by Johnny Papan
When we interviewed Comeback Kid in early 2017, we mostly discussed the wild, thrashing, affectionately violent shows that would erupt all over the globe. The band is fast, heavy, aggressive, yet still maintains catchy melodies within their hardcore punk sound. When the band hits the stage, it’s undoubted that fans will go absolutely apeshit, regardless of what country they are in. Comeback Kid is currently on a massive Canadian hardcore double header tour with Toronto’s No Warning, which will undoubtedly cause unapologetic explosions ‘round the great white north.
In September 2017, Comeback Kid dropped their most recent record, Outsider, which sees the band expand in both a heavier direction, as well as more melodic, depending on which song you listen to.
“Two songs that I was super happy with how they evolved are ‘Somewhere Somehow’ and ‘Absolute.’” says lead guitarist Jeremy Hiebert, who helped originate the band in 2002. “With ‘Somewhere Somehow,’ I originally had two different ideas for songs that became one. I remember when I showed Andrew [Neufeld, vocalist] the chorus, he was a little concerned over the potential ‘poppiness’ of that part. Some of the songs on the record sound a little different as they always do with us but I feel this one has little bits you can trace back to each previous record without coming across as a dated sounding song.”
“‘Absolute is’ definitely a harder, heavier song. The hilarious part was being able to have this breakdown at the end of the song that I’ve had in my back pocket for 12 or 13 years with no place to use it previously” Hiebert explains. “It’s a bit of a nod to the 90s metallic hardcore sound that definitely helped shape some of us early on. The other super cool thing about that song is the Devin Townsend [Strapping Young Lad, the Devin Townsend Project] contribution. While our sounds and style to many would sound worlds apart. It really was a super cool thing that totally worked in that part of the song.”
Alongside Outsider, Comeback Kid recently dropped a single, their own cover of the Midnight Oil classic “Beds Are Burning.” Hiebert explains the band’s choice to revise this song with their signature deep, heavy grit.
“Lyrically, we felt we could relate as Canadians since we have a similar history with the indigenous peoples of both countries having their land being taken and dealing with appalling amounts racism,” the guitarist states. “I reached out to the [Midnight Oil] singer Peter Garrett to see if there would be a chance of changing some of the lyrics to give it a more Canadian spin. Instead, we got a response from his office saying there could be no change of lyric, so we were stuck singing about Holden wrecks and cockatoos in the verses, haha.”
On the subject of the album’s title, Hiebert concludes the meaning behind Outsider.
“I think the best answer from my vantage point is maybe just having this feeling of being on the outside and not feeling a part or super connected to what is going on in the world. So many problems, controversies and battles that just seem like they should have no place in the world yet they consume so much of our collective energy that really makes you want to distance yourself from that.”
Comeback Kid and No Warning play the Starlite Ballroom (Edmonton) on September 27, the Commonwealth Bar and Stage* (Calgary) on September 28, the Biltmore Cabaret (Vancouver) on September 29, and the Upstairs Cabaret (Victoria) on September 30.
*No Warning not on Calgary billBiltmore Cabaret, Vancouver