Coma Commander, repeat it fast for ten times and you'll probably blur out something resembling an 80's hit by Culture Club. But enough with the crap of male cow, time to introduce Belgium's newest punk heroes, Coma Commander. Hailing from Diest, these fellows have recently released their second EP since their conception in 2012 on the brand new Belgian record label Bearded Punk Records. Coma Commander had the pleasure to have the first release on the new label and RMP is here to bring you the grit and dirt about their hit EP “Council Of The Jackalopes”.
- Hello, first things first, congratulations with the new release “Council Of The Jackalopes”. It's been on the streets for some weeks now, how has the response been so far?
Thanks man! The response has been pretty amazing so far. Some people really seem to dig the new songs, which is really cool. We’re also quite happy with the way the EP turned out ourselves. It was a real treat working together with Thomas Valkiers at his Hightime Studio. We had the best time recording these songs, and I somehow like to believe you can hear that on the record.
- Coma Commander was formed late 2012, this release is already your second (excluding the demo), could you introduce Coma Commander and its current path to the readers?
Sure. We did our first show in Diest at the end of 2012. Then we went on playing shows for an entire year without releasing anything. At the end of 2013 we released a first EP which contained six songs. The next year or so we kept on playing these songs over and over again whilst slacking off completely writing-wise. Then when we started writing again and it turned out we’ve gotten a little better at it so we got super excited for doing the “Council Of The Jackalope” EP, which we released at the end of November. Right now we’re keeping ourselves busy trying to get the new songs out there and we’re also writing new stuff already in the hopes we get a little better at it this time.
- “Council Of The Jackalopes” is the first release on the spanking brand new Belgian label Bearded Punk Records. Coma Commander is the first band releasing on it, how does it feel?
It feels amazing, man! It’s been pretty rad having Gregory and his crew helping us getting the EP out for the masses to hear. I’m pretty sure they’re destined for great things and bands! They’re also just really cool and fun people doing this thing they love in their spare time, just like all the bands they sign. That’s something to admire. DIY ethics and such.
- You recently performed the release show in your hometown of Diest. Was it an all-nighter that has left Diest with some deep wounds or even worse?
I think it’s safe to say it was even worse. We had the best time that night! More or less 200 people were crammed into our local youth club ‘Jeugdhuis Tijl’. The sets from Old Souls, Off The Charts and the almighty Cornflames were super sweet and we might have played our best set yet ourselves. To top it all off, Piekpries spun some sweet records at the after party. We couldn’t have wished for a better turnout.
- Early December Coma Commander embarked on an international mission. A prolonged weekend-tour starting in France and ending up conquering the UK territory. Any dirty deeds from that tour you wish to share?
I’m going to have to let you down here man, no dirty deeds for these fellers. Turns out we’re a pretty boring band. We basically did some sightseeing and somehow always ended up playing pool and drinking expensive beers at some bar in the afternoon. Our pool skills got way better though!
- The artwork of “Council Of The Jackalopes” is an eye catcher. It features a rabbit with antlers aka the mythical creature ‘the jackalope’. But what is ‘the council of jackalopes’ then? Horny/horned rabbits on sexual a quest?
Well, basically it's a metaphor for the way politicians run and promote their agendas. Most of them claim to serve the greater good, but in the end that greater good often turns out to be non-existent, like a jackalope. It's easy to sell people on the idea that they exist because admit it, what would be cooler than rabbits with antlers? Sadly though they're just a myth.
- The first music video is also out on the world wide web, “Christopher Robin And The Giant Blisters” received the honour of being immortalised by an animated video. How has the response been?
Pretty okay. At least three people told me they really like the song.
- It's actually a lyrics video that sports Popeye the sailor man. What led to the choice of that spinach industry supporting cartoon figure and how should we perceive the connection to the band?
Yeah, there's not really a story behind the Popeye. He's just a cult figure from our youth and we love hinting towards old pop culture in our music. For a large part they sort of shaped our creative minds, just like Christopher Robin from the title did, or Scooby Doo from the song “If It Wasn't For Those Meddling Kids”.
- The band has been compared to some varying bands yet, from Lagwagon and NUFAN to the more gruff-orientated bands. But what defines Coma Commander to yourselves? Bands, scenes, movies anything goes.
I’m going to go ahead and give the cliché answer most bands give. It’s the sum of all our different influences that makes Coma Commander what it is. We all listen to so much different styles of music, so it’s hard to really name bands that influence us as a band. We mostly write the basic songs as a three-piece because Bram’s a famous graphic artist and has no time for our shitty punkrock band and Jef’s a psychologist in Gent, so he actually has stuff to do. Jeroen, Ward and me work out the basic parts, riffs and structures for the songs, then Jef puts on a bassline and Bram adds the main vocal part. We come up with all the harmonies and dubbing stuff in the studio. I don’t really know how other bands work on their songs, but this could define us, I guess.
- Any news, gossip or future plans that you wish to inform of us?
We’re busy writing new stuff right now. We hope to hit the studio again around February and to release two songs in the form of a split 7” with a cool band by next summer. In February we’re also going on a three-day French weekender with our new buddies in The Burnt Tapes (UK). We’re playing Crossbonefest, our favourite Belgian fest, so that’s really cool. Maybe a full-length by 2017? Who knows, we’ll see how writing goes.
– David Marote