It feels like only yesterday Cancer Bats were storming up and down the country with While She Sleeps and hitting the stage at Reading and Leeds, but don’t think that’s stopping the Canadian Hardcore legends from bringing the ‘Searching For Zero’ tour back to the UK for one more run of all the best venues.
We managed to catch some time with front-man Liam, about Costa coffee, Travelodges and Bat Sabbath.
You guys are back in the UK early 2016, you looking forward to being back on the road over here? You’ve been coming over here for the last 9 years or so now…
Yeah, that’s the thing that inspired this whole tour and why we are so excited. From having toured for so long in the UK we know all these rad cities and all these awesome venues that we can come back to, and we know it’s going to be a party. So it’s like “hell yeah I wanna go to the Sugarmill” I wanna go to all these places, I’m so excited. This is like the tours we’ve done in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 all these times we’ve come back and played these rad spots and cool cities. I forget exactly, but there are like 22 or 24 shows!
There are a lot of dates! You mentioned the Sugarmill; you’re playing a lot of smaller venues… Is this all about playing venues you want play?
Yeah, that was the whole thing. It was about going back to all these spots that we’ve had such a blast at. When we were talking out the tour it was like throwing great memories into a plan. Our UK booking agent (Ross) was the first guy to book us in the world, even before we had a Canadian book agent. So doing the shows with him, he knows all the places were a stoked on and all the places we’ve had amazing shows at, so this is like a ‘Best Of’ headline tour, that we are all so pumped to go out and do.
You play the Sugarmill, then Nottingham and then Birmingham in the space of three days which are about an hour and a half apart so they must be nice shows to do in terms of getting up and not having to travel far and having some free time.
Oh totally, and that’s the thing too, we know all the spots and the places that we want to go and hang out in all those towns. Like I know where the Costa is in Stoke, and I’m going to go to Monday Mo.Co in Birmingham, we’re going to go to all these places and we know that there is a Travelodge in all these cities. So this is like the lap of luxury tour!
That must be a nice novelty, because in the States you are playing shows that could be 5 or 6 hours apart. So that shorter traveling time must be nice?
Yeah, we love to the UK especially but these are the cities we are so stoked to go to. We’re going to go to Norwich, and we’ll hang out with friends, and I know these awesome kids who were at the last show are going to come and hang out. All of those reasons make you excited to come back and play these shows. Once we’d finished the Sleeps tour we were like ‘argh, this was such a short taste of the UK. We wanna go back and play all these gnarly spots that we love’.
How was the While She Sleeps tour for you guys? The album was just about out, and you were playing new tracks but at the same time you only had an hour set?
All those shows were amazing, that whole tour was the best. Going out on tour with a band that we’ve known for a while and are bros, who kinda have the same mentality for touring as we do is great. Even though we were playing bigger shows, those guys are super punk, and we hung out during the day, riding skateboards and having such a good time with those dudes. I would say our only regret from both camps is that there wasn’t enough UK shows, and that’s the thing when you’re playing the bigger venues- you play the main city. We were so lucky those shows were so packed out, we couldn’t have asked for a better tour. But that’s why for us when we come back, we want to do a gnarly headline run, super fun small shows, packed out with everyone having a good time.
Before you come over, I noticed you’ve got three back to back shows in Toronto. What’s it like for you over there? Are home town shows a big thing?
Yeah, those Toronto shows are going to be awesome. I think in the same vibe that we kind of have with the UK scene, we have a good Hardcore scene in Toronto and Canada and we know we can do some super Punk shows like this. The Hard Rock is like a small bar, so we’re going to play to like 300 or 350 I think is the capacity so it’ll just be all our best friends packed into this bar partying together.
It must be quite cool, to play a show that size and for friends?
Yeah, I’m super stoked. The best part is that we’ve got all our buds to play too, so the Friday night, two of our really good friends’ Hardcore bands are playing and then the next night our friends’ Punk bands are playing. It’s just going to be awesome, and on top of that on the Sunday we get to play with Silverstein at their huge Christmas show! That’s going to be wicked, Beartooth is playing that, it’s going to be super fun.
‘Searching For Zero’ which is the album you are currently touring, are you happy with how that came out and was received?
Yeah, I’ve been super pumped. The reviews for the record have been awesome, and when we’ve been touring it live people have been singing-a-long to tracks like ‘True Zero’ and ‘Satellites’ and even ‘All Hail’ and ‘Devil’s Blood’, people seem pumped on the record which is awesome. For us to have been a Hardcore band for 10 years and put out a record and still have people stoked, I feel like we’re still touring ‘Dead Set On Living’, so many people are giving us tonnes of love on that album and how much it means to them. There are just as many people now that have ‘Dead Set On Living’ tattoos, as tattoos from ‘Hail Destroyer’. We’ve been getting to a lot of spots we didn’t get to ‘Dead Set On Living’ this year, which is awesome.
Before we let you be, one question we got on Twitter. Will we ever see a return of Bat Sabbath?
We’ve done a bunch of Bat Sabbath this year. I don’t know when it’ll come back to the UK, we did a bunch in Australia and even some in Japan, because they never got to see it all. I feel like we’ve been ticking off a bunch of places, as we’ve been touring. At some point, I’m not against it. I love playing Bat Sabbath tracks, it’s super fun especially when it’s all of us just celebrating how awesome Black Sabbath are, it’s all of us just being fans and I think that’s really fun. We did a set of it at Riot Fest this year in Toronto and it fucking killed, I don’t think Bat Sabbath will be something that dies off any time soon.
In terms of next year, you’re touring this. Is that going to be it in terms of touring the album, or do you have bigger tours planned? Or studio time planned?
We’re going to this headline tour for sure, and then I think maybe that’ll be it for headlining. Obviously if we get invited to come and do something awesome, we like doing awesome things. We definitely have some festivals that we want to come over and play, I feel like we’ll take it as it comes.
You can catch Cancer Bats on one of the following dates, there are plenty of them so no excuses.
Mon 11 January – Southend, Chinnerys
Tues 12 January – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
Wed 13 January – Brighton, Concorde 2
Thurs 14 January – Norwich, Waterfront
Fri 15 January – Exeter, Phoenix
Sat 16 January – Plymouth, The Hub
Sun 17 January – Bristol, Marble Factory
Mon 18 January – Bridgend, Hobos
Tues 19 January – Reading, Sub 89
Wed 20 January – Stoke, Sugarmill
Thurs 21 January – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
Fri 22 January – Birmingham, O2 Academy 2
Sat 23 January – Manchester, O2 Academy 3
Sun 24 January – Leeds, Key Club
Mon 25 January – Glasgow, Garage
Tues 26 January – Newcastle, O2 Academy 2
Wed 27 January – Liverpool, O2 Academy 2
Thurs 28 January – London, Tufnell Park Dome