Interview: Comity

Recently Comity’s latest album, A Long, Eternal Fall, was released. DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen interviewed their bass player/vocalist Thomas, read it below.

Hey guys, how’s life?

Everything is fine. Thank you!

Comity exists since 1996, can you tell us something about how things started?

It started a long time ago! At first we just were a regular modern hxc band, mixing stuffs with some death metal as well. But we were also fans of progressive and experimental music, and when we found out some hxc band were mixing these two worlds, we just decided to try it on our own…

From the original band, the two only members remaining are Francois (guitar) and myself (bass, vocals). So if the band formed in 96, we can consider the band as a real one with the arrival of Yann (second guitar) in 2000. Our drummer Nicolas plays with us since 2007.

When someone, who hasn’t heard your music yet, asks you how you would describe your music, what would you answer?

We like to describe our music as “extreme rock’n roll”. The band mixes hxc, noise, black metal, progressive, avant garde … all the sub-genres we enjoy for decades. We just try to mix it in our own way, with a more rock than metal sound.

Recently you released Comity’s latest album, A Long, Eternal Fall. What is the response of press and public so far?

It’s been very positive so far! Magazines and webzines which follow us for a long time all describe the record as our best effort. We only have great responses from both public and press and we feel very grateful about it. Everywhere but in Germany. We don’t know why, it may be cultural stuffs, but Germans don’t seem to like the band from the beginning. In 20 years we never played in Germany! We’d really like to.

When you compare A Long, Eternal Fall with your full-length of 2011, The Journey Is Over Now, what do you notice?

For A Long, Eternal Fall we wanted to write shorter songs and to be very careful about its structures. We wanted the record to sound more “straight forward” but in the same time we wanted to keep all that crazyness, with a progressive touch. It’s pretty challenging to have all this in shorter songs. But when I heard our previous L.P I can tell we succeeded and it’s very rewarding.

A Long, Eternal Fall sounds very loud, how did the recording process go?

As usual, we recorded everything live, all together in the studio, and very fast, in less than 6 days.

We really like the way we sound when playing live, we like to hear the natural sound out of our amps. We worked a lot on it. And that’s why we want to find this particular sound on our records.

What is the story behind the cover?

The cover follows the concept behind the lyrics. It comes from a quote of Emile Cioran: “Time is shut, unreachable.” We wanted to keep our visual gimmicks: black and white photos with just a colour added on it. “Time is marching on ruins.” We sent this sentence to Peggy Le Guern, a great artist we absolutely wanted to work with. We asked her to draw a huge clock in it’s very particular way.

She finally added all the characters you can find on the cover.

It represents time as an unreachable mountain, with the human race trying to reach its top.

The tracks on A Long, Eternal Fall, don’t have titles, only Roman numbers, what’s the reason for doing so?

We also named the tracks like that on our three previous full lengths. As I said all our records are concept-albums, and you can find the same lyrics throughout the whole record. That’s why we don’t give particular names to our songs. And it’s a way as well to unify the record, we want the audience to listen to it in the chosen order.

Your music is very powerful and energetic, how do you bring this live and what does a Comity concert look like?

As I said before, the goal when we are recording is to capture the energy and intensity we deliver when playing live. So a good Comity gig sounds exactly like the record.

Where do you get your inspiration from, within music and besides music?

We get our inspirations from nearly everything, lives we live, the movies we watch, the book we read, paintings… we don’t really get our inspiration from other bands. We’re here for a long time, and so when we discover new bands, and even if we enjoy it I don’t think it does influence Comity’s music. I hope we finally found our own sound, all the music sub-genres you can hear in our music is now “digested” as we say in France.

How has Comity grown since 1996?

We had an almost immediate success with our first album The Dues Ex Machina As A Forgotten Genius. Comity surely was the right band at the right time. Since then, it’s been more hazardous, depending on how labels promoted our records, and depending as well on how much we match with the new “hype”, because the underground follows the same path than mainstream music. It’s all about following the new “fashionable” kind of music. And in a year or two it will be another one…

What would you love to do with Comity, that you haven’t done before?

We’d like to tour in the U.S, in the U.K and in Germany, three countries we never had the chance to play in. We have a new project we wanted to work on for years, and it’s finally on its way.

We absolutely want to release it in 2018.

Any shows you can already tell us? Maybe in The Netherlands?

For now, most of the gigs are scheduled in France, but I hope we’ll be fortune enough to tour all over Europe and to come back in Netherlands, we didn’t play there for ten years.

Any other future plans for Comity?

Yes, we have a second secret plan that might be out as well very soon, a very personal one.

Both this projects don’t include new Comity material, so we’ll try to release it as fast as possible.

Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

Thanks for the time you gave us by reading this interview, hope we’ll see you on the road!

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