Before music television, bands had to tell stories through their music. Concepts through their art. Pink Floyd built The Wall and the Who told the tale of a young boy named Tommy. Over 30 years later, with iTunes singles and three-minute quotas for mainstream radio, concept albums are few and far between. Nyack, NY prog-rockers Coheed and Cambria not only believe in the true rock & roll era of their music forefathers, but they have taken it to 11 with Coheed’s entire existence hanging on one deep, voluminous concept. A concept that not only consists of full-album stories, but comic books and a novel as well.
When frontman Claudio Sanchez and company were signed to Equal Vision Records in early 2002, the band unleashed Second Stage Turbine Blade, a debut release, but second album in a five-record concept. The band spent the next eight years releasing the remaining four albums through Equal Vision and/or Columbia Records. Once the concept came to an end, Coheed and Cambria had to decide what would come next.
By this time, Sanchez had made a name for himself not just through music, but his comics as well. Frequently participating in events like Comic-Con in San Diego, Sanchez had expanded his creative palette with the development of Evil Ink, a comic-book publishing company. Now, through the band’s own label, Everything Evil, Coheed and Cambria have released a double-album concept, The Afterman—a prequel to explain how the Amory Wars (the first five records) began.
Amidst all this, Sanchez took some time to sit down with MC during the recent Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival and discuss a day in the life of Coheed and Cambria.
By Andy Mesecher
Photos by: Thomas Bonomo, Lindsey Byrnes
Physical Copy available for purchase here
Music Connection: Are you guys having a good time on Uproar?
Claudio Sanchez: We are. We are on day five. So far, so good. Sometime I’m more of a fan of the indoor show, but this [festival] so far has been good. The turn out has been good. The monitors and the mix haven’t felt like a normal festival. A lot of the tour is in sheds and amphitheaters, so it is sort of enclosed at points. So I’ve been actually enjoying myself.
MC: Festivals can be a drag with so many bands playing at once…
Sanchez: Yeah, very true. I mean, it’s funny. This festival is structured differently. It starts in the early part of the day then there is the main show that happens later on where all the other stages sort of close down so it feels like a show, but with a festival atmosphere attached to it. As opposed to say a Coachella or another normal festival setting.