They’ve got three successful Canadian albums, Juno and Kerrang! award nominations, but what Cancer Bats really needed was an iconic hit everybody knew.
The Toronto metalhead quartet, famous for their terror inducing name and frontman Liam Cormier’s screeching vocals, decided to roll the dice by covering the Beastie Boys’ classic track Sabotage on their album Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones, which dropped earlier this week.
A risky proposition for a band that, while successful domestically, has yet to really blow up on the world stage: Cormier said the band didn’t realize they were treading on such hallowed ground until they did it.
“Well, we came upon it a lot more innocently than people might think,” he said. “We just started playing it at live shows. It was a really ballsy cover to take on. I realize that more in hindsight. We we’re looking for a cover to add to our set, kickstart the party and do something recognizable for people who haven’t seen us a whole bunch.”
It’s gone over so far if the critics are any indication — saying that the cover did the track justice with its adrenaline-filled intensity. Indeed the rest of Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones has been called the Bats’ best album to date and the one truest to their in-your-face live shows.
And when it’s your third kick at the can, you pick up a few tricks of the trade to do exactly that.
“We wanted to learn from every single mistake we had made from previous records and just crush this thing,” Cormier said. “We wanted the drums to be bigger for starters. And we had a lot of trouble on the last record (Hail Destroyer) getting tones down, but we pulled that off this time around.
“From day one, we were more rehearsed and ready well in advance. And we’re super-stoked about what we’ve done.”