Cannae, a band that's surely a contender to the throne of the hardcore genre. R13 interviews guitarist Steve Colombo via e-mail to find out a bit more about Cannae's motivation.

SC: Hi...this is Steve, just sitting at work, not working very hard obviously.

R13: Currently where are you and who are you touring with?
SC: Currently were just doing the daily grind 9 to 5 thing, saving up a few bucks to keep our livers up to fighting weight on the road. You'd think I'd say to buy food, but I've got my priorities straight... We do have a Prosthetic Records tour coming up with All That Remains, The Esoteric and Reflux as well as a few other things in the works which I can't really say because then Ill just look like an idiot if they don't work out...

R13: What was the story behind the cancelled tour with Haste The Day?
SC: The tour went through a few lineup changes, as well as we got added pretty last minute and never even actually knew the official tour dates or routing at all. So at the end of the day it was a week before we didn't even know for sure where or when we were supposed to leave and let's just say it was a mess. We had just come off about two months of being on the road and it just didn't work out.

R13: How has your music changed from your debut 'Troubleshooting Death' to 'Horror' to your latest release 'Gold Becomes Sacrifice'?
SC: We've gone through some member changes for the better since those first two records, and I can say, considering I've been there from the beginning, that so much of the music on the new record is stuff we've always wanted to do, but for whatever reason, we just couldn't. I pretty much wrote 85% of those first two records myself and it was great to have our drummer, Colin, who also plays guitar, come to the table with so many great ideas. We could focus more on song structure and not have anything we were uncertain about go onto the final product. It comes down to we've finally got the lineup and production that we've always wanted. I think that the rest of the band would agree that this new record is, as a whole, the best thing we've done to date and we're certainly not stopping here.

R13: How was working with co-producers Jason Suecof and Jim Morris? Who'd win in a fight?
SC: Well, Jim just mastered the record and we weren't there when that was going on, so I couldn't really size him up, but I can say with pretty good certainty that he's got an advantage over Jason, because Jason's been in a wheelchair pretty much his whole life. Maybe if he equipped his chair like Spy Hunter or Knight Rider or with some kind of death ray.

R13: James Murphy solos on the track 'Bastinado', how did you get him to guest on the album?
SC: Jason (Suecof) knew James and in talking with Jason while doing our preproduction, we figured we'd see if he was available to come to the studio. Our drummer used to write a death metal column for RIP magazine when he was about 13 or 14, so Colin and James had talked before and James agreed to come play a solo for us. It was great to have him play on the record, being fans of Disincarnate, Death, Obituary, etc etc. He came down and did the solo for us, then hung out for awhile and talked shop, etc. After he took off we celebrated by drinking until 8am. Not that we need an excuse...

R13: You guys have been around the 'scene' for awhile, all being in metal bands previous to Cannae, how would you say the 'scene' has changed over the last decade and do you think commercialisation is a good thing or a bad thing?
SC: Certainly the trends in the scene have changed, but a good metal album is still a good metal album. I think the trends and change are unavoidable, possibly necessary in some cases, but it's the bands that don't fall prey to them that will survive. The scene it seems is more dominated by fashion over the past maybe five or six years and I guess we're not trying to work for the fashion industry and we're not here to tell you what you should and shouldn't wear or if you should cut your hair with two blunt rocks, muss a bunch of gel in there and have someone slap you in the side of the head before you walk out the door. We're here, from day one, to play heavy goddamn music. Commercialization is inevitable to a point, but it's when a band will look and say to themselves, well that band is huge...so let's try and sound just like that, when everything goes wrong. You have to find your own voice in this industry, not try and get big quick by doing whatever is 'in' at the moment; it's hard enough to stand out with the deluge of new bands these days.

R13: For each of you, which is your favourite track off the new album to perform live?
SC: I can't speak for everyone, but I'm into whatever the crowd is into. There's nothing like looking out and seeing everyone going crazy for what you're playing. 'Indemnity' is a lot of fun for me, and 'Rats, Snakes and Thieves' and hopefully on upcoming tours we'll be adding 'Fear and Panic' to the set.

R13: What are the worst injuries you've sustained at a gig?
SC: I don't think any of us have actually been really injured at a gig. We've hit each other with guitars and things like that, but never anything serious. Although, I smashed myself in the face with my guitar once and spit blood all over everyone in the front, so I guess that's my worst, but that was just a split lip. The only other thing I can think of is we were about to do two great shows in a row last year, one locally with Suffocation, then we were supposed to play Hellfest in NJ. Our drummer Colin, the day before, sliced his hand wide open on a beer bottle and we couldn't play. That's the worst injury leading to no gig.

R13: Where has been your most memorable gig and why?
SC: For myself it was the first benefit show for a good friend, Dave Kinosian, that passed away in 2000. It was a really big show all set up by our mutual friend Jeremy from Diecast and we raised a bunch of money for Davey's scholarship fund and to be able to give his mother that money was amazing. It doesn't matter what shows we play, that will be the most memorable for me no matter what.

R13: Are there any future plans of a UK tour?
SC: We're certainly working on it. We've been looking forward to a UK tour for awhile now just trying to make it happen. Anyone in the UK that wants us over there, pick up the new disc and email Prosthetic Records and tell them we need to come overseas!!

R13:Stephen describes himself as 'hating abso-fuckin'-loutely everything and being a miserable lowlife', when is he at his happiest?
SC:I don't really and I don't know why Colin put that up there. I wrote it in an email once I think and he put it up on the site. I actually forgot it was even still posted. Although I'm not the most cheerful person on the planet most of the time, give me a few beers and my mood starts to change, until it comes full circle back to angry again.

R13: Are all the members of the band tattooed? Can you each describe your own favourite skin addition?
SC: Most of us have a good amount of tattoos. For myself I've got a tribute piece for my friend that I mentioned before that means a lot to me. As soon as I finish the colour on my sleeve, which incorporates that tattoo, I'll be a little happier. Our bass player Shane has his family crests tattooed on his back pretty good size done by our good friend Jason Loui, who also has done 95% of our singer, Adams, tattoos. I'm not too sure what Alex would say, he's got a few, but I know he's got an evil clown grabbing an eyeball and Colin has an armband. 'Nuff said.

R13: I hear you guys are pretty heavy drinkers? What drink would fans usually find Cannae downing?
SC: The free stuff. Then we move onto cheap. Inevitably we end up in a bar doing shots of Jager or Jack and whatever the cheap draft is. I actually work for a beer distributor as a graphic designer, so I get a good hookup. After doing a recent project the head of the company came in and said to pick out whatever case I wanted for free. So I sat down with our beer list and UK readers should appreciate this, I grabbed myself a case of Boddingtons. Great beer and when I can afford it I pick it up and if we play UK I've heard it's thousand times better over there.

R13: I read that you were a fan of horror films, which latest release would Cannae recommend to go see?
SC: That's a tough call. I can't really get into many new horror films because one of the things I liked so much about the older ones was the low budget production. The new remake of 'Dawn of the Dead' was pretty good. I haven't seen the remake of 'The Ammityville Horror' yet. The remake of the Japanese movies, like 'The Ring' and 'The Grudge' I thought were well done. Rob Zombie's 'House of 1000 Corpses' and 'The Devils Rejects' also should get a nod.

R13: Shane - you list 'neck puncher' under your profile, that's a bit harsh (only for special occasions, I guess)! Are you violent band?
SC: We're not necessarily a violent band for the sake of violence, but it's not entirely out of the question. The neck puncher name came from one night out a bar for someone's birthday. It was a frat guy bar and ultimately Shane ended up punching some kid right in the neck and we ended up fighting the bouncers and a few other randoms into traffic and across the street. It happens, what can ya do?

R13: What is the worst trouble you've got yourselves into?
SC: On the road, nothing serious, we try to fly under the radar while we travel so just some speeding tickets. We've all individually spent our time in court though. I have a case still pending, so I won't get into it.

R13: What sets you apart from other bands on the Boston scene like Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage and Diecast?
SC: I think there's a big separation just between Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage and Diecast in musical style, they each have, in addition to a large group of common fans, many different groups of people that come out to see them. For us, I think one big difference is we don't sing. Those bands have always had that aspect to their music and we never have and we're not going to change now because it's become such a common bandwagon. We actually shared a practice space with Diecast for years up until recently and we've always been pretty much the first to hear each others new material, but if you listen to us and them, they're coming from a different place than us. I actually just got a copy of some unreleased stuff they recorded and just you all wait!!

R13: Finally describe the scene Cannae would be in when you know you've 'made it'?
SC: Well, I just did an interview with RoomThirteen.com...we've had the chance to play so many great shows and meet great people...I think we've 'made it' in some aspect. We all started out just wanting to play music and we still are, how can I complain?
Thanks RoomThirteen!!