With four albums under their belt, and their latest, No World for Tomorrow, selling over 100,000 copies in its first month, New York progressive rock band Coheed&Cambria is coming off the pages.
The band (formerly known as Shab?tie) titled after the main characters of a comic book created by lead singer Claudio Sanchez, has become known for its amazing sets and showmanship. Taking to the road with Linkin Park, Coheed&Cambria promises they have not compromised their stage theatrics even though they are not headlining this tour.
Taking time out of his busy tour schedule, bassist Michael Todd talks about his solo project in the works, the band’s path and how he came to be part of it.
On the No World for Tomorrow tour, you guys are opening for Linkin Park. Will there be, or has there been as much theatrics as there have been when you have headlined?
There won’t be as many set pieces and stages and things like that. But as far as the showmanship and playing goes, yeah, I mean we’ll be up there. If not more so, we have a lot more space to work with and a huge barrier of sound. I don’t think Coheed fans will be disappointed.
Would you say that the strong bond of friendship between you and the guys is the foremost reason for Coheed&Cambria’s longevity?
I think we’re more like a family than anything. We’ve been doing this for such a long time. I think you need a certain type of relationship to be able to work together-to be on the road for eight or nine months of the year. We’re just like a family. I think you have to be if you want to survive.
When you joined C&C back in 1996, did you ever think you would get to where you are today?
It’s definitely a surprise to see how far we’ve come. I kind of never doubted it, you know what I mean. But I know that I’m lucky. I’ve got the best gig in the world. Not only do I have a job, but I get to play whatever I want to play. I don’t think there was any way we could have expected this much.
What did Nate Kelley (C&C’s original drummer) say to get you to be part of Shabutie?
Do you remember that far back?
(Laughs) Absolutely, I remember the exact day. It was like, “Sh–‘s not working out with this dude. You’ve got a bass right?” That’s pretty much it, word for word.
That’s how it worked in those days. We were in high school, so if you had an instrument, you were as good as in. You know what I mean? The first time I got up there and played with them they were like, “all right, cool. I think this is going to work out at this point.” But, yeah, the question was: “You’ve got a bass don’t you?”
When you left the band in 2006, why did you come back?
I was ready. I was in a different frame of mind. I was tired of not playing, I missed the guys, I was in a much better head space, in my life. I was ready to give it a fresh start. I got burnt out you know, from touring non-stop for six years. And all that time I wasn’t living particularly healthily, and it just started deteriorating both body and soul. More than anything, I missed the guys, I missed the playing.
Did they ask you to come back or did you come back on your own?
We hung out and I kinda put it out there that whether it be Coheed&Cambria or something else, I wanted to start playing again. And they said, “Hey, let’s give it a shot!” It wasn’t working out with the guy they were playing with and after pretty much being able to read each other’s mind for 10 years, I was what they needed, they were what I needed.
You mentioned in previous interviews that you were considering doing a solo album. Are you still working on that?
Yeah, I’m working on the soloing from time to time. I’m always writing. I’ve been working a lot with a female guitarist from an L.A. based band. She and I have been spending a lot of time writing together. So, it’s happening. It’s going to be a folksier album, more laid back, the jazz/folk Ani DiFranco type stuff.
The next album you guys will be working on is said to be going back to the story of Coheed&Cambria, back to the origins of the story. Is that because No World for Tomorrow got away from that or just was it the plan all along?
When we started our first record, The Second Stage Turbine Blade the characters of Coheed and Cambria die in the album. And we wanted a way to get back into the story about who those two people were because essentially it’s a story that has never been told. We’ve always left room for that. We wanted to jump right in to what was going on and now we want to tell where we came from, where the two people came from.
Where do you see the band going in the next 10 years?
You know what? The fans have been as dedicated as they are and have stuck with us a lot longer than most band’s fans do nowadays. So I’d like to think that we are still going to be playing shows then. I don’t know if we will be bigger than we are now. I think we will be making it as long as people come to shows. Hopefully we’ll have like 20 records under our belts.