On April 7th, Swiss thrashers Comaniac released their new album, called Instruction For Destruction. DutchMetalManiac’s Don Anelli reviewed it here, he also interviewed them, as you can read below.
Well, first off, let’s talk about the new album. Are you pleased with the reactions so far?
We’re happy to get a lot of attention through webzines and reviews for Instruction For Destruction. Most of them are very promising. They recognize a high originality in our thrash metal sound and that’s exactly what we wanted to achieve with this second offering. Of course: there are a few reviews here and there who are skeptical and are struggling with the melodic musicianship we add to the classical aggressive thrash sound. But that’s all right because they also seem to have trouble to categorize us. We’re thrash but we don’t sound like Slayer. We’re heavy but we don’t sound like Iron Maiden. We’re old school but we have a modern production. Well, we don’t care about those genres. It’s just the music we love that’s coming out of the speakers when you put the new record in.
Do you have a favorite track off the album? What makes it special for you?
My favorite track is track 5 called How To End It All. It’s funny but this track didn’t get a lot of attention in the reviews so far although I think it’s the most interesting. Well, maybe the song is not enough thrash as I personally call this song “The Ballad”, haha. It’s not a “real” ballad if you could call it that way but the lyrics and the process of the songwriting was very personal for me as it reflects a state of the band as Comaniac almost broke up. For me I can hear the struggle I went through at this time in the dark destructive atmosphere the song creates.
This was recorded at KHE Recording Studio. Why did you decide it was right to record there?
It was pretty clear for more than a year that we’d come back to the KHE Recording Studio after we had such a great result with our debut album Return To The Wasteland. We already recorded our first offering there and still have only the best words for this recording studio.
Why did you decide to work with producer Kusi Hospenthal? Did he bring out anything special to the material while you were recording?
Kusi wasn’t only our producer but also the guy for all recording work at the studio. He had impact on the sound and the mix of the album rather than the actual songwriting as this was already done when we entered the studio. But still it’s very helpful to have another musician around while recording just to remember you to tune your guitar every goddamn minute and hit those cymbals harder until they break.
With a new guitarist and drummer joining before the release, how have Stefan Häberli and Valentin Mössinger been accepted into the fold?
We knew these guys for quite a while and even had a jam together many years ago as we still were in school. So we had high expectations as they both seemed very talented back then but these guys just topped it! It’s great how they brought their musicianship into the songwriting. It’s also their effort how Comaniac developed within the last year.
The lyrics for this album deal with the relationship between individual and society. What was the inspiration to go in that direction?
It’s mainly personal stuff we took inspiration from. For this album the lineup change and the broken existence of the band during this period of time had a big impact on the lyrics and also on the music in general. The writing of lyrics often start with only one word which describes a certain state of mind in a specific situation. We then try to name this “social phenomenon” and try to go on from there. That’s why our lyrics always have a personal origin but often can be interpreted into different directions – if in a social, political, religious or ethical content.
Given that the majority of your career is traced back to the old-school sounds, is there any particular favorites you feel the most inspired by?
I can’t think of only one particular favorite who inspired me or the band the most. We try to get as many inputs and musical inspiration as possible. Almost like a sponge we love getting involved with new original music. But you might know this questions a lot of interviewers ask: “If you were on a lonely island far away: Which record would you take with you?” Well, my answer would be Pantera – Cowboys from Hell. Probably the coolest record ever…just a tiny bit ahead of Sepultura – Arise.
What was the musical climate like for thrash metal in Switzerland when you guys first formed? Have you seen any change since?
As we started back in 2012 we had quite a lot of thrash metal bands around and we were just ready to hit the stages. But many bands were just ahead us – musically and playingwise. Now – five years later – it’s kind of sad that just a few bands from back then are still alive. Of course there were new bands formed but the vibe in general really changed. It’s more like a resignation mood right now as no one really wants to do this “one step out of the comfort zone”. I think it’s time for a Swiss thrash metal band to stand out of this lethargy!
Ever since your MetalDays Festival appearance, your career is gotten a lot more attention. Does that still mark an important date in your career thus far?
Of course it does. It’s one of the highlights we had with the band and it truly gave us a boost. I remember after getting back home from the festival in early August we just wrote and finished a lot of songs for the album. We had like a real flow. Also a lot of people reached out to us to ask for another album. We just wanted to get this thing out!
What plans do you have to promote the album as far as tours or videos?
We already released a few pre-releases on youtube and also a playthrough video where you can actually see what we’re doing on our instruments. We thought this would be a nice way to show our fans how we developed on this new record. We also did a music video to track 1 called Coal with a cool but evil story.
Considering tours we’ll be playing a small Eastern Europe tour in June 2017 and will conquer Germany in August. Of course we hope to say hi to our Dutch Metalheads while touring. Let’s see what happens!
So, we’ll end this on a fun note. What’s your all-time favorite city to play live?
My favourite city is where people enjoy our music and where the connection between band and headbangers is real. You know it’s like the definition of “home”. It’s not a place, it’s not a name. It’s a feeling. Sooo cheesy, goddamit!
Do you wish to say something to our readers?
I thank you for reading this and showing interest in upcoming bands! This again sounds cheesy as hell but if there were no fans we couldn’t do what we do! Thank you DutchMetalManiac for your support!