During the first ever Red River Rampage festival in Winnipeg, I got to sit down with Andrew Neufeld for a little bit to discuss the new record:
Symptoms + Cures leaked fairly early, how did you guys feel when you found out?
Well, we knew that it was fairly inevitable and probably going to happen, but we were a bit surprised at how far in advance everything leaked. It leaked about five weeks before the release date. I don’t know how good the quality of the leak is, but I hope it’s good so people are hearing the right format of our songs, but whatever. It’s cool. Our only concern with selling records is that we’d like to get enough so we can record our next record. If we can just continue to do that, a leak is fine for us. It only makes it better for our live shows, you know what I mean? I actually feel like it created a bit more awareness that we had a new record out.
What were some things you wanted your new record to accomplish as you were recording it?
We wanted to make another record that was fun to play live. From the three records that we’ve put out before this, we play a lot of songs from Wake the Dead. We just wanted another record that we could have fun with live and really just get into and have a lot of fun with. I’d say it’s probably brighter as well.
Being 4 LPs deep, do you feel like the writing process has gotten harder?
Yes. When you’re writing the first few songs for a new band, that’s always the easiest thing ever just because there’s nothing in the past to compare it to. But it’s still awesome, it’s still fun. We’re just trying to write better songs. We write music the exact same way we did from the start. I think at our very first practice, it was me, Jeremy and Kyle in Kyle’s basement. And then when we were writing the record, it was me, Jeremy and Kyle in Jeremy’s basement so same type of thing.
I’ve noticed that your vocals also sound a bit different.
Yeah. When I started singing in the band instead of playing guitar, I wanted it to still sound like Comeback Kid so I started singing in the style that Scott [Wade, vocalist] would have sung it in. With this album we did it a little more like how we do it live and my vocals are kind of heavier, which is naturally how I sound.
What was the main inspiration for the title and the lyrics?
The title was just taken from one of the song titles. As for the lyrics, it’s mostly from hanging out and touring heavily. Kind of talking about the in’s and out’s of that. There’s a song about the van accident we got into when we were touring with Grave Maker almost two years ago.
What made you choose Distort as your new Canadian label when Smallman shut down?
We just started talking with them. My other band Sights & Sounds is on the owner of Distort’s UK label so I had already been working with him already. I feel like they’re the best label for heavy music in Canada and our buddies in Cancer Bats had nothing but good things to say.
Did you choose to work with Eric Ratz [producer] based on Cancer Bats’ recommendation as well?
Yeah, they definitely did recommend him. But we knew we wanted to do a record in Canada this time as well. We had done our records with Bill Stevenson and he’s awesome, but we felt like we were in need of a change. We felt like Ratz could give us a rawer, more natural sounding kind of tone and we’re happy with how it turned out.
Any plans for a music video?
Yeah, we’re shooting a video in Winnipeg this week actually. It’s for “Because of All.”
Can you tell us a bit about the concept?
We don’t really know too much about it yet, but it will be directed by Michael Maxxis who has done some Alexisonfire, Bedouin Soundclash and Billy Talent videos. He’s talking about some kind of double exposure, like he has some 35 millimetre film that he has left over from another shoot and he wants to use it on us. I’m really excited about it.
Will you be able to tell it was shot here?
No, we’re just getting a nondescript room. It’ll be all black and they’ll be shooting other stuff in there with us.
You have a lot of big tours coming up soon. How’d you get involved with the Four Year Strong tour in the States this fall?
I think the first time we met those guys was when we played a festival in Australia called Soundwave. When we were in the States, I saw their tour manager in Massachusetts and he was like ‘Oh, we’re going to do this tour and I think the guys were talking about wanting to have you along.’ And with having a new album coming out, we were like ‘Fuck yes.’ The timing was perfect.
How easy is it to make time for both Comeback Kid and Sights & Sounds?
It’s been cool, but also pretty hectic. I have a storage unit and I keep my stuff there because I’m constantly on the road and don’t really have any downtime. This is my month off now and I’m writing some songs and trying to make some headway before Comeback Kid has like 7 tours in a row coming up. We just go by which band just has an album out, I try and give that band the priority. Which works out well, some of the guys are going to relax a bit after these tours so I’ll start with Sights & Sounds stuff again.
Lastly, any chance of a Figure Four reunion?
No, but there’s songs on the new Comeback Kid record that might as well be Figure Four songs.