About Cancer Bats
Cancer Bats are a Canadian hardcore punk band from Toronto, Ontario. They have released six studio albums and six extended plays. The band is composed of vocalist Liam Cormier, guitarist Scott Middleton, drummer Mike Peters and bassist Jaye R. Schwarzer. Cancer Bats take a wide variety of influences from heavy metal subgenres and fuse them into hardcore and punk rock, and also include elements of Southern rock. Their sound has thus been likened to sludge metal, as well as to that of metalcore bands such as Converge and Hatebreed. The members of Cancer Bats have also toured and recorded as a Black Sabbath cover band under the name Bat Sabbath.
Cancer Bats was founded in May 2004 by singer Liam Cormier and guitarist Scott Middleton, a former member of Toronto heavy metal band At the Mercy of Inspiration. The two wanted to form a project that combined their favorite parts of bands like Entombed, Refused, Black Flag, Led Zeppelin and Down, among others. The lineup was completed with the addition of Andrew McCracken on bass and Joel Bath on drums, with Cormier moving to vocals. The four-piece wrote and recorded songs for a self-released demo that saw light in January 2005, and led to Canadian independent record label Distort Entertainment signing the band.
After deciding that a combination of illness and animal name would give the best band name, the band considered the names Cancer Bats and Pneumonia Hawk. Soon after, Mike Peters replaced Bath on the drums and the band began playing throughout Southern Ontario, playing live shows with bands like Billy Talent, Every Time I Die, Nora, Alexisonfire, Haste the Day, It Dies Today, Bane, Comeback Kid, Buried Inside, Attack in Black, Misery Signals, This Is Hell, Rise Against, The Bronx and Gallows.
On June 2, 2006, the band took part in a short interview and then played a free CD release show at The Edge 102.1 and then on June 6 Birthing the Giant was released into major record stores. The album includes guest vocals by George Pettit of Alexisonfire. On June 7, 2006 they hosted All Things Rock, a show on MTV Canada, and had their own video played at the end of the show.
Bass player Andrew McCracken left to concentrate on his design company Doublenaut. His spot was filled in by Jason Bailey for most of 2007. However, Bailey was then replaced by Jaye R. Schwarzer as he wanted to focus on being a graphic designer; he still designs artworks for Cancer Bats and remains friends with Liam Cormier.
The band released their second studio album called Hail Destroyer on April 22, 2008. The album features guest vocals by Wade MacNeil of Alexisonfire and Black Lungs, Tim McIlrath of Rise Against and Ben Kowalewicz of Billy Talent. The release was held at the Mod Club in downtown Toronto with Liam Cormier not only singing for Cancer Bats, but also performing drums for Black Lungs. On May 17, 2008, Cancer Bats were put on the cover of Kerrang!, a publication which gave their album Hail Destroyer a KKKKK review as well as a 5k Live review on their headlining UK tour. Cancer Bats were also nominated for 2008 Album of the Year for the 2008 Kerrang! awards.
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