Co­heed And Cam­bria

With their new al­bum, Clau­dio Sanchez and co. re­turn to the fan-fa­mil­iar sci-fi world of their own mak­ing.

Classic Rock - - The Dirt - Vaxis – Act 1: The Un­heav­enly Crea­tures is out now via Road­runner U K.

With their ninth stu­dio al­bum, Vaxis – Act 1: The Un­heav­enly Crea­tures, Co­heed And Cam­bria re­turn to the Amory Wars uni­verse, a multi-lev­elled series of worlds set in time and space that singer Clau­dio Sanchez spends most of his free time writ­ing songs or cre­at­ing comic books about. It’s also the first of a five-part ‘pen­ta­l­ogy’ of al­bums, which means the band should get back to earth some time in the next 10 years. Sanchez pops back to the planet briefly to ex­plain a few things.

The band’s pre­vi­ous al­bum, 2015’s The Color Be­fore The Sun, didn’t have a con­cept, sto­ry­line or men­tion of the long-stand­ing Amory Wars world. What hap­pened? That was re­ally a state­ment for me be­com­ing a dad. I knew I would never have those feel­ings again the way I did. I re­ally wanted to at­tribute those feel­ings and emo­tions in song with­out the cover of a con­cept. But I al­ways knew that I wasn’t go­ing to aban­don the Amory Wars. I have such a good time liv­ing in that mythol­ogy and writ­ing songs with those char­ac­ters.

Who is the tit­u­lar Vaxis, and what does he want from us?

Ha! Vaxis is ba­si­cally the son of two char­ac­ters, Crea­ture and Sis­ter Spi­der. He has a very rel­e­vant po­si­tion in the Amory Wars uni­verse; we know he’s com­ing, we just don’t know how. This story is the first one, it’s in­tro­duc­ing us to a new cast of char­ac­ters, their goals, their mis­sion, their love in­ter­ests and that’s pretty much it.

Why is the Amory Wars such a piv­otal part of your make-up?

Most song­writ­ers are com­ing from an au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal stand­point, pri­mar­ily, and I just don’t choose to tell my story in that genre. I chose a sci-fi fan­tasy genre, ini­tially just be­cause I was in­se­cure as a front­man way back when. Now I’ve be­come so com­fort­able with it, I find it to be more fun, be­cause I’m al­lowed to take th­ese things and try to form them into th­ese other bod­ies of work.

Is it eas­ier writ­ing an al­bum like the new one than The Color?

All records are hard be­cause they’re com­ing from a per­sonal spot. With Color,

I was hav­ing such a hard time with my en­vi­ron­ment. This time around, the strug­gle was where in the story I wanted to put this thing – was there even a place? So every record’s go­ing to have its hur­dle.

“When I lis­ten to the new al­bum, it re­minds me of those

older records.”

You said that work­ing on this record re­minded you of be­ing younger again. What do you mean?

When we did the early al­bums, there was no sched­ule and I didn’t feel the pres­sure of be­ing a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian. With this one, I wanted to take some time off. And when I lis­ten to it, it re­minds me of those older records. Not be­cause that’s what I was striv­ing for, but that’s what hap­pens when I’m given the time – it al­lows me to sort of ex­per­i­ment and try and live with things a lit­tle longer. That part of me is al­lowed to come out, I guess.

You were de­lib­er­ately try­ing to avoid that cre­ative burn-out?

Ab­so­lutely. I wanted to feel ex­cite­ment in cre­at­ing mu­sic, it was im­por­tant to me. I wanted to feel the pres­sure and an­tic­i­pa­tion of cre­at­ing some­thing again; putting your­self back into a maze that you’re try­ing to find your way out of. PW

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