When the Times & Transcript caught up with Cancer Bats drummer Mike Peters last week, it was only fitting that the musician was sitting in the Montreal airport waiting to return home to Toronto.
Cancer Bats are a band whose success could be largely attributed to their relentless tour ethic. This is a band that has earned every bead of sweat that pours off of its individual members during their high energy live show. From Europe to the Western and Eastern coasts of Canada, the Cancer Bats live for the live show.
Fresh off a European tour in support of U.K. band Enter Shikari, Peters shares that while not every show was a home run for the group, he feels that he and his band mates Liam Cormier, Scott Middleton and Jaye Schwarzer still made an impression upon their audiences.
“We were very lucky in that for many of the shows, we had our fans coming out specifically to see us,” Peters says. “Playing to another band’s audience can sometimes be trying; we had some really great shows where I am sure we earned some new fans but there were other shows that were a little rougher. No matter what the outcome though, we have to get out there and play to new people. We would never grow the band otherwise.”
Cancer Bats will perform at The O.C., 700 Main St., Moncton, on Thursday, Feb. 14, with The Motorleague, Konjurer and Dance Laury Dance.
With each successive release, it seems as though the Cancer Bats profile grows by leaps and bounds. The band’s most recent effort, Dead Set On Living, was initially released last April, however it is being given a make-over of sorts. This coming Tuesday, the band will release a deluxe edition of the record, tacking on four previously unreleased tracks in addition to the Bat Sabbath EP. If the latter sounds a little close to the name of an iconic heavy metal band, there is a good reason behind that.
While performing at the 2011 edition of the influential Sonisphere Music Festival in Europe, the group was approached about doing an after-hours set that was to consist solely of cover songs. At first suggestion, the group was asked to include a variety of bands including AC/DC and Pantera however organizers soon agreed to the group’s suggestion to perform six songs from Black Sabbath instead.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking to be playing Black Sabbath songs in what was basically their homeland,” he said. “We had jammed on the songs prior but had never played them live which added a whole other level of awareness to the situation. At the end of the night though, we had 5,000 people watching us and fortunately, the show went over well.”
Joking that he and his band mates embarked on the most epic game of paper, rock, and scissors to determine what Sabbath songs would be committed to tape for the Bat Sabbath EP, Peters says that recording Black Sabbath staples such as “War Pigs” and “Iron Man” ended up making the most sense.
While their hearts undoubtedly lie with the Cancer Bats, Peters and bandmate Jaye Schwarzer expanded their musical horizons last year when they joined forces with Moncton native Julie Doiron.
Dubbed Julie Doiron & The Wrong Guys, the group played a series of live shows and released a 7-inch single last September to wide acclaim.
Asked what the project with Doiron offers versus the Cancer Bats aside from musical differences, Peters says the two groups are like night and day but in the very best of ways.
“Playing in a band with Julie is just endless fun and such a cool change of pace,” Peters says. “She is such an amazing singer. To have the opportunity to play with someone who thinks about music and approaches music in a way that is different than what I am accustomed to is great. It proved to be a breath of fresh air for sure.”
Article published in the February 8, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript