When Coheed and Cambria’s 2005 album Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Vol 1: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness hit the platinum mark, a weird thing happened: half the band quit. “It was very discouraging for me and [guitarist] Travis [Stever],” singer Claudio Sanchez tells Rock Daily from his Bogota, Colombia hotel room. “There was a moment where we thought this band might not be making another record.” But don’t feel too bad for Claudio & Co., because when their drummer ditched, they got by with a little help from their rock-star friends — Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins drummed on their October 23rd album No World for Tomorrow, and former Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Chris Pennie loved Warped touring with the band so much, he joined permanently; bassist Michael Todd, who quit, has also returned to the group. Now that Coheed has finished filming the video for their new album’s first single, “The Running Free,” the notoriously tight-lipped Sanchez talked about it for the first time with Rock Daily.
“The video reflects what the song is about — the hope factor,” Sanchez says. “I’m placed in an isolation chamber having memories extracted, and my body is reacting to it.” Sanchez says the video portrays everyday emotions with a sci-fi twist. The single was born after he sat down with producers Sam Hollander (Method Man, O.A.R.) and Dave Katz (Gym Class Heroes). “I’ve never worked with songwriters before, but I wanted to broaden the horizon,” Sanchez says. “The song ‘The Hound (of Blood and Rank)’ ended up with a Who vibe and ‘On the Brink’ has a Pink Floyd, minor, bluesy feel,” Sanchez adds. “But I was more consumed with what my band was going through [while writing] than really being influenced by other bands.” Now, Coheed is preparing for a U.S. tour to support No World for Tomorrow, an album that will mark the final chapter of the Coheed and Cambria concept series. “It’s certainly the end of the saga,” Sanchez says, “but with Mike back and Chris on drums, it really feels like the beginning.” While Sanchez says the album explores more personal themes and lyrics than ever before, the LP does follow Good Apollo plot-wise, and is said to introduce a new villain and conclusion to The Amory Wars, his extremely complex comic book series that’s set in a fictional galaxy. Listen to a stream of “The Running Free” here, as part of Rolling Stone‘s Fall Album Preview.