Comeback Kid was back in the Southland, this time bringing the raging hardcore anthems to Rock City Studios in Camarillo, On tour in support of their fifth album Die Knowing, now available from Victory Records. the Canadian collective sent the throngs into a slam pit overdrive. Prior to their exhilarating set at Rock City, we caught up with founding member Andrew Neufeld to find out more about the compelling Die Knowing, working with former vocalist Scott Wade once again, his other band Sights and Sounds, thoughts on the current Christian hardcore scene, and many other topics of interest. Read on as we catch up with Andrew Neufeld just right before Comeback Kid sent Rock City into the stratosphere…
So how’s this tour been going so far? What have been some of the highlights? This is the last day now.
Tour’s been going pretty cool. We’ve been out for like, 5 weeks. There were a lot of really good shows on this tour. NYC was was really fun to play. We got to do a lot of festivals on this tour, which was cool to mix it up. Playing club shows is fun but it’s also cool when you can – even if it’s festivals where we’re a little bit out of our element style wise. It’s fun to have fun, mix it up and play different types of venues. SXSW was cool as shit.
How does Die Knowing compare to the other Comeback Kid albums?
We set out to do a record that was a little more to the point. Looking back on it now, the songs are noticeably shorter and we just took a fun, simplistic approach to it. There’s still some rippers in there, but when we sat back and looked at the songs we had, we were like, wow there’s a lot of heavy songs on this. So we decided to just pack it towards the front with our heaviest hardcore stuff and then it ends on more of a brighter note. It’s kind of a throwback vibe a little bit of 90s metallic hardcore as well. Some of the stuff we grew up on, we’ve always been into really hard hardcore so that’s some of those influences shining through a little bit.
Select two songs off of Die Knowing and what inspired you to write the lyrics?
There’s a song called “Unconditional” and that’s about – it’s definitely the most chill out song on the record. That song is about a year that went by where my mom had cancer and we went through chemo. It’s about, for some reason I knew she would get through it, and she did get through it. It was one of those things for family members I feel like anybody who has anyone sick in the family – you are always waiting on results and hoping for the best to happen but also have to brace yourself that things could drastically change and really affect you. That’s what that song is about, just reflecting on that.
One song is called “Wasted Arrows,” which is actually my funnest song. We’ve been playing it live. I’m not usually a pissed off person, but that song is just kind of – about someone who’s kind of turned their back on me and just left me out to dry so to speak, is what the lyrics are. It’s an aggressive song, a pissed off song, which is straight and to the point.
One of the songs has Scott on it. What was it like working with him again? Does he ever want to come back to Comeback Kid?
We did some anniversary shows last year with him. We did a few shows in CA, a few shows on the east coast. We did a small European tour, Turn it Around 10 year anniversary and he came back and sang. I played guitar. We’re super tight friends, we hang out all the time, so we’re always still talking about music. I was like, OK Scott, you can write some lyrics and I’ll write mine and then we were both procrastinators when it comes to it, then we end up smoking weed or something. But the funny thing about that song is, we recorded the drums in California for that. We recorded the music in Winnipeg and then I was on tour with my other band and I did the vocals for that song, because we didn’t finish in time, in Italy and Scott did them in Toronto. Then we just emailed them all and smashed them together.
Figure Four did some reunion shows. How did that feel to do those songs again? Especially since all of them have Christian tones to them?
We didn’t play any of the old Christian stuff. Figure Four – I started the band when I was a kid. 16 years old or whatever. Then towards the end of Figure Four - before the last record, Sufferering the Loss, was going through some changes and growing up a little bit. Started to think differently and not agreeing so much with the Christian aspect, but I was still going through it at that time. That was 12-13 years ago. We just played songs from Suffering the Lost that aren’t really religious.
That’s the best album anyway.
Yeah, that’s the one that can stand the test of time a little bit. That had the best production. I thought the other ones weren’t the best. They never were that great. Growing up for anyone to see every dumb thing I’ve said in my past is – lots of bad lyrics.
Looking upon the Christian metal scene today, what do you think of it?
It’s weird. I dont know. It’s hard, I notice just as an outsider now looking in how much more things like the world is a lot more politically correct, for the lack of a better term. Christianity, I mean, you even see the Pope pretty much – he gave a statement I saw, he said they don’t believe in a literal Hell anymore and that theres a lot of things, oh and he said all religions are true. That’s something I don’t think ten years ago a Pope would have said. Christianity is really changing, and sometimes people get surprised when a Christian band is homophobic or a little anti-gay. Dude, Christianity has always had that stuff in it. Why is it a surprise? It’s just less tolerated now, which is good as far as any bigotry or fascism or whatever. It’s interesting, I’m really just an outsider looking in. There aren’t really any hardcore Christian bands, is there?
There doesn’t seem to be, no. Just off the top of my head I can’t really think of any. Maybe Gideon?
I haven’t heard them, but I’ve heard of them.
I think they’re the biggest band on Facedown now besides War of Ages.
Actually, Jason from Facedown. I keep in touch with him. Not super often, but he’s a cool guy. He’s in Uganda right now adopting a girl, they’ve been there for a few months trying to work all that out.
Facedown Fest is next weekend.
Maybe they’re flying in for it? I don’t knot. When we’re in California, sometimes we see the people from back in the day and get updates on everybody.
Your other band, Sights and Sound, you recently put out a new EP entitled Silver Door. How does it compare to Monolith and the other things you’ve done?
It was a collection of songs that we had, we weren’t real sure what we were going to do with it or how we were going to put it out. Then we ended up getting a tour with the band Bring Me The Horizon, who asked us to go to Europe with them for about 6 weeks. Those were huge shows, OK we’ll put out this record and we got Jake from Pure Noise to put it out for us, kind of an on a whim. We had been working on it for a while but we weren’t sure, but yeah. Then once we had a few tours that we could do, we actually have never played the states before. We were like OK we have to put out the new release. It’s a little more straightforward, also and Monolith was a Devin Townsend produced epic long songs and tons of layers. Sights and Sounds is always about layers, but these songs are a little more simple rock structures. Some are more shorter, I guess. Sights and Sounds is a fun way to play melodic rock stuff.
You said you toured with Bring Me The Horizon, how was that?
It was cool, I mean we were just warming up the shows so it was just interesting to play to thousands of little kids. Sometimes they’re into it, it was a fun tour to be on.
When will we see Sights and Sounds here in the states?
I don’t know, man. I dont know when and if it will happen. Because band members all have to get visas, we’re just a small band. Somehow it’s easier, financially to do a tour in Europe than come to the states, weirdly enough. Its just the way it works.
And when you do go over there, you’re touring with Bring Me The Horizon, [laughs].
We’re a band where if something cool comes up that we can tour, like a support option comes up we’ll do that, or we’ll do some headlining stuff in Europe and Canada. If someone wanted to bring us out in America, that would be cool. Its just so tough here, there are so many bands touring. Sights and Sounds just costs so much money to play.
Is Stu from Misery Signals in Comeback Kid now?
How did that come about?
He almost joined a couple of times. He was a natural fit, and he really wanted to gig and kept on talking to us about it. He was pretty stoked to be a part of this. He’s a great guitar player. We’ve been homies for such a long time, he’s been with us now for a couple of years and I really hope that he stays with us for a long time.
That’d be cool. Well, Misery Signals got back together. Was Stu not involved in that?
No, they’re doing the band without Stu. But actually, this summer they’re going to do a ten year anniversary for Malice, their first record with their old singer. He’ll do a similar thing that Comeback Kid did.
Oh nice. Will Stu be involved with that tour?
This has been a long tour, what’s the first thing you plan to do when you get home?
I live in Toronto these days, we’re driving to Toronto, 40 hours. We’ll leave after the show tonight, then we’ll have a day off. Practice with our new fill-in drummer and then go to Europe.
Do you have any messages for your fans who are reading this?
We appreciate the support. That’s it. We’re just happy to be playing music. Thanks for keeping on checking us out, for sure if you’re into Comeback Kid in anyway, please check out our new record Die Knowing.
(Review and Photos by Ken Morton)