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Coheed and Cambria.

CAN WE STOP PRETENDING, just for a minute, that Connor Oberst's personal life is all that fascinating? 'Cause I am sure it's not. Same goes for Dashboard Confessional and Ryan Adams. Good song writers, sure, but all this incessant celebration of their inner struggles and deconstructive wit amounts to just retro-auteur pandering. Enter Coheed and Cambria, whose The Second Stage Turbine Blade depicts the inner workings of some far-off galaxy, sort of like if Blade Runner had an indie rock soundtrack.

"Me, personally, I don't think that my personal life is all that interesting," laughs Claudio Sanchez, the band's singer, second guitarist, and chief songwriter.

Hailing from the sleepy, rustic towns of Nyack and Kingston (which are a couple hours out of New York City and an hour away from each other), Coheed and Cambria--including guitarist Travis Stever, bassist Michael Todd, and drummer Josh Eppard--is sort of like a darker, more contemporary Styx without Dennis DeYoung's Broadway affectation or pouf stage personae. While technically a "concept" band, Coheed and Cambria combine the slick, post-hardcore prog rock of Into Another with Sarge's poporiented, indie sound.

Like all good fiction, the concept here centers around what happens when its two central characters, named Coheed and Cambria, are faced with an extraordinary set of circumstances. "Basically. Coheed and Cambria play like an Adam and Eve to this crazy science fiction world that we are putting together. It is kind of like The Bible meets Romeo and Juliet meets Star Trek," explains Sanchez. Simple, right? Not exactly. The Second Stage Turbine Blade. the band's first full length record, is actually the second episode in a four-part mini-series percolating in Sanchez's noggin. "They find out that they've been betrayed, having done something that they never wanted to but had to for the fate of mankind. They find out that they didn't have to play a role in this game at all," explains Sanchez.

While scenesters in various internet chat rooms are all abuzz about the fate of these two characters and the band is beginning to plan a set of comics that track the story, Sanchez and crew are quick to downplay any notion that they are a bunch of Star Trek conventioneers. "Obviously, we are big fans of Star Wars, Aliens, Nightmare on Elm Street, and comic books, but its not like if you sat me down with science fiction and horror trivia I would be a fucking whiz at it and get it all right," he says with equal parts genuine appreciation and flack-you-attitude. Rather, they are more apt to talk about music than Dune. "There is not a whole lot of science fiction in my bass line," sniffs Todd, who points out that the legendary Bad Brains guitarist Dr Know, just another "local musician" up in Woodstock, lent a hand on the album's first track, "Time Consumer."

Still, the made-up world of these two characters is an interesting draw and its ongoing evolution will obviously parallel the band's growth. As for the next episode of the Coheed and Cambria saga, which is due out in the latter part of 2003, Sanchez is naturally tight-lipped. "I would give it away if I said what would happen to those two characters," he says smiling "The next deals more with their relatives and, like vengeance Relatives and vengeance--much cooler than Ryan Adams' love life, to be certain.
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Author:Epstein, Joseph
Publication:Thrasher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2003
Words:562
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