Latest release: Symptoms and Cures (Victory/Riot!)

This week Australian music lovers will see the return of some of the finest artists that took to and destroyed the 2010 Soundwave Festival stage. Architects, Rolo Tomassi, This is Hell and Canada’s finest hardcore punks Comeback Kid all left festival goers wanting more after playing a combination of blistering, aggressive, energetic sets. Since leaving Australia earlier this year all four bands have managed to keep themselves very busy recording new material and hitting the road hard. There is no more predominant an example than Comeback Kid, who have spent the best part of this year out on the road, largely in support of the bands fourth studio album Symptoms and Cures which was released mid-year. Having just wrapped up a very successful European tour alongside Bleeding Through and Parkway Drive, I had the pleasure of catching up with Comeback Kid guitarist Jeremy Hiebert to discuss the band’s latest album, spending so much time on the road and the bands return to Australia this week! Here’s what Jeremy had to say…

Q: Hey Jeremy, thanks for taking the time out to speak with me tonight, how’s everything going?
A: I am doing pretty well; we just got into Switzerland this morning. We have four shows left and the whole tour has been three and a half weeks long! We’re on tour with Parkway Drive, Bleeding Through and a few others; it’s a seven band bill. We’ve had a blast out here, Europe really takes care of touring bands, and the shows have been unreal!

Q: That’s fantastic to hear! Let’s talk firstly about the band’s upcoming Australian shows, you guys must be very happy to be heading back so soon after the Soundwave festival appearances?
A: Oh yeah! Whenever we’re figuring out our tour schedule we have to get Australia onto there. We don’t want to come back too often to kill any kind of buzz that we might have but at the same time on our end we can never be in the country long enough, we’re really stoked to get back! Australia’s always been one of those places that get us excited.

Q: Considering you played here earlier this year what can fans expect this time around when you take to the stage? Of course there has been a new album released since your last visit so some new songs will be added no doubt?

A: You’re right, we put out a brand new album a couple of months ago so we will definitely have a few new songs in our set list that we didn’t have when we were down there doing Soundwave!

Q: These upcoming shows will also feature Architects, Rolo Tomassi and This Is Hell, all of which also featured on the Soundwave festival bill earlier this year… does it make it easier to say yes to a tour when you know you’re playing with artists you have toured alongside before?

A: Oh for sure, it’s great making new friends but it’s always nice hitting the road with people you know and have toured with before. Even outside of the Soundwave festival we’ve toured with This Is Hell and Architects before, so we became good friends with those bands. It’s going to be a blast hanging out with people that we legitimately like [laughs].

Q: Jeremy, Looking back on your last Australian visit, what comes to mind… Did you take in a lot of the sites; get to hang out much with any of the bands from the festival you never expected to be speaking with etc?
A: Yeah, actually one thing that came out of it was that we’d never actually met the guys from Four Year Strong before. We made new friends and met a lot of cool people when we did that tour, it was a very surreal tour for us to be on and so well organised, it was a lot of fun to be a part of.

Q: Whilst we’re on the subject of touring, you have played your fair share of festivals like Soundwave, are you a fan of doing those massive outdoor shows or would you much prefer to do the smaller more intimate rooms?
A: I think given the kind of music that we play and the high level of energy you have in a room, we gravitate more towards playing the smaller club shows that have no barricades, with the stage dives and sing a-longs, it’s all part of the mix. We feel more comfortable in a room that’s got two to three hundred kids packed tight into it, and then we do playing to a huge outdoor audience. At the same time we’re always up to the challenge of winning over new fans that have never heard us before. When you play those kinds of festivals obviously Comeback Kid aren’t the headliner we’re just part of the support bill, we have the opportunity to play to a bunch of people that have never heard or seen us before. We definitely like both but we prefer to play those more intimate club shows.

Q: It’s obvious when you hit the road, you have to leave loved ones behind, that aside does it ever get easier to leave the comforts of home to hit the road for weeks at a time?
A: The way I see it now I’ve made so many friends around the world that I’m always going to miss someone regardless if I’m on the road or at home and that’s just the reality of touring life! Right now I think we’re into week nine or ten being away from home and of course there are things I miss, but I’m a road dog; you could keep me on the road forever, it’s where I feel alive. I don’t have a job that I go home to, I don’t have a wife or a girlfriend or anything so I’m quite content to live from city to city doing what I love to do!

Q: You’re certainly a fantastic guitarist and put on an energetic performance. Do you do anything specific to warm up and prepare for a show?
A: It’s show by show really. A lot of times you will grab a guitar and do some scales but I’m not a flashy guitar player; we’re pretty simple. I try to do a little bit of stretching; I’m thirty four years old, when I go running around and jumping around I have to make sure I’ve warmed up [laughs]

Q: Mate, getting away from touring for a moment I wanted to speak with you about the band’s most recent album Symptoms + Cures. Tracks including ‘Because of All the Things You Say’, and ‘Manifest’ kick serious ass! Every band has their way of creating and tackling the writing process for an album, how does it work with you guys, do you hold writing sessions, email files back and forth, take us through the process…
A: Andrew and I are the primary writers as far as music goes, and either of us will have a riff, or part of a song, or maybe a few songs. A lot of the time we will record ourselves on garage band and layer it the way we’re hearing it in our heads, with all the drum parts and everything. When the time comes to actually do some rehearsals we get down into my basement and work things out with our drummer Kyle. The three of us are always demoing songs, pulling them apart, and re-writing them. That’s the way we did the first record, and that’s the way we did our last record, it’s always been pretty much the same process.

Q: Looking back over the whole process now, is there anything you would have changed or wish you’d done differently?

A: I guess it’s one of those things where the more time you have looking back, the more little things you would have changed. Overall we’re definitely happy with the process. There’s slight changes I would have changed when it comes to mixing I would have done this or now that I’ve heard this song one hundred and fifty times I could’ve probably layered that a little differently and minor things like that, it’s nothing that I’m losing sleep over. I think you could talk to pretty much any band and they’d say the same thing given mass amounts of time to listening back, there are always little tweets that you would do. Overall we’re all stoked with how it turned out. It all worked out amazingly.

Q: The album was released in August and has done very well. Have you guys started penning ideas for album number five, or have you been enjoying the touring cycle too much that’s gone along with this album?
A: We usually just chill out after putting out a record. We take a good year before we start putting our heads together for new album ideas, but at the same time whenever your dicking around on a guitar you’re going to come up with little riffs. I guess in a sense you’re always writing, but that’s not the primary focus right now. We just want to hit the road as hard as we can without losing our minds and tour whilst the albums still fresh in everyone’s head.

Q: Mate just before we wrap it up… You’re hitting Australia very soon, the latest albums on shelves now and doing really well, what other immediate plans are in place for the band?
A: We’ve got a U.S. tour coming up in January and that’s going to be followed up by some shows in Japan and South-East Asia in February. We’re heading out with Sick of It All in March and we’re still booking stuff into the spring of the New Year, it’s going to be a busy year.

Q: Jeremy, that’s great to hear! Thanks again for your time tonight and have a blast on the upcoming Australian tour, do you have any last words for our readers?
A: We’re super excited to be coming back; we’ve been talking about it every day. Australia is one of our favourite places to play.