Can­cer Bats mix­ing deep cuts with re­cent tracks on cur­rent tour

Toronto punk out­fit en­joys com­par­isons be­tween new al­bum and land­mark de­but

Edmonton Journal - - YOU - TOM MUR­RAY

For Liam Cormier, it’s all about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween band and fan.

“It’s amaz­ing when some­thing I write that has such per­sonal mean­ing to me can mean some­thing com­pletely different to some­one else,” the lead vo­cal­ist for Can­cer Bats muses over the phone from Brighton, Eng­land, where the fourpiece punk-metal unit is pre­par­ing for an­other packed show on their cur­rent tour. “It’s a con­nec­tion, and that’s some­thing that we al­ways keep in mind when we’re writ­ing — how we can con­nect with the au­di­ence.”

The Toronto-based band has been con­nect­ing heav­ily with their au­di­ence since the re­lease of their sopho­more al­bum, Hail De­stroyer. A pop­u­lar and crit­i­cal suc­cess, the record ended up on mul­ti­ple year-end lists, gather­ing a de­voted fan base that has sus­tained them through the four al­bums since. Hail De­stroyer was such a touch­stone that the band de­cided to em­bark on a tour cel­e­brat­ing its 10th an­niver­sary this year.

But wait. While they were mak­ing plans to tour Hail De­stroyer, they were also se­cretly putting the fin­ish­ing touches on a new al­bum. The Spark That Moves, their sixth re­lease and first on their own la­bel, Bat Skull Records, was dropped out-of-nowhere April 20, right in the midst of all the hul­la­baloo sur­round­ing the an­niver­sary tour. Cormier says this was a de­lib­er­ate move on the part of the band, a “per­fectly planned sce­nario” that left fans and mu­sic writ­ers both sur­prised and pleased.

“The songs from the new al­bum have been go­ing down re­ally well live,” Cormier says. “Au­di­ences have been lov­ing them. The funny thing is that a lot of peo­ple are mak­ing huge com­par­isons be­tween Spark and Hail De­stroyer, which is awe­some. There’s a sim­i­lar vibe go­ing on with those al­bums, which is some­thing we kept in mind while record­ing. We looked at what we do best in our writ­ing, and kept those ideas in mind. Even when you’re pro­gress­ing, you should al­ways look back at what works for you.”

The Spark That Moves has grabbed ex­cel­lent re­views across the board, and for good rea­son. It’s an in­stant high­light in the discog­ra­phy, at times ref­er­enc­ing the more re­cent, sludgier al­bums while hear­ken­ing to their hardcore past.

“We felt like we wanted to step up to the bar and write songs that stand with our best,” Cormier says. “That be­ing said, it’s not like we wanted to write Hail De­stroyer Part 2, be­cause that’s been done al­ready.”

It’s been a blast for Cormier and the rest of the Bats ( gui­tarist Scott Middleton, drum­mer Mike Peters, bassist Jaye R. Sch­warzer), play­ing a large chunk of Hail De­stroyer, and get­ting to the deep al­bum cuts they haven’t looked at in years. The ti­tle track has been a fix­ture on their set lists right from the start, a fan favourite that they’ll never escape, and they ’re com­pletely fine with that. They’re also more than happy to throw in their beloved cover of the Beastie Boys’ clas­sic Sab­o­tage near the end of the show, or do en­tire tours where they cover Black Sab­bath songs as Bat Sab­bath.

“I like how peo­ple have now com­bined both Bat Sab­bath and Can­cer Bats in their minds, so that it’s seam­less to them. Those shows are fun, and it of­ten gets peo­ple who only know us from Bat Sab­bath lis­ten­ing to our mu­sic. Like, they’ll show up at a Can­cer Bats show not know­ing what we do and end up lov­ing it. If it was just me and Mikey (Peters) do­ing the Sab­bath stuff, it would be some­thing else, not so much fun, but the fact that we’re all in makes it good.”

ASAD AMAN

Pop­u­lar Cana­dian metal group Can­cer Bats, fresh off a new al­bum re­lease, will be bring­ing the noise to the Star­lite Room on Fri­day.

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