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Accomplices: Steve Beam, Heather Peterson and Dan Elswick
Comeback Kid formed in Winnipeg, Canada, 2002 when vocalist Scott Wade foolishly decided to start up a mortal, Hardcore band. Unaware of my ghoulish existence, he contacted fellow, Canadian mortal and Figure Four vocalist Andrew Neufold, enticing him to join the the new group as a guitarist. Had Scott been aware of my legendary, murderous rampage, he would have known that not only have I been hunting Figure Four for the last two years, but by musically associating himself with any of the group's members, he too would be putting himself in grave danger. While Andrew was aware of this horrific truth, he chose not to share it with Scott and joined the new band, eager to temporarily relinquish his usual role as a vocalist and explore different musical avenues not afforded to him by his well established group. After enlisting drummer Kyle Profeta and fellow Figure Four guitarist Jeremy Hiebert, the lineup was complete.
Under different circumstances, I might have been filled with rage that yet another band dared to attract attention their way and thus stand in the path of my superior group Maris The Great and The Faggots of Death. However, I quickly dismissed this new, musical endeavor as a harmless side project that would not survive the daunting tour schedule, not to mention worldwide respect Figure Four enjoyed. What I didn't realize unfortunately, is that Hardcore mortals can be slippery. After quietly playing on a local level and writing for six months, the band released a six song demo and as Figure Four's schedule allowed, began earnestly touring North America. By the time such insolent behavior reached my undead awareness in 2003, Facedown Records had already released their celebrated debut Turn It Around and a major buzz had developed around the band. Homicidal thoughts consumed me as I listened to the album's 13 tracks. With a sound falling somewhere in the direction of Bane, Reach The Sky and maybe a touch of Madball, the songs punched me in the face with their tight, intense, musicianship, infectious melodies, gang choruses and a glorious, classic, dance groove. The disc would go on to prove to be a must have for any true, Hardcore enthusiast and the band's subsequent tour a must attend event.
And so it was, with great, murderous enthusiasm, that I immediately put Comeback Kid on my hit list. While I could have easily dispatched any one of my drones to go and obtain the group's members, dragging their bloody cadavers before me, I instead decided to wait for the band to come comfortably within my clutches. Such an opportunity came sooner than I expected, when in 2004, the band decided to record their highly anticipated sophomore effort at Fort Collins, Colorado's The Blasting Room with Bill Stevenson (of Descendents, ALL, and Black Flag fame) and Jason Livemore. As the group began recording their new opus, I moved in for the kill. The following homicide pictures are of the band as they were actually recording the CD. Their deaths and consequent rise as zombies, gave the new album it's name of Wake The Dead. Comeback Kid are now indeed undead and will continue to temporarily tour, playing their special brand of melody-infused Hardcore until they decompose to the point of no longer being able to operate their instruments. At such a time, I will step in and take over, stealing their tunes for my band and taking their contract from Victory Records! While I prepare for such a victorious accomplishment, you shall now read their final interview.
Click on pictures to enlarge
It is I, Maris The Great! You shall now answer the questions I put before you. Scott mortal, in spite of the ever-increasing popularity of Comeback Kid, do you still insist on maintaining it all began as merely a side project
Scott: Yeah. Comeback Kid just started as a little project that the four of us wanted to do. We wanted to play Hardcore and the stuff we like. We started messing around with it while Figure Four was a full time band. Things slowly progressed to the point we are now. We are a full-time, touring band. Comeback Kid's success has far exceeded expectations.
Were you in another band while Figure Four was happening?
Scott: No, this is my first band.
What about tasty Kyle?
Kyle: I have been in other bands, but I was not in a band when Andrew approached me.
Andrew, why would you want a side project when you were already so busy with a well established group such as Figure Four?
Andrew: I just wanted to play guitar in a band and do something a little more melodic. That's why I started Comeback Kid.
Why not simply do that within Figure Four?
Andrew: Because Figure Four is balls to the wall, heavy Hardcore.
And you got Jeremy to defect along with you. What are the biggest differences for you being on stage as a guitarist, verses a vocalist?
Andrew: Actually, as a vocalist, I don't think I am what I used to be (laughter). Sometimes it's harder for me to sing. I sing a little bit in Comeback Kid, but when I'm in Figure Four, I'm in a routine and I get used to it. But since I'm doing more with Comeback Kid right now, it's a little harder for me. I also enjoy playing guitar more. I don't like being in the middle or the center of attention all the time. I like just playing my instrument.
One must wonder how the rest of Figure Four feel about you and Jeremy two-timing on them
Jeremy: The guys are very understanding. I'm sure they would like to tour more than Figure Four is right now, but they are all very understanding people.
Spoken like a true, two-timing mortal! But now Comeback Kid are becoming more popular than Figure Four. What now will you do?
Andrew: Comeback Kid are more popular in terms of record sales, but it's a situation where...we'll cross each bridge as we come to it in regards to Figure Four.
Well you might as well say that Figure Four isover with. Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about something really important like...your wiener! You have an uncircumcised wee wee. Does the skin completely cover the head or does a little bit of the head peak through?
Andrew: It's a perfect fit, actually. It works out well.
You have told me nothing, mortal. Is it a Canadian thing to have an uncircumcised wee wee?
Andrew: Definitely, more Canadians are uncircumcised than Americans.
Are you, Jeremy, uncircumcised as well?
Jeremy: Yes. There is quite a bit hanging off the end.
Are you fond of your uncircumcision because the extra skin makes your wiener look thicker and as a result, you feel more manly?
Jeremy: I guess I've never thought about it (laughs)
Andrew: I don't know. I was just never circumcised. My parents chose for me to not get circumcised when I was a baby, so I don't know, I never changed that.
The last time I saw you, you declined to show me your great, hooded wonder. Are you still taunting me with what could be between you and I?
Andrew: Well... I'm not taunting you (laughs), but I'm still not going to show you my dick tonight (laughs).
What about you Scott, are you uncircumcised as well?
Scott: No, I'm cut, with a helmet
Intriguing...and you tasty Kyle?
Kyle: What?....are you talking about this? (Kyle stands up and pulls the front of his shorts down, exposing himself )
(The whole band roars with laughter)
Whooaaa! My Greatness is speechless!
(more band laughter)
(Kyle has a wonderful, circumcised, manly-looking wee wee, that has just the right amount of girth and weight, and appearing to have just the right amount of bounce. It is magnificently framed by a manly, explosion of pubic fur and of course, two, mouthwatering testicles - ed.)
I must compose myself....ahem!....so.....tell me about Turn It Around. It was your first record. How do you see it in retrospect?
Scott: I personally had no expectations. I'm very proud of it. I'm 100% happy with the record. The production, the music - all of it turned out great.
Jeremy:: It's natural to regret some things. You always notice little flaws, but overall, I think the record captured where we were at, at the time. It exceeded our expectations.
What are Comeback Kid songs about?
Scott: Well, we haven't written any songs about uncircumcised penises (laughs), but we are working on it. Our lyrics can be a little ambiguous. But at the same time, they can be easier for people to relate to because they interpret them as their own. Some people can relate to a particular feeling in the lyrics. Most of our songs are about day to day things, such as relationships or life in general.
Figure Four are a Christian band. What is the spiritual stance with Comeback Kid?
Andrew: Whether or not everyone has the same opinions on God and spirituality, both bands are spiritual bands simply because of the individual members and what they bring. However, neither of the bands are ministry bands. There is no agenda that is trying to be pushed.
However, there must be expectations placed on you by Christian, mortal listeners.
Andrew: Yeah. I think sometimes people want your band to be what they want it to be. However, you can't let that kind of stuff get to you. You can't let people tell you what your band should be. Personally, I think everyone should live their life honestly and how they think they should live their life. All of us in the band see life differently from each other, yet we agree about a great many things. But for us, it's a personal thing.
Scott: ...And expectations can be taken on a wider scale than religion. In general, if you look up to a band and expect them to be something they are not, you end up getting disappointed. In fact, I just got done writing a song about that very subject. It's about building someone up and putting them on a pedestal, only to watch them fall because they are not going to be what you want them to be.
Andrew: Also, some people don't stop and realize I formed Figure Four when I was 16 years old. I'm 23 now. A lot of my views have changed. I look at life totally different now.
Jeremy: A lot of bands will be unified around a certain topic or issue, but change over a period of time. The listener is removed enough that they are in an ignorant position and maybe don't understand the position a band is in. It's the same way with the way people expect certain things out of politicians. There can be a lot of unnecessary pressure placed on a band.
Do you feel that band's have a responsibility?
Jeremy: Yes, I believe band's do have a responsibility. However, there actually needs to be responsibility on both sides.
So...what would you like your audiences to walk away from your shows with?
Jeremy: In our situation, I think it's more about the entertainment. We don't have an agenda, really. We just play music.
Kyle: If I were watching us play, I'd say, "holy shit, those guys are giving it their all and giving it every ounce of energy they have." That's my goal when I go on stage. It's about coming 100% from the heart. When I come off stage, I'm a complete wreck. I'm a sweaty mess, because I've given it my all. It's not about entertainment in the sense that we are going through the motions of trying to put on show. It's about coming from your heart and giving it your all.
Andrew: I don't know that we have a goal for people to come away from our shows with anything. This is just our expression. We love playing music and have a great time doing this.
But let's talk about expectations from the Hardcore community. There are those mortals who don't want their Hardcore band to be merely about the music or entertainment, but have strong, personal beliefs behind the music.
Scott: I think their is a lot of passion in the Hardcore scene. It's not a huge scene and so, as a result, there is a lot of passion. I mean, you get in a van and tour everywhere. You're not doing it because it's a money thing. You're doing it because you have heart. You're doing it because you have a love and passion for Hardcore.
So tell me about "Wake The Dead."
Andrew: We weren't out to change our style. It was kind of hard with this record because we didn't want to make a record that was too different, yet we didn't want to make a record that was exactly the same either. I feel like we've progressed as musicians and writers and this record is leaps and bounds ahead of "Turn It Around." I think the song writing is a lot better, the melodies and hard parts are a lot better too. Jason Livemore.and Bill Stevenson did an awesome job.
Why did you choose to record in The Blasting Room, which is so far from your home?
Andrew: We went on tour with Only Crime, which is Bill Stevenson's other band aside from The Descendents and All. He was really into doing it. We were actually planning on going to Boston to record, but he was really into it and made an effort to show us some of the work he had done. He gave us an opportunity to come here, so here we are. Also, The Blasting room has done a lot of records we liked and bands we like.
Scott: We are not only fans of a lot of the bands that have recorded here, but we also are fans of the people that work here.
With Turn It Around and Wake The Dead, a mere mortal might notice the artwork is a bit on the unsettling side. Where does that come from?
Scott: It hasn't ever come off as intentional. I handle a lot of the artwork. A lot of the people I know are really good at drawing ghouly looking things. It never was pre planned, but it just comes out that way. Plus, I think it looks pretty gnarly. The new album layout was done by a cool guy by the name of Jeremy Wabiszcaewicz for Monster's In Disguise.
So is the song Wake The Dead about zombies?
Scott: No, it's about people walking around aimlessly, doing nothing with their lives. They are basically just zombies and dead...no offense.
No offense taken mortal....Grrrr....so tell me about some of the other songs.
Scott: Well, like I was talking about before, another song is called "False Idols Falls," which is talking about how kids build up these people and expect so much from them - whether they are in a band or a celebrity and so forth. They put them on such huge pedestals that there is no way they are going to live up to the expectations, and of course they are going to fall. The idea behind the song is...don't have heroes. All the heroes are dead. Another song is called "Talk Is Cheap" - which is about sitting around, talking about changing the world, but you're doing nothing. You're just sitting there talking about it. You aren't doing a thing. Your talk is cheap.
Are there any power ballads?
Scott: There's definitely more relationship songs.
Andrew: I broke up with my girlfriend a couple of months ago. I wrote some songs about that.
Where did your love for gang vocals come from? 80's Metal, perhaps?
Scott: It's just a Hardcore thing that maybe Hardcore stole it from. It adapted as our own. A lot of traditional hardcore bands do gang vocals. When we did our first record, we did a lot of gang vocals, but on this record we didn't do as many.
What is the biggest problem facing kids today?
Scott: Maybe kids are losing a sense of reality, possibly because of things like the Internet. 14 year old girls are taking pictures of themselves naked. I don't know. It just seems like things are way different when I was like, 14 or 15. I didn't hangout with girls that dressed half naked, like Britney Spears "wanna be's" do now.
Kyle: I have a 16 year old sister. Her friends come over and they look like my 24 year old friends, you know what I mean?
Jeremy: If I had one wish, it would be for people to not be taught what to think, but how to think. It's really easy to go along with something and not questions it, simply because it's the politically correct thing to do. It seems like there is a certain mindset that is pushed and with each generation, more and more becomes acceptable. I think it's healthy to sit back and question things. I question everything. It's not always popular to stand up for what's right. It takes strength to stand up for what you think is right when 90% of the people around you don't.
Andrew: I don't really have all the answers to life. I don't feel like I'm qualified to tell people how to live theirs. I'm at a point where I am searching for a lot of things, right now. I've noticed there is a lot of indecision in this world. Possibly I'm kind of included in that. I hope things get better, because It's not the best place to be. I'm always searching, I'm always watching. I'm always thinking. I'm trying to figure out life just like everyone else.