The band answers "The Afterman: Ascension" cliffhanger with new album "The Afterman: Descension"
Coheed and Cambria's Claudio Sanchez still feels that the group's latest thematic opus, "The Afterman," is twice as nice as a two-parter.
With "The Afterman: Descension" out today, Feb. 5, to follow October's "The Afterman: Ascension," Sanchez tells Billboard the wait has made the story even more impactful.
"I think 'Ascension' was that sort of cliffhanger, that record that proposed all the questions and then asked the listener to live with those questions 'til 'Descension' sort of answered them," explains Sanchez. "That's always been the way I've wanted to do it. And now it's in the hands of listeners, and they can experience it however they want -- as one whole experience, one whole piece, or separated. So, yeah, living with it, I still feel like the dual release was the right thing to do."
That doesn't mean "Descension" -- which continues the tale of Sirius Amory, a character from Coheed's "The Amory Wars" saga -- brings "The Afterman" story to a complete, concrete resolution, however.
"There's a question mark: what's going to happen to Sirius?" Sanchez acknowledges. "I'm guessing that's a story I might tell in the next few records."
Sanchez did, however, give Coheed fans a sneak peak at "Descension" by including the song lyrics in deluxe editions of "Ascension," which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. He doesn't feel he spoiled any surprises -- "I don't think they knew what the music was going to be like," he says -- but he was a bit disappointed that fans didn't use the information to come up with their own versions of the songs for posting online.
"I was hoping someone would create their own idea of what the songs were before ('Descension') got released," says Sanchez. "That was something I thought I'd do if I was the listener, but that didn't actually work out. Maybe (fans) don't know that I'd welcome it. I love when I see acoustic renditions of some of our songs that fans do. I like that stuff. It's cool. It gives me a different perspective on what the song was, or is. But without any guidance aside from the lyrics, that may have been a lot to ask."
Coheed is currently on tour promoting "The Afterman" albums, with North American dates running through March 21 before the group heads to Australia in April. A front-to back performance of "The Afterman" will likely have to wait until the group's annual Neverender event, but Sanchez promises that "we have a nice, well-rounded set of all the material we have, but 'The Afterman' will be a thread throughout the show."
Meanwhile, Sanchez is continuing to work with Mark Wahlberg's Leverage Films on a big-screen adaptation of "The Amory Wars," which the company optioned last year.
"At the moment, we're just sort of waiting," he reports. "We're just looking to find people that are really interested in doing the work on it and finding the right team. I'm not too familiar with the way things work in Hollywood, but I imagine they're sort of slow -- slower than we're used to working, at least."