Canada’s “Cancer Bats” have been causing a ruckus in their homeland since their inception in 2004. For the uninitiated, their mix of punk, metal and straight up southern rock is something that you NEED to hear.
Even though he’s right in the middle of a huge tour with Bleeding Through, vocalist Liam was able to spare a few minutes to chat with us…
“Cancer Bats” interview
by Cameron Chambers
Interview conducted on
Monday June 4th w/
“Cancer Bats” have been causing a ruckus in their homeland since
their inception in 2004. For the uninitiated, their mix of punk, metal
and straight up southern rock is something that you NEED to hear.
Even though he’s
right in the middle of a huge tour with Bleeding Through, vocalist Liam
was able to spare a few minutes to chat with us…
Hey man, thanks heaps for talking
to us today.
That’s cool man, thanks heaps
for doing this.
You guys are part of a pretty
big tour at the moment, how’s it all been going?
It’s been awesome so far man.
We’ve bro’d down super hard with all the bands. We actually knew
The End and Risky Business before we went on this tour so that was always
going to be cool. This was the first time we’d met Bleeding Through
and they’ve been amazing man. Seriously some of the nicest dudes we’ve
That’s sounds awesome man.
Yeah, the only thing that sucks
is that the tour isn’t long enough!
You know that Jona (from Bleeding
Through) is originally from Australia?
Yeah, Jona’s a wicked dude.
I didn’t actually know too much about Prom Queen, like, I’d heard
of them but hadn’t really heard their music but he definitely shreds
in Bleeding Through.
Not a lot of kids in Australia
would know too much about the Cancer Bats – fill us in on how the band
Well, the band started around
3 years ago. Scott and I had both been playing in metal bands and we
got talking and were saying how we wanted to started a band for fun,
you know what I mean? Something that was a bit more rock n roll and
So yeah, Scott and I were interested
in just doing a fun project and I guess we picked up lots of momentum
really quickly and just took every opportunity that came our way.
Around the same time we started
Cancer Bats Scott’s last band broke up, I wasn’t really doing anything
musically so I had nothing else going on in my life and we were just
like, let’s fucking kill it and do this full time.
We had a couple of member’s
changes to make us a more serious team. Don’t get me wrong, our drummer
was great but we needed someone who was down for touring full time so
we got Mike, who played drums for this hardcore band Figure Four.
That’s sweet, Figure Four
were an awesome band.
Yeah man, it’s funny you should
say that because we just grabbed their bassist as well!
Our original bassist had to choose
between the band and touring full time and his graphic design company
and yeah, the band lost out. There’s no beef or anything like that
though man, his design company is amazing and they still handle all
our merch designs and shit like that.
So it worked out really well because
Bailey (ex Figure Four bassist) doesn’t like working either, so he
fit in perfectly!
I was going to mention the
artwork for your record because it’s fucking rad!
Thanks heaps man.
Andrew handled the entire layout
and this girl Alex did all the illustration. She’s amazing, it literally
took her an hour. We were like “hey Alex, we need some ideas for our
CD booklet” and she was like “oh, ok, I’ll do a picture of a girl
giving birth to a ship” and yeah, that was pretty much it.
It’s just so fucking rad to
be surrounded by so many talented people.
Your bio says that yourself
and your guitarist Scott had been playing in metal bands prior to 2004
– what prompted the change in sound and direction for you guys?
Well, Scott was in a really serious
metal band and I guess it made him want to do something that was more
straight forward. We’ve always loved rock n roll and at that time,
we’d been digging bands like These Arms Are Snakes, The Bronx and
Every Time I Die.
I was in the same boat and wanted
to do something that wasn’t about being technical, something more
basic you know? I wanted something with more groove to it, so it really
hammered home those parts.
Scott had always been a huge fan
of bands like Entombed, Pantera, Down and other stuff like that, so
we had the same sort of idea and was just like, we should do a band!
We wanted to make sure we included
stuff like Bad Brains and Black Flag, you know, the stuff we grew up
on, but yeah, it originally started as something fun to do. I actually
started on drums so it was just me and Scott rocking out!
Were you surprised at the attention
Cancer Bats received – and is still receiving
– so early in the band’s life?
Yeah man, I definitely was, but
at the same time, we were really proud of what we were doing. There
weren’t really a lot of bands doing what we were doing at that time.
Cursed was pretty much the only band in the area that similar to us
so it was pretty different at the time.
We had friends in full time bands,
bands like Alexisonfire who were saying, “you guys should go on tour”
and we were like “yeah, well I hate working” so why not, you know!?
I guess all it really took was
some more popular bands to push us to take the next step, you know,
to take a risk on us and take us out on tour.
I mean the guys in Alexisonfire
are amazing, they took us on our first huge tour for almost 3 months.
It was great because they didn’t just take us as friends (which is
obviously cool) but they took us out because they believed in our band.
It was just so amazing of those guys!
are like royalty down here in Australia
– every tour they’ve done has killed it and they’re really nice
Dude, that new (ish) record rules
and when we toured with them I was blown away every single night. Great
band and good dudes too!
Birthing The Giant is the first
Cancer Bats record that has received a local release here in Australia
– am I correct in assuming that a tour down under is on the cards
sometime in the
We want to get down as soon as
possible man. There are a few things to sort out first though.
We actually need to write another
record here in Canada. The record has been out for almost a year back
home and only like, 2 weeks in Australia, so we need to sort that out
The plan is to take summer off
to write, then do another tour or 2 and THEN record the album. We are
definitely aiming to hit Australia at the end of 2007 or the start of
Would that be opening for a
bigger band or doing your own shows?
Man, I’d rather be playing small
hardcore shows. That’d be a great way to do a first tour of a country.
You know, playing in 200 capacity rooms. Don’t get me wrong, touring
with a bigger band would be great fun but I do miss playing smaller
Have Canada always had this
many great sounding bands or are you guys in the midst of some kind
of musical explosion?
Canada has always had so many
diverse bands. We’ve had so many bands that have started, or help
start genres. Bands like Chokehold, Left For Dead and The Swarm etc…
spawned such a great hardcore scene.
Then we had bands like Grade,
who sparked bands such as Alexisonfire and Silverstein. I think both
those bands would agree that Grade paved the way!
Don’t forget Cursed man!
Yeah bro, Cursed almost broke
up so I’m siked that their new record is actually happening!
But yeah, our hardcore scene has
bands like Cursed, Mi Amore, Fucked Up and Career Suicide. Just so many
Even the indie scene has awesome
bands like The Constantines and Lady Hawk, it’s just awesome!
Dude, Mi Amore is such a cool
band. You’re probably one of 4 people I’ve ever spoken to that even
knows who that band is, ha ha.
That’s awesome that you know
who that band is man! They are amazing!
The operator said we’ve got
2 minutes to wrap this up man, which sucks. I had heaps more questions
That’s cool man. Just get through
as many as you can.
George from Alexisonfire
said your live show was off the hook when I spoke to him a couple of
weeks ago – care to elaborate on that?
We just take it there man, no
matter where we are. If there are 5 kids or 500 kids we definitely just
turn it up, get loud, get dirty, you know. Heaps of headbanging! It
just comes down to the fact that the 4 of us love playing these songs.
Even if no one in the crowd was
siked I wouldn’t care, because I’m still having the time of my life
on stage so yeah, we just fucking kill it!
What’s the most memorable
tour that you guys have been part of so far?
Every single tour we do is different
and fun and amazing. Just the act of doing this is so awesome!
Specifically though, the Rise
Against tour in Europe was incredible. The Bleeding Through tour at
the moment, I mean, they’re both different settings, but so fucken
fun so it doesn’t even matter.
Maybe I’m just too posi for
my own good to answer this question, ha ha.
If you could pick any 3 bands
to tour with, who would it be and why?
Converge, Norma Jean and Murder
City Devils. That’s pretty easy because they’re my three favourite
Funny you should say that,
my friend’s band was named after that record In Name & Blood.
That’s awesome, I’d love to
see those guys play!
broke up recently…
Ha ha, that sucks!
That pretty wraps it up man,
anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for doing this man and
hopefully we can get down there and see you at a show.
Look forward to it bro
For more info on Cancer
Bats check out