Now that Coheed and Cambria has brought its first narrative story to a close with 2010's "Year of the Black Rainbow" and its attendant graphic novel, the group has to figure out what to do next. And it's not necessarily in any hurry to do so.
"I think there's a lot of ideas floating around -- nothing set in stone, which there shouldn't be yet," guitarist Travis Stever tells Billboard.com. "Claudio (Sanchez) has written quite a few songs that he doesn't know what they're going to be for. They could be Coheed. I've been working on stuff, everybody's working on music constantly, so there's ideas all over the place. Once we get together as a band and work those ideas out...we'll see what happens. I have a feeling whatever the band decides to do, it's going to be great."
And Stever also expects that after spending five albums tracking a specific story, Coheed and Cambria isn't likely to diverge from that type of approach. "I believe Claudio is most comfortable writing in a conceptual fashion," the guitarist acknowledges, "so that should continue as well."
The quartet is playing one new song on its current tour, meanwhile, a tune called "Iron Fist" that Stever and Sanchez wrote two years ago and have worked into the set. "We were on tour and I had some riff ideas, and we got together in a dressing room and worked it out acoustically," Stever remembers. "We actually recorded a demo version of it when we got home, just the two of us doing it, and were really excited about it. We showed it to the other guys and now we're doing a full band version of it."
Coheed and Cambria is currently celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its first album, "The Second Stage Turbine Blade," via a three-hour, evening-with show that includes a front-to-back performance of the album plus both acoustic and electric sets. The group is also tapping into side projects, such as Stever's Davenport Cabinet and Sanchez's Prize Fighter Inferno. "It's a real ode to our fans, our hardcore fans," Stever explains. "It's one of the better shows we've gone out with in a really long time. We're always ready to stimulate the ears and the eyes, but on this one we wanted to make it really special."
The group wraps the tour on May 29, and on June 11 It plays a free show at the Williamsport Waterfront in Brooklyn, with the Adrian Belew Power Trio and Tigers Jaw opening. Coheed and Cambria will play the Rock in Rio festival in September, but Stever says the group -- which is between labels -- is mostly looking forward to some time off to focus on making new music.
"I can't remember a time in the past 10 years when the next three months head weren't planned already," he notes. "Right now I think it's important for us to live in the now a little bit more. We put on a better show living in the now, and we'll go on to what's next and the next thing when we're ready."