Cancer Bats are soft at heart

Cancer Bats By: Sheena Lyonnais
February 11, 2009

Hidden beneath the loud screaming vocals, blaring guitars, Satan references and heavy drum beats is a softer, more intimate side of the Cancer Bats, a sweetness that, when combined with their talent, highlights why they were recently nominated for a Juno Award for New Group of the Year. 

“On one side, I’m like that’s fuckin awesome.  To me being nominated is like winning, we’re thought of in this circle of really talented people and bands that are at a certain level,” singer Liam Cormier said at the FU Awards, where Cancer Bats were nominated for Hardest Working Band and won Song of the Year for “Hail Destroyer.”

“But on the other side, if they were like you are never going to get a Juno for the rest of your life, it would not faze me. It’s not in our game plan.  But if some kid was like I think your band is full of assholes, I’d be more bummed.  That would be more important to me,” he said.

Cancer Bats are an interesting group of characters.  Despite having a graphic name and hardcore music, they’re the spitting image of graciousness and serenity. Two of the four are straight edge, two are vegetarian and all of them seem incredibly happy and optimistic.  They’ve been touring their asses off all year and are about to embark again on another four-month tour throughout the United States and the UK. 

Cancer Bats Live“This tour is actually a lot more relaxed than we’re used to. On our last tour we did England, we did 27 shows in 25 days. You feel really beat up for the first three or four days and then you get into the pace of it and your body just accepts that that’s what you’re life is going to be.  It’s almost like none of those bruises or sore necks start to faze you until you start slowing down.  That’s when you get sick or that’s when something happens,” Cormier said.

It is this constant touring and success that can be attributed to their positive outlook on life.  The recently released, already acclaimed sophomore album Hail Destroyer is a reflection on this, about loving what you have, where you are and overcoming your demons.

“I literally have nothing to complain about.  For the most part, I love my life and all of the opportunities I have had. That’s our biggest thing with this band is to be positive and to always be working your hardest on something is where you’re going to get that success from. You’re the one who is basically determining what your own success is.

Cancer Bats at Punk-O-Rama F-U awards“If you’re like all I want to do is sell out the biggest venue, then you’re just going to be bummed out all the time.  If you’re like all I want to do is love life and have the fuckin best time ever, you know what, you’re always going to be stoked. It’s all up to your own perception. I don’t really give a shit how many records we sell, on paper you want certain things to happen, but if kids are coming to our shows and they’re stoked then that’s it.  If we’re making enough money that I can do this as my life, then fuck it, that rules.”

Cormier is joined by guitarist Scott Middleton, bassist Jaye Schwarzer and drummer
Mike Peters.  They recently filmed a music video for "Deathsmarch" in a warehouse in Toronto to a hundred fans, which should be out sometime next week.

“Tons of kids who are fans who we didn’t even know, but who we recognized from shows were there.  I like to think of those people as also being a part of our band, who have supported us and been to so many of our shows, so now the fact that they get to be in a video as well, its like their recognition. These kids are like fuck it, I love your band, so if anything I want these kids in the front row and there they are,” Cormier said.

One thing that really stood out about Cormier during our interview was aside from being incredibly sweet, he was also blatantly honest and hilarious, especially when it comes to the fact he’s…. getting older.
Toronto Band The Cancer Bats
“I’m 29 and everyone else is 27, 28, so if we’re going to rage for an hour I’m going to make sure I’m pretty limber. I don’t want to blow out my knee or something,” he laughed.  “So there are all these kids who maybe expect us to be punching hookers in the face and chugging beers, and we’ll be stretching for like half an hour before we play to make sure we’re limber.”

Cancer Bats hit Toronto again April 8 at Kool Haus as part of the Taste of Chaos tour.  They’ll be joined by Thursday, Bring the Horizon, Four Year Strong and Pierce the Veil. For now check them out at

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