Cancer Bats: Indie Rockers Fleet Foxes Inspired Their Upcoming Album
Toronto’s Cancer Bats have just finished recording for their fourth album, tentatively titled ‘Dead Set on Living,’ and lead singer Liam Cormier says he’s been looking outside the heavy music universe for inspiration.
“In a lot of ways we get really inspired by non-metal bands,” Cormier, whose band has covered the likes of Tegan and Sara and the Faint, tells Spinner. “For me, I find I really like looking at other things because I just don’t want to make a traditional hardcore record lyrically. So for me, I listen to a lot of indie rock and I’ve been getting super psyched on a lot of that, like the new ‘Helplessness Blues’ by Fleet Foxes…”
The band, which includes Cormier, guitarist Scott Middleton, bassist Jaye R. Schwarzer and drummer Mike Peters, may be taking inspiration from other areas of the rock world, but rest assured, they’ve got no interest in changing up the thrash-stoner-punk-hardcore formula they’ve mastered over their last three albums, 2006’s ‘Birthing the Giant,’ 2008’s ‘Hail Destroyer’ and 2010’s ‘Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones.’ Cancer Bats fans should expect the same on album four.
“I love what we do,” he says. “I don’t want to make this record be us trying to be Muse, or us trying to extend ourselves into other things, like me trying to do clean singing parts so we can get played on the radio. When you hear bands that you love try s— like that it’s just such a bum-out.
“The new stuff definitely doesn’t sound like ‘Bears’ or ‘Hail’ or ‘Birthing,’ but it sounds like where we should be at, trying to really f—in’ go for it.
“We really looked at it like, ‘Let’s make this album the ultimate party in every way that I know Cancer Bats fans want to get down.’ Because I’m not sick of what we do, I f—ing love playing these songs every night. That’s the kind of vibe I still want to have going.”
Watch Cancer Bats’ Hail Destroy’ Video
Another factor for the band? Age. This isn’t the same pack of loud kids who burst onto the scene back in 2004, and those years under the band’s belt have helped them discover a different, sophisticated kind of heavy music.
“I think the big thing, too, we’ve all turned 30. I’m going to be 32,” says Cormier. “Now that we’re all older, we all really understand Clutch. I think there’s like an age factor in understanding that band. If you’re too young, you just don’t get it.
“If you listen to Clutch, all their records sound like Clutch, and they’re the best at doing that, but they still take really rad chances and do different things that are fun. Like, a lot of vocal stuff that’s goofy, but it doesn’t ruin the song, it just makes it really fun. I’m looking at someone who’s been able to do that and still nobody’s going to call those dudes a bunch of p—ies, you know what I mean?
“So looking at that and not being too hung up on things we could over-think at this point, like, ‘Ah, it needs to be super heavy and negative and brutal — metal can only be like this.’ It’s like, ‘Naw, we can do whatever the f— we want.’ Because we’re not 100 percent a metal band; we’re like punk-weird-hardcore-whatever band.”
The Cancer Bats are hoping to release their forth album sometime early in the New Year. In the meantime, the band will be taking a creative detour of sorts throughout December, playing across Eastern Canada as Bat Sabbath, a Black Sabbath cover band.