Cambria Evans, Inspiration for Coheed & Cambria’s Band Name, Claims Band Won’t Acknowledge Her
Have you ever wondered the story behind Coheed & Cambria’s bizarre band name? I have, although until some allegations that broke last week I confess I never bothered to look it up.
Here’s what the band has always said, as relayed in an article a few years ago in Hollywood Reporter:
“The band’s name derives from a series science fiction comics written by frontman Claudio Sanchez titled The Amory Wars. Coheed and Cambria are the first names of the story’s two heroes, whose story is used as a narrative for each of the group’s albums. They chose the name during a 1998 trip to Paris.”
But according to Morgan Evans of MetalRiot.com — who grew up with and played in bands with current and former members of Coheed & Cambria — the band name and character were inspired by his younger sister, Cambria… and the band has never acknowledged it publicly. Explains the elder Evans:
“For years I have had an on again off again argument with Coheed and Cambria. We grew up together in various bands. Their first drummer Nate was my best friend and in bands with me as well. We have had many amazing times and many horrible times and in the early days we all used to play shows together all the time.
“I remember a particular day in 1997 vividly where a side project band of mine called The Electric Ten Inch was jamming at Shabutie’s [band prior to Coheed featuring some of the same members] regular practice space at Nate Kelley’s family home in Bearsville, NY. The band was myself, Mic Todd on bass, Zac Shaw (now of Dead Unicorn), Nate on guitar and Damien Shannon on lead (he went on to work on Ween’s White Pepper album, incidentally). Claudio Sanchez was there listening to us jam out on the song “Ghost”, which was about addiction. He was sitting on the floor bopping his head to Mic’s bassline. The sense of brotherhood amongst us all was very strong and the musical energy was so rad.
“I never thought in a million years I would one day spend almost two decades simply asking for Claudio to admit my sister Cambria exists. She was a part of our scene, collected door money at shows that I booked for us all and is a real and good person. She is also my hero for coming out of our drug crazed Woodstock 90s scene mostly unscathed.”
Evans goes on to detail more personal connections between he and former and current members of Coheed, alleging that “You’ve Got Spirit Kid” was an attack aimed at him and that the band used his lyrics in “Hearshot Kid Disaster,” among other accusations. It’s a pretty damning piece and gets very, very personal.
Cambria, for her part, seems more mystified by the whole ordeal than upset with it — she seems to have let go of any resentment she previously held:
“To be fair, at the time years ago I probably helped instigate some of the arguments with their fans by being a rude kid, But people said I’d probably slept with them all or that I was jealous liar, or that I had changed my name because of them! I don’t care about the band or that the band. It’s not trademarked. I’m not the only Cambria in the world. The only thing I find slightly annoying is when people say “oh, like the band!” upon meeting people that have heard of coheed. Then I just tell them how they used to be in same music scene as my brother and friends’ bands, and that I went to school with ex bassist that was arrested for robbing pharmacy and taking taxi back to venue before their show. (Sorry Mic). But it’s really no different than if they were Coheed and Sarah or some other name. It was just really weird since I was the only Cambria in the area, and collectively lots of people knew me and the band members.”
She elaborates on how the band may have come to use her name as their own:
“The people around our group at that time acknowledged the weirdness of it. I know I exist, I know you used to play shows with them, I know I went to those shows. There’s pictures of us all together. I just don’t give a fuck about it anymore. I don’t care what their story is, it doesn’t matter. I don’t live my life around it. It’s such an old long ago thing for me. I’m flattered they thought I was so super awesome that they had to name their band after me. (That’s a joke by the way) I don’t need anyone’s acknowledgement to know who I am or that I simply exist.”
MetalSucks reached out to a representative for Coheed & Cambria prior to publication of this piece but did not receive a response.
Read the entire interview at MetalRiot.com.