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Big change feels normal for rockers Coheed and Cambria

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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Coheed and Cambria's latest album, "The Color Before The Sun," is very different than anything that came before it.

But drummer Josh Eppard says that for the hard rock group's four members, "it was no different at all."

"The Color Before The Sun" is the New York state-based quartet's eighth studio album but the first time the group has created a release that doesn't revolve around the conceptual story The Amory Wars, a science fiction epic which frontman Claudio Sanchez has also turned into a series of comic books and a novel. Nevertheless, Eppard says by phone from his home in Del Mar, N.Y., "It was different but maybe not as different as people would think.

"All of Coheed's catalog comes from a deeply personal place -- the only difference being Claudio would then attach this fantastic kind of story, this fantasy story to the songs. And the story certainly would help; as the catalog got deeper and deeper the story helped to fill in the blanks.

"But Claudio's songs always came from a very personal place, and the script for us hasn't changed at all. We're always trying to make the best record we ever made, and that was true on 'The Color Before The Sun.' It's a poppy, quirky, deeply personal record, and one that I'm immensely proud of."

Eppard -- whose wife grew up in the Detroit suburbs -- does acknowledge that making "The Color Before The Sun" was different for the band. Its 10 songs were recorded in the order they appear on the album, which the drummer says was a first. "We've never been a band that records 50 songs and then makes a record out of 'em, but we've never done it quite this way before," Eppard notes. "Claudio just had these songs, in order, and we sat in his basement in upstate New York and just did ('Island') first and went from thereuntil we were done.

"There were a couple songs around that maybe could've gotten in there; one of them really had my vote, but it was ultimately too heavy for what we were doing. We heard these 10 songs together, in that order, and knew we had the album."

Eppard reports that fan reaction has been strong despite the change of pace, and "The Color Before The Sun" was, in fact, Coheed's first No. 1 on the Billboard Rock Albums chart, as well as No. 10 on the Billboard 200. But Eppard is confident that we haven't heard the last of the Amory Wars, either.

"I would imagine we're going to return to the story at some point -- the next record, the record after that, I'm not sure," he says. "I would really be shocked if we didn't. But now we've shown people that everything doesn't have to be about (the story), so we have even more freedom, which we love."

Coheed and Cambria, Glassjaw, I The Mighty and Silver Snakes

Thursday, Feb. 25. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.

Tickets are $29.50.

Call 248-399-2980 or visit royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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