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Coma. - Interview

Interview with: Vøid, Spectre
Conducted by: T.V., Ines

"Cursed, the wound which bleeds... a cut in time." Austrian band Coma. from city of Dornbirn was founded two years ago and since then released some demos, EP, a couple of singles and are now working hard on their debut album which should be out still this year. The band lead by charismatic Vøid is no longer just a local mystery, because with their attitude, weird image, provocative lyrics, extreme live shows and by not beign burdened by any genre limits, got quite a reputation in the dark music corners. When talking about their musical orientation we can say that it's an extreme version of dark electro, ambient and rock with black metal as a basis. Their new single "Ghosting", which is as well the first taste from the upcoming album with a working title Darknet|Infection, presents a strong band with a clear direction and maximum devotion into what they are doing. After a lot of line-up changes it seems that they got a stable one, so beside the founder Vøid (vocals, synths, additional percussion), the line-up today consists of Spectre (bass, additional vocals), Shødan Armada (guitars), Cpt.Carnage (guitars) and Moloch (drums, percussion). So, Coma. are among us, ready to conquer your dark perverted minds and now you can sit back to read and get an insight about them in this very interesting, sometimes funny and in-depth interview where masks have been thrown away. Vøid and Spectre explain everything and even more.

T.V.: Hi guys, it seems that you are pretty busy working on a new album. Tell me in which phase is everything?
Vøid: Well, I am currently going over the arrangements/synths of the songs, by now the tracklist stands more or less.
Spectre: What will follow in the next weeks is recording sessions.
T.V.: You came out with a working title for the album Darknet|Infection. Do you still stand behind this one and what does it exactly imply to?
Vøid: Well, it was mainly Spectre's idea, he can explain the concept behind this, I am standing behind this, but with a slightly different approach.
Spectre: I came up with the idea because the human mind has a lot of similarities with computers and networks and in the human mind is also a dark place, buried deep down, just like the "Deep Web" or "Dark Net" inside the internet. And for Infection: There are also diseases for big systems which sneak into and slowly spread and just leave ruins. Like a virus or in that case - a mental disease.
T.V: So, this is gonna be in a way a concept album?
Vøid: Yes, in a way it will be.
Spectre: But what the concept will be in detail - well... we leave this to the imaginations and feelings of our listeners for the greater part.
Vøid: I, for my part, don't feel like we should give people exact meanings and concepts for the music. Sure, we have it for ourselves, but it would be ideal if the listeners can feel/think their own interpretation.
T.V.: Ok, you just released the first single "Ghosting". Does this track represent the musical orientation of the album?
Vøid: Not at all, each song sounds different, from my point of view. There will be heavy, brutal music like "Ghosting", but also mellow ambient-electronic tracks. And a blending of many genres.
T.V.: I think that all of us who heard "Ghosting" know that Coma. is difficult to put into one mould. Still, how would you best describe your music to someone who never heard you before?
Vøid: I'd say we're a mixture of black metal, industrial/electro, ambient and rock... it's really hard to define by myself, to be honest. I never really cared how to describe the music. Spectre, what would you say?
Spectre: I heard this question quite often recently, haha, I think I would say the same, sometimes I also say that we are like music from disney movies, for that reason they are even more shocked when they listen to it, haha.
Vøid: LOL, good one. Because you can't put every song or every emotion into one style. That's impossible.
T.V.: That's true! Was there any label already interested to release your music?
Vøid: No. But we were not really looking for it yet either, since we release the music on our Bandcamp-page. We do most of our stuff by ourselves, as much as we can.
T.V.: Coma. already released a couple of singles, demos and EP's in the last couple of years. Will be there any major change in the sound of yours on the first proper album?
Spectre: Yes, I think there will be. Especially because the past year (since the release of our Agony EP) was a difficult journey of finding out who we are and how we can work together to create... this.
Vøid: Absolutely, if you look at every release so far, there was always something different. Not one thing sounded the same.
T.V.: And who do you think is the audience that will consume your music?
Vøid: I have no idea. Most of the audiences at our shows are kinda mixed, which makes it difficult to say. But I think, some of the black metal scene really like us. And some industrial/goth-folks, too.
T.V.: But there are also those "true" black metallers who say that you are posers. What's your response for them?
Vøid: I don't really care. Black metal is more than church-burning and Lo-Fi-recording. But of course that's just opinions.
Spectre: I actualy don't care about posing - that's Vøid's part.
Vøid: Dude, wtf!?
Spectre: Sorry, I meant, Vøid is the head of our Visual-Arts.
Vøid: Spectre hates doing videos and stuff.
Spectre: Absolutely!
T.V.: Haha, but still, you did quite a lot of visual stuff. Your latest effort is a very sinister video for the track "Ghosting". Any words about this visual mayhem?
Spectre: I was just hoping that it won't turn out as a second "Call of the Winter Moon"
Vøid: Well, I see music as a whole package of different forms of art... music, pictures, videos... that's why I love to create such things, for Agony we even did a short movie. as for "Ghosting" I had the idea of showing two sides of morality: the good side (girl in white) and the corrupted side (black girl) and the process of the good side being "turned over" by the band.

T.V.: There's a lot of this BDSM image around Coma.. Are you guys interested in this things?
Vøid: Yes, absolutely. I think it's even fitting very well symbolically in terms of society.
Spectre: Yep, he likes it.
Vøid: Oh man. Yeah. But as I said, it's not just the kinky part. It's also a symbolic thing. And I am kinda nuts, I like to hurt people (sometimes).
T.V.: And some magical symbols are also present in there... so sex and magick?
Vøid: Not really, no. The symbols are meant to express my believes/philosophy. Since the start of Coma., there has always been a strong occult influence, sometimes more, sometimes less. The symbol which you refer to is our band-logo btw... you meant the burning sigilum, right? Yeah, that has been our own band-logo, I designed it two years ago... it's basically a mixture of three different symbols.
T.V.: Ok, lets leave those questions for now, and tell me now something about how Coma. was founded?
Spectre: Me and Vøid first met in a bar in Brooklyn in 1998,... joke,...
Vøid: Well, basically I was unhappy with most of the bands I played with back in 2012, I was always writing songs for myself/by myself. A friend of mine heard some of my songs and urged me to release them on his internet-label Montfort-Records, that was the Rain|Emptiness EP. Some people online liked it, and so I started to look for people to help me out. That's when Spectre joined me. We know each other for many years - mainly from going to the same bars, parties and concerts.
Spectre: I accidently joined him at a jam-session while being drunk, that's how it started.
Vøid: Yeah, I remember that night, I was pretty impressed by his bass-skills. So I asked him if he wanted to join. He's kinda one of the three main members that were in the band through all the trouble and fights.
Spectre: Two. Malte joined later.
Vøid: I meant Moloch, but okay. But it's true what he says, the main core of the band is us two.
T.V.: What kind of fights and trouble were going on?
Vøid: Well, we have quite a few ex-members, the line-up since "Ghosting" is the first one that's working. Most of the time, the ideas about what Coma. should represent were too different. Drugs were also a big problem in the early days. During Agony, we have been eight people, if I recall correctly, now we're down to five.
Spectre: We had some people who where completely unreliable.
T.V.: Some words about the rest of the todays line-up...
Vøid: Besides Spectre and me, we have Moloch on Drums, Captain Carnage helps us out with second guitars during live-shows, and another old friend of mine, Shødan Armada, has re-joined since "Ghosting" on main-guitars. He was playing guitars back in the day on the Rain|Emptiness EP.
T.V.: And can you describe me a bit how the composition of songs is done. Who's the most responsible for music and who stands behind the lyrics?
Spectre: That would be Vøid.
Vøid: Well, that's just half true. Most songs start out as ideas I have while playing piano. I record some short demos and show them to the others. Spectre and Shødan then lay down their track. I usually write the lyrics by myself. But synths/arrangements/drums and vocals are usually written by me.
Spectre: And I motivate him to make further adjustments to it.
Vøid: Yep. But on some occasions, there's also a bass-riff first, like for the next song we're recording, it started out as a bass-riff during rehearsals.
T.V.: I see,... but when you were choosing the bands name, weren't you aware of the fact that out there are already some bands with the name Coma, but of course without the dot behind it?
Vøid: In fact, I wasn't aware of that. I realized after we released Agony though. It just fits the music of the band so well in my opinion... so I didn't think about changing it. There are also two bands who are called Shining, so why not.
T.V.: I know and I don't see a problem there. Still for what does the name Coma. stands for?
Vøid: Most of the time, I write songs when I am not feeling very well. I see and understand life in the way it is lived in my area as not worth being lived, as strange as it may sound. So I came up with the thought, that my mind in itself is fainting, kinda in a coma, refusing to wake up and take part in this form of existence. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's the main reason. Feeling trapped in pitch black darkness, hearing the sounds of society, but not being able/wanting to break out of this. That's also what the dot stands for. To symbolize that this coma is permanent.
T.V.: Very interesting explanation! So, as you are coming from a small city Dornbirn, I'm interested how the rest of population accepts you?
Vøid: Our rehearsal-room is in Dornbirn, that's why we call that our "homebase", but actually I am from Feldkirch, which is much smaller. Most people around here hate me, and that's fine with me. In Dornbirn it's kinda the same. Coma. even got problems playing a show there, because the location didn't like us. I would go as far as to say, the band only consists of people the population doesn't really like or what would you say, Spectre?
Spectre: Indeed!
T.V.: And you have one interesting anectode about the cancellation of this very show in your hometown...
Vøid: You know, Coma. wanted to play a show in Dornbirn a year ago as support for the norwegian band Tarfield. Tarfield wanted us to support, so it was their idea... but the location said no. They said we would be a disgrace for Austria, our music and lyrics were beyond all morality and we should get jobs. I never was so fucking proud. Because that showed me, that society really can't handle the emotions/thoughts it triggers in some persons. It's like a mirror that reflects the ugly face of society. Tarfield acted cool though, the main excuse the location told them was: "no screaming allowed" because it was a cultur-club or something. So, the leader of Tarfield took the mic at the end of the show and screamed "for Coma."
T.V.: There's often mentioned a name of a person Smara Kand who helps you out with some things. Who is she?
Vøid: She's a great photographer, who lives near me. Her art is amazing and the style of her images are very fitting to Coma.'s music, so when she told me she's often inspired by us, we agreed to work together on the visual aspects. On the other side, I often help her out on exhibitions, creating ambient soundscapes for the mood.
Ines: You said before your music is a mixture of different styles - so what kind of music do you personally listen and maybe what musical acts would you say influence your style?
Vøid: Well, I usually listen to a lot of stuff, from classical to jazz and metal. I'd say the biggest influences for me are Nine Inch Nails, Lifelover, Tool, Xasthur and stuff like that.
Spectre: I also have a lot of influences reaching from Dead Can Dance, Shining, Moonspell, Queens Of The Stone Age,... whatever.
Vøid: And Lustmord. Definitely Lustmord, when it comes to soundscapes.
Ines: Do you perhaps find it difficult to embalance all these elements to fit together when in the process of songwritting or do you just "go with the flow"?
Vøid: I just go with the flow. I find it difficult to write songs with a mindset like "oh, I need to get this element in there" or "people might expect that". Usually I just do what the song itself needs to transport, an emotion or a feeling. That's why, for example, there's a track on Agony which sounds like trip-hop haha, but whatever works, works.
Ines: That's true! What about your live performances? Can we expect some theatrical moments on the stage, that would resemble your latest video?
Vøid: Yeah, our live-shows tend to get very chaotic and intense. Sadly we only had three live-shows so far. And there's always something that gets broken on stage, if we like it or not, also Carnage is known for his violent stage-behaviour haha.
Spectre: He cannot hold his booze.
Ines: And how did the audience respond to your live performance so far on the shows you've had?
Spectre: They went like batshit-crazy!
Vøid: Well, on the second and third show, yes. At our first show, the people we're kinda shocked and just standing there.
Ines: Was that something you wanted - to shock them?
Vøid: Not really, I usually don't give a fuck about the audience. I just go out and re-live the songs, but somehow that's something that's not usual here, ...I guess. Interesting topic, btw, if I might add this. Many people think we want to shock or we're posers or some shit like that. That's in fact not true, we just do what we want to do, we're being us... if that's weird, fine with me.
Ines: Well, weird or not - you will be remembered for sure, if you ask me. Any plans for more live shows in the future?
Vøid: Not yet, our focus is on finishing the songs for the album at the moment. Maybe we can play some shows at the end of the year, but I'm not sure about it yet.
Ines: If you could choose a band to support and present your music to their audience, who would it be?
Spectre: For me it would be Ghost B.C. or Behemoth.
Vøid: I'd go with Vanhelga or Shining.
Spectre: I knew you would pick these!
Vøid: I know you'd know. It's really hard to pick bands we could support, you know. With all that genres and styles inside the music, it's really difficult.
Ines: We're back to the variety of your sound. Putting musical influences aside - what inspires you mostly to create music?
Vøid: The people around me and my personal problems.
Spectre: Life! Vøid, please explain further...
Vøid: Well, from what I think: it's the shit that we all go through, we're all not very healthy, hated in our towns and stuff. The music is just a non-destructive way, more or less, for us to put everything out of us. Maybe that's a clichee, but I don't want to know where certain members of us would be today if they hadn't the music.
Ines: So creating music is in a way catharsic for you?
Vøid: Yes, absolutely! That's also why the live-shows get so intense. We're re-living what we've purged out of us.
Ines: As you said before your album will be in a way concept album... Do you consider working from that angle for each and every album in your career or are you just gonna see where it takes you?
Vøid: I'd say lets see where it takes you, but some sort of concept is always present, somehow... that's why I can't say for 100% sure. I tend toward concept albums though, to be able to add other forms of stuff like artworks or movies. I like it when an album takes you on a trip, like a good book or a good movie. I hope that makes sense.
Ines: Interestingly you mentioned other forms of art, as I was about to ask you that. It seems there is a lot of creativity and focus in you. Did you maybe have anything particular in mind by "artwork" and/or "movies"?
Vøid: Yes, as I mentioned earlier, we did a short-movie for the Agony EP, which was interesting, so maybe we'd try something like that for "Darknet" too. For the "Infection"-Part of the album, I have had some ideas about an "artbook" or something like that. But none of this has been discussed in details yet.

Ines: Speaking of films, what kind do you like?
Vøid: I love old horror-movies, especially from John Carpenter and Lucio Fulci, and Sci-Fi sometimes too
T.V.: Ok, shall we go back to music guys... Tell us, have you set a release date for the album yet?
Vøid: No, not yet... we made a few mistakes by setting ourselves deadlines with Agony and the video release, so we don't want to rush into stuff too fast. But this fall or in the beginning of winter it should be done.
T.V.: Just recently you also signed with Deadfall management. What do you expect from this company?
Vøid: It's the first time I've signed a contract with a management-company, I am not exactly sure what I expect, but I hope to be able to reach more people this way,... spread the music, get some more attention.
T.V.: I'm pretty sure that a company like that wouldn't offer you a contract if they don't see a huge potential in the band. Still, what's your main goal to achieve with Coma.?
Vøid: My main goal, that's a tough question. The biggest goal would be to spread my music across the globe, maybe touch some people with it that can relate to the sound. And of course I'd love to tour but that's not the main goal. I'm not even sure if the main goal is the main goal... because in the first place I'm making music for myself, to be honest... complicated topic...
T.V.: That's a good and sincere point. On the bands official photos and videos we always see you guys with masks. What does this stand for?
Vøid: That has two reasons. First reason, which is the biggest: I didn't want people to judge us by the looks, I wanted to become one with the music/the emotion I express, also it gives me more security when hiding my face while singing. And the second reason: when Spectre joined, I was playing drums in a pop-band at that time. Their leader told me, I should think about something so people won't realize it's the same person as their drummer, so yeah. I also think, every member has a mask which represents his own character/problems... the only one who never wears some kind of mask is Carnage.
T.V.: Are also your nicknames used for the same purpose?
Vøid: Yes, exactly. It's just thought this way so noone can draw any relations to any other band we're involved in. I use to play in two bands under the name of Paine, Spectre is widely known in a few bands as Obi, so yeah.
T.V.: And I think we haven't asked you yet which are the other bands that you are playing in?
Vøid: I'll answer that question, but I'd like if you wouldn't include that in your interview, (biiiiiip), first one is goth-electro-EBM, last one is synthpop.
T.V.: Well, pretty different than Coma., isn't it. Recently you also did kind of a remix for Totengeflüster's track...
Vøid: Yeah, both bands are friends of mine, and I love to play the drums live, so it's kinda fun. Yes, Narbengrund is a good friend of mine, I've known him a long time now and we share a similar music taste. When Totengeflüster re-released their album, he asked me to do a remix for them, I was surprised, but it was an awsome experience. They're planning a few shows for what I know, and we talked about the possibility to play the remix live on stage, so we'll see what this brings.
T.V.: To be honest, that's one of the best remixes I've ever heard for a song, really! Beside all this things I'm also interested in your point of view about the society of today. There's a lot of crisis in the world right now and Europe is not an exception...
Vøid: Yeah, it's always been bad, but I think it gets worse everyday. You don't even have to look into the big international politics, even the small cities are getting more fucked up every day. I am not a big fan of mankind/people, I never made a big secret about this. Honestly, that's why I hardly leave the studio. I go outside and see a bunch of fucking morons, most of them look the same, talk the same, have no interest in anything but mainstream culture, and what makes everything far worse: they are narrow minded and attack everyone who is different. I regulary got beatings in town for looking the way I look, friends of mine got beaten up badly and needed to be hospitalized for listening to the wrong music... that shit is insane! And thanks for the compliment about the remix!
T.V.: That's insane if you ask me. Can't believe that. I would like to talk more, but I think that we covered it all, still is there something you would like to add at the end of this interview?
Vøid: Hmm not really, I think all topics are covered.
T.V.: So, thank you for your time and very interesting answers! The last words are yours...
Vøid: You're welcome, it was a pleasure. Enjoy the sickness that is Coma., and I hope you'll all like the upcoming stuff.

"release me, for I can destroy"

Coma. links: Facebook, Bandcamp