Coheed and Cambria are continuing The Amory Wars story with their newly-released album Vaxis Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures.
The Unheavenly Creatures follows the band's 2015 album The Color Before The Sun (which was the only album to deviate from The Armory Wars), and showcases 15 new songs, including previously released tracks like "Old Flames," "The Gutter," "The Dark Sentencer," and the album's title track. And in a special bundle for the band's hardcore fans, along with the music also comes a sci-fi novel, written by the band's Claudio Sanchez and his wife Chondra Echert, and a mask of The Unheavenly Creatures' main character.
In a new exclusive interview with iHeartRadio, Claudio opened up about The Unheavenly Creatures, returning to The Armory Wars storyline, making the album in Woodstock, which song on the album is one of his favorites, how this album marks a new beginning, and more. Read on below.
What made you want to return to The Armory Wars story with The Unheavenly Creatures?
"I always knew we were going to come back to The Amory Wars. When I did The Color Before the Sun, this was a moment for me to really tribute the experience of becoming a dad, you know, some of the frustrations of moving into New York City and trying to find a creative space. So, that's really why that record was the way it was. It was really just for my son. So I had always kind of known we were coming back to The Amory Wars."
Where did the album's title, The Unheavenly Creatures, come from?
"I actually named the song after the album. The album title we had for a while. When I started to put together the songs on Unheavenly Creatures, and I saw that it was sort of coming from Creatures' first person perspective of almost like a retelling of how they got, you know, basically arrested, I just realized that that song, the bulk of it, was really about them when they were all united as a three piece. So that's why I gave it its name. Well, gave the album its name and took that from that too for the songs."
What is "The Unheavenly Creatures" about? What does the song mean to you?
"The song on 'Heavenly Creatures' is basically a song of regret, sort of retelling the things that got you to the place that you're at, and really regretting being there. For Creature, I mean that's his thing. He left Sister Spider, his love interest, behind, and really didn't know what the true outcome of that was. That's really what it's about."
What was it like to record this album in Woodstock?
"We've done a bunch of records in Woodstock, and we almost like to consider it home, especially the studio up there, Applehead. We've done In Keeping Secrets, Good Apollo up there, The Afterman records. So it's really just a familiar place. The fact that we decided to self-produce this record meant we wanted to find a place like that. So, there weren't any distractions, any sort of variables that felt uncomfortable, now being in the position of producing the record. So, that's really why we chose Woodstock to do most of the record, or at least the studio up there. Applehead [has] very little distractions, and it's very comfortable."
On social media, you said that this album "will mark a new beginning for the culture that surrounds Coheed." In what ways to do you think it will mark a new beginning?
"When I created this idea in 1998, and the band put out its first record in 2002, if I had been who I am now and with the sense of maturity and these ideas, I would have released our first record this way. So in that regard, I think that this feels like a new beginning. A new way for us to sort of present the music, the concept, you know, really try to engage our listeners in a way that we've never in the past."
Do you have any favorite songs on The Unheavenly Creatures, or a song that sticks out to you a little more than the others?
"I think 'Old Flames' is one of them, just because when I was writing that song, as I was working through the chorus, I got about three rounds in, and my son, at the time, who may have been like two and a half, started to sing the melody. And, I just thought that that was really special. Because that song sort of informed what Unheavenly Creatures was gonna be, and some of the other tunes on the record. So I just think that that moment was really special."