Coheed and Cambria Frontman Claudio Sanchez Talks Upcoming Double Album (EXCLUSIVE)
It's one of the busiest and most creatively productive times for Noisecreep favorites, Coheed and Cambria. First on the agenda is a double concept album entitled, The Afterman, which will be released in two separate full-length volumes.
The first volume, The Afterman: Ascension, will be available on both physical and digital platforms Oct. 9. The second volume, The Afterman: Descension is slated for release in February 2013. Coheed has also confirmed a handful of intimate Northeast U.S. club shows leading up to the release of the first album. Oh yeah, the band just wrapped up a tour opening for Iron Maiden.
And then there's the movie news. Recently at Comic-Com in San Diego, C&C leader Claudio Sanchez announced that Coheed and Cambria and Evil Ink Comics have partnered with Stephen Levinson's Leverage Productions (Boardwalk Empire, Entourage, Contraband) and Mark Wahlberg to develop their graphic novel series The Amory Wars into a live-action feature film.
Noisecreep spoke with Claudio about the new albums, the movie and how the return of drummer Josh Eppard has been working out.
Claudio, as much as you can, talk about why The Afterman is being divided into two separate releases.
To me, in terms of putting the record out in different pieces, I really wanted people to reflect, think about and absorb part one before letting them experience the second part. When it comes to double records, I know sometimes it's hard to make everything feel cohesive. There was a time when it was easier. I remember listening to The Wall by Pink Floyd and that to me worked beautifully as a double album. But the song lengths were unconventional and the way the story flowed made it work incredibly well, but that was also a time when I think people had longer attention spans. That's part of it, too. I want listeners to be able to really digest everything and not get too overwhelmed, and today there are different challenges when it comes to people's time. I'm a little apprehensive about putting too much out there at once. I'll say this too, that this first album offers a sort of sonic cliffhanger which I really think will leave the listener wanting more.
How long have you been writing the songs for The Afterman?
It's been about two years solid. We've got so many ideas and so much material and the more I wrote the more I realized that I was, for the first time in a really long time, allowing my life to dictate the story as opposed to making up something totally separate from my life. Then I just had to figure out how to work it all into the quest of the characters. I felt very inspired these last couple of years though and we're proud of how everything has turned out.
You went back to Applehead studios outside of Woodstock, N.Y. to record - the site of many historic C&C sessions. Was it nostalgic?
In a way. But I think what made me more nostalgic in the creation of The Afterman was just how it all was written and created. No major label, just working at my own pace without huge professional pressures to write and be inspired in a natural way. And that's how most of us start out in the business, so in that sense it felt like going back to the beginning, which was nice. But that said, to be back in Woodstock, I mean, I've worked up there since I was very young, the vibe is amazing up there and there are lots of strong memories at Applehead. We love it there.
Josh Eppard is back as drummer and you've got a new bassist, Zach Cooper - how have those dynamics affected the band?
Just incredibly well. There was a real freshness in creating this record. Zach is just tremendous on the album. He had some big shoes to fill. But he brought all of these melodic textures and created these beautifully blossomed-out parts - just amazing. As for Josh, I will say that he is my absolute favorite drummer. The only downside to being in this band for me is that I don't get to sit and watch him play every night because he is behind me. And Travis, well you know how good he is. And outside of the studio, onstage, we've all gelled really well.
It seemed that way when we saw you the other night, particularly on the new song you played, "Domino: The Destitute." That is an epic song, by the way.
Thank you. A long one, more than eight minutes [laughs]. When we play that, we are nervous, excited, on edge - it's a great feeling, like going back to the beginning, learning new things as you go along.
There was recent big news about The Amory Wars. How involved do you imagine being with the making of the film once it ultimately goes into production.
When I got the call about that in San Diego, I got serious goosebumps. And I plan on being as involved as I can be. It's hard to predict how long it will take to really get rolling but just the idea that it has a shot is something that is incredibly exciting. In the meantime, I've been thinking it might be a good idea to create sort of the "Amory Wars Bible" for reference with all the character histories, backstories and other information, so that once the time comes to produce there's a real blueprint of what is going on.
Coheed and Cambria just announced the following run of Midwest U.S. tour dates: