Interview With Coheed And Cambria - 11th November 2012
Photo Of Josh Eppard © Copyright Robert LawrenceRob and Jude caught up with Josh Eppard from Coheed And Cambria before they took to the stage at Birmingham Academy to talk about their latest album 'The Afterman Ascension', their current tour and much more.

You released your sixth studio album ‘The Afterman: Ascension’ back in October, are you happy with how the album has gone down with your fans and the press?
Josh Eppard, Drums) Yeah big time, you know any band that has six albums, I don't know any bands that have fans that love every record, more than ever were aware of the reception than an album gets. The last record didn't get the warmest reception, it was really, I don't want to say that we were relieved, we certainly believed in that record but I was overjoyed at how this one was received, from a commercial stand point its done really well, but from the fans it means more than sales and reviews.

The Afterman: Descension’ is due for release on the 5th February, what can we expect from the album?
There are a few surprises on this album, but it wouldn't be a C&C record with out a few surprises. A band like coheed doesn't do one thing so its hard to shock people but there is some shit that's way out there, there's a horn section, and some cool shit, in my opinion its a great record.

You have decided to put ‘The Afterman: Ascension’ and ‘The Afterman:Descension’ out as two separate releases only months apart, what was the reason behind dividing the album into two parts?
I hate double records that could clearly be better if it was one record, what we found is that we had too much material for one record, obviously story line wise for Claudio thought that the double record could supplement the story. Its something we went back and forth with, the amount of material dictated what happened. The album ties together in an interesting way, but I think each record can stand alone.

How did you find the writing and recording process on ‘The Afterman’ albums compared to your previous albums?
Certainly a lot different, with everything that happened with Mike Todd, it was a tumultuous time for the band then with me coming back into the fold, it wasn't like before where we rented a studio for a couple of months, played for a couple of months and wrote a record, Claudio always came in with ideas, that's not gonna change, but he had material for two years without me there, so its not like I came in and said I'm ready to go, he had some specific ideas which I think only made the record better, I don't have an ego to the point where I think I'm always right, I think some of the best stuff I've done as a musician is when Claudio has pushed me to do things, some ideas he had then me interpreting that, I think we got some great stuff and its a process that will continue. I think its a sign that 5 years, we weren't as mature as we are now, if Claudio had said 5 years ago I'm not feeling that, it would have been a fight, as now were adults, I see it that he's not attacking me, he just has a specific idea, also on this record we were all here, on this record instead of me doing 12 drum tracks, Claudio doing vocals in one go over a month, we did songs in threes, I'd do 3 drum tracks, then 3 bass and guitar tracks then Claudio would do his vocals id he wanted to, we were all there at the same time being creative, I hope it continues this way, its stupid to do it the old way, but then that's the way everyone has been told to do things by producers, but doing it in 3 threes, you feel fresher and they come to like quicker.

How does it feel to be back in the band?
It feels great, life's short but its also long, a lot happens in life, two years ago if some one asked me, if I would have changed anything? I'd said I would have done everything differently, but now, I think maybe it had to happen like that, maybe I needed to not be in C&C for 5 years, and for me to grow up and for me not doing drugs which was a big part of that. But I wouldn't change anything, if I can come back to Coheed and adding some fresh energy, ill take that. People ask me is it weird being back in the band, I say it was weird not being in the band, some things that could have been weird have been navigated through, the most important thing for me that after 5 days it was business as usual, it could not be going better.

You are currently on a headline UK tour, how have the shows been so far?
The Koko shows were fucking legend, we played great, I expect the bands to go nuts, but the crowd blew my mind, both nights were tremendous.

Now you have six, soon to be seven studio albums to your name do you find it hard picking set lists for your shows?
Its tough, you want each record to be represented, but the hardest thing is the earliest stuff, but what's funny is that I know the material better on the two albums that I didn't play than the ones that I did, but I am a fan of this band, so even when I wasn't in the band I still listed to the music. Its hard to pick 10 years worth of material, we try to pick a well rounded set, but sometimes one album isn't represented, but having that problem is a good thing, it shows that the band has some longevity in it.

Will these two new albums ever be played back to back on either one night or over two like the band did with the other albums with the Neverender tour.
I imagine it would be two nights, but you know what that fucking mad man Claudio is thinking(laughs)

You are headlining a Jagermeister show in Bournemouth on the 13th November. How important do you think brands like Jagermeister are when it comes to helping and promoting bands in the music industry?
I don't really know, back in the states, there are energy drinks that do this sort of thing, but its a two way street, I guess these bands lend a certain credibility to these drinks(chuckles). Its a good question, if your a young band looking for exposure, getting on a tour like that is huge. I think it happens more over here than in America. But I'm not really sure, if they are providing exposure then its vastly important for bands.

Can we expect you to be back touring in the UK in 2013 once ‘The Afterman:Descension’ has been released?
There's nothing definite yet, but we love coming to the UK, Europe is great but the UK is awesome but we are definitely coming back at some point in 2013.

What’s your opinion on the whole anti piracy laws going on at the moment and how it will affect the music industry but also you personally as a musician?
This thing has been going on forever, I remember when they started putting the FBI warnings on CDs, and I said man that doesn't look fucking cool (laughs). I don't know, I'm really split, I understand that art in some capacity should be paid for, limiting peoples exposure to art, I don't know if I'm down with that, I'm really split, like most people. Most bands that say the internet is bad, the internet certainly helped them out, and every band that says the internet is good, give their music way, but the wont be able to do that all the time, or else they wont be a band for very long. I don't really know how to answer this question, I'm pretty split.

Most bands get gifts from their fans, what has been the best and also the weirdest gift you have received from a fan?
The best, I know we have cake coming tonight, food is always good. The weirdest was from a Coheed fan but at the time I wasn't touring with them, it was in the states I was with a band called Terrible Things on the Warped Tour. I got to the bus, there was a bag with a keywork on it, so I thought it was a dragon fly, I opened it and it had dog shit in it, I kind of got the joke, but I still don't know who left it. We get gifts all the time, one girl made us little rubber dragon flys, I don't know if the fans know but we keep what's given to us, when we get CDs from bands, I for one always listen to them, some are good and some are bad, I do give honest feedback, the bad ones don't always like to hear what I have to say, but then again I don't know everything , we are always learning. The gifts given to us don't go in the trash, we all have hundreds of dragon flys and key works, it means a lot to us.

Where do you hope to see Coheed And Cambria in a year’s time?
Playing shows, touring the record, going to some wild places, there's talk of going to China. I hope to see us still happy, enjoying this, last time I think I took things for granted and stopped enjoying all this. If you're not enjoying this, then you got problems dude.

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a Zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
Both cool animals, I'd have to say Giraffe because it would be fucking sick to be that tall and to have a really long neck, I've always loved Giraffes since I was a kid. It funny you should ask, we did a Q & A in an Apple store, my fiancés daughter was there, she's basically my step daughter, she kept raising her hand and my fiancé kept pulling it down, I asked her later on, what did she want to ask me, she said I wanted to know what your favourite animal was, I thought she should of asked that as it would have been so fucking cute.

Thanks for your time is there a message for your fans reading this?
Thank you and the fans mean everything to this band, the fans are the reason why were here, I think we realise that more now than ever, not that we didn't embrace that before but understand that its a certain type of person that's a Coheed fan, more like family, we love to meet the fans, 9 out of 10 times we have a lot in common with our fans. This band is a family and the fans are the biggest part of that.

Interview by Robert Lawrence and Jude Onions
 Band Members

Claudio Sanchez
Travis Stever
Josh Eppard
Zach Cooper
 Latest Releases
Coheed And Cambria - The Afterman: Ascension
Release Date - 9th October 2012

1. The Hollow
2. Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute
3. The Afterman
4. Mothers of Men
5. Goodnight, Fair Lady
6. Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood the Cracked
7. Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher
8. Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful
9. Subtraction
 Band Related Links
Coheed And Cambria Facebook