Coheed and Cambria

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Coheed and Cambria
COCAcentralpark.jpeg
Coheed and Cambria at Central Park in 2010.
Background information
Origin Nyack, New York, USA
Genres Progressive rock, new prog, alternative rock, progressive metal,[1] alternative metal,[2] post-hardcore[3]
Years active 2001–present
Labels Hundred Handed/Everything Evil, B-Unique, Columbia, Equal Vision, Roadrunner, Sony
Associated acts The Prize Fighter Inferno, Davenport Cabinet, Weerd Science, Fire Deuce
Website www.coheedandcambria.com
Members Claudio Sanchez
Travis Stever
Josh Eppard
Zach Cooper
Past members Nate Kelley
Mic Todd
Chris Pennie

Coheed and Cambria is an American progressive rock band from Nyack, New York, formed in 1995. The group's music incorporates aspects of progressive rock, pop, heavy metal, and post-hardcore.[4]

All of Coheed and Cambria's albums are concept albums that tell a science fiction storyline called The Amory Wars, a story written by lead singer Claudio Sanchez, which has been transcribed into a series of comic books,[5] as well as a full length novel. The band has released seven studio albums, three live albums, and several special-edition releases. They are currently managed by David "Beno" Benveniste's Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group.

History[edit]

Formation and Shabütie (1995–2001)[edit]

In March 1995, after the split of Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever's band called Toxic Parents, they formed a band with Nate Kelley called Beautiful Loser. The band featured Stever on vocals and guitar, Sanchez on guitar, Kelley on drums and Jon Carleo on bass. The group was short-lived, breaking up by June 1995 after an argument over gas money.[6] Stever left the band, and the resulting trio was named Shabütie,[7] a word taken from African tribe chants that means "naked prey" in the film The Naked Prey.

The band spent nearly a year experimenting with a multitude of different musical styles, including punk rock, indie rock, acoustic rock, funk, and heavy metal. When Carleo left the band in August 1996, Kelley recruited Michael Todd to take his place. Todd, who was primarily a guitarist, picked up the bass specifically for Shabütie.[7][8] As Shabütie, the band wrote dozens of songs and released their first studio demo Plan to Take Over the World in 1999. The band also released The Penelope EP in 1999, shortly after which Stever rejoined the band.

Kelley left the band during a performance in late 1999. Josh Eppard (then the drummer of his brother Joey Eppard's band 3) replaced him.[7][8] The band went on to release Delirium Trigger in 2000, still featuring Kelley on the drums, but listing Eppard in the liner notes.[9]

The Amory Wars and The Second Stage Turbine Blade (2001–2004)[edit]

"The Keywork", a commonly used logo for the band, symbolizes the energy stream between the planets in Coheed and Cambria's fictional universe.

Several songs that appeared on Delirium Trigger were based on a series of science fiction comics written by Claudio Sanchez called The Bag.On.Line Adventures, which was later renamed The Amory Wars. Sanchez's side project originally developed during a 1998 trip to Paris, where the band members decided to rename themselves Coheed and Cambria, named after two of the story's protagonists, and adopted the concept story as a theme that would unify their future albums.[10] This side project also created Coheed's official logo, the Keywork, a symbol for the planetary alignment of the Amory Wars universe.[11]

In February 2002 the band released its first studio album The Second Stage Turbine Blade after signing with Equal Vision Records.[12] Influenced by the post-hardcore group At The Drive In,[13] the band's first release also featured a guest appearance from Dr. Know of the hardcore-punk band, Bad Brains, as well as the revised "Delirium Trigger", "33", and "Junesong Provision" from the Delirium Trigger EP. The band also released its first single and music video, "Devil in Jersey City".[13][14] The band eventually played several tour dates in the United States and Japan, as well as a brief stint on the 2002 Vans Warped Tour. In August 2002, Coheed and Cambria started working with manager Blaze James, who would help propel the band to larger stages and a wider fan base.[10][15]

A sample of "A Favor House Atlantic" from In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3

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Following extensive touring with groups Breaking Pangaea, Linkin Park, The Used, and Slipknot, in October 2003 the band released its second studio album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3, also on Equal Vision Records.[13][14] Featuring the singles "A Favor House Atlantic" and "Blood Red Summer" and corresponding videos which received airtime on MTV, the band supplemented the release by touring with various artists such as Thursday, Thrice, AFI, and Rainer Maria. Coheed and Cambria also made its second appearance on the Warped Tour and performed additional European shows.[14] The album peaked at No. 52 on the Billboard charts and was certified Gold by the RIAA.[16][17]

Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV (2004–2006)[edit]

The band also supported the release by filming an August 2004 concert at New Jersey's Starland Ballroom. The performance was converted into the band's first live DVD, Live at the Starland Ballroom, which was released in March 2005.

The success of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 attracted the attention of the record label Columbia Records,[12] with whom they signed a multi-album contract.[18][19] The band stopped touring to record their third studio album and first major-label release Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness in early 2005 for a September 2005 release.


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Their most commercially successful album to date, Good Apollo Volume One has sold almost 1 million copies and peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard charts.[20][21] The album represented a departure from their previous melodic post-hardcore influenced rock toward a progressive rock sound. The single "Welcome Home" was described by John A. Hanson as "a heavily Led Zeppelin-influenced metal tune".[22] The band supported the album with American and European tours accompanied by The Blood Brothers, Circa Survive, Dredg, Head Automatica, and Avenged Sevenfold, tours culminating in the release of the exclusive iTunes EP Kerrang!/XFM UK Acoustic Sessions and their second live DVD The Last Supper: Live at Hammerstein Ballroom.[23]

Departures and No World for Tomorrow (2006–2009)[edit]

Claudio Sanchez released an album from his side-project The Prize Fighter Inferno in October 2006 titled My Brother's Blood Machine. Like Coheed and Cambria's albums, it was a concept album, related to Coheed and Cambria via a character that appears in both stories: Jesse, "The Prize Fighter Inferno". The album was intended to be a prequel to the Coheed and Cambria albums.[24] Claudio says "when we were called Shabütie, the initial idea for Coheed and Cambria was to be an acoustic/electronic side project. So I guess The Prize Fighter Inferno is kind of the original idea for Coheed and Cambria."[25]

In early November 2006, Josh Eppard and Michael Todd left the band for personal reasons, forcing Matt Williams and the band's drum technician, Michael Petrak, to fill out temporarily the band's rhythm section for a handful of shows.[26] In April 2007, bassist Michael Todd rejoined Coheed and Cambria, and the band entered the Los Angeles-based studio with new producer Nick Raskulinecz. The following June Chris Pennie, formerly of the Dillinger Escape Plan, joined Coheed and Cambria as its drummer, but due to contractual restrictions with his previous record label, Pennie did not appear on the band's fourth release.[4] Instead, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins recorded the drums, making use of several ideas Pennie had previously written in correspondence with Sanchez.[4]

The band's fourth studio album, and second release with Columbia Records, Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow, was released in October 2007, debuting at number 6 on the Billboard charts.[27] The album's first single, "The Running Free", was released to radio in August 2007. The second single was "Feathers" with a video starring Rena Riffel.[28] The band has continued touring, headlining portions of the 2007 Warped Tour,[29] a tour supported by Clutch and The Fall of Troy, and opened for Linkin Park's 25-city U.S. tour, which forced the cancellation of Coheed and Cambria's performances on Australia's Soundwave Festival.[30][31] In addition to the return of Todd on bass and new drummer Pennie, the band also recruited a touring keyboardist and backup vocalists for its live performances.[32]

In November 2007, their song "Welcome Home" was included as a playable track in the video game Rock Band,[33] and a cover of their song "Ten Speed (of God's Blood & Burial)" was later made available as a download for Rock Band. In 2009 two more songs were made available for download, "The Running Free" and "A Favor House Atlantic", for the video game Rock Band,[34] later joined in 2010 by the songs "Guns of Summer", "Here We Are Juggernaut" and "The Broken".[35]

Claudio Sanchez during the Kerrang! Tour 2008

The band prepared a four-month world tour beginning in January 2008.[36] They later headlined at The Bamboozle 2008 music festival.[37]

The band headlined the 2008 Kerrang! Tour in the U.K., where the band performed and recorded a cover of "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden, which is featured on Kerrang!'s Iron Maiden tribute album, Maiden Heaven, that came with the July 16 issue.[38] They were nominated for Best International Band and Best Music Video (for Feathers) in the 2008 Kerrang! Awards.[39]

In October and November 2008, the band played Neverender, a four-night concert series in which the band played one album per night. The event was held in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and in London in early December.[40] Neverender: Children of The Fence Edition, a CD/DVD box set of their Neverender performance, was released on March 24, 2009.[41]

In 2009 the song "Welcome Home" was also used in the trailer for the animated movie 9.[42]

Year of the Black Rainbow (2009–2011)[edit]

Coheed and Cambria toured through most of early 2009. Between January and March, they toured with Slipknot and Trivium on the Slipknot-headlined All Hope Is Gone tour. In August 2009, Coheed and Cambria toured in support of Heaven & Hell on their tour in support of The Devil You Know.[43] On September 16, 2009, they performed at the Puyallup Fair alongside Brand New and Jaguar Love. In October they performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas.[44] They also performed at the Wacken Open Air festival, at the UK leg of the Sonisphere Festival tour,[45] and at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago.[46]

Coheed and Cambria finished recording their fifth studio album Year of the Black Rainbow in 2009. It is a prequel to their conceptual story, having events that take place before The Second Stage Turbine Blade.[47] A novel was released to accompany the album co-written by Sanchez and Peter David.[48] The album was released on April 13, 2010 in both a standard, iTunes special, and deluxe edition (with the deluxe edition including the "Year of the Black Rainbow" novel and a special Year of the Black Rainbow "Black Card" that provides the holder early access to some Coheed shows.)

"The Broken", "Guns of Summer" and "Here We Are Juggernaut" were released on the Rock Band music store on April 20, 2010.[49]

Sanchez recently stated that with the Coheed and Cambria saga completely chronicled on the group's first five albums, he has been contemplating the direction of future releases. "I've thought of telling stories of the future and stories of the past, maybe getting involved more in the story of Sirius Amory (sic – Sirius Amory in the stories), the fellow who figured out the value of the Keywork," he said. "Or even stories that kind of parallel the one that we’re telling. It’s kind of up in the air. I’ve started writing music for that next record, and I'm kind of hoping that maybe in doing that it's going to tell me which one to do.”[50]

On July 10, 2011, bassist Michael Todd was arrested and taken into police custody in Attleboro, Massachusetts on charges of armed robbery.[51] Wes Styles acted as a temporary replacement for the remaining dates.[52] On August 4, 2011 Todd and the band parted ways by mutual decision.[53][54]

The band recorded a cover of the ZZ Top song, "Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers", for the tribute album A Tribute from Friends[55] and new song "Deranged" was released on the soundtrack for the video game Batman: Arkham City on October 18, 2011.[56]

Line-up change and The Afterman (2011–present)[edit]

Claudio announced at New York Comic Con in "Radio.com" in October 2011 that the upcoming album was written and that the recordings would begin in November. He also confirmed that the band were continuing to write music following the Amory Wars storyline, and hinted that fans would be surprised by which character was followed in the new album.[57]

In November 2011, Chris Pennie departed the band by mutual agreement due to creative differences.[58] Two weeks later, Pennie was replaced by the band's former drummer Josh Eppard,[59] and the following April the band announced via social media that their replacement bassist would be Zach Cooper, previously of the band AM to AM. According to a video on the band's website, Coheed manager Blaze James "cold-called" Cooper to audition for the bass position, based upon a personal recommendation.[citation needed]

In June, the band completed the recording of their sixth studio album at Applehead Studios.[60] The following month, Coheed announced via their website that the upcoming album would be a double album called "The Afterman." The first part, titled The Afterman: Ascension, was released on October 9, 2012 and the second, titled The Afterman: Descension, was released on February 5, 2013. It has been produced by Coheed and Cambria, with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner. 'The Afterman' tells the story of Sirius Amory, the namesake of the concept, as he explores the energy source holding together the Keywork (the 78 worlds in which the Amory Wars is set) and finds that it is in fact an afterlife for departed souls.[61] In the same month, Claudio announced at San Diego Comic Con that Entourage producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson will develop his comic book series The Amory Wars into a full-length live action film.[62]

On August 28, 2012, the band released the music video for "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute", the first single from The Afterman: Ascension,, on their Vevo channel,[63] reaching over one million views. Two weeks before the album's release, the band premiered the studio version of the title track "The Afterman" on Rolling Stone.[64] The second video from the album was later created for this track.[65] In 2013, the band released videos for "Dark Side of Me" and "Number City", from The Afterman: Descension.

On August 18, 2014, it was revealed on a Billboard.com article that Coheed and Cambria will be releasing a remastered version of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 on October 21, including some interview questions about why they're releasing it, and premiering the remastered version of the single "A Favor House Atlantic" from that album.[66]

On August 25, 2014, a video of Claudio playing a new song entitled "Atlas" was uploaded to the band's YouTube channel.[67]

Musical style and influences[edit]

Sanchez has several times stated he is envious of his father's era of music, and that the band is influenced by groups of that era, such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Police, Misfits, Queen, and Thin Lizzy. Apart from these roots, Sanchez also acknowledges an eclectic array of influences, including post-hardcore group At the Drive-In, and heavy metal pioneers Iron Maiden.[13][68][69] Contrary to rumors, bassist Michael Todd said the band was not influenced by Saga and that he had never heard of that group.[70] Many draw similarities between Rush and Coheed and Cambria,[71][72] but Josh Eppard stated in an interview that neither he nor the other band members were Rush fans or influenced by Rush. They began listening to Rush after their second album.[72] Influences of punk rock have been cited as well, especially the Misfits and Bad Brains. Dr. Know of Bad Brains plays a guitar solo on the track "Time Consumer" from Second Stage Turbine Blade. Sanchez and Stever's early band Toxic Parents drew many similarities from Jane's Addiction and Misfits.[73] Sanchez has stated that The Amory Wars, the story on which Coheed and Cambria base its lyrics, has similarities to other stories, especially to the Star Wars trilogy. For example, when the character Coheed returns home to his wife Cambria, she says, "Somehow I’ve always known," a line that Princess Leia said to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.[74][75]

Genre[edit]

The band's style is described as progressive rock by Equal Vision,[76] Spin,[77] and Allmusic.[78][79][80][81][82] Songs such as "Blood Red Summer" and "Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)" have been noted in many reviews of the band to also contain several elements of pop, as exemplified by one review by Sputnikmusic, which says "Coheed and Cambria manage to bring new life to a dying genre, and mix up the standard pop-punk scheme with creative and original riffs."[83] The band has also been described as new prog,[84] and on their first album, as post-hardcore. The band is also classed as progressive metal.[1][85][86]

Band members[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category
2004 MTVU Woodie Award Soundtrack of My Life Woodie (Best Album) (In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3)[88]
2004 MTVU Woodie Award The Road Woodie (Best Live Performance)[88]
2006 Metal Hammer Awards Best Album (Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness)[89]
2008 Kerrang! Awards Best Music Video ("Feathers")[39]
2010 MTV Musical March Madness Championship Title[90]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]