Coheed, Cambria Biography
Coheed and Cambria (sometimes abbreviated to "Coheed", "the Heed" or "Co&Ca") is an American rock band from Nyack, New York, Woodstock, New York and Kingston, New York. Coheed and Cambria has released three studio albums, one live album, and various special-edition re-releases. Their albums are concept albums, telling different parts of the same story. So far, they have planned four albums for The Amory Wars, the current storyline running through the songs. To date, three studio albums have been released: The Second Stage Turbine Blade (2002), In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003), and Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (2005). These albums make up the second, third, and half of the fourth parts of the four-part saga of Coheed and Cambria, respectively. The albums are being released out of sequence; the second part was released first, and the first part will be released last. Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One is the first half of a two-part conclusion to the saga, which will be followed by the story's introduction. The prequel's title is rumored to be "The Bag On Line Adventures," although this could have been changed to The Amory Wars.
When a band called Toxic Parents, featuring Travis Stever and Claudio Sanchez, dissolved around the same time as Nate Kelley's project, Moe & The Boogie Cats (who disbanded after their lead singer left New York to join a UFO cult in Arizona), the members came together to form a new band in March 1995.
The band was Beautiful Loser, and it featured Travis Stever on lead vocals and guitar, Claudio Sanchez on guitar, Nate Kelley on drums and Jon Carleo on bass. The group was short-lived, breaking up by June of the same year they started the band, due to an argument over gas money. Stever left the band, and Kelley was initially kicked out, but came back when asked by Sanchez. Without Stever, the band became a trio, and Sanchez took control of the lead vocals and guitar.
Renaming themselves Shabütie (a name taken from African tribe chants for "naked prey" in the film Naked Prey), the band spent nearly a year experimenting with a multitude of different sounds—punk rock, indie rock, acoustic rock, funk and heavy metal—and reportedly wrote as many as 100 songs, few of which they kept. When Carleo left the band in August 1996, Kelley recruited Michael Todd, with whom he had worked on an acoustic side project called Esme 9, to take his place. Todd, primarily a guitarist, picked up the bass specifically for Shabütie.
With this near-final formation of the band, they entered their most productive and mature period. According to Kelley, the band sometimes wrote up to seven new songs in one five or six hour sitting. Also during this period, the band put out its first public release, the Penelope EP (in 1999) and Stever rejoined the band on second guitar, making them a four-piece once again.
Around 1999, the band members had developed a habit of drinking too heavily during shows, and the quality of their performances declined. During one such show, Sanchez allegedly screamed the lyrics of the song "Life Without You", a Cassiopeia-esque ballad, prompting Kelley to pack up his drum set in front of a packed audience and leave the stage. Thus, on February 19, 2000, Shabütie's original lineup, apart from Sanchez, was gone.
Following Kelley's departure, Sanchez and the others chose Josh Eppard, then of the band 3, to take his place. They finished out the year and performed halfway through 2001 before changing their name to Coheed and Cambria and releasing the Delirium Trigger EP, and the history of Shabütie was finished. The band now consists of four members: Claudio Sanchez (vocals/guitar), Travis Stever (guitar), Michael Todd (bass/backing vocals), and Josh Eppard (drums). When playing live, Dave Parker (keyboards/guitar), joins the lineup. The group primarily uses these standard instruments, but occasionally their songs call for a lapsteel or a mandolin. They also use a special device called the talk box in several of their songs.
Josh was unable to make their 9th June slot at the Download Festival in the UK due to illness. A few days later, Coheed issued a statement cancelling the Barcelona and Essen legs of their European tour.
On August 1, 2006, the band released this statement in the form of a Myspace bulletin with the strangely uninformative title "Coheed Tour Update":
"For the upcoming August dates, due to personal reasons, Mic and Josh will not be performing with Coheed and Cambria. Instead, Claudio and Travis will be joined by Matt Williams (who formerly teamed with them in the band Jumblehead - from Nyack, NY) on bass and our beloved MP (ex-Samiam) on drums. "We'll discuss their future at a later date, but right now, all we want to do is to get out and play for our fans," Claudio said. 'Travis and I are excited to share the stage with Matt and MP, because they add a new flavor to the songs and it makes performing them even more fun.'
Coheed and Cambria will begin working on a new album this fall."
The new album, to be called "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV Vol. 2", is due to be released sometime in 2007. This leaves the last album (the prequel) to be released. Debate has been intense as to what they will name this record, either The Bag On Line Adventures or the Amory Wars.
As of November 2, 2006, the band has released an official statement declaring that the rumors of drummer Josh Eppard and bassist Mic Todd leaving are true. In the announcement the two current replacments for Josh Eppard and Mic Todd were announced as Matt Williams on bass and Chris Pennie from The Dillinger Escape Plan on drums.
Sanchez has stated that he is influenced by bands such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, and Iron Maiden. Metal Hammer magazine dubbed the band the "new Led Zeppelin" on the front cover of issue 153. Many people consider this an insult to Led Zeppelin as most people find Coheed to have absolutlely nothing in common with the once mighty rockers. Coheed is considered by many to be an emo band due to Sanchez's singing style. Led Zeppelin, on the other hand, was a heavy blues based band.
Coheed and Cambria's concept albums tell a story, but its details can be difficult to decipher, leading to a morass of speculation by fans spurred on by cryptic lyrics and hints from the band. For example, some fans have suggested that Sanchez's higher vocals reflect the teller of the story (a young boy). Those fans point out that now that the storyteller has grown up in the new album, Sanchez's vocals have become slightly lower in pitch. This theory has since been discredited by Claudio Sanchez in a radio interview found at http://www.cobaltandcalcium.com.
The meanings behind Coheed and Cambria's lyrics are explained in the form of a two comic book series, The Bag On-Line Adventures of Coheed and Cambria, and a graphic novel, Good Apollo I'm Burning Star Four Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness.
Due to the loss of both illustrators, however, the comics will be rewritten under a new alias, "The Amory Wars", which is due in Feb. 2007.
Includes work done as Shab?tie.