I interviewed Cancer Bats vocalist Liam Cormier before their show at the Concorde 2 in Brighton yesterday evening. He was lovely.
PT: How you doing today mate?
Liam Cormier: Yeah I’m really good, how you feeling.
PT: Yeah great thanks. Give us a quick introduction of who you are.
LC: Hi I’m Liam and I sing for the ‘Bats.
PT: So how’s your tour been going?
LC: It’s been rad. We just got off tour for pretty much a month in Europe with Alexisonfire and it was amazing. We’ve been on the road now for the last three months, with Taste of Chaos and everything. It was really great playing that and we were really lucky to get on that side stage. Our booking agent helped us get on it, it was fucking awesome. It was cool because all the bands were really rad, and we just got to hang out with them loads, and we got to meet some really cool dudes. Mike, our drummer is really good friends with all the Underoath guys, so it was rad for him, as he hadn’t seen them in like forever.
PT: I love the whole kind of camaraderie between the bands in the scene these days. I mean look at Taste of Chaos. The whole deal with Fred from TBS being back home, and all the other guys helping out of guitar and vocals that really shows that guys in bands like yours have a genuine bond between each other.
LC: Yeah exactly, when that happened it was like a total no-brainer. I think that’s the thing that’s cool about it all. Everyone comes from the punk-rock and hardcore background so everyone’s got the values. On that tour all of the bands were just really sweet, they’d shout us out every night. When you’ve got bands like Underoath, Alexisonfire and Anti-Flag being all ‘yo check out the Cancer Bats’. That is the raddest thing.
PT: There was a proper buzz about you guys on the whole tour. On a tour like that there’s always one band that all the others are like ‘you’ve got to go check these guys out’, and on taste of Chaos this year it was you guys.
LC: Yeah that’s really sweet. There was another band on the side stage called ‘Lost Alone’ that are from near Nottingham, and they were fucking rad dudes too. They played all the shows we did, and it was really cool to have another band on the sort of same level that we were to hang out with.
PT: What’s it like having seen bands from your hometown like Alexisonfire from your hometown get the success that they’re having. Does that inspire you to work harder?
LC: I think for us, it makes the whole notion of being in a band full-time a lot more real. These are guys that we know. We’ve been going to shows with them for like years and the same with bands like Comeback Kid who we’re all good friends with, so again seeing that happening for them makes that lifestyle seem a lot more accessible to us.
PT: For the most part, the general public can’t relate to bands being in situations like that, but because you guys know a lot of these bands, it seems a lot more realistic for you.
LC: Yeah and I think when you get into the whole routine of touring all the time and doing this stuff; things like coming to Europe and going on tour so far away from home isn’t such a big deal. So when Alexis were like ‘come on tour to Europe with us’, we were just like ‘ok cool, that’ll be rad’. It was just amazing; we can’t wait to go back. And again, on that tour they were like ‘you guys should go to Australia’, and we were like ‘ok, yeah that’d be cool’ and big things like that seem to be a lot more within our reach. Growing up with those guys has definitely helped, and we’re on the same record label as well which has been a huge foot up for us.
PT: Yeah you’re on hassle together over here as well. How’ve they been treating you as a band?
LC: Oh the guys at Hassle have been amazing. We’re really lucky to be working with guys who we get along with. Everyone at hassle is like such a ‘bro to us. They all just get our idea. They understand what we want to do as a band, the tours we want to get on and so on. It helps that they’re guys who are really into it. Everyone that we’ve met at the label just really digs it, and it’s not just a business to them.
PT: So you’re not treated as cash products then?
LC: No not at all, they just see us as guys who they’re helping us do what we want to do. It really helps because they’re all the sort of guys who are at the shows every night, stoked to be watching, and stoked about the record too. You can just tell they’re really into what we’re doing.
PT: About the record, ‘Birthing The Giant’. It’s just dropped over here. How do you think it’s been received?
LC: It seems to be going really good. I mean it just came out so it may be a bit too early to tell, but we’re definitely pleased that so many people are being positive about it.
PT: Exactly, and even though you’re still quite an unknown band, it’s great to see people like Mike Davis on Radio One here namedropping you guys and spinning your records.
LC: It’s really funny though, because where we’re from radio just has no relevance. In North America you get like college radio play, but the idea of a band like ours being on the radio is not something that you think of or even shoot for. When we came over here and everyone’s telling us that we’re being played on national radio we were just like ‘whatever’ and shrugged it off, as we didn’t realise how different the medium is over here.
PT: How about the record for you thought. What are your favourite aspects, or is there anything on there you wish you’d left off?
LC: No not at all, I’m just really happy with how it came out, and I think all of us are. I want the next record to sound even heavier and dirtier…
PT:..If that’s possible
LC: Haha yeah, but that’s just my goal. I’m just super stoked with how it came out. We still listen to it in the van on tour. I’m still proud of it.
PT: You’ve always had this kind of ethos that you wanted to make the dirtiest, angriest, biggest party record imaginable. How do you think you’re faring on that front?
LC: I think it’s rad. Especially when you get people learning the words and genuinely getting into it, that’s amazing. When people say to us ‘before we go out to a bar when we’re getting pumped up, we always listen to the Caner Bats’, that’s the greatest thing because that’s exactly what we were aiming for. It’s the biggest compliment.
PT: Alright mate, finally, describe your band in three words.
Punk Fucking Rock.