Broadcasting from the road

Winnipeggers Comeback Kid refuse to wave the hardcore flag

“I’m sick to death of the inside of this van” sighs Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld into his cellphone. “I feel like it’s the only thing I ever get to see.” Enjoying a much-deserved day off in Chicago during their cross-Canada opening stint for fellow new hardcore purveyors (and Chicago natives) Rise Against the guitarist for this Winnipeg-based quintet is right: they have clocked a lot of miles on the van since the release of tertiary effort Broadcasting… and deserve to take a breath. Rolling back out on the highway seemingly moments after shaking off a headlining tour for this latest album’s release they know the blacktop — and each other — quite well. For Neufeld a day off means stealing a few moments away from the rest of the band including singer Scott Wade guitarist Jeremy Hiebert drummer Kyle Profetta and bassist Kevin Call. “Oh I love them but everyone needs to collect their thoughts now and again” he says noting that even their headlining brethren have scattered to spend precious time with loved ones. “At least we play earlier at these shows because we’re opening. We’re not waiting around all night to play. But after we’re done this tour we’re out again in Europe to play with our buddies Cancer Bats and a bunch of other bands for awhile so it’s imperative that you get these moments of ‘freedom.’” Well as free as one can get when having to chat with yet another seedy music critic. Call it paying your dues or travelling a hard road for hard music. Hard music that has been revered as some of the genre’s best with Broadcasting… garnering rave reviews as an annual chart-topper. It’s no wonder either. Broadcasting… is as intricate as it is brutal experimental as it is bold and forthright and one of few albums to ride the fine line between satiating hardcore fans and still roping in a few greenhorns to boot. “People say that we’re carrying the flag for both new hardcore and the Canadian hardcore scene but we don’t pay much attention to that” Neufeld admits. “It’s been said before but you can’t start listening to that kind of hype. It deludes you. All we do at least is just entertain ourselves and create music that we appreciate. If that’s maintaining something stronger for anyone else I’m proud of it but when you pare things down what we do is just for the five of us. We put our heads down and just let it come out the way it does.” It’s a mature approach from a band younger than some rockers’ shoes. Neufeld and crew do accept accolades graciously (many that seem to be coming faster and faster) but they are quick to point out that fanfare can have a shorter shelf life than dairy products at the local grocer. With sharp wit Neufeld and his cohorts have not only surpassed their finite goals within a scant five years but are working hard to ensure they prevail regardless of hype. “We take it while we can get it” Neufeld explains. “Who knows when touring won’t be an option for us? It could all be taken away tomorrow so we make sure that we maintain a level head and take any real opportunity that comes our way. So many bands are content to be ‘big’ in their respective genre province or country but they never really tap into the global scene. Just by giving it our all we’ve played some amazing shows. We’ve seen Iceland! That’s something we’d never have expected I can tell you. If hardcore can really teach you anything it’s that you have to take the chance when it arises. You never know if it’ll come your way again.”