Liam Cormier – Vocals
Mike Peters – Drums
Scott Middleton – Guitar
Jaye R. Schwarzer – Bass
Management - Matt Ash and Craig Jennings with Raw Power Management
Booking - Paul Gourlie with The Agency Group
“We really strived for that raw, off-the-floor vibe this time around,” begins Cancer Bats vocalist Liam Cormier about the mindset behind the making of Dead Set On Living, the band’s most current collection of songs. “It’s really the bridge between our live show and what we put on record.”
Since first turning heads with 2006’s Birthing The Giant, the Bats (Cormier, drummer Mike Peters, bassist Jaye Schwarzer, and guitarist Scott Middleton) have seen both their audience and array of influences steadily expand in new directions, and DSOL is the culmination of the latter. The release brings yet another dimension to the Bats’ menacing style of thrash-tinged hardcore rock, but fear not – the very core of what the band does best is here, and here in a big way.
Returning again to Vespa Studios to work with producer/engineers Eric Ratz and Kenny Luong, the Bats made the conscious effort to track as many parts as possible live-off-the-floor to keep their undeniable chemistry intact. The result is a product that’s as vicious as ever, but boasts a clearer image of each member’s contributions and, in turn, more explosive dynamics and a more lucid focus. “We really locked-in on how we can still be heavy without all going balls-out the whole time,” Cormier explains, perhaps an extension of their Bat Sabbath alter-ego, where the boys perform full sets from the catalogue of the most important metal band of all time (with some extra ferocity, of course).Full bio
Tracks like “R.A.T.S.” (featuring guest vocals from Rob Urbinati of Sacrifice) and “The Void” are laced with the gritty, sludgy groove that first emerged on cuts from 2008’s Hail Destroyer and was refined on parts of 2010’s Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones, while the blistering “Old Blood” roars with the riot-inducing speed and aggression so familiar to the band’s fans. The blazing “Bastards!” also features vocal boosts from DevilDriver’s Dez Fafara and An Horse’s Kate Cooper. “We’ve been very lucky to experiment as much as we have,” Cormier offers, crediting the band’s loyal following for their fortune. “I love that we can have thrash songs, hardcore songs, and the more Queens of the Stone Age or Kyuss kind of groove-based tunes.”
Thematically, the album offers a strong focus on the bilateral relationship of dark and light, destruction and construction, life and death. The title track, for example, refers to a close friend of the band who ended up in the hospital in serious condition, only to have the experience cement his will to survive. “Road Sick,” as the title implies, finds Cormier struggling with the hardships that come with a career spent on the road.
Still, whereas Bears had a much darker tinge, DSOL strikes a tighter balance between the opposing forces and brings listeners closer to the light at the end of the tunnel by encouraging them to push through peril. “We all reach these dark places where we feel angry or alone,” says the singer, “but that gives us a reason to pick ourselves up and strive to make something better.”
The band spent close to 300 days away from home in 2011, and will likely come close to that in 2012, slinging spit and sweat from stages across the world. They’ve already earned two JUNO nods (the Canadian Grammys, including one for Rock Album Of The Year in 2011) along with a slew of other awards and accolades, graced the pages of countless high-profile publications, and shared club and festival stages with the likes of Billy Talent, Bring Me The Horizon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Rise Against, and Alexisonfire.
“We’ve been really lucky to be able to do this as long as we have, so all I can hope for is that we get to continue in that,” Cormier adds. Cancer Bats are in it for the long haul, ready to battle the demons and muses their nomadic life welcomes to appease both their audience and themselves. “We’re very appreciative of our fans and everyone who’s supported us, and I think this album is the best thank-you we could deliver.”
So stoked to play in Kosice Slovakia tonight and Poznan Poland tomorrow!!
Hey Czech us out in Ostrava tonight at the Barrak Club with Vera Cruz and Brotherhood of the lake! Gonna be a banger! So stoked!