We are very excited to offer Blow The Scene readers an in-depth interview with Comeback Kid‘s lead guitarist and founding member Jeremy Hiebert, as the band prepares to embark on a massive US Tour in support of their fourth studio album Symptoms + Cures, which was released via Victory Records and Distort Records in late 2010 to rave reviews from peers, fans, and critics alike.
Having reached a level of success that eludes almost all of their hardcore peers, Winnipeg’s Comeback Kid continue to reach new heights now a decade strong as leaders in the worldwide hardcore community. Jeremy Hiebert gives us the skinny on the band’s forthcoming US tour, writing process behind Symptoms + Cures, politics and life in Canada, and insight in to the band’s formula for success in the often tumultuous world of hardcore music. Without further ado, let’s here from Jeremy.
Joshua BTS: Greetings. Thank you for taking a few moments with Blow The Scene readers from around the world. Let’s kick off this interview by having you introduce yourselves and declare your weapons of choice with the Canada’s leading sons of melodic hardcore, Comeback Kid.
My name is Jeremy and I play guitar in the band.
Joshua BTS: Comeback Kid emerged on the scene in 2000 by way of Canada and had etched a name as one of the leading hardcore bands within just a few years. You’ve since released four full length LPs, toured the globe on numerous occasions, and have dealt with member changes and other obstacles along the way. What is it about the constitution of Comeback Kid that you feel has allowed the band to not only continue, but prevail through circumstances that have seen many of you musical peers fall off?
Jeremy: I think it’s just in our blood. We are all really passionate about music and this band has become an important part of our lives over the years so we just want to keep it going for as long as we can since we’ve had so many great experiences because of it.
Joshua BTS: Your most recent LP Symptoms + Cures was released in the summer of 2010 via longtime label Victory Records to mostly positive reviews from fans and critics alike. With going on two years of touring around the record- Have you begun to develop new material?
Jeremy: There is always new ideas floating around but we haven’t actually gotten together to work on any new material. The process usually starts with Andrew and myself coming up with ideas or parts for songs and then when we feel the time is right we get together in the jam space and start working on the song structures.
Joshua BTS: Looking back over your catalog of musical contributions- How do you define a successful release for the band? I would imagine it’s more than just a numbers game of how many units sold.
Jeremy: I guess we would define a successful release mostly based on the feedback we get from our peers as well as fans. All four of our records have distinctly different sounds so we hope each release comes across sounding fresh and not rehashed.
Joshua BTS: With such a prominent position in the world of hardcore music- How have you begun to redefine the goals for the band at this stage in the game? With the majority of hardcore bands simply hoping to achieve your level of success and notoriety- Where to you go from here? Are there any bands that you currently look up to as having set the standard or par for the next level of success?
Jeremy: I think for us we just want to sustain what we have and build on that base. We are realistic and know that we are not going to be the ‘next big thing’ so we just do what we do which is make records we like or would like to listen to and then tour as much as we can. We are quite content where we are at and feel fortunate to have the opportunities that we have.
Joshua BTS: What does the actual writing process look like for Comeback Kid? Is there a captain of the ship that steers the direction of the music or is it more of a collective effort? Does this process change from record to record?
Jeremy: I guess I kind of answered this in a previous question but yeah it usually starts with basic ideas from Andrew and myself and then we’ll get together later to grind it out build and tearing apart the ideas we’ve come in with until we are happy with a song.
Joshua BTS: You have an upcoming US tour kicking off March 18 with Close Your Eyes, Foundation, Such Gold and Living With Lions. Do you play an active role in band selection for your tours? How did you come to link up with this specific set of bands?
Jeremy: We definitely like to have a hand in selecting the bands. We work with a booking agent who most certainly has a better idea of who’s hot and who’s not and while that’s important we also feel it’s important for us to be out with bands we connect with. Unfortunately there’s a lot of garbage out there that does well so we try to stay in the mix.
Joshua BTS: Anything off the grid you will be checking out on the road? Any favorite food stops?
Jeremy: Well being a vegan along with our drummer and tour manager I’m always stoked on discovering new veggie places to check out.
Joshua BTS: When not performing on tour- What do you do to pass the time on the road?
Jeremy: There are the social media distractions like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. that take up more time that I’d like to admit but other than that I like to try to stay in somewhat decent shape running or exercising as well.
Joshua BTS: Any new or current bands that are really exciting you right now apart from your touring companions?
Jeremy: I’ll be 36 in April so I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t check out new bands like I would’ve 15-20 years ago but I’m always around the venues we’re playing checking out local bands or other bands I have heard before at festivals etc.
Joshua BTS: There is a lot of unrest in the global community regarding varying aspects of politics, as was evident by the recent emergence the Occupy Movement in 1,500 cities throughout the world. Are there any aspects of current politics or direct political actions that have your attention or even full-on support right now?
Jeremy: I don’t really consider Comeback Kid a political band but I certainly have my views and opinions. Currently here in Canada the conservative party has been dealing with a bit of a tough backlash surrounding the internet privacy issue where they want to have much easier access in getting personal information from people under the guise of public safety. In my opinion, when you go down that road it can become a slippery slope towards a ‘big brother’ type of society where peoples freedoms and liberty’s really can start eroding. I know they is a time and place for digging through hard drives but I think there needs to be a lot of transparency in that regard.
Joshua BTS: What do your daily lives look like when you are not active with Comeback Kid?
Jeremy: Everyone just kind of does there own thing. Some have other bands and side projects, some have jobs, some just hang out between tours.
Joshua BTS: Canada has long been a major player within the worldwide hardcore community. What are some aspects of Canadian life that you find especially appealing? Any aspects of Canadian life you could live without?
Jeremy: Well being from Winnipeg I could certainly do without these long ass winters. I like being in flip flops, shorts and a sleeveless shirt. I guess I’m a summer guy. What I do like about living here though is living in a country that is not overcrowded and for the most part takes care of it’s citizens in terms of education, health care etc but don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of room for improvement too.
Joshua BTS: After you wrap up this Spring tour- What is coming down the pipeline for Comeback Kid as we head into the latter part 2012?
Jeremy: More touring. We haven’t mapped out our fall schedule yet but we will be going to Europe in the summer and then most likely doing another North American tour in the fall.
Joshua BTS: Thank you kindly for taking time with Blow The Scene readers. Any final thoughts?
Jeremy: A big thank you to our fans young and old. Having people with you for your whole career is something we are very thankful for and to make new fans along the way is gratifying as well as that let’s us know that our band is still relevant in the scene today. Thank you.
Interview by Joshua T. Cohen
Comeback Kid – “Do Yourself A Favor”
Comeback Kid – “Wake The Dead”
More info at The Official Comeback Kid Website