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May 09, 2017

Coheed and Cambria – 'more than a concept rock band'

Wearing their hearts on their sleeves this time around

The capacity crowd at the Fillmore Philadelphia erupted last year when Coheed and Cambria kicked off its encore with the incendiary “You Got Spirit, Kid.” The reaction was surprising since the pop-punk cut is one of the new songs from the band’s latest album, “The Color Before the Sun.” 

Much of the set was filled with cuts from the band’s first seven albums, but the fresh material was received with just as much enthusiasm.

“How pumped up the fans get when they hear songs from 'The Color Before the Sun' just blows us away,” guitarist Travis Stever said while calling from Los Angeles. 

“But it’s not shocking since our fans are incredibly loyal and into everything we do. I can’t think of a group of fans to compare them to. They’re amazing.”

Coheed and Cambria is a throwback since the prog-rockers’ first seven albums are concept albums. Vocalist-guitarist Claudio Sanchez created the “Armory Wars,” a detailed graphic novel series, which are science-fiction narratives.

“I know that few bands are making concept albums these days, but our fans have always been into them,” Stever said. 

“It’s incredibly cool how they’ve embraced that story.”

Coheed and Cambria, which will return Wednesday, April 10, to a sold-out show at the Fillmore, is taking a hiatus from the concept albums. 

“The Color Before The Sun” is the band’s first conventional album.

“We know our fans love the concept albums, but we’re more than a concept rock band,” Stever said. 

“This is a very personal record. Claudio shows a different side of himself as a writer and it’s great to move in a new direction. There’s no reason to put a limitation on what we do as a band. We’re wearing our heart on our sleeves. We’re taking a chance. 'The Color Before The Sun' has changed everything for us.”

Coheed and Cambria, which also includes bassist Zach Cooper and drummer Josh Eppard, are following the lead of Sanchez.

“Claudio wanted to go this way since he had a group of songs that stood on their own,” Stever said. 

It was good for us to record this very personal music."

“He didn’t know if it would fit Coheed, but we all loved the songs he had. It was good for us to record this very personal music. It’s also always good to do something different. We love concept albums but we needed to change things up. It’s a healthy thing.”

Sanchez and Stever, who formed Coheed and Cambria 22 years ago, are a pair of dynamic guitarists who play off of each other.

“We work well together since we complement each other,” Stever said. 

“Claudio is one of my favorite guitar players. He gets to go out and go crazy. I play in a safer manner. We really have fun with each other and that’s been so for many years. If that weren’t so, we would be in different bands. We learn from each other and we have a great time doing it. We’ll be doing this for many more years.”