We go five rounds with Coheed and Cambria -- EW chats up the alt rockers-turned drunken madmen

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You’ve heard of concept albums, but who’s got the balls to shoot for a concept discography? Coheed and Cambria, that’s who. The upstate New York-cum-Brooklyn band has enjoyed massive underground success with their first two epic and inscrutable records (think rock opera inspired by sci-fi movies and Rush). Now they’re bringing their mix of punk and egg-headed prog-rock to the masses with their recently released major-label debut called — are you ready for this? — Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. When LTT met up with Coheed at Hi Fi in Manhattan’s East Village, we were expecting an urbane chat with a bunch of, well, nerds. But what did we get? Drunken madmen! Drunken madmen who know their way around comic-book conventions and horror films, but drunken madmen nonetheless.

ROUND 1: GOOD OL’ HOMETOWN DIVE BARS

Josh Eppard (drums, double shot of Jameson with a water back): We definitely dig a more mellow bar, with lots of old people.

Michael Todd (bass, Stoli soda and cranberry): I like dive bars. You can hear yourself, you know?

Eppard: Tapper McGee’s!

Todd: Flow Lounge or Tapper.

Travis Stever (guitar, double rum and Coke): A big jukebox. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the most important thing — and a jukebox that actually plays your music, so you don’t have to deal with waiting for three hours.

Eppard: Yeah, that’s what I’m saying!
ROUND 2: THAT’S LOCO!

LTT (Budweiser): Have you been watching Entourage?

Stever (double Grey Goose and Diet Coke): Yeah, but I’m really not a fan. I’m a fan of Six Feet Under.

LTT: But what about the Aquaman story line?

Eppard (double shot of Jameson): What? Fill me in here.

LTT: They’re making an Aquaman movie on the show. They even went to the San Diego Comic-Con to announce the project.

Eppard: We played there! We had a booth and did a private show for, like, 400 people. It was so small, we couldn’t fit our gear on stage. I’m not really into comics, but anywhere stormtroopers are walking around…we’re in, like, heaven.

Claudio Sanchez (vocals/guitar, double Jack and Coke): We need to get some tacos!
ROUND 3: BEATING A BAD RAP

LTT (Budweiser): Josh, you have a hip-hop side project, right?

Eppard (double shot of Jameson and club soda): Yep.

LTT: Bust a freestyle.

Eppard: I don’t freestyle, man.

LTT: Lame!

Eppard: Every other freestyle is always written, my man.

Stever (Grey Goose and Diet Coke): [Listen to This] called you lame!

LTT: Claudio?

Sanchez (Jack and Coke): I’m not giving no freestyle.

LTT: Josh here claims you guys tease him for loving hip-hop. [Outcries of disagreement erupt]

Eppard: I feel uncomfortable. You know how much guys make fun of me? I go on the Coheed message boards and people are like, ”Why would Josh put out that record? It’s so vulgar.”

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