Coheed And Cambria's Claudio Sanchez on Reading, Pink Floyd and extreme metal

A press shot of Coheed And Cambria in 2016

This month Coheed And Cambria play the Reading and Leeds Festivals, plus some indoor shows. As a kid growing up in New York, were you aware of the Reading Festival?

Only in some disconnected other universe. It almost felt like those festivals weren’t real. So to be able to be part of them is a fantasy come true.

Your career was inspired by seeing Pink Floyd in 1994.

That and seeing Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio were what made me want to do this for a living.

But you also appreciated extreme metal.

I was very open-minded when it came to music. Another huge record for me was Nothing Like The Sun by Sting, and that was practically a jazz album.

Where did the storytelling element come from?

From comic books, mainly. And I tended to stay in on my own a lot [laughs]. I ended up making my childhood fantasies into a big, epic story, The Amory Wars, which has run through the albums.

Was it a relief to write a non-conceptual album with last year’s The Color Before The Sun?

It felt good, yeah. At thirty-eight years old I’m very comfortable with where I am in life. Of all the times to do it, now would be the most appropriate. I’ve always used my records as a route to self-expression, but under cover of a mask. It was exciting to share my autobiographical side.

With its chorus of ‘Nobody gives a fuck who you are’, you sound liberated on You Got Spirit, Kid.

[Laughs] Yeah, I’m having fun. But I always have fun with music. Just as you called I was starting to work on some new Coheed stuff, and that’s exciting. I’m really motivated.

Will this new material return to the saga of The Amory Wars?

I think so. But there’s so much stuff happening in the world it’s hard not to be influenced by some of it. I’ll probably go back, but I’ll also share a little bit of our climate.

Coheed And Cambria add UK dates

Prog Me: Claudio Sanchez (Coheed And Cambria)

Coheed And Cambria: The Color Before The Sun

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.