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Coheed and Cambria bringing adventurous music to Chicago

Published: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 4:30 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 5:05 p.m. CDT
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(Provided photo)
The band Coheed and Cambria will perform Saturday at the Congress Theatre in Chicago.

It’s a busy week for New York band Coheed and Cambria.

The band on Tuesday released “The Afterman: Descension,” the second volume to “The Afterman: Ascension,” which debuted last October in the top five on the Billboard album charts.

Coheed and Cambria is touring this week in support of the album, and will play Saturday at Congress Theatre, 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.

Between The Buried and Me and Russian Circles also are on the bill. The show starts at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are $29.98, available at www.ticketfly.com.

Kane County Chronicle reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to interview Coheed and Cambria bassist Zach Cooper, who joined the band last year.

Eric Schelkopf: Did you consider yourself to be a fan before you joined the band?

ZC: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve been a fan for a long time.

ES: The band parted ways with previous bassist Michael Todd on a sour note. He had been in the band for a long time. Did you feel pressure to fill those shoes?

ZC: At the very beginning, when I auditioned, I didn’t really feel any pressure. They were very supportive of just me playing the way I was playing; approaching things the way I would approach them.

So, the whole first couple of months that I was working with them, we were working on these two records and I felt kind of comfortable approaching things with the way I would naturally approach them.

It wasn’t until we started rehearsals for the first tour that I did that I started to feel a little bit of that pressure. We were playing older songs, songs that I had listened to for years, and now I have to stay true to what Mike had played, but do it my own way.

That’s when I started to feel a little bit of that pressure. I just do my best to give them as much justice as I can.

ES: I suppose you guys will be playing a good chunk from the new album Saturday. What should people expect from the show?

ZC: Definitely a good chunk of the set is new material. It being a double record, there’s a lot of new songs to play.

But I think we pretty much cover all of the records in the set.

ES: What do you like about the new record?

ZC: There’s a lot of things I like about it. I like the concept a lot. I really like the story that singer Claudio Sanchez came up with for it. I’m a big fan of the songs, obviously.

I’m just kind of overwhelmed by the whole thing right now. There’s a lot for me to be excited about, especially being new to the process and everything.

ES: In my opinion, Coheed and Cambria is a pretty adventurous band. Is that part of the reason that you like the band, that they are willing to take musical chances?

ZC: Definitely. That’s one of the things that I always liked about them. They’ll take risks.

You get to kind of take chances, take risks, try new things. There’s an adventurous side to them.

ES: All of their albums have basically been concept albums. There’s not many bands willing to do that. Is that refreshing?

ZC: I think it’s kind of really interesting. It’s beyond just being a series of concept albums, and it’s actually a concept driven band, which I think is really cool.

Nobody really does that. Some bands will take a chance on doing a concept record at some point in their career. But the thing I felt was really special about this band was that the whole thing is concept driven.

ES: How do you think the last record fits in with the new record? Do you think they are a good fit together?

ZC: I think they do fit pretty well together. If you follow the story arc, there’s a logical progression with the way the songs sort of go.

But I think even without that, there’s a lot of elements in both records that tie them together, and makes them one cohesive album.

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