MUSIC INTERVIEW: Cancer Bats
Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats has a reputation for being one of the nicest guys in the business, so we knew our chat with him at Slam Dunk Midlands would be something special. At Liam’s request we’ve put a link to the “podcast” at the bottom of this page, it might be a new addition to BTN so keep your eyes open!
Hi, Liam, how was yesterday’s Slam Dunk for you?
L: Yo, yo! Yesterday was dope. We kind of you know, moved some songs around and did a bit of a different setlist. The kids were pumped! It’s like one of those “are they gonna be down for this?” We just kind of front loaded our set with a load of bangers and so there was half that worry that if we played Hail Destroyer second does that mean everyone’s going to leave? They didn’t!
So we can expect the same today?
L: We’re going to stick with the same setlist today because I thought it was killer. I might switch Old Blood and Shillelagh but I’m going to talk to the dudes about that. I think it’ll work better tempo wise, I feel personally.
You’ve definitely got this all under control Liam!
L: Be serious to a certain degree, you know.
You spend a lot of your time relentlessly touring but how do you stop yourself running into the ground?
L: I guess this touring has been less relentless. We’ll do like chunks when like okay we’re going to go out for like two weeks or we’re like let’s just go out for two weeks. We don’t need to go out for two months you know. That’s something we can do, breaking it up into small chunks. And with this record, it’s just like let’s just headline everywhere, like we’ll do the odd support tour but literally like one of the only support tours we did was with Danzig and it’s like you’re not going to turn that down. It is fucking Danzig and then we did the co-headliner with While She Sleeps so it was just like let’s just do only tours we’re stoked on, let’s not do any of that stuff we’re like this could be good for our career and then you’re on it like “naaahhhh we’re in America for two months and it sucks.”
L: I don’t want to be difficult but can I say I like both? Cos I do! I really like playing club shows, like it’s fucking awesome and kids show up just to see you, it’s like so fun and in a way, they’re really easy because of that. You’re just like we’re going to play a 200 cap bar and everyone here is going to be stoked on my band like sick! But I mean the flip side of that I love festivals because there’s a lot of people that don’t come to see us, like everyone I saw told me yesterday the last time they saw our band was in 2009 and I’m like we’ve been playing your city like maybe every single year for the last seven years since then. So I realised there’re different people that come to just festivals, like this is sick you’re playing to a totally different crowd and there’s definitely a different energy. There’s like our fans up the front that are partying and then there’s the dude who’s in a Disturbed shirt getting hammered and he’s having the best time and you’re like I fucking love that dude, I love that you’re partying so hard. You may have never heard of a band like this before and it’s blowing your mind it’s the best.
Last year you released Searching For Zero, do you enjoy playing those album tracks now as much as you did when it was first released?
L: Yeah, I definitely am stoked. I feel like this baby’s got some legs you know? So it’s still going good. It also helps that kids like it, I think if we put it out and kids were like we’re good, not really feeling these ones, maybe we’ll stand still while you play it and then we’ll party really hard when you play old songs. I think we would kind of read the writing on the wall and just not play those songs, so luckily kids are like Satellites yeah! All Hail, sick! Oh, you’re singing Beelzebub sick I’ll sing along! I’m stoked on that.
Has any headway been made towards the follow-up album?
L: None! Negative headway. The only thing we consciously done is recognising that one of the best things we did when going into writing Searching For Zero was taking off as much time as we did and doing things outside of the band. So one of the big things was Scott had like a chance to go and build guitars so he was like “hey I’m going to go build guitars” then we were like you know what let’s take the whole summer off and that was the first time we’ve ever done that. It was the most positive thing ever, so we were like lets one up that you know what let’s take the rest of the year off, how about that one!
It’s definitely done you good taking the time off then!
L: It’s like the most amazing thing and you realise we had to tour as hard as we did originally like we didn’t have any money, we didn’t have any places to live you know and it sort of all made sense. We didn’t even, like none of us had girlfriends, none of us had those things so it was just like yeah just going to tour our arses off and we’re going to live in a van. Now that we don’t it’s also like this is going to be really good to chill out, do some other things like I’ll ride my dirt bike, Scott is like producing bands now, Jaye is like making things out of wood, Mikey is like having the greatest time in Winnipeg. He has a bonfire pit in his fucking backyard. Fact. So that’s awesome and I want Mikey to have a tonne of bonfires you know?
But what if you then don’t get an invite?
L: It’s a 24-hour drive from my house so it would be like your friend in Moscow inviting you over for dinner. You’re like I get it, man, you like in Moscow I live in wherever I live and it’s like a pretty far drive. I just looked it up actually and the distance from where we are right now to Norway is the equivalent of me driving from my house to Mikey’s house. So if you think about like going to visit your friend in Norway and just being like I’ll just get in my car and fucking do it.
[Stanley – Cancer Bat’s tour manager joins the conversation]
Stanley: But we’ve done both those drives!
L: The reason I’ve looked it up is because I’m planning on trying to do that drive this summer.
S: I did that but actually you guys flew and I had to do both those drives.
L: Yeah Stan did it by himself, but I’m going to do it on a motorcycle with Ryan. That’s what I’m trying to figure out.
S: That’s much cooler than a van on your own!
L: With your mum.
S: Yeah my mum flew out and helped me with my drive.
That doesn’t really sound fun at all!
L: I know this isn’t a podcast or anything but for those listening at home this is Stanley Richards-Somerville our Cancer Bats tour manager extraordinaire and I would say is in my top 5 best friends in the globe.
S: We also drove from your house to Mikey’s house for Mikey’s wedding.
L: Also for those listening at home I did that drive on motorcycles.
S: I did it with Jaye in a car for 27 hours with no stopping.
L: And there was a vegan in the car too!
S: Such a stressful time.
You’ve worked with Rob Robinson on your last album, do you think you’ll be doing this again?
L: It was amazing yeah, I would love to go and do it again if we could. I realise that like it’s tough as he lives in California and we live in Canada so there’s a lot of work in parts. For those of you at home, I’m looking at the members of Four Year Strong and I looked up there and made eye contact with one but not two of them. I feel like me and Al are in better terms than Dan, I don’t know. Anyways yes, Ross. A fucking killer dude who produced the shit out of our record, great guy. We’ve even gone and stayed at his house since then. He’s just like “LETS DO IT LETS JUST RECORD RIGHT NOW” and I’m like “I wanna do this but you live so far from where I live.” He lives in like double Norways. What would that be like? He lives in fucking Mongolia. Think about driving to Mongolia as like an example.
S: I guess we could just drive to Norway and back.
L: Yeah I guess it would just be like Norway and back. Which I’m going to do on a motorcycle.
S: With Ryan Battle.
L: Ryan Battle for those of you listening at home is our current merchandiser. He’s slinging cotton. Is this a podcast?
L: Can we make it one?
L: I like that, I’m glad you didn’t say no. Are you the editor? Or the chief editor?
No, but my editor is stood just over there!
L: In the flowery top? What’s her name?
[Shouting] Hannah, Hannah! [Once a confused Hannah appears] We’re live right now with Hannah. We were wondering if there’s any way we could turn this interview into a podcast. Just because it’s so good!
Hannah: I don’t see any problem with that!
L: For those listening at home, Hannah looking great today has given us the thumbs up for the podcast. That’s why you’re listening to this. On BRING THE NOISE!!!!!
H: Maybe you’ve started something new with the podcast!
L: Bring The Noise podcast episode one! Starring Stanley Richards-Somerville.
[Recording device screensaver appears causing little momentary panic]
L: Oh no did we break it?
Nope we’re all good.
L: It was just a screensaver! That’s the kind of excitement you get on the Bring The Noise podcast. You never know what’s going to happen, you have lots of characters. Editor in chief Hannah, Nicola what’s your job title?
Let’s go for a writer which sums it up!
L: Field agent? Right on. This has been great, I think we still have a couple more questions but I’m really excited about how this is going.
If you had to sum up your time in the band with one of your own lyrics which would it be and why?
L: Errrrrr, I was trying to think of a funny one like no more bullshit but err “I’ve been saved by the kind souls, richer than diamonds and gold” that’s how I’d sum up my experience.
What can we expect from 2016 just to round off the podcast?
L: What should you expect from me or?
And the band…
L: In relation to this yeah we’re chilling out so beyond this I think like you could expect me if Bring The Noise wants to put me on the payroll we could probably podcast that motorcycle trip we were talking about. I’m looking for any and all sponsors and I’m roughly figuring out the costs that are around right now, I’d probably need 500 Euros for fuel so if Bring The Noise want me to do a podcast from my helmet and they have Bluetooth technology I can make that happen. And we can get weird and it’ll be good, we could do a 24-hour podcast of me riding it could be crazy! I don’t know maybe we’ll have to ask Hannah about that one. But that’s all we have planned for the rest of the year.
So nothing Cancer Bats related?
L: Nothing Cancer Bats related but with Cancer Bats in mind that taking that time off is the best thing we can do right? Sometimes to write a record you need to ride a motorcycle to Norway.
S: I believe the expression is less is more.
L: Yeah, exactly. For those listening at home, that was our tour manager and best friend Stanley Richards-Somerville.
That feels like the perfect way to round off our podcast, thank you for your time.
L: Thank you for having me and thank you for listening at home
Interview By: Nicola Craig