Being the frontman of NY-based progressive rockers Coheed and Cambria, the creator of comic book series ‘The Amory Wars’ and more recently a father, the charismatic musician has experienced plenty of ups and downs.
Claudio Sanchez was taking a leisurely family stroll through his neighbourhood when he joined us on air, chatting the upcoming Australian tour, getting creative and finding inspiration your worst moments.
We’re stoked you’ll be hitting Aussie shores next months. What’s exciting you about the tour?
The band keeps progressing with every run, so I’m just really excited to come over there and share it with you. Especially since the last time we came was such a good run for us, so I’m excited to see what kind of growth has happened from then to now. The setlist should be very close to what we’ve been performing here in the States.
Coheed and Cambria is about the union of two people. What have been the moments in your career where you have really explored that core idea?
I think every record. This last one, outside the concept, still is very much about the relationship with two people and how they endure the life and circumstances presented to them. It’s funny, The Colour Before the Sun is an echo of the past two years of my wife and I’s life together. I think back, and that was before she was my wife. She was my muse for a lot of those albums. The fuel is this very realistic love story that falls wrong, and it’s very violent and dark, and that’s where the fiction comes into play.
What fascinates you most about the human psyche and how does that bleed into your music?
With art and music, it allows me to have a voice that I don’t necessarily have in my personal life. For years I’ve just been this introverted individual. Even though in the past I created the concept to hide behind, it allows me to speak my mind freely. I get to be someone else when I start to create.
Was there something in your teen years that fostered that creativity?
I had such a love for things that were fantastic and odd – Star Wars, comic books… so when I started to write music, I always had this hard time just being me in the songs. When Coheed was created, I thought “Here’s my chance to create that overall narrative that would thread through records like chapters”. The concept isn’t force fed in the lyrics, because it all comes from someplace very real.
You can take it as you want to, but the comic books and science fiction counterpart is really there should you want to indulge in it.
Recording the new album live for the first time really gives it character. How challenging was it to expose yourselves like that?
It was difficult for sure because for years I’d been creating records with this disguise around them. But now I’m at 37, and my first venture into fatherhood with my son Atlas played a huge part in some of the material on the record. There was a sense of confidence that allowed the songs to speak for themselves without the concept. So I think it was a little easier for me at this stage of my life.
Before writing the record, you decided to move back from the city to the country and discovered some renters were using your home as a grow house. But that turned out to be an inspiration for you?
Absolutely. I had to man up. At that moment in time, we were awaiting our son and decided to move back out to the country, and we get this cryptic phone call about how people had broken into the house and then we find out it was all a hoax and that the house had actually been vandalised and turned into a grow house.
For me, I was like “This problem is only as big as I make it”. So that moment in time was a huge source of inspiration for songs like “You Got Spirit, Kid” and “Young Love” on that last third of the album.
What have been the most significant experiences you’ve had that have given value to your life?
Marriage and fatherhood are the two big ones, and closer to the end stages. Love has been huge. But us as a band, getting in our van and taking a risk. Still to that day when we decided to get into our first van and try and promote this craft that we had believed in… That was a huge moment in all four of our lives, and we still continue to do it to this day. So those four experiences.
What memorable fan experiences have you had?
One which is a little on the funnier side is a tattoo this young lady had of myself naked riding a dragon right on her neck.
Coheed and Cambria kick off their Aussie tour on May 5 @The Metro, so grab your tickets here.