Menu Close

[AltWire Interview] Josh Eppard of Coheed & Cambria

The_Color_Before_the_Sun_album_coverArguably one of the best progressive rock bands to grace this generation of music, Coheed and Cambria boast an impressive list of accomplishments: eight studio albums, three live albums, a complete series of comics books, a full length novel, and multiple special edition releases all since 2001. Their most recent album, The Color Before the Sun, was released this past October and was the band’s first non-conceptual album. The record was widely successful, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Top 200 and #1 on the US Top Rock Albums (Billboard). Recognized for their sci-fi conceptual backstory to their previous albums and front man Claudio Sanchez’s luscious hairdo, the group is well known, well respected, and well loved by their dedicated fans who identify as The Children of the Fence (a reference to the Amory Wars series).

Drummer Josh Eppard agreed to sit down with Altwire to discuss everything from the newest Coheed album to his solo rap endeavor, Weerd Science, his next rock project and his hopes for the year to come. Josh is an incredibly talented musician in his own right. A bit of a prodigy, Josh picked up his first pair of drum sticks at age ten and began making music early with the guidance and encouragement from his musically-inclined family. Now a well-rounded musician, Josh has dabbled in multiple genres, picked up a plethora of different instruments, and fronted or collaborated on countless projects and records. Eppard started his tenure with Coheed and Cambria back in 2000 and was with the band until his departure in 2006. He later returned home to his band in 2011 after overcoming what he has openly admitted to being a personal battle with drug addiction to begin recording Afterman: Ascension and Afterman: Descension.

AW: Let’s start by talking about the change in sound on this album. For some fans the change on The Color Before The Sun came as a shock. Some feel it’s surprisingly light considering the typically darker nature of your music, or just doesn’t fit with the brand that Coheed and Cambria has made over the years.  Was there anything specifically that sparked the movement away from The Amory Wars story and towards this new, more personal album?

Josh Eppard [Coheed and Cambria]: First of all, I’d like to note that’s definitely not fans over thinking.  There is clearly a different sound to this record, and I think it was a conscious effort. Coheed has always had those kind of moments on our records. They just were blended with the more, kind of darker fare, and with me personally, Derek, I gotta tell you, my favorite element of Coheed is the darker stuff. So this came as a shock to me as well. And then I really fell in love with the songs.  With songs like Colors, there is still a darkness, but I just think maybe it’s not so, “on the nose”. A song like Colors is both extremely dark and beautiful, but to me it conjures up the same feelings as some of the more overtly dark Coheed material. I think in Claudio’s mind, he wanted to write a more concise kind of pop record. And he did.

Now, given that you’ve had the opportunity to kind of work on both styles, do you prefer performing and writing music that deals more bluntly with personal, intimate emotions, or music that tells a conceptual story and follows a narrative?

JE: Well, that’s the thing, we never wrote a Coheed record that just followed a narrative. It was always deeply personal and with this I’m talking about albums like Second Stage Turbine Blade, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth, etc. In those albums there was always a very personal thread within and I think Claud would tell you that’s kinda why he concocted the story. It was to hide that. Y’know we had made Second Stage Turbine Blade and nobody had ever heard of this ‘story’. And then one day in an interview Claud said “Well it’s actually all a story” and we were all like “What? Whats this about a story”? and he told us that he had wanted to do that. Which is funny because I remember hearing about a band doing that and we were kinda laughing at them but that’s a totally different story. But yeah, it just kinda came outta nowhere.

I think with this record [The Color Before The Sun], to say there was no story was incredibly brave on his part because he’s ultimately just a shy guy. Before, I think he was kind of afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve like that and was like “oh there’s this story” but now the story has kind taken on a life of its own. And it’s something that he creates with his wife and they really like the story. But as far as making the records it’s never really come up for me. It’s more of a lyrical thing. Every record is the same. I’m always trying to put forth the best performance that I can. So to say a record like IKS that we were sitting around talking about a story just isn’t true.  I mean there’s tons of personal DNA intertwined in those songs and I think that’s how Claud writes. Even in the most fantastic, kind of, Amory Wars saga songs I hear the personal DNA. I know where some of this stuff is really coming from. So he’s always written from a personal viewpoint. So it wasn’t really all that different.

The only difference was that after the fact he didn’t say “ok, there’s a story”. And he and his wife could have easily turned TCBTS into a story.  That’s why I think it’s a brave and bold move on their part.  For Claudio to say “there is no story, this is what it’s about, I’ve had these things happen in my life that are huge” like having his first son. And to me, the record is about Atlas, his kid, and he didn’t kinda want to muddy up that water with a second tier with this story that kind of followed along. It was to be taken for what it was. And even though I say that for me personally, the more darker stuff speaks to me, I was still incredibly moved by this collection of songs knowing that Claudio had his first son and that he wrote some really beautiful songs. The song Atlas is one of my all-time favorite Coheed songs. So I don’t want you to get me wrong and think that I think this record is just a pop record.  Atlas to me sounds like it could have been on Second Stage Turbine Blade. There was some really kind of interesting esoteric Coheed DNA on The Color Before The Sun as well.

AW: Well that was an awesome answer! Thank you, man. One thing that I think is awesome, is that you guys have been together as a band for nearly two decades and have released many records during that time. While some bands have ultimately seen fluctuations in their popularity, you guys actually have remained largely successful with even a few of your recent albums peaking in the top ten.  Do you think that’s a testament to the versatility of the band or to the ferocity of your fan base?

JE: I think we struck a chord with people. I think it speaks to a very certain kind of person. Usually a very creative person. A person who hurts. Life is pain for everybody at some point , even those who are most happy with their life, and somehow Coheed struck a chord with those people and they stayed with us. We’re the luckiest sons of bitches on this planet. Whenever I’m a little tired on the road, or I’m just like “oh god another day, another show” I just think about that and it instantly perks me up. Instantly.  And it really works.  And I’m just like “don’t you dare complain about this, you are the luckiest.  All of us.  Claudio, lucky.  Zach?  Super lucky.  Travis?  Lucky.  Josh?  So lucky that we get to do this.  And it’s the fans who are the reasons we get to do this.  And it’s also because of, obviously, the music, but it spoke to people in a way that it resonated and they held on to it. I’ve had songs that I was in love with. I mean, I’d go see a band every time they came around for 10 years. And our fans do. And I just never wanted to be that guy in a band who forgets that.

Everybody who wins an award is like “oh we have to thank the fans!”  But they probably don’t really give a shit about the fans. I’ve become personal friends with so many of our fans and I find that in most cases, 99% of the time we have so many other things in common besides “hey you like the band I’m in”.  Most Coheed fans are super into movies, so we just get talking about movies, talking about horror movies typically, and science fiction. They’re into music more than I think most fans.  I mean we have the best fans in the world.  And you know, I’m able to live because of them. So I feel deeply indebted to them. And even though it seems like a clichéd thing to say we have the BEST fans, in the world. And I think as a stand here today, just what a lucky SOB I am.

AW: Coming back on the drums for the band must have been an incredible experience for you.  The band is sounding absolutely brilliant since you’ve returned.  How did you feel walking out on stage for the first show back in the band?  What was going through your mind?

JE: I can tell you exactly what was going through my mind: don’t throw up and don’t mess this up so bad that you train wreck a song.  I was nervous as hell dude.  I was petrified. It just meant so much to me, you know? It really did.  I mean, I had come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t in Coheed and Cambria anymore.  That was part of the healing for me. I met this girl, and she became my wife, and she moved me out of my home town, kinda dragged me kicking and screaming out of my hometown and moved me an hour away. She kind of forced me out into the world and I was starting to heal. And I had come to terms with like “ hey you’re not in this band anymore” and it’s one of the first things I remember past all that nonsense in my life where I was so happy that I didn’t ruin the band for Claudio and Travis because there was a point where maybe they weren’t gonna do this anymore, which maybe seems ridiculous now, but in 2007 that wasn’t so ridiculous.  I just was so happy for them, and truly happy.  I was hanging on to zero anger, I was just happy that they continued the band.

Did I want to be a part of it?  Of course, but I don’t know. Post all the drugs it wasn’t selfish, it was just a real feeling of oh thank god my friends kept going, and I didn’t flush all their hard work down the toilet like I did mine.  But I had healed, I came to terms with there being no chance I was gonna be in Coheed and it was over.  Then  got to a point where I just missed the guys.  And you start to really think back to a lot of the things that happened to transpire and you’re like ‘wow I was wrong, how could I have even said I wasn’t wrong? I really messed up’.  And I just wanted to tell those guys that my life had changed so much and that I was just really sorry. And we got a chance to do that, but it very quickly became 3 old friends laughing and at one point we went to pee together and I thought they turned the lights out on me like you would to your buddy and we were just like 3 old college friends.  We lived in a van together and we were all so nervous at first, but then it was just like 3 old friends it was really beautiful.  And in that first meeting we ended up stopping by Applehead studios where we had done a bunch of our records and we walked in and people saw us together and were like “what the fuck is going on?” My brother was up there recording and he had just like hit a bowl (my brother’s not like a big pothead or anything) and he was like super high and he sees me walk in and then he sees Claudio and Travis and mind you we haven’t talked in like 4 years . So my brother was like “what? Am I tripping? What is in the weed? What’s going on?”But that was it! I was mostly concerned about being friends again.

I’ve never told anybody this in an interview, but I did say to Travis and Claudio within the first couple minutes of seeing each other “what do you guys wanna get out of this?” and they said “closure” and I said “oh, because I wanna be friends again” I think they thought I meant like “ok when are we playing again together?” And I would never have the balls to do that. It wasn’t even on my radar. Not in any way, shape, or form. I really mean that.  I feel like a lot of people would maybe say that, but that’s really the truth. So when I got a call and they said what would you think about playing with Claudio on some prize fighter stuff I was elated. Because playing Coheed wasn’t gonna happen. Chris was the drummer, they had moved on and it was all good.  So I was really excited, and I went to Claud’s house and we played the stuff and I’m like this is NOT prize fighter stuff.  This is Coheed stuff.  And the first second we started playing together…we hadn’t played together in years, we hadn’t talked in years, and I saw him boppin’ his head and I’ll never forget it.

It was just like a really thrilling moment and then like the next day Blaze called and said “listen, those weren’t prize fighter songs, those were Coheed songs what do you think?”  and right in front of my wife (who wasn’t my wife at the time) I just start bawling like a baby. I just never thought it was possible, you know? I just.. I can’t… I don’t really even have the words. I can never articulate what it truly meant to be back in what I consider  “my band”.  That’s not to say it’s not Claudio’s or Travis’ band, but it was also my band. And I had put all these years into it. All my college age years were spent on this band and it meant so much to me.  So to be back was…I’m still not over it. When I sit here and talk about it the hair on my arms stands up. It’s important to me. Even on the bad days, even when I’m fighting with those guys about a part and I’m calling my wife saying “they should listen to me, I know what I’m talking about!” I’m just so happy still.  Even in the worst times to be a part of Coheed and Cambria is amazing.

AW: Before we even continue on I just wanna make a side note and say quickly that it’s amazing what you managed to overcome to get to where you are now and ultimately rejoin the band. I feel it’s pretty inspirational and I know a lot of your fans feel the same.  I mean you seriously overcame a lot and you’re a success story. Not everybody can kick the habits that you had and not only did you kick them, but you got back to doing what you love and that’s inspirational man. You may not be able to see it over the phone, but I’m giving you a thumbs up.

JE: You know what?  I feel your thumbs up in my heart, man.

AW: Speaking of the live show, you guys put on an incredible show. Some of our writers have had the pleasure of seeing you guys for your IKSSE3 Neverender Tour. How would you compare an album cycle tour to when you guys hit the road for a Neverender? How is it different?

JE: Well, that’s a really great question. On an album cycle tour you’re usually hand picking songs, and obviously it’s gonna weigh heavily on the new setlist, but…the cool thing about the Neverender shows is the audience already knows what’s coming next. Now you could say how that maybe could not be cool, but I think there’s something neat about that. You’re gonna hear your favorite record, but for us we’re gonna have to play those tracks that just kinda never really made it into the setlist and that’s what I think people get excited about. Of course they’ll wanna hear the songs that everybody knows; but some of the b-side songs or songs that you know are kind of more obscure where there’s not a ton of those in a set list, normally for an album cycle tour. Maybe there’s one or two. I think on this tour the set list is really incredible. There’s such a catalog now to pick from, it’s tough! We’ve made setlists and felt good about them and gone out and realized, oh my god there’s not ONE SONG from this record on there.

There’s so many records now and so many songs and we wanna play the songs that people wanna hear because we draw so much energy from the audience. When you’re connecting with an audience and the music is speaking to them there’s just no feeling like it and of course we want that and that starts with a great set list. For Neverender it’s kind of the opposite of that. They know what you’re gonna play, but it creates an entirely different energy and I think with a song like 2113, it’s so long and it’s the hidden track on IKS, but seeing the joy on the fans faces when we played it got us through some nights. Cause we’re so tired by the end of the record and you’re just like “oh god” just seeing people be so into it was just such a thrill. And they know it’s coming so it’s not like a surprise but…. I guess that’s the biggest difference. You’re still on stage. You’re still giving it everything you’ve got and you’re still going balls to the wall out for your fans so in all those ways it’s the same but… you know I bet I’d have a different answer if I got to think about that. That’s a really great question and one I’ve never been asked before oddly enough, but I think that’s my answer now if that makes any sense. That seems to be the biggest difference that I can come up with now, but maybe if you do come out to one of the shows I’ll have a better answer for you because that’s a really great question!

It really kinda made me turn the eye of the world on myself, and I don’t know if I ever would have gotten better without that record [No World For Tomorrow].

AW: In reading about you, your style has always kind of been described as distinctive and it’s often said that you have kind of a groove that just fits and complements Coheed so well. When you play Coheed songs where you didn’t originally do the drums what’s your preference; do you true to how they were originally recorded, maybe bend them to your style a little or do you like to go whole hog and give it a whole new drumming when you’re playing it live?

JE: No, I think you kind of said it best. I kind of bend them to my style. I mean it’s no secret that Taylor really tried to cop my style on No World For Tomorrow. Chris was in the band at that point, and that’s no diss. Like the producer said like we need to make it sound like Josh played. Which was really cool because Taylor is literally one of my favorite drummers ever you know? And he’s just more kind of rock and roll, and he’s got some licks under his belt. But I love Taylor and he’s a “drummer’s drummer” and one of my favorites, so for that record it’s not that much of a bend. Then you get Year of The Black Rainbow where people think there’s some songs on there that I can’t play, but one day we’ll bust em out and I’ll murder the hell out of it. But that album was really different, so that’s where I would kind of take certain things and bend it.

Every player is different no matter what instrument you’re talking about, but certainly on the drums that’s what I know the most about, and Chris is just a much different feel. It’s not even just from the technical aspect it’s more kind of that school of being on top of the beat, whereas with me, I’m just behind the beat and that’s how Taylor played. So I think with the Year of The Black Rainbow stuff I definitely have to bend it to my style but you know what? On some level there’s boundaries there. You can’t totally flip the script so I don’t really completely change it. You can do anything, and you can change the face of the song with just one snare drum in a different place you know? So I think you said it best and thank god you did, because I don’t know if I would have been able to articulate it as well, but I do kind of bend it to my style, and there are definitely some songs on YotBR that we’ve haven’t busted out. Guns of Summer being one of them and it’s one of my favorite tunes on that record but to me, in a way, it’s kind of right up my ally. But it’s not exactly like Chris played it. I’ve definitely kind of bent it more to what I’m always doing which is trying to cop some John Bonham meets Stewart Copeland meets Josh Eppard…I guess. I take it, bend it, bring it over to me, but I think it does stay true to the record, and I think it’s within that realm, so it’s never so far out of left field that it’s not true to the record because I love those records.

No World For Tomorrow, I think I’ve said this before, might be my favorite Coheed record. It certainly had a lot to do with my healing and getting better and you know, maybe I needed to hear my band put out a record that I thought was so great and then really hear what Claudio was saying; the things that he couldn’t say to me, that he said in a song. It really kinda made me turn the eye of the world on myself, and I don’t know if I ever would have gotten better without that record. So it’s a really important record to me for entirely different reasons than the records I played on.

AW: It’s kind of interesting that you were talking about John Bonham while naming some of your influences. You have said before that you and your band mates have been influenced by bands the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, At The Drive In… are there ever times that you can pick out parts of songs you’ve written that you may be able to attribute directly to that specific artistic influence?

JE: Well I think certainly, if you take The Final Cut, some of the solos in there are very Pink Floyd, so that seems to be an easy one to pick out. Like a kind of Gilmour-esque kind of solo. Welcome Home was basically an homage if you will, to Kashmir even though it’s much different, as that was very Zeppelin. And there’s always that element, even in songs that you can’t pick out that very specific thing like “oh THIS was Led Zeppelin” it’s always there and it’s always an influence. There’s like a whole pool full of influences that are always there and that would be Led Zeppelin, The Police, and I know we’re going out on this tour w/ Glassjaw, but Glassjaw’s been just an enormous influence on Coheed and Cambria and not just for me. I know they’ve really influenced Claudio a great deal. So that’s another one. But I think some of those classic rock things, they’re always there.

But if I had to pick I’d say Welcome Home being somewhat like Kashmir and, on the same record, The Final Cut some of those kind of Pink Floyd-esque type of solos. But that record in general had a heavy classic rock vibe. I think it started on IKS, 2113 was obviously very progressive, there was this almost a Jethro Tull part in the middle and I remember being scared I remember thinking “did we go TOO far out of left field? Are people gonna like this?” But… if you’re making records just for people to like, I don’t know, that’s just never been something that I could do. So we made a record that we kinda thought nobody would like and a lot of people liked it. So we were pretty psyched, but the classic rock energy kind of started on IKS but really was in full display on Good Apollo in my opinion.

I’ve had these songs sitting around for years and finally something clicked where I’m like “you know what? I’m gonna record these songs.

AW: If you don’t mind, I’d like to kind of switch gears and talk about some of your solo stuff. Weerd Science is so drastically different from Coheed and Cambria. Do you do anything special to get yourself in a different headspace when you write for different projects?

JE: There’s not one tried and true thing I do, you know? One day I might write a beautiful love song, the next day I might write a really silly rap song, or maybe a really beautiful rap song, I don’t know. Weerd Science when it first came out, with my first national release back in 2005, was like a very silly, funny record. There’s not a lot I can really relate to on that record. I mean, I love it, it’s something I did, whatever. But the last three Weerd Science records that we put out, to me, feel like it’s veering pretty far from traditional rap music and I think that’s just me as an artist wanting to create something new. As far as a headspace? You know that’s a good question too. Right now I’m doing this solo rock record, but I’ve had these songs sitting around for years and finally something clicked where I’m like “you know what? I’m gonna record these songs. If they’re not gonna become Coheed songs, then I’m gonna go and record them myself. I’m gonna go ahead and I’m gonna make something great” and that’s just the headspace I was in that day.

What puts me there? I have no idea. Tomorrow I might wake up and it’s a Weerd Science day and I’ll write a bunch of rap songs. I don’t know what the answer is. Sometimes I wish I did because sometimes I have time booked for Weerd Science and I’ll I’m thinking about is this really progressive or really dark, beautiful love song that I wrote and I’m in the wrong headspace. So sometimes I kinda have to force myself into the headspace since they are so different. But you know, right now Claudio’s sitting and home and who knows what he’s making. We all kind of dabble in every genre. I mean Claudio used to, totally as a joke, record rap songs and he’s so talented that they’re actually really good. To him it was a joke and he thought it was really funny, but he’d play it for us and we’d go “this is actually super good”. So that’s the thing as any musician or any artist, you want to kind of dabble in these other things because it’s it’s interesting to you. But then you find yourself and you’re like “alright, I’ve got Weerd Science and we’re putting out records and there are fans, I’ve got Coheed and that’s a headspace all its own, I’ve got this kind of rock thing within the Coheed world, but it’s different thing and that’s a different head space” so now I find myself kind of having to force myself into the headspace but that’s a good problem to have. I’m glad I have so many projects, you know, I wanna have ten more projects. I don’t mean to sound corny, but I just feel there’s a lot of things in me to get out still from a creative standpoint so I should be so lucky, right? I’m lucky I get to do all these projects.

AW: Speaking of the new project: when we told our viewers that we would be speaking with you many of the fans BEGGED us to get more details on an upcoming rock project. They want to know basically anything you can throw at us. Do you have a release timeframe in mind? A single in the works? Is there anything about that project you could tell us that you’re excited to speak about?

JE: I can tell you this. As far as release dates and roll outs and singles…fuck all that noise. When we finish this? It’s coming out the next day. I’m not really keen on the whole “label” thing, we don’t need that. We’re gonna make music, and we’ve got a way to bring it to the people and they can decide if it speaks to them or not. I went to Applehead studios where Coheed did SS, IKSSE3, Good Apollo I, and Afterman : A & D; and my stuff is being produced by Michael Birnbaum & Chris Bittner who did also produce all those Coheed records. I wanted to go make a record up there and I had some time so I went and did it. I think the fans that like Coheed and that like Weerd Science, I think they’re gonna be really excited. I know I’m really excited because it’s been a long time that I’ve had these songs sitting around. Some of them for years. Some of these riffs my wife has listened to me play for years. So it’s really exciting for me to hear it come to life. And you can tell anybody that’s asked about it, this isn’t gonna be some “oh well here’s a single” and “here’s this and that”, we’re gonna finish it and put it out. I would be shocked if it’s not out by this summer.

AW: How have you found writing and recording the vocals and all the instruments in your new solo project compared to working with Chris and the guests on RLJ3?

JE: It’s similar in so many ways, but different in a couple powerful ways. For starters, I’m really used to making Weerd Science records. I don’t want to say it’s not a challenge because I always run into something that’s challenging; and I think that’s why this is fun. But I’ve done a lot of them. This is brand new so we keep running into challenges. I called Claudio today and I was like “dude, how do you sing a whole song and then like talk right the next day?” My throat is killing me! I gotta say I’ve always had a ton of respect for Claudio and his crafts but more so than ever now. And my brother too, because those guys can sing their asses off. And singing is tough. But already just from a couple of days in the studio really singing and trying to capture an energy was so much more than just “here’s the note and you sing it! LAAAAAA!” Like what are you saying? What are these words? Are you gonna bring this to life and make is believable? There’s so much more. But I’m learning so much about it every day, but I’m thrilled with the end results. I listen to the demos of this and I’m just thrilled. I can’t wait to get back in there and finish it.

Weerd Science, I mean, we’ve made so many records that’s just fun. We’ve made so many records together and that kind brings it’s own sort of fun energy. Anything goes. That’s what’s really great about Weerd Science, anything goes. You make these like, serious rock records, they take a long time, they’re very meticulous… Weerd Science we’re using like a fart for the kick drum and even if they’re serious songs, anything goes. And that’s important to me. I need to make those records. That’s why I still do it. If I didn’t love doing it, I wouldn’t do it. There was a time that I felt really disconnected from Weerd Science and I wasn’t sure I was going to do it anymore and then we did one song and I kind of rediscovered how important that can be for me and how really therapeutic it is for me to make those records that are fun. And they’re so creative because anything goes, nobody feels weird about coming up with an idea like “yo check this keyboard part right here” “dude you dropped that in the hallways and it sounded sick throw up a microphone, drop it again!” just ANYTHING goes! And that’s really fun and really important.

As far as specific differences I think it’s just playing everything on the record. It can be hard, it’s challenging. One minute I’m playing guitar for hours and my fingers are about to bleed, next minute getting in the vocal booth and singing for six hours, but it’s all for the love of art and music and hopefully we’re making something as great as me, Mike and Chris think it is.

AW: You have been a part of a few different types of music and songwriting now: what would you say is your favorite piece of your own work? Either your favorite thing you wrote or most enjoy performing or maybe something you step back and look at and are extremely proud of.

JE: There’s a lot. I mean every record brings it’s own set of interesting challenges so I’m proud of everything that’s ever out for public consumption, it’s out because I’m proud of it. If it wasn’t deemed to be at a certain level I’d drive everybody crazy. I’d go burn the tapes or something so that no one could hear it. You know I have a great respect for the people who listen to our music and if I don’t think it’s up to par then I wouldn’t let anybody hear it. But there are those few stand out pieces. Domino the Destitute is one of the first songs we recorded when I came back to Coheed and it was just so much fun. The whole beginning… I mean I was just like “oh man I have this drum idea!” and I started doing it and Claudio didn’t like it at first, but he came correct after a while, because it sounded like the gallops in a Pink Floyd song and we just had so much fun doing that song. And it was So. Bad. Ass.

And it was like…I had just done Terrible Things and this band I just wanted it to be something it wasn’t. It was like a pop-rock band, and that was fine, but you know Frank told me we were going to be like a Led Zeppelin rock and roll record and then it was kind of like Jimmy Eat World. I love Jimmy Eat World, but it was this kind of really…I don’t know. I don’t want to diss Terrible Things. It just wasn’t up my ally. I didn’t feel like this was important music, I didn’t feel like this was hard like I wanted it to be. And when recording Domino I was like… this is home and I just love this tune it’s just a really great song. So that is the number one stand out thing for me and it’s odd that Afterman has another one, Evangria, which is a tune that just felt like home and I think those records are really special. Those are 2 of my favorite Coheed records both Ascension and Descension I probably like Ascension a bit more and I really love Descension. I do feel extremely proud of both those records. And then TCBTS, the song Peace to the Mountain that song was so far outside the realm of anything I’d done before. So simple, but so spacious I really had to channel my inner Ringo Starr and I’m so proud of that song. It’s one of my favorite songs that Claudio has ever written and I just think it’s beautiful and it just sounds kind of Beatles-y to me.

I’m so proud that I got to be a part of that song because drummers have it rough man. A lot of producers would have said “Alright Josh is a great rock drummer but get him outta here. For this we need to hire this guy..” and brought in the 80 year old guy where this is what he does. Jay Joyce kinda helped me get there and get that performance that was super simple, like no one would ever think that that’s hard but it is hard. Space is hard. For me, lots of notes? Easy. Space? Space can be so hard because there’s so much  to mess up. You ask me what I’m proud of, I’m proud of the entire Coheed catalog, I’m proud of the songs I’m not even on. Because Coheed is my band too, and I’m proud of it all. But I’m proud of everything that’s ever come out, but I guess those are some of the stand outs.

AW: OK and last question just to wrap it up what are you looking forward to most in the year ahead?

JE: You know I’m looking forward to a lot of really great shows. I’m really looking forward to this tour coming up and going out with I The Mighty.  I have a tour tattoo with the guys from I The Mighty they’re on our first label Equal Vision. Equal Vision signed an artist called Upgrade Hip Hop and I helped to broker that deal and I really believe in it and I’m hoping that something happens, but felt like really vindicated that Equal Vision, a label I respect so much, put out his record so I’m looking forward to that kind of unfolding and seeing what happens with that. This tour is gonna be so incredible . Silver Snakes is awesome, that’s Claudio’s band he put that record out. I The Mighty is one of my favorite new bands. I call them new because they’re not old farts like us. And Glassjaw’s like a top ten band of all time to me. I mean they might even be in my top 5. I love Glassjaw. I’m a huge Glassjaw fan. So I’m looking forward to this tour and we’re going to Australia and then I think I just booked Weerd Science for a 2 week run with this MC called Sadistic. So there’s a lot to look forward to but in general I just look forward to creating and to making a living making art like the lucky motherfucker that I am.

Discuss This Story