Coheed and Cambria is one of those bands that people have either heard of and love or have never heard of at all. I was fortunate enough in high school to have a friend that loved the band, and although I am not completely involved in this fandom I admire the creator and the longevity of this project.

Lead singer Claudio Sanchez is not only front man for Coheed and Cambria, he is also creator, writer, and producer, via Evil Ink comics, of a science fiction comic book series entitled The Amory Wars. Each of Coheed’s 7 albums represents a chapter of The Amory Wars story. There has been talk of a film adaptation involving Mark Wahlberg, but nothing has come of it and some fans are nervous about what potentially will come of such a venture.

Amory Wars


Coheed and Cambria is an alternative/progressive rock band which formed in 2001, but what makes this band different from most others (besides Claudio’s unique vocals) is their transmedia story element. Transmedia storytelling is defined by Jenkins as a text that:

“unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole…Reading across the media sustains a depth of experience that motivates more consumption” (2006, p.106).

Jenkins specifies that the individual media elements should be self-contained and can therefore be enjoyed without the accompanying texts. This is why I can enjoy the music even though I have not read the comics and vice versa for a comic book reader.

So you can understand how fans of a 12-year old rock comic book fandom such as this are quite dedicated to it. Members of the Coheed fandom call themselves the Children of the Fence and they are quite proud of their fandom and its openess to new members. A basic Pinterest search brought me to fan art varying from heels to tattoos.

I have been a fan of Coheed’s music since 2005, but I was not aware of The Amory Wars until I met my fiance who was also a Coheed fan. We both went to our first Coheed concert recently at the Starland Ballroom. Not only was the performance amazing, but Claudio actually involved the CotF fandom in a unique way. Towards the end of the show Claudio called up a cosplay couple from the recent New York comic con. He explained that the couple came dressed as lovers Coheed and Cambria from The Amory Wars, and that they were here because Coheed had a question for Cambria.

Youtube

So the entire audience watched as this man Fenn asked his girlfriend Sarah to marry him. The cosplay couple celebrated in a group hug with Claudio on stage and then slow danced on stage to “The Afterman”. I have never experienced anything like that at a concert before, and the crowd completely supported this interruption in their evening, some even congratulated the couple afterwards on Twitter.

Video credit: nursegrrl8 via Youtube.

Featured photo credit: Vendictar via Deviantart

Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence Culture. New York: New York University Press

Written with StackEdit.

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Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. The only Coheed and Cambria song I know of is Welcome Home, which, as some of you may recall, was featured in the first edition of Rock Band. Though I don’t know if that necessarily qualifies as transmedia, it’s still the record label reaching out to a new and different audience (video games players as opposed to music listeners). In fact, many new bands make their big breaks in sports video games like Madden and Fifa now, since so many different kinds of fans (sports fans, game fans) play those games. What a world we live in!

    Reply
    • I think that the game choice says a lot also, for example a lot of lesser known bands got involved with Rock Band and Guitar Hero because it was a whole new concept that combined video games and music in a new interactive way. So, no longer were they just targeting video game players like with Madden or FIFA, they could now target music lovers too.

      Reply
  2. Whoops, forgot to mention JET released their first single “Are you Gonna Be My Girl” in Madden 2003 (which released summer 2002), and they got a lot of attention from it. And then they were never heard from again. Ephemeral!

    Reply
  3. wow – I had no idea. I used to listen to Coheed all the time in high school and the first few years of college and somehow connected their songs to whatever silly was going on with my life. Totally agree with that Jenkins quote here about the enjoyment being self contained. I think this goes back to a lot of our reads that discuss the idea of fandom being somewhat reflective on the fan – their perceptions and connection to material. Thanks for posting this – going to check out the book

    Reply
    • Same here! I feel like so many music artists choose a traditional route so we don’t expect there to be anything besides just the music. Once I found out about the story, a lot of songs and the album layouts made more sense to me but at the same time their original meaning to me remains the same.

      Reply
  4. Dethklok is another band that does this, they put on a really cool show. They write an episode from their cartoon for each show, perform as the characters. Gorillaz also had an element of transmedia to their performance. Quite an interesting approach to performance.

    Reply

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About Stef Parker

Just your average millennial who happens to love snowboarding, Pinterest, Nintendo and music with a passion for advertising and social media :-)

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