Friday, November 2, 2012
Andrew Neufeld of COMEBACK KID Interview
How has this year gone musically since the departure of Casey Hjelmberg, and what does Stu Ross bring to the table on guitar?
Casey was rad, but it's been pretty fluid actually. We have had a few people come and go over the span of our career and funny enough, the people who we get to fill the positions end up being close with the members prior to them. We've never really had an "bad blood" with departing members, we have just been a band for about 12 years and although there are 3 of us original members in the band who are psycho and want to tour forever, the touring lifestyle just isn’t for everyone. So when Casey left, we got our friend Stu Ross. He actually almost joined the band a few years back when our old bass player Kevin quit. Stu has played in Misery Signals, and most recently had a stint with Living With Lions. He claims CBK is one of his faves, but it’s great to have a new guitar player that is on the level with us personally and he brings a new excitement and fire to the band. As much as it was sad to see Casey leave, he wanted to do other things with his life and gave us like seven months notice so Stu pretty much jumped right in and we didn't lose any steam.
Stu, Casey, and Matt our current bassist also have a band called Lowtalker who just released an EP on No Sleep records this fall. Check it out!
How was the Symptoms & Cures World Tour, and how was the response to the band in other parts of the world?
It was great. When we started the album cycle we were really stoked to get out as much as possible and really bang out a lot of territories in the first year the album was out. It's interesting to see which songs go over better than others in certain cities/ countries. We always play songs from all four of our albums to date, so it’s encouraging to us when new songs from Symptoms + Cures go over just as well as songs from Wake The Dead or something when we are in far off places like Tokyo or Sao Paulo...
What was the best place to play and why?
Some highlights for me would be Hamburg, Sao Paulo ( Brazil ), Santiago ( Chile ), Tokyo, Southern California, and Portugal. The energy of some of these crowds is second to none. We are really lucky to be so welcomed in a lot of different cities.
Biggest rock-star moment/biggest fail as a band or while on tour?
We've played Groezrock festival in Belgium a couple times and that is by far our biggest festival reaction. It’s a crazy feeling playing to 8,000 people in a packed tent and they actually know our band's songs. Very different from an intimate club show, but really fun.
As far as failures, there are many, but I can't think of one big one off the top of my head. I choose to take the positive from bad decisions we've made, and try not to dwell on that kind of shit.
"Do Yourself a Favour" is a brutal way to kick off the album. Why was this song selected to do so, and why do you feel it is a strong single?
The song did well live and it’s the first from the album so we did a video for it. It was Jeremy's idea to have it as the first song. Track-listing an album is tricky…
'Symptoms & Cures' is a lot more musically dynamic and diverse than previous albums as far as experimenting with the "hardcore" sound. What was the reasoning for this and have the fans been receptive?
The layering of the album just came naturally. I wanted to do an album with a few more textures as opposed to just the left and right side panned guitars. I also really enjoy layering vocals and squeezing hints of melody in places that we want to keep aggressive. The album has been received well live, so I'm happy with it. We try our best to pull it off as best we can live.
Now that the tour is over, is the band getting back in the studio, or is just a little down time before the next project?
We've started writing a new album, but we all live in different cities now so it's tougher to get together and hash out the ideas. I'm currently in the studio with my other band Sights & Sounds working on new material and a couple of the other guys are out on tour with Lowtalker ( who I mentioned before ), so we're about to figure out a timeline for when we can jam and hopefully record in the first half of 2013. I’m really looking forward to getting some new material down with the guys.
Aside from a few member changes, how has Comeback Kid evolved as a band, and what do you see the band becoming in the future?
It’s been over 12 years since we started so we've grown to appreciate each other and the band that we get to be a part of. It's a relaxed group most of the time and we seem to work well together. All of our records have been different and I'm into that. We still see quite a future with CBK and we will be touring and making records for a decent while longer I’m sure. We’ve been writing some songs lately and they are sounding really cool. I look up to Sick Of It All, Madball, Propagandhi, etc and see how they have made their bands last 20+ years. It's inspiring to see them still rip it up on stage.
The popularity of hardcore has really risen over the last few years, why do you think this is so, and are you afraid it may be become too "mainstream?"
I don't know if the popularity of "hardcore" has really risen in the past few years, but I think there are a lot of heavy bands taking influence from hardcore that are getting insanely popular. Doesn't particularly make them a hardcore band. But yes, it definitely goes in waves.
I think that there will always be bands getting huge and there will always be really small punk/ hardcore bands and shows going on. Bands will always get dismissed when they move out of their original scene and break a little more into the mainstream for whatever reason. It’s the balance that needs to be there.
We've been fortunate enough to run our band our own way since we started. We do the tours we want to do, we make the records we want to make. Sure we get people at the labels and booking agencies give us advice but we do what we feel comfortable with and we've been able still really enjoy it after all this time. I feel pretty lucky.