Tuesday, February 8, 2011


"Cancer Bats have come to destroy. Fueled by a burning desire to rage harder, play louder and have more fun than any other band, Cancer Bats mix hardcore, southern metal and punk rock into a lethal rock and roll explosion."

This may be what their official Facebook group says, but how does that expression go? Nothing on Facebook (or the internet) is ever written in stone. Not that the four bats (drummer Mike Peters, guitarist Scott Middleton, vocalist Liam Cormier, and bassist Jaye Schwarzer) aren't dangerously cool. Even though they shook stages loose at epic shows like Edgefest and alongside Canadian rock legends like Rise Against, Billy Talent, and Alexisonfire, don't be fooled by their excruciating tattoos or screeching (or original choice of name). Because beneath all that noise and fabric fat lies the muscle, heart, and mind of optimistic lyrics and thoughts that can blast loudly from deep inside.

Yeah, they know what they're talking about. Being recently nominated for the 2011 Juno Award "Rock Album of the Year" for "Bears, Mayors, Scraps, and Bones" - alongside familiars like Matthew Good and Finger Eleven (thank you very much) - it's been a long and well-deserved ride for Cancer Bats, who have been working since 2004 - and through from their previous albums (2006’s Birthing The Giant and 2008’s Hail Destroyer) - to finally their debut full-length record "Birthing The Giant." Cancer Bats are living proof that a positive attitude really does make a difference in how successful you become. "Not every man is angry, so it's more of a positive spin," Liam explains, when asked about their internal angst. Their positivity is evident in their lyrics and not so much in their sound, their songs posing as oxymorons to the stereotype of conventionally aggravated metal music and band members. "There's positive and negative, but we focus on the positive, because of the preconceived notion that metal has to be negative. Even the negative ideas in our songs show positive outcomes."

More specifically, though, not only are Cancer Bats' songs about these "misconceptions (derived from) yelling and loud noise (in metal music)" but issues they have personally dealt with, including robbery. " 'Trust No One' is about my (literally) being robbed, which happens alot when you're on tour," Liam points out. But, songs like "Scared to Death" actually benefit from crucial epiphanies that suddenly strike under life-altering circumstances. "It's less about fear and more about the good things you have - what's more important to you, if you were faced with dying i.e. the people you love. Nothing materialistic matters, especially in that situation - in that moment you're dying..."

...Which leads to their other song appropriately titled "Regret" (off the album Hail Destroyer), which also makes you realize that you should look at the hourglass half-full and not half-empty - especially when you can't turn back time and reverse decisions you've already made. "We have no regrets, because we realize we had to go through it, in order to get to where we are now. So, there's no point in regretting things."

"I have no regrets. I'm happy with our band and plan on continuing what we love, having fun and touring," Liam speaks smiling through the phone. Alas, don't dwell on the past, when you can focus on the future.

And the future looks bright indeed - starting with a Juno nomination and an album "Birthing the Giant, which is now available on Distort Records (Canada), Abacus Recordings (US), Hassle Records (UK and Europe), and Shock Records (Australia).

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