Finding the Common Ground Between Coheed & Cambria and Jane's Addiction

Claudio Sanchez is incredibly pressed for time, but he has ten minutes to spare for an interview. Afterwards, he has to rush off for Coheed and Cambria's soundcheck. The band is in the midst of a long headlining tour with rocket scientist metallers Between the Buried and Me. Thankfully, Sanchez is well-spoken and friendly, and he has plenty to talk about with the band's touring life and double album set, The Afterman. He also has vivid memories about the first double album that spoke to him.

Even though he came of age when the Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was the double album in the mid-'90s, he was more taken with Pink Floyd's 1979 opus, The Wall. "Overall, the way the cinematic counterpart works with the music, it had a lasting effect on me," he says. With how the band arranged the material, from short songs under two minutes to long epics, Sanchez still speaks highly of the album in his 30s. "It feels like it works as a whole," he says. "You know, like you're missing out if you don't listen to the entire thing."

Yet when describing Coheed's The Afterman, Sanchez admits that there wasn't a true concept when he constructed the two volumes, named Ascension and Descension. "I started writing this material about two years ago," he says. "It was really just a reflection of what I was experiencing in that time. And it wasn't until after I finished it and saw the material as a whole that I was able to construct the concept around those emotions."

"In a way, it's sort of like a journey in that time for me, but it's also what gave birth to the journey in The Afterman. So, I mean it's definitely not The Wall, obviously. But it's Coheed's, if that makes any sense."

Fitting with things Coheed has done in the past, Sanchez and his bandmates, guitarist Travis Stever, bassist Zach Cooper, and drummer Josh Eppard, might even perform the entire Afterman live. Besides, the band had performed their first four records over four nights a few years ago. "It's definitely something I could see happening in the future," Sanchez says.

But for now, the band continues to trek through the US, eventually going to Canada, Australia, and even the Philippines. They've shared stages with some of their heroes before, like Iron Maiden, Heaven & Hell, and Soundgarden. But if there was one band Sanchez hopes they could tour with someday, it would be Jane's Addiction. "That was one of those bands for me growing up," he says. "Before Coheed, the band that I was in, that was one of our big inspirations."

Coheed and Cambria play Sunday, March 3rd at the Palladium Ballroom with Between the Buried and Me.

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Eric Grubbs is a Dallas-based writer who has published two books, Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore 1985-2007 and When We Were the Kids. His writing has been featured in Punk Planet, Popdose, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dentonite and LA Weekly. He supports Manchester City and will never root for Manchester United.
Contact: Eric Grubbs

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