Liam Cormier and Mike Peter of Cancer Bats – photo Brian Banks
Gemma Mastroianni caught up with Liam Cormier and Mike Peters from Cancer Bats at Riot Fest last month to chat about playing their old stomping grounds at Downsview and offer some sage advice to new insta-bands about keeping it real.
So this will be you first time playing Riotfest, how are you guys feeling?
Liam: Excellent, pumped, ready to dominate! We’ve played Downsview Park a couple times so regardless of what it’s called, you sort of know. I mean we’ve played before with Billy Talent and Alexisonfire before when it was Edgefest, which is kinda the same to Riot Fest. Obviously it’s a different setup, but just knowing that it’s like “oh, when we played those we crushed.” So it’s kinda like were not too worried. Not to sound cocky, but its kinda like this is our stomping grounds!
What kind of impact do you want to make on the audience today?
Liam: I want someone to barf; they’re partying so hard that they barf. I’d like one person to barf, and I love to smell weed.
Mike: Oh yeah! Smelling weed while we play especially while we get into the stoner jam is like “What’s that weed smell!?” and you’re like yeah!
Liam: I don’t even smoke weed but I appreciate when people smoke weed while we play because it’s like yeah you were waiting to spark that J to “Lucifer’s Rocking Chair”.
Mike: Yeah! It’s just the best.
Liam: It doesn’t happen that often but I also love when I see a couple making out, I’m like yes!! You guys are so compelled by our jams that you want to makeout. So all of the above; barfing, smoking weed, and people making out, and obviously a pit. I want a sick pit. Especially if it rains, there will be a sick pit.
Mike: I want to see someone slide down the hill.
Liam: I actually want it to rain so bad. Rain brings out the inner maniac in a festival. They’re like “I’ve paid $100.00, I just got my shoes all dirty, I’m in it now.”
What kind of impact do you want your most recent album to make on listeners?
Liam: I want people to smoke, I want people to makeout.
Mike: I want people to have a lot of sex to it.
Liam: I want people to barf while they’re partying.
Mike: I want a lot of sober but fast driving to it.
Liam: A lot of people like working out to Cancer Bats too! We meet a lot of bouncer’s in Canada who are also MMA fighters too, and they’re like “I listen to your records all the time to work out!”, and I don’t work out like I don’t smoke weed, but I appreciate both of those things immensely.
Mike: I would also be honoured if I was watching the news one day and they were interviewing a bank robber that just got caught and he’s like “What drove you to this” and the guy was just like “I just was listening to Cancer Bats all the time and it was in my head and I was like, I’m fucking robbing a bank.” , and had headphones in listening to us when he did it.
Are there any artists here today that influenced you guys?
Liam: Against Me! is a huge one, GWAR, Alexisonfire, a lot of homies too. Tommorrow is a lot of the bands that influenced us like Rancid and Wu Tang Clan.
What’s your advice to band’s just starting out?
Liam: Write really good songs. I think a lot of kids get too excited about what they’re gonna do with their hair, or what shirt they should wear on stage and you’re just like “Well maybe you should learn how to tune!”
Mike: Yeah, or write a good song, an original song.
Liam: Write a really good song that you love but also, play the absolute shit out of it. There is also a lot of bands that we play with that go halfway and it’s like don’t do that, play until you barf. Play until you’re gonna lose your mind or cut your face open because that is what all the band’s have done that are playing this festival. That is the big thing that a lot of kid’s don’t get. You need to lose yourself in it, and play as hard as you can. They’re playing for the Instagram photo. F that.
Mike: The photo happens when you play hard man! [Case in point, see the photos below.]
© Gemma Mastroianni, Music Vice
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