Interview With The Cancer Bats - 23rd April 2009
Photo Of The Cancer Bats © Copyright The MaccabeesCraig sat down with Liam from Cancer Bats for a chat before he hit the stage in the Spring & Airbrake in Belfast

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview for Alternative Vision
No Problem

Is this your first time in Belfast?
No, no this is our fourth. We’ve played here and Auntie Annie’s.

You were supposed to be playing the Mandela Hall tonight with In Flames.
Yeah that got cancelled, which was too bad. Then we were like “fuck it”, we still wanted to come back. We were booking English shows and we had to come back to Ireland. To take the easy way out and just do England and Scotland, we weren’t gonna do that.

You play Dublin tomorrow?
Yeah, then we do Cork on Sunday. It should be fuckin dope, we’ve never been there before so I’m stoked.

After this tour you hit Australia?
Yeah we finish the UK and Ireland then we go to Australia and New Zealand with Bring Me The Horizon for 10 days.

And after that?
And then we’re taking the summer off. We’re actually gonna write a new record. We’ll do that and hopefully record in the Fall.
Your last album has been out a year now.
Yeah it’s literally a year yesterday. I mean it seems to be too soon to be writing again but in the grand scheme of things, by the time we finish writing and recording and whatever it’ll be a while before it comes out.

How much material have you got for a new album?
We’ve got a couple of things, we started writing in January so we’re kinda starting to work on things which is good. We’re in the right mindset. When we go back everyone’s gonna be hungry to get working on it.

Sounds good. Can you just give me a brief history of how the band started?
Basically at the end of 2004 we started the band as like a side project. Basically it was just me and Scott and we started jamming with people and it gained momentum really quickly. He was in another band and was real busy. That started dropping off and I saw that as an opportunity for our band to start working hard. We started working on Cancer Bats more and more and it just seemed like we were getting all these opportunities. We pushed it harder and harder just to see how much we could do with the band.

From the start did you know it was gonna be fulltime?
No, well maybe from like when 2005 rolled around we knew it was a serious band you know? We had only been around a few months and we grabbed the opportunities.

2007 was very busy for you.
Yeah, even 2006 was busy enough but 2007 definitely was crazy. We toured for 6 months solid just trying to get out there. We were doing Canada, the US, Europe and the UK. Going back to the US, going back to Canada, the UK then back to Canada. It was crazy. That was an insane year. That’s when we really stepped up. I think that’s why working on and putting out Hail the Destroyer came across so strong.

Were you worried about putting out a second album after the success of the first?
Our big thing was we’d made such a different record from the first one so we were definitely a little bit worried kids maybe wouldn’t be as in to it. We were nervous because we put so much time and effort into it. At the same time we were really excited. All our friends in bands, any time they were in Toronto we would get them to come down to get everybody’s feedback on it. Everyone was really liking it.

A few of your friends were also involved with the record.
Yeah, we had friends on there. That was kinda the vibe because we’d been working on it on tour so we had so many friends who were coming in and out on it. It made sense to us. The three big tours we did for Birthing the Giant with Alexisonfire we did 3 months straight and then we went out with Billy Talent and from that we went out with Rise Against. That’s where those guys came from on the album. Those were the big bands in our lives that year.

What about Funeral For A Friend? You toured with them.
Yeah that was cool it worked out pretty well. There was definitely some nights where we were obviously the heavier band. It was cool to see that there were kids coming out to see us on that tour and I think we won over some new kids so it was worthwhile.

You played Download, what was your impression of it?
Download was our first British Festival. We did that before we did Leeds and Reading or anything. That was awesome. For us to come over here and see an entirely metal festival. The fact that it’s so huge in England is great. Canada has like the Warped Tour and now the Mayhem festival is happening but the idea of a long standing metal festival is so cool.

How hard was it for you, as a Canadian band, to break the US market?
You know, it’s still hard. The thing with the United States is that it’s so massive. It’s such a dense country that in order to make it there you need to devote so much time to touring all over it. We’ll give it a couple of months a year where we’d really need to give it like 6 months of constant touring. That’s what American bands do, they devote so much time to just touring their country. For us, we can’t do that. We have Canada, England, Ireland and a lot of other places we have fans. To be honest I’d rather be over here. We get along better with people from the UK than Americans. The UK is a lot more similar to Canada than the United States is. We’re not really that right wing. When we’re in the US, even though we’re in like a punk rock circle, we’re still running into a lot of fundamental right wing ideals. That’s just awkward for us. On top of that there are people outside that punk rock circle who are at times really hard to deal with. The United States is pretty heavy.

Ok, that’s interesting that you relate better to UK fans than those in America. Who are your musical influences?
Well we all have a pretty diverse taste in music so we’re listening to everything from hip hop to funk to rock and metal. We like to try to bring it all into what we do.

You have mentioned that you have toured a lot over the last few years. What is the best thing about touring?
Just the aspect of travel. The nice part is if you’re not a dick, you’ll make friends all around the world and you get to come back and see those people. I mean now we have really good friends in Belfast that we’re excited to see and stuff. That’s crazy because I never thought that I would have friends in this part of the world. Wee have friends all over England also so we love to tour here and selfishly hang out with our friends.

And the worst thing?
The worst thing about touring is missing home. I miss my girlfriend like crazy. Especially coming over here where our cellphones don’t work, it’s definitely a lot tougher.

Liam, thank you for your time I’ll let you go and get ready.
Ok, I’ll catch you in there. Thanks.

Interview by Craig Young
 Band Members

Liam Cormier
Scott Middleton
Mike Peters
Jaye R. Schwarzer
 Latest Releases
The Cancer Bats - Hail Destroyer
Release Date - 22nd April 2008
1. Hail Destroyer
2. Harem of Scorpions (feat. Tim McIlrath of Rise Against)
3. Deathsmarch (feat. Wade MacNeil of Alexisonfire)
4. Regret
5. Bastard's Waltz
6. Sorceress
7. Lucifer's Rocking Chair
8. Let It Pour
9. Smiling Politely (feat. Benjamin Kowalewicz of Billy Talent)
10. Pray For Darkness
11. PMA 'Til I'm DOA
12. Zed's Dead, Baby
 Band Related Links
Cancer Bats Myspace