Alter The Press!


Interview: Coheed and Cambria

Currently on tour in support of their new album, 'Year Of The Black Rainbow', Alter The Press! managed to sit down with Travis Stever of Coheed and Cambria before hitting the stage at the London HMV Forum.

Travis spoke to ATP! about the new album, the Neverender shows, signing to Roadrunner Records UK and more.

Alter The Press: How has this European run of shows been, so far?
Travis Stever (guitar): Festivals can be a little tough sometimes, for us, just because we aren't as accessible as other artists who are on these festivals, and stuff. People haven't heard of us and it's a little tough. They're listening, and maybe we can get a few more fans out of that. We did Download, which was a blast. I got to see AC/DC, which was great. We got to do a bunch of German festivals, which were awesome. We did a festival in Switzerland where it was pouring out, but it was fun. It's been great. Playing around the UK is as close to America for us. The rest of Europe, it depends on the place.

ATP: The last time you were here, was for the Neverender shows (the band played a different album, each night, in London.)
Travis: It was great. It's the closest thing to America, as I said; London is its own thing, don't get me wrong. It does remind me of New York in certain ways. Coming over here, after doing all three (New York, Chicago and Los Angeles,) it was amazing for it to be just as fun.

ATP: How was it, revisiting the old songs?
Travis: It felt tough to tackle at first, but after we got into the groove of things, it seemed like muscle memory, going over everything again. At first it was, "Really? Can we do this?" and we did it. A lot of people ask in interviews, "What's your most proudest moment in this band?" and I would say, Neverender.

ATP: Can you see yourselves doing Neverender again, especially with the new album having just been released?
Travis: Definitely. Once we got into the groove of it, it felt like second nature. Sometimes, we run though songs at soundcheck, and think about putting them in the set list. Today we went through 'Ten Speed,' and were concerned that we'd not remember certain parts, but then muscle memory takes over and some how, I just remember how to play it. The hands can do their own thing.

ATP: How has the response been to, 'Year Of The Black Rainbow,' so far?
Travis: Just like any album, it's been mixed. I find, like with anyone who had listened to Coheed, they see it as a grower, like all of our albums. They listen to it once and say, "I don't know" and the next time, "I love it". I think that's been the case with a lot of reviewers as well. We got some great reviews, but a couple were kind of shitty; each to their own, it's not going to be everyone’s taste. I think it can't be one of those records that you just listen to once. You have to listen to it a couple of times. It's a huge piece of work, there's a lot of depth to it; like the soundscapes, and having Chris (Pennie - drums) as part of the band, what he brought to the table. Anyone who is a fan of the band will love the record.

ATP: I found it more of a darker record, compared to anything the band has done in the past. Would you agree with that?
Travis: Yes, to a degree. I think the soundscapes played a big part in that. In a way, if you take a song like 'World of Lines', that's very uplifting for me, lyrically and musically, but the tones can bring it to a darker level.

ATP: Have you already chosen the next single?
Travis: I'd be pushing for that, but I don't know what it's going to be. I would like it to be 'World of Lines'.

ATP: You signed to Roadrunner UK with this album. How did that happen?
Travis: We're huge fans of everything Roadrunner has done, and we've seen how great they work things over here. We're happy with everything that Columbia has done, but I think it was a mutual agreement to team up with Roadrunner over here, for our best interest. They've got this machine; they really push things. Like every band, you want that on your side.

ATP: Will there be a vinyl repress of 'The Second Stage Turbine Blade'?
Travis: I hope so. There is no decision to do it yet, but personally, I would like to see them all re-released on vinyl, with a bunch of extras. Ideas have been thrown around, but I don't even have a copy of 'Second Stage' anymore. When I first got them, I gave numerous copies away, and then I got one and left it in my car, and that was before I was collecting records again. Now I'm a real collector again, and I really want that record. It was warped from leaving it in the car. I really want that record but it's really tough to find.

ATP: It goes for $300+ on eBay.
Travis: Yeah, it's nuts. Hopefully we will try to repress all of them, but there's no decision. 'Second Stage' would be my first pick to do something interesting with, vinyl wise. It's all good, the way we had it, but it was a little boring. It'd be cool to do something really special.

ATP: What's the plan after this UK run?
Travis: We still have two weeks in Europe. After this, we go home for a couple of weeks, and then back on the road. We have some dates in Japan, Singapore and then some places we've never played before. We're also doing a US tour again, but hitting places we didn't hit on the last one. Saying that, with this UK run being so short, we'll be back soon enough.

ATP: Thanks Travis. Anything else you would like to add?
Travis: When we come back, I hope to see everybody!

'Year Of The Black Rainbow' is out now on Columbia Records US.

- Jon Ableson

Alter The Press!