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NXNE Interview: Comanechi


I sat down with Akiko (drums/vocals) and Simon (guitar) of Comanechi about an hour before their show at The Silver Dollar on Saturday night. The band seemed weary. The Saturday show would be their third in three nights, this after flying in from London on Thursday, and working on 2 hours sleep in the space of 2 days. I gathered it hadn’t been the best NXNE for Comanechi so far; Simon referred to the crowds as “restrained” and both complained of incompetent sound and light operators at their previous shows. Apparently, Simon had also eaten a gratuituous amount of sushi and was concerned with his ability to move on stage.

If Comanechi was tired, or bothered by venue staff, or bloated, there was no indication when they took the stage. Playing before a packed house at 1AM, the band burned through an explosive set that left me feeling like I’d just had my ass kicked in the best way possible. They were easily the most raw and energetic act I had the pleasure of seeing at NXNE. If you have a chance to see them live, you absolutely need to take it.

CB:  How are you guys finding NXNE so far?

Simon:  I think by naming it that you’re forced to compare it to South by Southwest.

Akiko:  But it’s nothing like that.

Simon:  It’s not a good idea.

CB:  Have you guys had a chance to check out any other bands since you’ve been here?

Akiko:  Iggy and the Stooges. We saw them at a better place – at Glastonbury. And Simon saw them a couple times recently.

Simon:  It was good to see James Williamson cause when I was a kid I was really obsessed by him. Obviously he had refused to play until this year because of his job. For me, that was really amazing. He’s quite the dignified older gentleman of rock.

CB:  For our readers that might not be familiar with you, do you have an essential track to point them toward?

Akiko:  We can’t just pick one track, because we have loads of favorites.

Simon:  What about the new one?

Akiko:  That’s not on the album, though.

CB:  We can talk about the new track.

Akiko:  We are so pleased with all the tracks on the album. This new one, we just recorded it, and it’s coming out in September on Merok Records. It’s called Let Me Bloom.  And it’s more grown-up – not grown-up, it’s like –

Simon:  The next stage for us.

Akiko:  Yeah, the next stage for us. It’s not just like – we were like more noisy, punk, screaming, and just like ‘fuck you’ – that kind of attitude. This time – you know, we’ve experienced a lot since we wrote all the songs on that debut album which was released the end of last year. Not that long time ago. But we got offered to release another single on the same label. That’s quite soon to release a new single for us.

Simon:  Yeah, for us.

Akiko:  I was really busy as well, so it was quite stressful because we had a deadline to submit the song. But we knew how we wanted the next album to be, so this one is kind of an introduction to the next album and what direction we want to go. We really, really like this song.

Simon:  Also, we’d never played it live before these three days.

Akiko:  So we’ve played it twice.

Simon:  That means our sets have gotten more like we don’t know what’s happening.

Akiko:  This song has got savage time changes, as well.

Simon:  Which I still can’t quite get my head around.

Akiko:  Yeah, you fucked it up last night.

Simon:  Sorry about that.

Akiko:  We’re so excited about this new one.

CB:  Are you recording a whole new album?

Simon:  No, we recorded just that single. We’re going to be mixing it when we get back on Tuesday. It’s going to be a split single with a Glasgow band called Divorce. And the B-side is going to be a combined track. We flew up to Glasgow and recorded with them, 7 of us in the studio together. [Ed. note:  The combined track is a cover of Sonic Youth's Death Valley 69.]

Akiko:  So it’s a whole new, next step for us.

CB:  What’s the greatest Canadian rock export? Loverboy or Men Without Hats?

Simon:  I’ve never heard of either one of them.

CB:  Good answer.

Simon:  Can we choose between two Canadian animals?

CB:  What’s a distinctly Canadian animal? The moose?

Simon:  Or? Choose another one.

CB:  Shit. What’s Canadian?

Akiko:  There’s loads. Fucked Up. Crystal Castles. AIDS Wolf.

Simon:  [laughs]

Akiko:  What? What were you talking about?

Simon:  He was talking about animals.

Akiko:  Animals! [laughs]

Simon:  You said AIDS Wolf and I was like – is that an animal?

Akiko:  It’s a band! Oh! Strange animals… raccoon.

CB:   Raccoons? Have you seen a lot since you’ve been here?

Akiko:  No.

Simon:  We’ve never seen one of them. Everyone keeps telling us about them.

CB:  They’re great. They go through the trash, clean their food, eat with their hands.

Simon:  Maybe I’ll stand in the trash tonight. Stick some rotten sushi on my head.

Comanechi’s debut album Crime of Love is available on their website. You should probably buy it. And keep an eye out for their next EP, coming later this year.

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