This is the type of Cancer you must have! These guys are really hard to find via google and social networks because of that name. You either get Cancer Bats or some results on charity foundations. Sven is hailing from Zürich, Switzerland and thanks to facebook, I had the pleasure pulling him away from his love for turtles and catching up about Cancer’s new record called “The Weight Of The World”. If you check their facebook page, they classify their music as Alternative, but when I thrashed the shit out of the album, I thought of bands like Pulley, No Use For A Name and Millencolin, so I would put them in the fucking awesome category that most of you would call skate punk.
They’re currently doing lots of writing, so I guess this means some new shit could be on the way soon. I wondered how they fit it all in with their travelling but with Joel and Silvio based in Basel, and Sven in Zürich, they’re only about an hour apart from each other, Sven told me, so it isn’t really a big deal. After all, Switzerland is small country.
The band has been around since 2009, and their first release came out 2010. In April 2011, Sven got asked to jump in for their bass player to hit the road for one month throughout Europe. Sven has been a guitar player for 20 years, not a bass player, but he thought to himself: hey, fun is fun!, so of course he went along and hasn’t looked back since!
The name CANCER actually stands for the star sign, not the sickness. “At first I thought ‘what an odd name’, but it gives you a lot of attention though, and it’s a pretty gnarly name for a punk band!” Sven said.
Compared to their previous album, “The Weight Of The World” is much faster and punkier, which we all like! Sven agrees: “It’s so much fun to play these songs live, and I think the next record will also be in the style of our last EP”.
The EP is out on Flix Records, a small label which is located in Vienna, Austria and run by Felix Wilikonsky. Sven had a few nice words to say about that: “We’re super proud to be on that label and it feels so right to be on it because Felix puts as much love and effort in it as we put in our music!” It took Cancer 3 days to record the EP. All band members like to be in one room and record live, to keep it as punchy and natural as possible.
I asked Sven what his favourite track from the EP is and he came back with: “I can only speak for myself but I think “The Glory So Far” is a pretty catchy song and I love to play it live.” The EP was produced by Clemens Matznick, who also recorded their first album. Joel and Sven both write songs and lyrics, then they put it together with Silvio. They have also cut together a video for “As Long As We Are One” which consists of mainly all kinds of road footage they filmed during their last tour with MXPX through Europe. “It’s funny and we hope to be able to spread it soon.” Sven said. So make sure you like them on facebook to keep updated about that one.
Last year, Cancer played at Groezrock, where Sven got to see so many of his heroes like Rancid, Good Riddance, H2O, Alkaline Trio and many more. His favourite band he’s shared the stage with was Cancer’s bro Mike Herrera of MXPX. “We got really lucky that he liked us so much, that he offered us the job to be in his All Star band for MXPX. Definitely a dream came true for all of us. I’m am a huge fan since I was 16 years old when ‘Life in General’ came out!”
The bands that inspired Sven during his youth are still pretty much the ones he still likes today like Green Day, NoFx, Guns n Roses, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Pantera, ELO and Tom Petty. “I’m a big Rock fan from the 50’s until today’s music.”
Next thing I asked Sven was to go over to his record player and tell me what’s in there right now, but he didn’t have to, he answered right away with “Hot Water Music has been in my record player for two weeks now! I love it.” When asking for some fresh meat, he said: “Mmhh let me think what kinda new shit I like…. Oh I like the Natalia Kills record!”.
Cancer seem to have some exciting stories about their tours to share: “Joel jumping out of the van while it’s still in motion, drivers falling asleep while they’re driving, broken down vans on Russian highways…” Reading that, this made me wonder: “Holy fuck dude, what the hell do you guys drink up there?” Sven’s response: “Jameson most of the time. I’m kind of the only one who’s drinking, so you’ll have to ask the other guys about that. But here is something else: Once we mentioned the wrong city on stage, is a classic one! You always hate bands who do that but seriously let me tell you, if you’re on tour for a while it starts to get hard, because you play cities you’ve never heard of before, and then it sometimes happens that you mention the city where you play the next day, or something. So embarrassing!”
So to finish this up, I asked Sven for advice for the youngsters just starting out. “Yeah, I think there’s only one way.. Fuck the trends, fuck the fashion! Play as much as you can and forget about just doing it to be a rock star! It doesn’t work! You have to love to write your songs and play them, otherwise you’re not able to write good songs, which won’t put you on big stages!”
With that good advice from Sven from Cancer, I tell you guys out there to check out their pages and if you’re on facebook, throw them and Flix Records a like.