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Friday August 1st 2014

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Heed This Warning

By Kate Peterson

It is the same old story with bands on the road; the bus is broken down again. That is just where Coheed and Cambria’s Travis Stever was, broken down in Gainesville, Fla. waiting for the air on the bus to be repaired before heading to Athens, Ga. for the band’s next show when IN caught up with him. He was admiring the other busses in for repair. Guess there is bus envy out on the road.

He had also just gotten off the phone with his wife. “We live in the sticks of New York, and my wife was angry about our dog chasing a bear,” he said. At first, I thought this was some sort of rock ‘n’ roll metaphor I was not aware of, but it was really true, his dog had been chasing a bear.

The trappings of domestic life go on even when you are a rock star.

Coheed and Cambria have over 800,000 fans on Facebook alone. This is a huge following. According to Stever, “We have the best fans. We have some fans that follow every word of every song, and some that just love the music at face value. We are very lucky. Having an audience that is both sides of the spectrum makes it interesting for us to create real songs for fans of music. I am a man’s man kind of rocker and like what we are producing.”

Coheed and Cambria have a concept theme to their music: it tells a story. A sci-fi back-story thought up by Claudio Sanchez, founding member of the band along with Stever. “Sanchez is a lyricist, a storyteller. We have been labeled a concept band, and many have been following the music since day one because of that,” Stever said.

They went through a number of other band formations and names before becoming the band they are today. “Coheed and Cambria was a side project of Sanchez’s and when we were trying to come up with a name for the band, I was wearing one of the shirts for his side project, and we said why don’t we call it this? That is how the band was named.”

Stever went on to say, “We gained a theme with it. So many have followed that, some hardcore fans have the comic books and everything. The bottom line is that unless the music is something you can connect with, the concept part does not work.”

Festivals are a big part of what Coheed and Cambria have been doing throughout their career, though they are not without their ups and downs. “Festivals are tough in a sense, you never know what time of day you will play and what the festival goers have already been through – are they tired, have they been sitting through people they don’t like to see you – their frame of mind, “ Stever said. “As for the best thing: playing with bands we only wished we could play with in the past. All of it is a real honor, the fans and the bands.”

In April of this year, Coheed and Cambria welcomed a new bassist, Zach Cooper, into the family. “We call him ‘Super Duper Cooper.’ He is really making it happen,” Stever said. “Zach walked into some big shoes. He has had to drop right into our road tour, and he is great. Also, Zach is an easy human being to be around – a good dude.”

With all this in mind, what can we expect from a Coheed and Cambria show exactly? “A few new songs and a lot of a mixed batch. We are proud of our music and will play everything,” said Stever. “The band is on top of its game, and I am not plugging bullshit.”

COHEED AND CAMBRIA
Friday 3:15-4:45 p.m., Hangout Main Stage