This article originally appeared on Noisey Germany.
"I build it up / to burn it all down!" screams Comeback Kids' Andrew Neufeld in the band's new single "Absolute," right before the final breakdown of the song. On one hand, one might feel the inclination to wreck whatever room it is they're sitting in, and praise the hardcore Gods that these guys are still fully out in the world kicking musical ass. On the other hand, the single is also a point of departure for the band: After all these years, Comeback Kid has gone separate ways with the iconic label Victory Records. Now they're making music with the German label Nuclear Blast, which is more recognized for its metal background. The band will also release a new album; in the meantime, you can check out "Absolute," an exclusive Noisey premiere.
New label, new album, a new single featuring the legendary Devin Townsend—there was so much to discuss, so I called frontman Andrew Neufeld and asked him a few questions.
NOISEY: So, how did the feature with Devin Townsend come about?
Andrew Neufeld: I've worked with him before—with my other band Sights & Sound, and he produced an album for us back in 2009. After that, he was definitely one of my influences—I studied him a bit and used [what I learned] in my songwriting [laughs]. In the new track, there's a part where my vocals are basically quoting Devin Townsend's style. We were in Vancouver where he lives, and I thought, 'why don't we just ask him if he wants to sing?'" So, I called him and he said, 'Send me the song first.' He seemed to like it, and he sent me a lot of layers and said that I could use whatever I wanted. And the end result is really crazy. He's a genius.
In other big news, now you're signed with Nuclear Blast. How did that happen?
Our contract with Victory Records was fulfilled—we'd released five albums. It was time [to look] for a new label, so we looked around and talked with a few different ones. Avocado, our German booking agency, suggested Nuclear Blast and put us in contact [with them]. Then they watched some of our shows in Europe. We wanted to [sign] with them, and they were the ones who wanted us on board most. They seemed very enthusiastic.
They're better known in Europe, but we were stoked because they have offices all over the world, which makes a lot of sense for us. Some of the old hardcore bands we look up to are also [signed with them], along with some of the greatest metal bands of all time, so…
Was it that you weren't satisfied with Victory, or was it just time for another label?
It just happened. We really don't have anything to say about them in the media. I know a lot of bands have crazy blown up dramas and have said things that were difficult for [Victory] in the public eye. But they had a great team, and lots of people helped us over the years. The A&R who first signed us at Victory was always really supportive. So no, we weren't unhappy with them, but we were open to change.
I'd imagine that some fans will worry that signing with a metal label like Nuclear Blast will change your sound.
It's funny—we could've easily had a different label. I don't want to say the name, but it's just a label that's more on the poppier side of the punk and hardcore spectrum. We could've just released a single with a more melodic direction. If we'd signed there, everyone would've said that's why we used that style. But when we wrote the album we didn't even know where we'd wind up. We recorded everything independently and funded the process ourselves. Now we're just taking care of the final details.
Now that you're on a label like this you could also tour with some great metal bands. Are you looking forward to that, or would you rather continue to perform with hardcore bands?
I honestly don't know to what extent a label can determine which bands you go on tour with nowadays. I believe there's some difference, but I don't think the deal with Nuclear Blast has changed the possibilities we have. I hope we get to play at bigger festivals with big metal bands, but at the same time, I doubt a hardcore band like Comeback Kid would fit into a metal [lineup]. We've already tried to open on bigger tours; sometimes it's worked, and sometimes it hasn't. But we always try to stay grounded and perform with our friends from other hardcore and punk bands.
Translated by Meredith Balkus.