Interview with Mic Todd of Coheed and Cambria

Before Coheed and Cambria’s headline set on the Kerrang Tour at Manchester Academy, I managed to penetrate the tight security of the band’s tour bus to grab a quick word with bassist Mic Todd and ask him a few things about the band’s past, present and future.

GW: Are you a fan of the other bands playing tonight?
Well Circa Survive we’ve played with a few times and they’re great. The other guys I’d not really heard of before this tour.

GW: Is there any future for Coheed and Cambria beyond the next album as it finished the Amory Wars story?
I don’t know really, it does finish the story and tie things up, or actually goes back to the beginning and ties things up, but I don’t think the band will just end there. I’m sure we’ll all play together for as long as we can.

GW: Do you write songs with the story in mind or are the lyrics added separately?
The songs are written separately to the lyrics. I mean, there might be a general air around it, we might write within a certain mood but the lyrics are written totally apart from that. It’s very much Claud’s story with the comic books and everything so we don’t really get involved with that side of it.

GW: You left the band for a few months in 2006 – was the band you came back to very different from the band you left?
Yeah, I think so. Obviously Josh left at the same time and he was replaced with Chris Pennie so there was a different vibe when I came back which was a bit of a relief. There’s a different dynamic of course when you change people so yeah it was different but I was glad of that.

GW: Chris wasn’t available for the recording of the last album though – what was playing with Taylor Hawkins like?
It was great, Taylor’s a great guy and a great drummer. He fit in with exactly what we were trying to do and did an amazing job. Obviously we’d have preferred to play with Chris and keep it within the band but in his absence Taylor was just a perfect choice, we got really lucky.

GW: Do you think if Chris wasn’t available next time you’d like to play with him again, or maybe tour with the Foo Fighters?
I’d love to tour with the Foo Fighters. But Chris is doing the next record and I can’t wait to do that because a lot of things happen in the studio, there’s a lot of writing and everything gets changed, so I’m excited. But for some reason if Chris couldn’t play, I’d definitely go for Taylor again.

GW: So what genre do you see yourselves as part of? You often get put in the prog-rock and metal brackets, so do you agree with those?
Yeah, there’s a lot of different styles of each record, some pop songs and some pretty hardcore songs, so whatever falls under the blanket of rock, I think we fit in there.

GW: Who do you think are your contemporaries in the music scene at the moment?
You know, I don’t really know, I don’t really see a lot of people doing anything similar. We kind of don’t fit anywhere, or we can fit in everywhere. It’s all just bits and pieces of what we do. We’ve just always tried to make music that we like, and that’s a wide variety of things. We’ve never really aimed towards anything and I think that’s why it’s so broad. It’s very organic.

GW: And what genre will your solo stuff be?
Towards the folkier side of things really. I’m a fan of a lot of the female folk singers. Ani De Franco I kind of grew up listening to and I really like Ingrid Michaelson and that kind of thing.

GW: What’s your favourite song to play and will you be playing it tonight?
Yes, No World For Tomorrow is my favourite one to play. It’s the opening track on the new album, it’s just a really fast-paced song and a lot of fun to play. And we actually have girls with us doing backing vocals so it relieves me a little bit of the singing. It is pretty hard, Claud’s a hard guy to sing with!

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