CANCER BATS Interview with Liam Cormier
XM: What has the band been up to so far this year?
Liam: So far this year we've just been touring up a storm, hitting all the places we haven't been in forever. We're up in Scandinavia right now, which we haven't been to since 2008.
XM: Congrats on the Rock Album of the Year nomination for your album “Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones” for this year’s Juno Awards. When and how did you find out about the nomination and what was your initial reaction?
Liam: It was pretty cool being nominated again. We were driving up North in Canada on tour and we didn't find out until hours after the fact because none of our cell phones had service haha We celebrated by getting some Robins Donuts and continuing our 15 hour drive.
XM: Can you tell me a few stories about when you were recording that album, how did it go, did anything special happen?
Liam: Recording Bears was awesome. It was the first time we were really prepared going into the studio with a finished album. We've always been really short on time so for this album we gave ourselves a few more weeks of practice to be extra tight with all the songs so we weren't making last minute changes and rewriting things while in the studio. Being so prepared made the whole recording experience a lot more fun and relaxed.
XM: You have done quite a few collaborations with other artists, who have been some of your favorites to work with and why?
Liam: I really had a lot of fun working with Ben from Billy Talent on Hail Destroyer. We had no real idea what parts we should get him to sing so we were just trying different things and having him sing on the whole song instead of just a little part. I was stoked how the whole thing turned into more of a duet than just two parts together. It's one of my favorites on the album for sure.
XM: Have you started writing any music for your next record yet? What directions do you imagine your music will take in the future?
Liam: We haven't started jamming at all for the new record. We're the worst at writing on tour. We don't sound check to begin with, so we don't really have a chance to jam on stage or anything before the shows. I'm not too worried because we always work like that. I think we write better under pressure of deadlines and things like that haha I want to write the heaviest punk rock rager we've ever done.
XM: As far as writing the music is concerned who is the brainchild for all this? And who writes the lyrics? And what are they about?
Liam: We all write the music together. That way everyone has their say and input on all the songs and we make sure all 4 of us are stoked with what's happening in every song. We're pretty democratic when it comes to song writing. I write all the lyrics, but in the same way we write the music, I make sure everyone is cool with what I'm singing about. I want everyone to be able to identify with what all our songs are about and agree on the topics. Even though the lyrics are very personal when it comes to the subject matter, I always want the rest of the guys to be behind them too.
XM: What effects do you want to cause in the listener through your music?
Liam: My only really hope is that people listening to our music get as stoked as we do on it! We love playing these songs and writing these records so I hope that people get as much out of it as we do. If you're bummed I hope it stoked you out. If you're pissed I hope it helps you blow off steam. If you're already having a good time I hope it step it up to some next level rage!
XM: Can you trace your progression as a band from your early days up to this newest chapter in Cancer Bats’ history?
Liam: I feel like we've come a pretty long way in a short period of time since we've started. We've always been in a rush to do everything and play everywhere. We wanted to catch up to all our friends bands like Comeback Kid and Alexisonfire. So we just quite our jobs and hit touring as hard as we could. We didn't have places to live so in 2007 we set out to tour as much as possible to never have to worry about living anywhere. That year we toured 9 months straight before writing Hail Destroyer. We left for tour the day it was finished in jan of 2008 and didn't stop until we wrote BMSB. All that touring made us a better band. Touring that hard you're kind of forced to either step up or you'll just get worn down and look like a joke up against all of these other bands that have been doing it for years. Kind of crazy to look back at it all now. In hindsight we were kind of nuts, but it wouldn't have worked out if we hadn't have done it that way.
XM: What are your impressions of the metal scenes in your hometown and in Canada as a whole?
Liam: The scene in Canada has always been awesome. Coast to coast there's always been such an awesome scene for metal hardcore and punk. I think Canadians on a whole appreciate heavier music. When we tour Canada there are metal fans young and old coming out to have an awesome time. I love touring in Canada.
XM: If you could have been involved in the recording, writing or production of any album which would it be and why?
Liam: When I read about how they recorded those old Led Zeppelin albums I wish I could have been there. Recording drums in the stair way of a haunted house in rulral England sound like a total trip. Also the fact that they would all lay down live takes and it wasn't about computers and editing and triggers and all that shit. It was all about performance and vibe. That's the direction all of our recordings for the last record were going and I think we're going to try that even more on this next album. It would be cool to see some of those old analogue tricks they used to use to make those records sound so rad!
XM: What was your first concert experience? Do you remember how you felt once the concert was over?
Liam: My folks used to take me to tons of shows when I was a kid. But the one show that made the hugest impression on me was seeing Rancid and Rocket From The Crypt in 1995. That show blew my mind. I had never seen a show with so much energy where everyone front to back was going off. From then on it was punk rock for life!
XM: What are your favorite bands? Any new good bands from your area you’d like to mention here?
Liam: One of our favorite new bands is Kverlertak from Norway. They're the best mix of black metal and rock and roll since Entombed. We're hopefully going to bring them to Canada to show them how we party back home so everyone should check them out and get ready for those shows next year!
XM: What are some of the band members involved in when they are not playing music?
Liam: Were pretty full time with this band so any time off is just spent with girl friends and friends at home. Resting up and getting ready for the next tour. The only long periods of time we take off are to write new albums and we just jam everyday haha Doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else.
XM: What does the band have planned for the rest of the year?
Liam: We have an amazing headline touring in Canada with our good friends 3 Inches Of Blood that's going to rip! I can't wait for this tour to start in a few days, its going to rule! Then after that we're taking the summer off to write a new album! I'm pretty siked to start working on new jams and trying to out riff Bears...
XM: On behalf of xplosivemetal.com I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions with us.
Liam: Thanks so much for doing the interview with me!