Never too heavy 

Cancer Bats bring hardcore sound back to Whistler, with the help of Black Lungs and Johnny Truant

click to enlarge Bats Outta... Southern Ontario? Check out the hardcore metal stylings of the Cancer Bats in Whistler next weekend
  • Bats Outta... Southern Ontario? Check out the hardcore metal stylings of the Cancer Bats in Whistler next weekend

Who: Cancer Bats with Black Lungs, Johnny Truant

When: Friday, Sept. 26, doors at 9 p.m.

Where: Garfinkel’s

Tickets: $10 in advance, $12 at the door

It’s hard not to raise an eyebrow when you come across a band dubbed Cancer Bats.

With Liam Cormier on vocals, Scott Middleton on guitar, Jaye Schwarzer on bass, and Mike Peters on drums, rest assured that this hardcore metal group isn’t looking to offend anyone, at least not with their name. If you can’t handle their heavy style and sound, that’s another story.

“Basically, that came around even before we started the band,” Cormier explained. “I was just trying to think of good, kind of original band names, so I was just combining diseases and animals as a joke, and was like putting those together.”

While the band eventually settled on Cancer Bats, the moniker Pneumonia Hawk almost stuck.

“I like how it made me think of a B horror movie, being attacked by a cancerous bat,” he said.

Cormier and the rest of the band members didn’t really give much thought to their name, until some people in the Australian music industry pointed out that, down under, it’s popular slang for cigarettes.

“When we first were trying to shop around our record in Australia, they were like, ‘there’s no way we’re putting out a band called Cancer Bats!’” Cormier recalled with a laugh, “Then they actually listened to the record.”

Cormier and Middleton are the founding members of the band, which they formed back in 2004.

The band actually started out as a part-time project, but it began to grow and get really positive feedback from friends and family. By the end of the year, Cormier and Middleton decided to make it a full-time endeavour.

Peters joined very shortly afterwards, while Schwarzer came on board last November, replacing Andrew McCracken, one of Cormier’s good friends who decided to focus on his career in graphic design, full-time.

“It was funny, actually. Mike reached out to me because he wanted to move out of Winnipeg,” Cormier explained. “I literally got the email and was like, ‘fuck, this rules!’ and then called him on the phone and was like, ‘when can you move to Toronto?’”

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