Cancer Bats: “People at our gigs get really excited and I end up with a broken nose.”
Canadian hardcore troupe, Cancer Bats, are busy boys. They have been touring almost nonstop since the release of their debut record Birthing The Giant back in 2006 and only recently took a break in 2011 – to tour as a Black Sabbath cover band using the moniker Bat Sabbath.
Six years on and the Juno nominated group haven’t started taking it easy yet, their new record, Dead Set On Living, is a raw adrenalin rush of punk that dips its toes into metal sludge and stoner rock. Originally due back on our shores in July the band opted to cancel their small run of club shows in favour of joining the ever expanding 2013 Soundwave Festival lineup.
A few months back Faster Louder got on the phone with front man Liam Cormier to talk about Soundwave, home sickness and getting beaten up at the Annandale.
You’re in London at the moment, you guys have got the Kerrang awards tonight?
Yeah, exactly, we’re going to hang out at that and then we play Download festival tomorrow.
How are you feeling about that?
The last time we played it was definitely the biggest show we’ve ever played in our entire lives. It’s going to be pretty crazy to go back; we’re playing main stage this year, so I think it’s going to be insane.
You’re sharing the stage at Download with Black Sabbath after you’ve just done your Bat Sabbath tour, are you keen to see how your act holds up?
We don’t actually see their day. We’ve got to keep touring so we’re sharing the stage with The Prodigy, which is still awesome, but it’s kind of a bummer that we don’t get to see that. But the bands on our stage are awesome, like we get to play with Fear Factory, NOFX, Billy Talent, Machine Head, it’s going to be pretty cool.
Awesome. I’ve got your tour schedule in front of me now and you’re booked up consistently from now to August, covering three continents, is this business as usual for the Cancer Bats?
Yeah, the crazy part is that we have tours booked all the way to December; we just can’t put it up online yet. We’re already trying to figure out January, February, March of next year, which is insane.
Last time you came to Australia you played eight shows, which is a lot for most bands to play here, are you going to take it a bit easier this time around?
I’m kind of stoked that we’re technically taking it easy this time around. We were talking with the tour manager; he was in London last night for the axe wound show. We were hanging out with him and he was saying we’re just going to be laid back, we’ll sleep in everyday, no rush and I was like ‘oh my god this is going to be crazy.’ Completely different from the last time we were over, where everything was in a rush and we has to do two sets a day. We didn’t actually get much time to hang out; we love Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Those are all our jams and there are all those places we wanted to go to last time but we just didn’t have time. It will be cool to hang out in the city and see all of our friends.
While you may be taking it easy this time, do you like setting yourself these kinds of challenges? You did the Pentagram Tour in England, which was six shows in one day for your album launch, and the three in one day when you were last here, is that the kind of thing you like doing?
I like the madness side of things, it keeps it fresh. We’re the kind of band that just agrees to everything. Anything that gets thrown at us, whether it’s a crazy drive or doing something ridiculous like playing three shows in one day. It changes up tours so it’s not routine just to be like, ‘You can do two shows in Australia and then fly to New Zealand all within 24 hours’ and we say ‘yeah let’s do it,’ just getting excited on the wild side of things. I think that’s something about being in a hardcore band – that maybe you’re all about doing that. Because I know lots of other bands, like, when we were talking about doing six shows in one day, Touché Amore has definitely has done five shows in 24 hours, so those dudes were telling us what they had gone through when they did it. The shows weren’t tiring, but loading out was.
It’s good to hear you guys are still carrying your own gear, very down to earth.
We are definitely super hands on when it comes to everything.
That dude kicking my ass halfway through the set definitely wasn’t awesome
When you last played the Annandale you were tackled off stage by a particularly excited fan and you didn’t seem to miss a beat. I was just wondering, after so many tiny club shows, is dealing with stage invaders second nature to you?
Yeah, every once in a while you have a dude who you don’t know if that guy is super wild, or never been to a show before, but yeah, that dude kicking my ass halfway through the set definitely wasn’t awesome. You’re kind of like ‘Why would you do that? Why would that make for a good show?’ but you never know why certain people do stuff. Some people get really excited and they don’t mean to but you end up with your nose broken or you get punched in the face. Those kinds of things are ok because you know it wasn’t intentional, but this guy definitely tackled me off the stage and I was pretty pissed off. I was like ‘You’re this huge dude and you’ve just tackled me onto the ground. Thanks a lot asshole.’
It didn’t show – the gig didn’t miss a beat.
Yeah, and that’s my thing, I’m not going to get caught up on the fact that this one dude is going to ruin it for everyone. Screw that guy, everyone else here is having an awesome time, this is the best show ever, you know what I mean? I’m going to suck it up and think of everyone else that’s there and we’ll all get through it. But, yeah I definitely remember that happening, some dude just decided to knock the wind out of me and crush me to the floor. That was awesome. What would make you want to do that? And everyone else in the crowd had no idea why that guy did that. That’s like the weirdest moment. You just take it as it comes and by the next song I had kind of gotten over it and we were back on track. But I’m glad you thought I didn’t miss a beat, that’s rad.
You were saying you’ve gotten broken noses, what’s the worst injury you or any of the other Bats have suffered?
Definitely getting my nose broken was one of the worst ones. It was right before we went to Australia with Bring Me The Horizon. We had headlined a show in London at the Underworld and it was packed, people were going crazy and there was a guy who was like crowd surfing and I think I came up right as he kicked me in the bridge of my nose. It just broke the shit out of my nose. It was so bad; I had two black eyes and a broken nose. It made me extra sketchy looking on a plane – extra scumbag.