Cancer Bats are on fire this year. Dropping one of 2018’s best punk albums out of nowhere back in April, The Spark That Moves caught us all off guard in the best possible way. Seems these days bands do a much better job of keeping their cards closely tucked into their chest than are given credit for. The element of surprise is like catching lightning in a bottle, you have to act fast, which the Canadian fourpiece executed perfectly a few short months ago. Marking the occasion alongside the 10-year anniversary of their legendary sophomore album Hail Destroyer, the band decided to occupy The Underworld in Camden for four nights straight. Those lucky enough to attend were issued nothing less than a royal hammering not seen since the Luftwaffe took a shine to London’s east end.
Put simply, this band don’t ever stop. Today they stampede onto the Avalanche stage with the likes of Bad Religion, The Bronx and Stray From The Path in one impressive display of punk/hardcore savagery at this year’s Download Festival. How someone with a workload this intense can stay so chipper, fuck only knows, but vocalist Liam Cormier is all smiles today as RAMzine’s met with a genuine bright-eyed enthusiasm – a sentiment that is hardly shared in the stifling mother of all muggy tents that is the press area. Taking five-minutes to chat with us, we touched base on what a lively year 2018 has been for Cancer Bats.
RAMzine: Hey there Liam, great to meet you, man. Cutting right to the chase; there’s been in a trend in bands just dropping albums out of nowhere in recent years. How did you keep The Spark That Moves under wraps so well?
LC: Ha, ha thanks, man. Well, for us it was really easy. We did everything really early on, like the album we only just recorded back in January. We basically just did everything right up until the release date like mixing, mastering, sending it to the pressing plant and so on. We only got it back from the pressing plant two days before we started playing shows and then the record was out – just like that.
RAMzine: There were no promos, posters, teasers; nothing! This is really surprising because there was so much that came with this album.
LC: Yeah, we loaded up a lot of stuff and we made like 11 music videos for every track. We were definitely working really hard on this record. So, by working quickly like that, keeping things secret and under wraps was kind of easy to pull off. It was so punk and DIY ha, ha!
RAMzine: It’s quite impressive to have released a video for every song on top of everything. Each one has its own style and character, how challenging was that to pull off?
LC: We wanted to keep up the vibe of doing something different and doing something fun, pushing ourselves to make something a little bit different. Also, we had the benefit of not releasing singles, which usually kind of dictate what people might think about an album before it gets released. We were like, ‘Let’s just do videos for every song,’ and by doing that there is no single to dictate from, only the record.
RAMzine: Your shows at The Underworld in Camden from what we heard were apparently carnage. Talk to us about those shows.
LC: Yeah man, it was great. We did four nights there for the 10-year anniversary of Hail Destroyerand so many people rocked up for it. It was great and every night was a total party.
RAMzine: After 10 years of Hail Destroyer, how do you see that album now? Do you think it’s your most important to date?
LC: Yeah, I definitely think so. Like, that record pushed us to the next level and we worked really hard on that album as well. So, I guess after 10 years, it shows that hard work pays off in the end.
RAMzine: You’re on one of the most impressive stages today as well. You must be pumped?
LC: Oh definitely. We’re playing with Bronx, Stray From The Path, Bad Religion. All great names, can’t wait to get up there and play.
RAMzine: We think all eyes are going to be on that stage today, what does that mean to you?
LC: It gets me stoked because when I see a line up like that, I’m just like, ‘Oh dude, this is such a party!’ You know people are going to be like hanging out and having a good time all day.
RAMzine: You a big Bad Religion fan?
LC: Oh yeah, for sure. I’m a fan of all those bands. I love The Bronx, those guys are our homies, I just can’t wait to see them tear it up. They’re the best.
RAMzine: I think Download has done a really good job this year of bringing in underground talent.
LC: Oh yeah, for sure.
RAMzine: But the big question is, who do you think is going to headline after what we’ve seen this year? Do you think some of these bands have what it takes?
LC: Oh man, I have no idea. I definitely don’t want to be in those shoes when you have to choose bands and figure out all this stuff. Luckily, it’s always a really good time here with the music no matter what. There’s tons of bands to choose from; like up and coming bands to all the way to the top. You have bands from all over putting out rad records and doing tons of cool shit. It’s awesome.
RAMzine: Will you have time to see any of them today?
LC: Actually, yeah. That’s the nice part about today, when I finish these interviews I can then can go head to our stage and start hanging with our homies and our fans.
RAMzine: Anyone in particular you’ve got your eye on this year?
LC: Definitely going to see Bronx and Bullet [For My Valentine] for sure! It’s going to be a good day ha, ha.
RAMzine: Awesome, man, hope you enjoy. But lastly, before I leave you, your 2018 has been like a bull out of the gate so far, what else do you have planned for this year?
LC: Well we’ve got more touring and tons of stuff lined up, which is going to be lots of fun. Stick around.
RAMzine: Will do. Cheers Liam, appreciate you taking the time.
LC: Hey no problem man, thanks for having me.
The Spark That Moves is out now via New Damage.