After a series of successful shows as part of Soundwave Festival earlier this year, highly-praised Canadian hardcore group Comeback Kid will be returning to Australia in December with new album Symptoms + Cures firmly in tow.
We caught up with vocalist and founding member Andrew Neufeld to talk all things Comeback Kid.
Andrew, how’s things?
Awesome man, on tour with Parkway Drive in Europe [Never Say Die Tour]. It’s been crazy.
Tops! Back to Australia soon mate, it’s only been 9 months but we have definitely missed you!
Oh yeah, we’re going to be keeping tradition and coming in Summer as well so we’ve lucked out big time.
Yeah you seem to love the summer dates over here! Can imagine it would be bloody cold in Canada in December. What was the highlight of Soundwave Festival for you?
Too right it is! Definitely the Melbourne Soundwave, it was probably the best show we’ve played in Australia. We actually really want to do Soundwave again, if AJ lets us do next year it would be awesome. It was a very positive experience for us – both on and off stage.
What we are getting this time around is a set featuring your brand new record, Symptoms and Cures. Glad to be seeing that one on shelves?
Oh yeah, it’s great it’s finally graced Australian shores as well. We changed distributor so unfortunately you guys got it a few months later than the rest of the world.
Yeah that kinda sucked, got my copy a few days ago! It’s probably been my personal favourite so far, definitely a lot brighter sounding!
Yeah we agree, it’s probably our brightest sounding record so far. Broadcasting was very dark…
Why such a drastic change in sound?
Well we look at it as a bit of a throwback to our older stuff to be honest, it runs along the same kind of lines as Wake the Dead musically but with more of a punk rock twist. Vocally it’s a lot heavier because I’ve properly developed my vocal style and the album vocals are very true to my live sound. Broadcasting was my first time doing vocals with the band because I switched from guitar when Scott [Wade] left, so with Symptoms I’ve had more time to establish my sound.
Ever get a bit nostalgic and wish you were still playing guitar?
Definitely, I totally miss playing guitar. I get jealous of our guitar players every day!
How much Symptoms can we expect to hear on your set in December?
We normally play an even split of all our albums, we are still playing the first song we ever wrote at every show. I guess it will be 3 or 4 songs, depends on how long our set is!
Sammy Carter sings on Pull Back The Reins, any chance of him making a guest appearance in your set?
I haven’t actually talked to him about it, but it’s a possibility. I sang on the Architects record as well, so we could probably work out something. We’ll meet up in Brisbane and talk about it. We haven’t played Pull Back The Reins yet so it’d be a great excuse to play it!
On that note, Architects, This is Hell and Rolo Tomassi – pretty awesome bill, I believe your good friends with the other bands?
Yeah we’ve played with them all before. Rolo Tomassi we don’t know all too well, we toured on Soundwave with them though. Architects and This is Hell we have toured with quite a lot – it’s going to be awesome hanging out with all of them. It’s a diverse line-up and I think it’s going to work really well.
I’m definitely looking forward to it!
Oh me too. We love coming to Australia man, the shows are great, the people are great – it’s a one of a kind sort of place. You guys are really fucking lucky because you have such a booming music scene, especially with all the festivals that are coming through – you can’t take that shit for granted. When we first started coming to Australia there wasn’t much going on in terms of the hardcore scene, now there is so much coming through and it’s getting really big really fast.
When Comeback Kid started out, it was actually a side project, when did it become clear that it was going to need a lot more dedication?
Yeah it was actually a side project of a band I was in at the time called Figure Four. Comeback Kid started out in about 2000, we did our first tour in 2003 and that’s when we released our first full-length as well. Even with that first album tour we knew that Comeback Kid were doing something right, people had heard our earlier demos and there were people at every show singing along. We were only a young band, and we were really overwhelmed with the crowd reaction that we got. While we were on that tour we were also getting heaps of offers to go and support bigger bands, and it became clear pretty quickly that we would have to take the band seriously. It worked out pretty good for us in the end!
If you could say there was a song that inspired you to want to play music, what would it be?
That’s a hard one for me because I’ve been surrounded by music my whole life. I grew up in a musical family and was playing piano when I was four years old. I’ve just always played music and I couldn’t really pinpoint one particular song – maybe some of the records my parents were playing when I was still in the womb!
Take any four members from any band and put them on stage together.
Oh wow. There are a lot of people I would like to see perform, but I almost feel like the combo could ruin it. My favourite hardcore vocalist is Freddy Cricien from Madball and my favourite punk-rock guitarist is Chris Hannah from Propagandhi, but if I put the two on stage together I think it could be a total disaster. I hate it when a I really love and respect a musician and they go and do a side-project or form a supergroup and it’s nowhere near as good as it was before. If I was to form a supergroup it would take me a lot of time and thought.
If the world were to follow you now, where would you lead them?
To world peace? I don’t know. I’d definitely make a lot of things legal!
Anything else you’d like to tell Australia?
Yeah, come to the show in December because it’s going to be fucking crazy!