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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Claudio Sanchez February 2009 Comic-Con Interview

February 8th at this year’s New York Comic-Con I had the pleasure of speaking with a man whose musical genius has shaped my own interests. Claudio Sanchez is the lead singer of Coheed and Cambria, as well as the mastermind behind the lyrics that tell the story of The Amory Wars. The story has been told not only through music but through comic books that Sanchez has released. Sanchez gave me insight into his career as a musician and also as the writer of a comic with an excessively complicated story arc.

After I asked Sanchez what his primary focus is, he responded with, “Right now we are actually working on another record, it is part of the overall saga of Coheed and Cambria which is entitled The Amory Wars, it is the origin story of the two characters. I am also working on the adaptation for the In Keeping Secrets:3 record. KillAudio is my other project, which is a designer vinyl toy and a comic book.” Sanchez explained that KillAudio is a Seinfeld-like parody of himself and his friends from home where he places them in interesting scenarios and makes fun of them.

When I asked Claudio about his recent Neverender tour, where on each stop the band played an album a night for four days, he admitted the experience was very sentimental. Sanchez said memories from writing the songs and being on tour “300 days out of the year” were brought back to him each time he played. Currently, the band is on tour with Slipknot, and while Sanchez agrees it seems to be an odd pairing he believes the tour is working out and the energy from the audience is more energetic than ever.

I then asked Sanchez which venue is his favorite to play and he said, “I really like playing New York, just because it’s home and it’s my favorite city. But I also really like playing at [this one venue] in Virginia ‘cause there’s a hot tub upstairs.” Sanchez laughed at himself and explained, “I’ve never used the hot tub; it seems like a nice luxury to have.”

Sanchez and I then began to speak about how his music has always been very concept heavy, even when he was not a member of Coheed and Cambria: “if they [songs] had anything to do with me they were embellished onto the point of fiction. Around the time I created Coheed I decided to create an overall story arc within records.” Coheed and Cambria was originally a side project to Sanchez’s previous band, Shabutie, but as soon as they officially adopted the name they hold today Sanchez decided that the story of The Amory Wars would be his main focus. Sanchez’s new side project is The Prize Fighter Inferno, which retains some of the same imagery of Coheed and Cambria’s lyrics and features a linking character in both works named Inferno. Sanchez explains while his band Coheed and Cambria retains more science fiction elements, The Prize Fighter Inferno is a horror story.

Finally I asked Sanchez what changes have brought about the progression in Coheed and Cambria’s sound and I was delighted when he answered with, “The touring element.” Sanchez further explained the transformation was made because he and his band mates learned so much from each other and spent so much time together on the road that they were able to organically change their sound. “So you bonded?” I asked. “Yes, and now we make angry music.”

However angry Sanchez’s music can get, he was shy and generous at Comic-Con where he denied no fans a picture or autograph and would answer their questions without hesitation. As a fan I was thrilled to see a person whose music and lyrics have inspired me, be kind and so willing to please those who are interested in what he does. Claudio Sanchez has a lot of well-conceived projects stemming from The Amory Wars as well as his own experiences, and I am sure they will not disappoint.

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