Houston Calling

10 Questions for The Comas

March 3rd, 2005 · No Comments

Last year, I heard some advance buzz about an album by a North Carolina band called The Comas. I found the CD at Cactus Music and Video, brought it home, and was instantly blown away by the band’s music (although to be honest, the included DVD didn’t hurt…).

The Comas are like a rawer, indier Radiohead, although that description doesn’t really do the band much justice. You should definitely pick up a copy of their latest CD, Conductor, and judge for yourself. It’s a great album.

Lucky for Houston fans, the band is touring this spring and will stop in at Fat Cat’s for show this Sunday (3.6.05). I recently asked frontman Andy Herod some questions for Houston Calling. He was very kind to respond.

Ten Questions for The Comas

HC: How many cities are you playing on this tour? Do you enjoy touring or is it just one of those necessary evils?

Andy: We are playing 25 shows, as well as some live radio things. We/I love touring more than just about anything in the world right now. It’s something we’ve all been doing to some extent over the last few years, but now that people actually comming to the shows, it’s a whole new game.

HC: Much has been made in the press of the meaning and inspiration behind the songs on Conductor. I won’t bother to pry into your personal life. One thing, though, do you now view the experiences you went through to create the album as cathartic or do you wish you never felt what you did during that period? Would you go back and change anything if you could?

Andy: Looking back at the record, and all of the experiences leading up to it, I feel pretty happy now. This record, not just the lyrics but everything that went into it, came from a pretty confusing and miserable time in my life. Yet it’s all wrapped up into a nice
little piece of art that me and my friends made, and that I am pretty fucking proud of, and that some people seem to really get. It’s kind of been the most theraputic thing I’ve ever experienced in my life.

HC: A lot of the press (including yours truly) voted Conductor one of 2004’s best releases. Did you expect the reception the album has received?

Andy: I think a lot of that had to do with it getting to the right people, and then those people letting other people know about it.
I didn’t expect anything. so the reception has been just really fun and exciting to watch. But I still want more people to be aware of it and us, and that is why we tour I guess. Spreading the word, of misery and heartache and rock and roll…

HC: How do you feel about the MP3 “revolution”? Does being on an indie label (Yep Roc) shield you from a lot of the crap associated with the music business?

Andy: I used to have no opinion on the matter, but now I own an iPod, and I’m constantly aware of how much music I have that I have not paid for. it kind of bothers me. But I guess not enough to stop, just like every other morally wrong thing I keep doing over and over again
because I love it, and hate it.

I think we should still be able to sell records at shows, because that will always be a part of that ritual, plus the CDs are actually affordable at shows. But I believe file sharing hurts artists and record companies. There’s no denying that.

HC: The film that comes on DVD with the album are brilliant, and really work well with your songs. How long did the whole process take getting that together?

Andy: Forever.

HC: “Invisible Drugs” is probably my favorite track on the album. Do you have a favorite Comas song? Which one? Why or why not?

Andy: We are filming a new video for that song while we are in L.A. on this tour. I’m very excited about that because I love that song too but, my favorite Comas songs have not been recorded yet. But we will be playing a few live.

HC: Do you own an iPod? Are you a fan of digital music or do you prefer to stick to the basics?

Andy: See above.

HC: What can fans expect from one of your shows? Is it mostly stuff from Conductor or do you play songs off your other albums as well?

Andy: New stuff, couple of covers, our favorite songs from
Conductor, sweet rock.

HC: What are The Comas’ long-term plans for 2005? More touring? Any recording in the works?

Andy: Tour as much as possible. Write more songs, record when we can. Make money! We need money! Give us money!

HC: What are YOU listening to these days?

Andy: Nuggets 2 box set, Nick Drake, Bowie, Luna’s Romantica, Beatles’ Abbey Road, Smile, Kraftwerk, Badfinger, Ween, Howlin’ Wolf

Thanks to Andy Herod for taking the time to answer these questions. Be sure to catch The Comas when they’re in town at Fat Cat’s this Sunday (3.6.05). Pick up their latest CD/DVD, Conductor, at a record store near you.

Now Playing in My iPod: Adelaide — demos

Tags: Music