drummer Josh Eppard of Coheed & CambriaThough Coheed & Cambria’s drummer Josh Eppard grew up playing along to Sly & The Family Stone’s sticksman Gregg Errico, and also cites The Cars as a musical influence, the band’s progressive rock underpinnings challenge him. “All of our songs, in a sense, are challenging,” Eppard admits. ‘that’s what’s fun about being in a progressive band; you can always test your limits.

At the same time, the goal for Eppard and his rhythm section mate, Mic Todd, is to keep things somewhat understated, since singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez and guitarist Travis Stever have a tendency to play fast and furious. “When I first joined the band it was even more progressive than it is now,” Eppard explains. “So Mic and I took a more conscious approach in the rhythm section to make things a little more subtle. We like to think of ourselves as one solid unit.”

In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3, the band’s sophomore offering, runs the gamut from nine-minute prog-rock numbers to straight-forward driving rock songs. Take the case of “2113”, the title is a nod to critics that refer to C&C as Rush acolytes – where both sides get equal treatment. “That song is the complete opposite of subtle,” Eppard jokes. “When we wrote it we were freaking out and having fun. I know it’s really long, but to us it’s a musical joke in a way. It goes from math-rock precision into a very straight forward, almost Police-like groove.

I don’t use double bass drums or a double pedal,” he continues, “although a lot of people think I do. I would say that out of anything, I do like showing off with my feet. I’ve always catered to that. I believe that your feet are in charge of the groove, more so than your hands.”