For much of the past decade, Claudio Sanchez has been fusing the comic book world and music realm through Coheed and Cambria. Named for two fictional characters, the band is lyrically based on Sanchez's original series, The Amory Wars.
With his primary band currently finishing up work on a new album, Sanchez has placed The Amory Wars aside for a new series, Kill Audio. Written in part as a reaction to the seriousness of The Amory Wars, Kill Audio has a comedic edge, following the adventures of a troll in a chaotic world.
We caught up with Sanchez at Comic-Con, where he was signing preview copies of the new comic as well as the series' related vinyl toys.
How many Comic-Cons have you done now?
I think six. We usually have our own booth, but this year we partnered with Boom! It's a bit more relaxed. Every year, we get here early to set up. This year, there was no set-up.
Have you always come here as part of Evil Ink or did you come here before that?
I've always come here as part of Evil Ink. I think maybe the first year I came as just a fan, I'm not sure. It's been so many years now that I always associate the brand with the convention.
Did you ever go to conventions growing up?
Not really. They weren't nearly as big as this. There were small hotel conventions. Every once in a while, you would find a Holiday Inn that has a room open to accommodate vendors. Stuff like that, yeah, but never something quite like this.
What was the first comic book that made you say, 'Wow, I have to do this?'
For me, it was probably when Todd McFarlane started doing Spider-Man, you know, the Torment series. Certainly, when he broke off from that and he went off and did his own thing like Spawn with Image. That was big, that you can do something outside of the traditional superhero, you can do your own thing. That made me branch off into other titles that weren't traditional superheroes.
What's your favorite comic book?
It's definitely The Watchmen. I have a bunch of pieces in my houses, bought them this year at [Meltdown] Gallery. The entire issue is used as the backdrop and they kind of painted the main scenes onto it. They're fairly large, like five feet tall. One features the origins of Dr. Manhattan. I like it that much I'll dedicate a whole wall in the house to it.
Do you ever hit a point where you have to decide music or comics?
Not really. I have a love for both and I guess that's why I did the Amory Wars with Coheed and Cambria, allowing me to start with it and push off from that and do other projects that are solely dedicated whether it's a music project or a comic book like Kill Audio.
What inspired Kill Audio?
Well, my fiance and I, originally the idea was to do a vinyl toy, that's another part of the house that's dedicated. We started with the vinyl and, in creating it, I saw that there was a bit of a story in it and we decided to make a mythology out of it.
How long did it take to create the mythology?
Not very long. A lot of the characters are based on people I grew up with and in a way it tributes them and a time in our life when we hung out and played basketball together. To be able to have a project that we collaborated on together, her and I, is a lot of fun.
Amory Wars was so serious and still is and in a way it plays like an autobiographical piece even though it's riddled with science fiction and fantasy, there's certainly a lot of things in it that hold true, you just have to decipher the code. With Kill Audio was just a way that I could make fun of myself.
It's definitely a little more wacky, not nearly as serious. It's pretty much a comedy.
What's going on musically?
We're working on another record. Hopefully, at the beginning of next year, we'll have something.
Is it a continuation of the same storyline?
Yes, it's an origins tale, I guess. That will complete the whole Amory Wars mythology, Coheed and Cambria anyway.
Is it going to be the last Coheed and Cambria album?
No, because there's ideas to tell. The universe is really large. We could tell tales of parallel-ness, how people are affected by something that happens in the Amory Wars. Or, we just play rock music without concepts.
Will there be another graphic novel with the new album?
There is something that we're working on, but it's a bit of a secret.