Combichrist at the Final Day of the Everybody Still Hates You North American Tour
The final day of the Everybody Still Hates You Tour had arrived, and the notorious Combichrist made their way into the wilds of Downtown Los Angeles to present an absolutely devastating live performance! Unleashing songs spanning a vast and epic career, Combichrist sent the attendees at The Regent Theater into a frenzy with their industrial strength heavy metal entreaties. Highwire Daze Online caught up with Combichrist mastermind Andy LaPlegua backstage at The Regent to discuss the conclusion of this dynamic cross country run, the current album This Is Where Death Begins, upcoming manifestos from this compelling collective, and other topics of interest. Read on…
We’re here with Andy of Combichrist. First of all, how has this Everybody Still Hates You Tour been going and what have been some of the highlights?
I would say that the tour is the highlight – it really is! It’s been such an amazing tour. I would have to say that this is one of my absolute favorite tours that I’ve ever done. There’s a lot of reasons for it – the lineup I’ve got now onstage – the members in the band right now – we’re all getting along so well on and offstage. The people are so talented and so cool. It’s just a great energy. And the crew and the other bands on the tour – and plus we’re doing a little bit more of the older material too. It’s just great!
And what could one expect from your show tonight here at The Regent Theater?
Well, it’s the last show of this tour, so hopefully we can finish with a bang, as they say. I really want to just go out there and play and give what we’ve got.
You recently did two shows over in Russia. How did they go and what do you think of Russia?
It’s awesome! We play St Petersburg and Moscow almost every year. It’s really awesome! The crowds are great! Just the atmosphere – everything is amazing!
Is there any overall story or concept behind the title of your recent album This Is Where Death Begins?
I felt like that death begins with birth – and this is kind of a rebirth of the band. Because it was kind of as far as I wanted to go – I’m not saying experimentally but musically. Like it started with more electronic noise and it changed from every album to album to album. I felt like when we got to this album, I was like “Okay, I want to do this – and this is as far as I want to go to change the style now.” So that was kind of the concept of it – it was kind of the rebirth of the band. So when I’m writing material now, it’s like a new baby – it’s kind of like a born again Combichristian as you could call it. (Laughs)
Select two songs from This Is Where Death Begins and what inspired the lyrics for you.
Exit Eternity for example – I had an idea for a short film of someone who is truly immortal and this person could never die. But he’s the only one left and there’s nothing left – there’s just snow – there’s no plants – nothing. Just snow – and he’s walking in it and there’s nothing else. And it’s like people are striving for immortality – for a longer life and everything – but what happens when everyone you care about is gone? Everything is done and gone. And that’s basically what the lyrics are based on.
I guess another song is Don’t Care How You Feel About It – and that really means exactly that. I do what I do and don’t care what you feel about it.
On the Deluxe Edition of This Is Where Death Begins, you have a live recording of a show that was done out here at The Complex in Glendale. What made you decide to release this particular show?
Because I recorded it and it was fun to do something different. It was really fun to do! Some people got there and were like “When are they going to start the real show?” It was just me onstage doing this instrumental stuff. And I’m like “It said on the flyer that I was doing this instrumental noise set. It’s just going to be me – and that’s why we’re playing The Complex as opposed to The Regent or The Fonda.” But it was so fun! Most people got it and I really enjoyed it. It’s not something that I will do very often, which was also why the live recording was so important – because it’s once every ten years that I will do something like this – so that’s why.
I recently went to the Vans Warped Tour and saw Motionless In White. On your current album, you worked with Chris Motionless on the song Pay To Play. How did that collaboration come about, and what do you think of Motionless In White overall?
I love those guys and I love the band too. We didn’t know each other – we’d known “about” each other for a long time. I did a remix for them a while ago and stayed in touch. I just listened to the song in the studio and thought “It would be great if Chris could do this.” And that’s all there was. I reached out to Chris and said “Hey, you want to do this?” and he’s like “Hell yeah! I’ll do it right away!” So it was pretty painless that way. Maybe one day when we’re in the same touring cycle – maybe we’ll be on the same tour too!
Nick Rossi from New Years Day has been in your band for a few years now. How did he become involved with Combichrist?
Well, New Years Day was opening for us. We got to know all of them really well. Nick was there playing drums – and when he quit New Years Day, I reached out and said “I need a second drummer” – and that was basically it.
Your recent album came out about two years ago. How close is Combichrist to writing and recording all new material?
I am writing and recording right now actually. I’m actually going back into the studio Monday – and its Saturday today. So it’s the last show and then straight into the studio and continue recording. The album is pretty far ahead and it’s already getting there. It’s gonna be good. It’s going to be way more electronic than before – it’s already way more electronic than the previous album, but it’s still just as hard as this later stuff we’ve done. It’s just as dark and hard – and I’m excited.
Are you currently involved with any other projects outside of Combichrist?
Yeah, I’m working on a project – I’m not sure exactly what it will be called yet. The working title of the project is called Children Of Violence – which is probably what it’s going to end up being called. I would call it acoustic punk rock – or something like that – I don’t know how to put it. I’m influenced by stuff like Tom Waits – I’m also inspired by outlaw country stuff – I’m also inspired by punk rock and also folk music and Americana stuff. It’s just dirty acoustic songs – and it’s fun.
We need to be on the lookout for that. So what goes through your mind when the final day of a tour arrives like today’s show at The Regent?
It really depends man, because right now my first thought is like I get to go home to my girl and to my animals – we have tons of animals – those are our babies and I haven’t seen them in a while. That’s the main thing. But it really depends from tour to tour. It was such a good tour now. I’m not excited that the tour is over. I could do this forever, because it’s such a good tour. But I’m excited to go home and see my family.
And do you have any messages for Combichrist fans who are reading this now?
Come out to the shows! The best way to support a band is to go see them live. The way record sales are these days, not many people are buying albums because of Spotify and stuff like that. Support where you can if you want to. It keeps the band rolling and we appreciate it – especially coming out live – it’s personal and it’s up close. I want to see people when I’m onstage and really have that connection with people when you play live – and that’s not something you can get through Spotify…
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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