Who: Cancer Bats with Black Lungs, Johnny Truant
When: Friday, Sept. 26, doors at 9 p.m.
Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 at the door
It’s hard not to raise an eyebrow when you come across a
band dubbed Cancer Bats.
With Liam Cormier on vocals, Scott Middleton on guitar, Jaye
Schwarzer on bass, and Mike Peters on drums, rest assured that this hardcore
metal group isn’t looking to offend anyone, at least not with their name. If
you can’t handle their heavy style and sound, that’s another story.
“Basically, that came around even before we started the
band,” Cormier explained. “I was just trying to think of good, kind of original
band names, so I was just combining diseases and animals as a joke, and was
like putting those together.”
While the band eventually settled on Cancer Bats, the
moniker Pneumonia Hawk almost stuck.
“I like how it made me think of a B horror movie, being
attacked by a cancerous bat,” he said.
Cormier and the rest of the band members didn’t really give
much thought to their name, until some people in the Australian music industry
pointed out that, down under, it’s popular slang for cigarettes.
“When we first were trying to shop around our record in
Australia, they were like, ‘there’s no way we’re putting out a band called
Cancer Bats!’” Cormier recalled with a laugh, “Then they actually listened to
Cormier and Middleton are the founding members of the band,
which they formed back in 2004.
The band actually started out as a part-time project, but it
began to grow and get really positive feedback from friends and family. By the
end of the year, Cormier and Middleton decided to make it a full-time
Peters joined very shortly afterwards, while Schwarzer came
on board last November, replacing Andrew McCracken, one of Cormier’s good
friends who decided to focus on his career in graphic design, full-time.
“It was funny, actually. Mike reached out to me because he
wanted to move out of Winnipeg,” Cormier explained. “I literally got the email
and was like, ‘fuck, this rules!’ and then called him on the phone and was
like, ‘when can you move to Toronto?’”