An Interview with the Canadian metalcore band Cancer Bats for the Vice 2007 Festival Guide.
These guys from various bits of Canada came together a couple of years ago and have been peddaling a mix of rocking hardcore and Pantera style riffy metal around the world ever since in a smelly van doing around 300 shows a year. Although they hang out with real-deal Canadian punks back home like the Brutal Knights, the Cancer Bats have also toured the US with bands like Alexisonfire and have made new best friends with Gallows over here. A bunch of joint tours with their new buddies has led to popularity with a bewildering mix of kids at their screamy live shows from NME reading indie guys to MCR loving Kerrang kids. They are playing Download and the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
The name is kind of weird. Where did that come from?
Liam: We just lined up a bunch of names in columns: diseases and shit in one and animals in the other. It was originally going to be Pleghm Hawk ‘cos I’m really into spitting.
Are you guys secretly into nu-metal?
Liam: We all love stuff like Pantera and Down so maybe that sound comes from there? We’ve toured with guys like Alexisonfire but we’ve also done shows with Converge.
What would you say to all the kids that hate you for doing black and white videos and saying “Lets Do This” a lot and not being real punks?
Liam: They can think whatever they want, we just want to play to as many people as possible. We played a basement show at home recently to 40 kids but people still gave us shit on messageboards. Look at Gallows, they signed a big deal, they still don’t have any money but they get to play all over. That’s all we want.
Half of you are straight edge and half of you party. How does this work at festivals where getting wrecked all day is sort of the idea?
Liam: Usually we all stay straight until we play so doing support shows is good for the guys as they get to start partying at 6pm. So yeah, Festivals can be tough on them I guess, especially as most of the bands are usually fucking awful.