Thinking Out Loud: Claudio Sanchez
The Coheed And Cambria frontman on Star Wars, fatherhood and Adele
Claudio Sanchez, 37, is the frontman for Coheed And Cambria. His band recently released their eighth studio album, The Color Before the Sun.
Despite their upbeat prog rock sound, the New York quartet are something of a niche taste in that their music is a conduit for tales set in Heaven’s Fence, an alternate universe created by Claudio. The stories set in this world make up the Amory Wars series, which are brought to life on Coheed’s albums and through the graphic novels he writes with his wife, Chondra Echert. In 2004, he founded Evil Ink Comics to publish their stories.
We find out what ignited Claudio’s love for sci-fi, discuss some Star Wars fan theories, and find out whether he’s passing off his nerdy tastes onto his one-year-old son, Atlas.
“When we were on tour, I predicted that Kylo Ren was Han Solo's son before The Force Awakens came out. If you take Kylo and take it apart, the first two letters are KY, which are the last two letters of the word Sky. Then if you take LO, it’s the last two letters of Solo. That’s Han and Leia’s kid. Something which supported that was when I found out there was an X-wing fighter pilot in The Force Awakens called Ello Asty. It turns out JJ Abrams is a big Beastie Boys fan, so they made the character’s name from their album Hello Nasty. I’m excited for whatever happens in the new Star Wars films. It’s having a resurgence and will be a big part of culture again. It’s cool I’ll get to share it with my son, too.”
"My son Atlas is a year and a half, but he recognises Star Wars characters because his father is a dork! I got him a remote control R2-D2 and BB-8 and he interacts with them as they potter around the floor. And when I have Star Wars Battlefront on the TV and it goes into sleep mode, this thing happens on the screen between C-3PO and R2-D2 and he gets so excited. He loves those two characters and it just makes me happy. He also loves Batman. If he sees The Joker, he starts saying, 'Ha ha ha!'. I shouldn’t force him into liking the shit I do, but we have a good time with him, my wife and I."
"Songwriting is another way to tell a story. Sometimes that story might not fit musically and I can fit that theme into a book. That happens sometimes. Or, those themes will inspire the music, that’ll help support it. It’s a bit of both, it’s a bit of give and take."
"My wife and I write stories together. We’re collaborators in life, so we thought, why not in art too? They’re mostly single issues, but they do get collected in graphic novels. Some of them are not connected to Coheed, but then there are other books that are. We write together because it’s fun. She’s a tremendous writer and so we just help each other out in this medium that we get to share."
"I did a cover of Adele’s Hello for my mother. One day, I was sitting in my mom’s house and I saw she’d bought the new Adele record, and I asked her how it was, and she said, 'I really like it, but I think your record is just as good.' My mother said this, but what else is my mother going to say? I was thinking about doing a cover and I didn’t know what to do, and I thought of that moment and thought, 'Maybe I’ll try my hand at the Adele cover for her.' I did it for my mom."
"It’s tough being away on tour. We do FaceTime, but we’re lucky, we could be living in a different time. Now with technology it makes it easier. FaceTime is a big help, there is still a presence there, whereas 10 or 20 years ago you had to go to a payphone and call. And that would have been a little harder for my son to feel my presence through a speaker. That’s how I perceive it; there’s some sort of visual, and it feels like it helps. At the end of the day, I’m out here to support them and make our lives as good as I can, and my wife understands that. I’m sure my son will when the day comes. It’s hard, but there could be worse things."