Coheed and Cambria's Claudio Sanchez Furthers His Sci-Fi Empire with The Amory Wars
It's a major feat to create art that facilitates an entire spectrum of fandom. Take, for example, the newest Disney acquisition and the very first hugely popular sci-fi event: the Star Wars franchise. Some elect to dress as Stormtroopers in their wedding photos, but most fans simply have a pedestrian appreciation for stuff like scrappy heroism and intergalactic arms races.
Lindsey Byrnes Coheed and Cambria
Since 1998, huge-haired high-concept singer Claudio Sanchez has devoted every aspect of his prog-tinged emo outfit Coheed and Cambria to building an immersive science fiction storyline known as The Amory Wars. Thus far, the interplanetary narrative has spanned seven albums, a parallel series of comic books published by Sanchez's Evil Ink press, and it looks like it's heading to the multiplex, too: Mark Wahlberg and the Leverage production company inked a development deal to bring the saga to the silver screen with Sanchez last year.
Like Star Wars, Sanchez's work has huge potential for sci-fi obsession and minutiae dorkery, but it also functions just fine as stand-alone entertainment -- in this case, heart-on-sleeve balladry for post-hardcore fans. The band's newest album, The Afterman: Descension, is the second half of what could be considered the baseline prequel to Sanchez's fantasy realm. It follows hero Sirius Amory as he discovers the energy source behind the Keywork planetary network, the 78-planet setting of The Amory Wars saga.
"Sirius has returned to his home world and he finds in his absence, his life has fallen apart," Sanchez says. "In trying to pick up the pieces and rebuild, it just doesn't work out for him."
Though the storyline grows more elaborate with each release, Coheed's songs (and Sanchez's master arc) are ultimately informed by his humble day-to-day existence. The careening, stutter-step chugging of descent burner "Gravity's Union" plays a big role in articulating Sirius' downward spiral, but the song was inspired by Sanchez's fear of driving.
"I tend to daydream a lot," he says. "For me, being in the car and having a passenger puts you in charge of their life. I don't think I'm responsible enough. It would be my luck that I would be driving one day with my wife and I would get into an accident that would kill her."