Canadian hardcore punks Cancer Bats blew away the Reading and Leeds Festivals last summer and now they’re heading out on a headline tour of the UK, stopping off at the Wedgewood Rooms.
WOW247 caught up with frontman Liam Cormier as he explained how the band have been blown away by the response to their fifth album, last year’s Searching For Zero,
‘It’s been great for us, putting out our fifth record. For a hardcore band, none of us ever expected that would happen, especially to have great reviews and so many people to be stoked for us is just great.
‘On top of that we get to take the album out on the road and headline around the world and then see the response in Australia, Japan, Europe and the US. What could be better?’
This time around they also got to work with famed producer Ross Robinson, known for his work with Korn, At The Drive-In and Slipknot among others.
‘He’s a legend in heavy music,’ says Liam, ‘so his name was always going to come up. He’s one of the real heavyweights and we have a friend who told us that Ross was finishing a project and was in the head space to be working on more of a punk sound, so we leapt at the chance.
We were in a cycle of touring for 18 months and writing and recording in a span of three months and then starting again. We’ve been a band for 10 years and it reached a point where we thought “Let’s take our time, we don’t need to be in a rush”Liam Cormier
‘He was looking to do something heavy and live and we thought he was perfect.
‘You hear all sorts of tales about producers being confrontational and throwing stuff around but we got on with him instantly – it definitely made the album. He’s such an amazing dude.
‘We had the album written and demoed before we met him and we’d tried to self-produce it, but he took it up an extra level. He pushed us to the max and got as much of that energy as he could. It has more live energy than anything we’ve been able to capture before.’
Liam also feels the process helped him grow as a singer: ‘I feel like now I have so many different variations. It’s really helped learning the Black Sabbath back catalogue for our tribute band Bat Sabbath. It kind of came naturally but it’s helped my singing in Cancer Bats. My voice and vocal range has opened up so much more.
‘Ross helped as well. I was trying tons of stuff, aiming to be more melodic and he came up with lots of ideas about what would fit my range and gave me some great guidance.’
While it had been three years since their last album Dead Set On Living, Liam hadn’t been sitting idle – he’s been indulging his passions for snowboarding and motorbikes, starting a clothing label and house-buying.
‘We were in a cycle of touring for 18 months and writing and recording in a span of three months and then starting again. We’ve been a band for 10 years and it reached a point where we thought “Let’s take our time, we don’t need to be in a rush”.
‘When we didn’t have anywhere to live, it was easy to stay in the van and be on tour for ever. But now we have reasons to come home, we’ve bought houses and we have wives and girlfriends who we miss when we’re away.
‘So the pace has slowed down a little bit, especially as we have our foot in the door. We’ve released several albums and people know us, I think they’re prepared to wait for us. That will be our new MO, not to be in so much of a rush.’
The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea
Tuesday, January 12