't enough pages.
P: There are to many. I was into Elf Quest, but there just got to be too many titles.

T: So this is your first tour. Where will it take you?
C: Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina. I guess really just the east coast and a little ways into the Midwest.

T: Are there any bands that you'll be playing with that you are particularly stoked about?
C: We are stoked about playing with Breaking Pangaea. We fell into this situation of touring with Breaking Pangaea. We'd never heard of them prior to playing with them and after seeing them at CBGBs we were really glad to be touring with them. They are a great band and they are really nice guys.

T: What will be the title of the album then and when will it come out?
C: The title is The Second Stage Turbine Blade and February 5 is the release date.

T: What are your plans then after this tour wraps up?
C: We'll probably take a break for January and when the record comes out in February we'll be out on a longer tour. I would hope that it will be two months….maybe longer than that.

T: Has there been talk about who you'll go out with next?
C: Not yet. It is still a little premature.

 

Interviews

Bands
Adult
Alexisonfire
Haymarket Riot
Letter Kills
Otep
The Story Changes
Thunderbirds Are Now!
Sexy Prison
pAperchAse
The One AM Radio
Scarlet
Every Time I Die
Ben Davis
Trans Am
Turn Pale
The Dream is Dead
Captain of Industry
Dead City
Hot Water Music
The Minus Tide (2)
Southeast Engine
Other Men My Age
Fall Out Boy
Thrice (2)
When Sparks Fly
Limbeck
Death From Above
Radio Berlin
Ben Lee
The Jealous Sound
Denovo
Envy
FM Knives
Hair Police
Jettison Red
The Red Light Sting
Cool Hand Luke
Entrance
The Juliana Theory
Somehow Hollow
Taking Back Sunday
The Forms
From A Second Story Window
Hot Cross
The Lenore Syndrome
Twelve Tribes
Thrice
The Beautiful Mistake
Girlush Figure
The Rattlesnakes
The Greenhornes
The Cinema Eye
Waking Kills the Dream
The Six Parts Seven
The Blood Brothers
Garrison
Milemarker
Pretty Girls Make Graves
The Walkmen
Clinic
Schatzi
The Good Life
The Dirtbombs
Dead Blue Sky
Engine Down
Inside Five Minutes
Mates of State
The Red Shirt Brigade
Coheed and Cambria
Bats and Mice
Get Get Go
The Icarus Line
The Faint
The Chase
The Minus Tide
Breaking Pangaea

Record Labels
Buddyhead
Cold Sweat
Theory 8 Records
Fictitious Records
Troubleman Unlimited
Omnibus Records
Bifocal Media and Pictures
What Else? Records
Lovitt Records
Arborvitae Records
Better Looking Records
Happy Couples Never Last Records

Other
Sasha Clothing Company
Light Up the Sky
Preview: NMMTM Fest

 

 

 
       
   
 
   
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