Coheed Decoded: Coheed and Cambria Frontman Recaps His Sci-Fi Epic


Coheed and Cambria’s new disc, No World for Tomorrow, concludes an epic space opera the prog-emo band has been telling over their previous three albums. With 2005’s Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, the story expanded into a metafictional tale of a teenager-turned-hero who could destroy his universe or save it. The complex music-only movie is the creation of singer-guitarist Claudio Sanchez, who sings like Geddy Lee, shreds like Jimmy Page, and has a loyal legion of fans among the Warped Tour demographic. No World for Tomorrow hits stores today, and all Exchange stores have the disc for just $5.99 while supplies last. The band plays a two-night stand with Clutch at the House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave.) Tuesday, October 30 and Wednesday, October 31. Before the shows, Sanchez will visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (One Key Plaza) for a Q&A session, explaining the elaborate mythos he’s created for the saga. Tickets are available exclusively through 92.3 FM, K-Rock. If you’re just tuning in to the convoluted story, he’s a track-by-track explanation of the previous disc, From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. Sanchez started by revealing that he’s the basis for that album’s major new character, The Writer. ... “A lot of what happens to the Writer in the story kind of happened to me, but it’s definitely embellished,” Sanchez said. “The Writer starts to lose his mind over the devastation of this love he’s been separated from. And in doing that, his subconscious starts to come to life, and it does that in the form of a ten-speed bicycle, like the Son of Sam dog, telling him that he knows of a way to get out of the rut: All he needs to do is stop doing the story.” 1. “Keeping the Blade” “'Keeping the Blade' is a collection of intros from both previous records, but put together - which can only mean the end.” 2. “Always and Never” “A lot of these songs are what is being told by the Writer. Certain songs are a reflection of why certain things are the way they are, more of a description of a character. And this explains the character Chase, why that character exists, and why she stays so young. And the second verse starts to clash with the Writer’s version of the story, why he talks about the love who left him, and the influence on what is to come in the story. And ‘To kill all of you’ is the writer referring to what will happen in the story. And he’s killing that love of his, crushing her, maybe literally.” 3. “Welcome Home” “The Writer and the Character share this dream, and when they awake, that’s when the two stories happen. The writer goes to the refrigerator, and he sees himself in this disfigured form, and a woman bound, next to a grave. And the woman says, ‘Don’t kill me. I loved you.’ And he says, ‘What do you care? You left me this way. The only way my pain will end is in your suffering. Now get in the ground.’ That’s the scene in the video. ‘Hang on to the glory of my right hand, the pen that pens the pages,’ that’s a big line.” 4. “Ten Speed (of God's Blood & Burial)” “Ten Speed is the writer's subconscious, like the Son of Sam dog. This is a dialogue, Ten Speed telling the Writer that he knows of a way to get out of his rut: All he needs to do is stop doing the story. ‘Believer/You’ll leave her/ When leaving them all’ is Ten Speed telling the Writer that in the end, everyone is going to die. The record isn’t really chronological.” 5. “Crossing the Frame” “In Second Stage, the Writer wrote a love interest for the Character [Claudio]. Her name is Newo. And the 'Crossing the Frame' is the parallels between Newo and Erica Court, the Writer's love interest.” 6. “Apollo I : The Writing Writer” “This is where we meet the Writer, and learn his motive. As the writer of this story, can he really be looked upon as a godlike figure to these characters?” 7. “Once Upon Your Dead Body” “Some of the lines of the song are in the book. It’s Ten Speed toying with the Writer, trying to get him to kill off his Character. And the Writer sees it as Ten Speed trying to talk him into killing off the person that his love interest is based on. And the Writer is saying he’s no murderer.” 8. “Wake Up” ““It’s a very love song kind of thing. You get a history of the writer, that he’ll do anything for this person, that he’ll kill anyone for this person who went on to do this horrible thing to him.” 9. “The Suffering” “It’s another extension of “Wake Up,” saying that it would have gotten to the point of asking this person to marry him. And the background vocals are saying, ‘Not now, boy.’ It’s a Queen-esqe song, more like a play, a dialogue. It’s the climax of the Writer losing it. The chorus is sample from ‘Blood Red Summer.’” 10. “The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court “ “The writer starts to realize that there’s something else behind what Ten Speed is telling him: that no one will be following you when you end the story; everyone is going to die. And that you never should have put your trust in this individual.” 11. “Mother May I” “‘God only knows’ is a line from the story. Now the writer is realizing that he is the father of this story, and these are his children. The Character is losing it, and these papers are lined up in front of him, and on these papers in blood is ‘God only knows,’ and that’s the answer to his questions.” 12. “The Willing Well I: Fuel for the Feeding End “ “The Willing Well is where the two worlds collide. It’s from the Writer’s perspective: ‘She won’t give me the love I came here for/ With pen I am armed, here to react.’ Then the second verse is from Ten Speed’s perspective. And it goes back and forth between the characters. The Vishual is Chase. She kind of knows about the Writer, but she thinks of him as God.” 13. “The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” “I-IV is a lot of going back and forth between perspectives. This is more from the Writer’s perspective: The walls he’s been building around himself, the state that he’s been in, he’s become isolated from the world, and he’s been stagnant. And he finds a way out, which is to destroy the story. And in finding a way to destroy the story, he’ll destroy those walls.” 14. “The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth” “This is the full-on end, where the Character is coming to the Writer, and the Writer saying to him, ‘You are the one, I am your God.’ -- ‘In my presence / You will make sure the fiction meets its fate… All the worlds from here must burn.” 15. “The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut” “The Writer gets brought to this guillotine with wings, and at the guillotine is his love, Erica Court. And she says to him, in the voice of Ten Speed, ‘This is no beginning / This is the final cut.’ And the blade comes down on the character, but he doesn’t die - he realizes what he has to do: he has to tell the Character what he is. It’s out of order.” 16. Hidden track: “Bron Yr” “Sometimes you watch a movie, and you get a lot, emotionally. And at the end, there's this weird song over the credits. It's like that.” -- DX Ferris


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.