Cancer Bats come to Nelson

Toronto's Cancer Bats take the stage at Spiritbar next week.

The Cancer Bats play Spiritbar on Tuesday

Death metal and hardcore punk often comes with the sterotype of angry men yelling and head banging on stage, so before Toronto band the Cancer Bats arrives at Spiritbar on Tuesday, April 3, {vurb} talked with Jaye Schwarzer about who the Cancer Bats really are.

1. What is the most memorable concert you’ve ever been to?

There are a couple that really stand out. Getting to see King Diamond who played with Entombed years ago was really awesome, because the stage was elaborate. There was a graveyard, and smoke. I had never really been to a show like that before. I had never been to a show that was so metal. Metallica had had their shows from the Injustice For All tour. There were pictures with the Lady Justice whose arm was falling, and I had never been able to see any of that. So seeing King Diamond that was pretty wild and the most metal show I’d ever been to.

2. What is one of your favourite memories of being with the Cancer Bats so far?

One of my favourite personal memories was playing with Billy Talent at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, on my 29th birthday in front of thousands and thousands of people it was pretty epic. It was a hometown Toronto show. All of our friends and family were there it was like the biggest crowd we’d ever played to and to play in our hometown was something really special.

3. If you could appear in a line up with any other band living, dead, broken-up etc. who would it be and why?

I guess one of the more obvious ones would be if we could play with Black Sabbath that would be awesome, because they are just a huge influence on us and always have been, and they are one of the biggest metal bands ever. Entombed would be crazy or Sepultura. If we could ever play with Sepultura that would be crazy. We’ve played with the Cavalera Conspiracy but being able to play with Sepultura would be pretty nice.

4. If you weren’t a musician what else would you be?

I think I would either be a carpenter or a mechanic. They were just two things I was interested in doing before I started being able to be in a band that tours as much as we do. I love doing carpentry work and working on cars when I get a chance to, so probably that. Probably a carpenter more so.

5. What is one thing you think people should know about the band that they likely don’t?

We’re not as scary as we may appear on stage. We’re actually pretty nice when you meet us. I think a lot of people see us on stage when we’re head banging and screaming and think ‘Wow, those guys are nuts. Those guys are terrifying.’ Afterwards we’ll go hang out at the merch table and everyone is like ‘Oh you’re actually pretty cool, you’re not just angry.’ People just kind of look at hardcore punk and metal like we’re angry at everything. Some people might be and that’s their thing and I’m not one to say otherwise, but we’re not we’re pretty good guys and we’re easy to get along with.

6. I’m curious where the name Cancer Bats came from.

It was just kind of our singer Liam was trying to combine diseases and animals. He used to work at a call centre and he took a poll and said ‘I have two ideas for the name or our band it’s either Cancer Bats or Pneumonia Hawk.’ Everyone said Cancer Bats so he said ‘Ok, Cancer Bats is the name of my band and Pneumonia Hawk will be the name of a song.’ He’s got a pretty wild imagination that guy.


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