Interview :: Andrew Neufeld (Comeback Kid)

“I can go to the bathroom if I want” – Andrew Neufeld

It’s rare we get this good a weather in the North of England. Well, England in general really. We caught up with Andrew Neufeld, vocalist and former guitarist of Comeback Kid. The Canadian hardcore outfit were taking advantage of the Manchester sunshine before their gig at Academy 3 so, opting to stay outside, we discussed the benefits of smaller shows, collaborating with other artists, a possible reunion for Figure Four (Neufeld’s other band) and asked the ultimate superpower-based question.

Check out the video below. Shot and edited by Dicking Around Productions (which also happens to be us!).

Gig Review :: Thursday – Manchester Academy 3 (20/04/11)

© 2011 Jodie Weatherley

“…an abundance of sweat drenched mother fuckers who’d just experienced what could easily be one of the best gigs of the year.”

We (me and Barlow) almost didn’t make it into the gig: being totally broke on the night one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen are playing is never a high point in life. Luckily we have some good friends in high places who finagled us in for free. I would once again be watching the New Jersey kings, Thursday.

We arrived just in time to see the majority of Attack! Vipers! set, which was a relief because the previous times I’d attempted to watch them I’d either been late or had some form of previous engagement. I’ll say this about the Vipers, they were nothing like I expected them to be. Being part of the ‘Southsea punk scene’ I was expecting to be seeing something a bit less…let’s say brutal. But this was by no means a bad thing, after I got over the initial shock of just how hard and heavy they were I found myself drawn to the front of the crowd, or as close to the front as I could get, seeing as, vocalist Joe had decided to do the first half of their slot in the centre of the crowd. This confused a lot of the audience who were unfamiliar with the intimacy of UK underground bands, but pretty soon everyone was digging it. The room wasn’t even close to full capacity, but I imagine Attack! Vipers! captivated the majority of the people watching.

We decided to take a trip to the bar during Circa Survive’s set. I have nothing against the band and I have a lot of respect for Anthony Green and his work in The Sound of Animals Fighting but, unfortunately, the band he was playing in that night were not my cup of tea.

After the bar break it was back to the gig, and as soon as the lights went down I shot the front-right side of the stage in anticipation. Thursday soon appeared on stage and the crowd just lost it. The first three songs were all from new album No Devolución and even though they went down really well, there was a feeling that only the newer, or more hardcore Thursday fans were singing along to every word; the albums release having come only 8 days prior to tonight’s show. As much as I was enjoying the new material I was aching for something off their initial LP’s. With no chance of a Waiting classic sneaking in, I kept my fingers crossed for a good amount from the other two.

“Ten years ago we released an album called Full Collapse, so we thought we’d play the entire record tonight. Is everyone cool with that?”

Everyone wasn’t cool with it, they were fucking ecstatic.

The band blasted through the album, start to finish, with only the odd break to address the crowd or remember which song was next on the album (it had been ten years) with a great intensity which left this participant, who at this point had dumped his bag and glasses and was firmly pressed at the stage front being the filling for a sandwich consisting of a young girl and a sweaty meat head, absolutely drained of all vocals, energy and bodily fluids.

After the start to finish of the record, the band left stage, returning momentarily to end the show with another new song Turnpike Divides, a homage to their home town of New Jersey. The band left and so did the crowd, an abundance of sweat drenched mother fuckers who’d just experienced what could easily be one of the best gigs of the year.

Interview :: Nuno Pereira (A Wilhelm Scream)

A Wilhelm…Interview?

When A Wilhelm Scream brought their brand of melodic hardcore punk to Manchester, we thought chatting to them (or, at least, one of them) was the right thing to do. As ever, we were not wrong. We spent 15 minutes in the sun with, front man, Nuno Pereira as he answered our most important questions. There is a method to our madness, y’know.

Ian Critchley: So, apparently, you like sausage? *laughs*

Nuno Pereira: Sausage is a delicious food product. I actually had a vegan sausage the other day and it was also delicious.

IC: *laughs* You’ve been touring with Pennywise and Strike Anywhere, how’s that been?

NP: It was fantastic. Both of those bands we had toured with pretty extensively in the past, so it’s always nice to be on the road, away from home, for a month, but still be in familiar company and surroundings. Plus, the bands are great and every night it’s just fantastic, just a party. There’s always some funny shit going down.

Anthony Barlow: You’ve gotta love that. Why has that tour not continued through to Manchester then?

NP: Well, that’s a good question, one that might be better asked of Pennywise or Strike Anywhere. I can make up an answer.

AB: Yeah, just do that.

NP: What happened was, after the London show, both bands got recruited to go slay some dragons in the Middle East. Apparently they’re really fucking shit up out there. After that I think they were gonna go shave the whales. Shave the whale? Save the whale? I’m not really sure. Either way, it’s a noble, noble cause.

AB & IC: *laughs*

IC: Last time you were in Manchester, as far as I know, you had one of your songs recorded with, a friend of ours, Jason Gough from Castle Productions. Do you remember that?

NP: No, I do not. Next question. No, I don’t remember. It was here, right?

IC: Yeah

NP: Yeah, I do recall doing some sort of recording that last show. It’s escaped me.

AB: Well our follow up was, did he try and make you buy a Mac?

NP: *laughs*

IC: Yeah, he’s a Mac enthusiast.

NP: Well, most people who have them are though, I guess. Everyone loves them. I have an iPod Touch, that’s the closest thing to a personal computer I have.

IC: *laughs* I don’t even have a touch, I’ve still got to use the wheel. You’re touring Brazil, how did that come about.

NP: Yeah, we’re headed to Brazil right after this tour. We’ve want to go all over the place. We’ve been over here, in England, countless times now. Like half a dozen times, at least. We always want to go and check out new, fun spots and South America is one spot we didn’t ever think we’d get an opportunity to go to, so when we started getting offers to play shows there we jumped at the opportunity and, after a few months of preparation and working out the minor details, it’s on, dude!

AB: What’s your fanbase like out there?

NP: I have no idea, we’ve never been, but we get tons of emails and comments on MySpace and so on and so forth saying everyone’s looking forward to it. I’m not sure what the pre-sale numbers are, but I think they’re doing well. Hopefully it’ll be some killer shit.

AB: Yeah, definitely. Is there any other places you’d like to tour?

NP: I’d like to go to Africa. I’ve never been to Egypt or even South Africa as well. They’ve got a good surf culture down there, so maybe they’d be a bit more into punk. Where else? I wouldn’t mind going to China and every chance we get to go to Australia I’m down, because that place is awesome.

AB: Fair enough. You moved away from Nitro Records, what was the reason behind that?

NP: Well, our contract was up. Yeah, we had planned on doing three albums with Nitro. We did our three albums with them and the music industry, she ain’t what she used to be *laughs*. Everyone’s losing money and there wasn’t a lot of money to be put towards a band of our status. We still need a lot of promotion, because we’re not hundreds of thousands of copies. So they were moving away from putting money towards that and, you can understand, it kinda sucks, because we loved working with those guys. It’s kinda the nature of the beast.

IC: As a band you apparently fall into the genre of ‘math rock’.

NP: That’s not true.

IC: Well, that’s what the general consensus seems to think. To be honest, I was like ‘what the fuck’s math rock?’

NP: As far as I know, math rock is like…Dillinger Escape Plan is more math rock than we are. Those guys are like on crazy time signatures that don’t even exist to regular humans. We’re not that hectic about it. I would say we’re more technical punk rock. We’re not punk rock because, if you listen to us and listen to Rancid there’s a clear difference. I would say we’re technical punk rock.

AB: You’ve actually been compared to bands like Hot Water Music as well as Strike Anywhere and bands like that. How do you feel about comparisons like that?

NP: They’re all bands I like. I don’t think they’re necessarily spot on. I mean, clearly, we don’t sound like Hot Water Music. We’re influenced by them. If anything, I think people need to start correcting themselves. I don’t know if it’s a lack of proper grammar, but they’ve got to use their words a little bit better. ‘They sound like’ or ‘they’re like’. If you say ‘influenced by’ then you kinda get a better idea, because, clearly, we don’t sound like either one of those bands, but you might be able to pick out some similarities.

AB: The one thing you don’t want to be hearing is ‘derivetive of’

NP: Yeah *laughs*. No one ever wants to be derivative.

IC: No. You released an EP last year, is there any chance of a new album in 2010?

NP: Well, we’re hoping. We’re definitely gonna be in the studio in August, recording. We usually don’t, well we take our time, but we usually don’t sit in a studio trying to figure out which guitar sounds the best. We’ll try to have it banged out as fast as we can. We’re doing it at home, which is nice, so we don’t have to fly anywhere. It’s a little bit easier, I can just wake up, hop in the car and, in 15 minutes, I’m in the studio with a cup of coffee and a joint.

IC: So, are there any new songs written?

NP: No, not all of them. There’s still skeletons, we’ve still got to build up.

IC: So there won’t be any new stuff tonight?

NP: No, no.

IC: You’re playing the entirety of Mute Print at a gig in Kingston at the end of this tour, why’ve you decided to do that?

NP: I found out about that about three or four weeks ago, we got over here and, I guess, it was already booked. We just found out about it. I guess the first Kingston show was selling really well, so maybe our tour manager was talking to a promoter and was like ‘hey, let’s do another show and we’ll just make the guys play this record’ *laughs*.

IC: Are you gonna do it, literally, from start to finish?

NP: I don’t know. That was one of the questions that was brought up and I was like ‘fuck, I’ve forgotten at least two of those songs’ *laughs*.

IC: *laughs*

NP: Even today, on the bus ride over, I was like ‘who’s got that shit on their iPod’. So I had to go back and learn ‘A Picture Of The World’ and ‘Brand New Me, Same Shitty You’. Other than that, I pretty much have the rest of it. You’d be surprised at the amount of lyrics that I store in this brain of mine. I’m not just talking about ours, it could be fucking Patsy Kline.I think that’s the only way.

AB & IC: *laughs*

IC: Are you a big Patsy Kline fan?

NP: Who the fuck ain’t? Let’s be honest.

IC: *laughs*

NP: Who doesn’t like that song ‘Crazy’, right?

AB: Finally, we’ve got a super-serious question here. If Henry Rollins, Chuck Ragan and a shark had a fight, who would win?

NP: Ooh, that’s a good question. This is kinda like a fun riddle. Alright see, it’s like this, I know for a fact that Chuck is an expert fisherman so he would probably know how to tackle the shark. He’s also a carpenter, so he’s pretty strong. Henry Rollins is about my size, he’s not like a tall dude, but he’s also built like a fucking oak door. I’m gonna go…Chuck Ragan on this one.

AB: It’s 3-0 Chuck Ragan.

NP: 3-0 Chuck Ragan. No one ever picks the shark?

IC: No, no one ever goes for the shark.

NP: Does anyone ever bring up that Chuck’s an avid fisherman?

IC: No, you’re the first person to do that actually.

NP: See, I actually, logically, broke it down.

AB: Finally, we have a reader question. Dan asks: Why did you choose the name A Wilhelm Scream?

NP: Because we liked it. We used to be called Smackin’ Isaiah, Koen And Adam’s Crack, we had lost some of the original members and we were putting out a new record, it was kinda a move away from our older sound as well, so we were like ‘fuck it, let’s start a fresh’. So we went through some of the worst band names, it was so funny. We’d come to band practice with sheets of names written down and you could tell some of them were just totally made to take the piss out of us. I can’t even remember half of the bad, A.K.A. ‘good’, ones. Eventually, a friend of ours turned us on to the fact that there’s a soundbite called ‘The Wilhelm Scream’ and, since we’re all pretty much into movies, we all thought ‘that’s cool’. \

AB: Well, thanks a lot man. That’s sort of all we’ve got left.

IC: Yeah, cheers.

NP: Cheers, gentlemen. Enjoy the show.