Unbelievable stage presence. Unfaltering kindness towards their fans. A solid knack for humor. The list could go on and on - Canada's own Cancer Bats are just that awesome.
Now, because they weren't already cool enough, they're taking things up a notch and hitting the road with their Double Header Bat Madness tour on which they’ll not only play as themselves, but also as their alter ego, Black Sabbath cover band Bat Sabbath, every night. The thought of that alone makes us both excited and sleepy on their behalf.
We sat down with frontman Liam Cormier to get the scoop on alter egos, superhero capes and what would happen if evil bats attacked the band. Best. Interview. Ever.
As if touring wasn’t strenuous enough, you’re actually going to play two full sets every night for Double Header Bat Madness - how did that idea come about?
Over the years, we've done lots of double sets, triple sets, even six shows in one day, so when we were figuring out who we should bring on our next headliner, Mikey, our drummer, said, "We should just support ourselves and do Bat Sabbath every night!".
Both sets are so different that it’s not as strenuous as you'd think. The Cancer Bats set will be the intense warm-up and Bat Sabbath will be the after party cool-down!
When you first decided to create an alter ego, were there any doubts about which band you wanted to pay tribute to?
The idea was first presented to us by the organizers of the Sonisphere Festival in England - they wanted us to do a cover set on the Sunday night for all those still wanting to party. The offer was that we could cover whomever we wanted, so we figured Sabbath would be a blast and just went with it. Now, four years later, here we are.
Did you have any inkling of just how well Bat Sabbath would be received?
We had no idea it would catch on the way that it has. We originally thought we would play a 30-minute set of covers in England and that would be the end of it, but thanks to the Internet, word spread and people were really pumped on the whole idea. So we've since added another hour’s worth of Sabbath covers and played [them] in Canada, the UK and all over Europe.
Will you be covering even more Sabbath songs on this tour than on the last Bat Sabbath run?
We've actually spent this downtime learning more Sabbath for our arsenal. We really want to be able to play different sets each night for all those people planning on coming to multiple shows. So different Cancer Bats sets each night and different Sabbath sets to follow.
When you’re swapping frontman duties between Cancer Bats and Bat Sabbath, are there any major mindset changes you need to make? Or does the cape do it all? It will be back on this tour, won’t it?!
A full costume change will be in order for sure, and LOTS of smoke! That way people know for sure they're seeing the all-mighty Bat Sabbath! And yes, the cape will be in full effect! I'm trying to make an even more legit one, than the XXL T-shirt I ripped into a cape for the last string of shows. But I may just end up using a XXXL shirt this time.
Imagine this: The band gets attacked by killer bats and you’re the only one who survives. You’re then forced to recruit new musicians - who do you choose?
Oh man, I would be so bummed! All my best buds are dead! I think in their honour I would just play the saddest goth jams. Just me and a keyboard, crying by candlelight. I'd call it Asshole Bats Murderized My Homies.
What’s next? Are you thinking about the new record yet or just dreaming of napping?
We've actually been relaxing all summer long! Now that we've had our fill of cottages, camping and motorbikes, we're ready to start thinking of a new album. We'll spend the winter in jam room hibernation, banging out more party jams.
Double Header Bat Madness tour dates:
9/30 - Victoria, BC - Club9ONE9
10/1 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
10/2 - Calgary, AB - Commonwealt
10/3 - Red Deer, AB - The Vat
10/4 - Edmonton, AB - Pawn Shop
10/5 - Lethbridge, AB - Average Joes
10/7 - Regina, SK - The Exchange
10/8 - Saskatoon, SK - Louis
10/10 - Winnipeg, MB - Pyramid
10/11 - Thunder Bay, ON - Black Pirates Pub
10/17 - London, ON - RumRunners
10/18 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
10/19 - Ottawa, ON - Mavericks
For more, visit www.CancerBats.com!