First of all, my compliments on your new album 'A Long Eternal Fall'. It’s been six years since your previous output, can you tell something about why it’s been taking this long?
Hi and thanks for your time! Glad you liked the new record. It took us almost five years to release 'A Long Eternal Fall' because we’re really slow as a band when it comes to the writing process. Since we didn’t tour that much to promote our previous release, it stayed a bit under the radar. There was for sure a lack of motivation. We thought our audience just forgot about the band existence at the time. No one was waiting for us so we didn’t put any deadline to release the new album, we took all the time we needed to write the record we’d really want to hear. We were really dedicate to our music and the ways we wanted to follow.
'A Long Eternal Fall' is quite an extreme rollercoaster ride for the unsuspecting listener, yet also hard to qualify in terms of genres. In the end, I wrote 'sonic terror' in my review. How would you describe your music yourself?
Haha I really like ‘sonic terror’! In fact I think we try to sound as intense as possible, and more than anything else, we want to surprise the audience minutes after minutes, because that’s definitely the music we like to hear. When people ask we like to define our music as ‘extreme rock’n roll’. I know it’s not even a sub-genre you heard of, but at the end the band mixes noise, math core, post-whatever, black-metal, almost every extreme rock n’ roll sub-genres. So it’s easier to define comity like this. At the beginning we just were a regular modern HXC band. So we’ got love for the scene. We belong to it. But we’re not a HXC band anymore. When you said ‘sonic terror’, it’s funny in fact to know what people feel about the band, because we ‘re more into ‘poetic’ climax, into melancholia than into pure terror.
Can you tell something about the lyrical content of the album, since the titles are hardly revealing anything?
Each one of our records are concept albums since the beginning. So, as usual, the lyrics are the same for every track of the record, and that's why all the songs are untitled. As a band, our experience grows and grows. We get better as musicians and songwriters every day. We can't wait to know how we will sound in ten years. On the other hand, as human beings, we get older and older, starting to lose people we love, getting closer to death every day, and we become fathers, family men, we 're writing our own history on a daily basis. The question is, what will remain of us the day we'll leave this word? What is our legacy worth if we're not there anymore to see it? This is what this album is all about. Using one quote from Emile Cioran, a French/Romanian philosopher: 'Time is shut, unreachable'. And one quote from writer/poet Victor Hugo: 'Grass has to grow and children have to die, I know it, oh my god!' You can hear the French version of the Hugo poetry at the end of ‘VII’.
You have recently released your first video. Are you happy with the result and how does it feel to finally do this after all those years?
We’re huge fans of cinema, and we really wanted to do this for a very long time, a lot of people proposed us their services, but nothing never became reality. Ten years ago it was very expensive to make a movie on you own but today technology got cheaper and anyone can do it on its own. So we finally decided to do it ourselves, from scenario to edition. We’re lucky enough to have a drummer working in the cinema industry, and Clement Huot, an old friend of us, and talented director helped us from the beginning. I’m myself am passionate about cinema for years. The story is based on an idea by Nidraj, an old friend as well, and very accomplished writer. The video matches the concept behind the album, following an object throughout different lives. Why does this man risk everything to bring this doll to the top of this mountain? What did the doll meant for a past life? What will it mean for the next one?
Comity has been around for a very long time. How has the metal scene evolved in the 20 years that you’ve been around with the band?
There’s some good and some bad. With the emergence of internet and home studios any talented band can be heard, as well as any shitty one. There’s a lot of bands around now in the scene, compared with 20 years ago. So there’s a lot a competition. And it’s a shame because music isn’t a competition. Internet is a great tool because you can easily reach people all over the world, and not just remain a ‘local’ band. It’s paramount when your music is hard to define, extreme or experimental. Since there are not a lot of bands around playing that kind of music, the audience is always looking for new stuff all the time, and it became easier than tape trading. That said, 20 years ago, if your music were good enough, you were pretty sure your band would get noticed. Today, bands that emerge are the one who promote their names the better, not the one with the best record. Sometimes you hear of bands without even a record released, with only three tracks published, but selling thousands of shirts just because they know how to promote their name. And with pro-tools some of those band can’t even play their record live properly. Like if your music were not the paramount thing anymore. So, unfortunately, today you got to spend a ridiculous amount of time promoting your band on social networks, and it’s time you don’t spend on writing music.
Most of the bands that I know from France have something unique and Comity clearly has that too. How do you explain this original approach from bands from your country?
I think in France we’ve got a long and difficult history with arts, it’s cultural, and it’s a shame to do something that already has been done. I don’t why, but it’s a fact. I think it’s just because the French are cocky, but sometimes it can be positive. We learn in school to intellectualize everything, to get deep in stuffs, so most of the time we’re ‘verbose’ where we could be efficient. It can be a curse but this what makes us so different from the US scene for instance. Americans don’t talk for hours about what has to be done, and intellectualizing everything is exactly what the French like to do. We question ourselves all the time. I think that’s what explain an original approach of experimental music. I think of well knowns bands such as Blut Aus Nord or Deathspell Omega.
Do you have any festival gigs or tours planned to follow up on 'A Long, Eternal Fall'?
Yes, we already had a few gigs in France and Switzerland. We’ll really start touring this fall to promote the record for good. Hope we’ll be playing all across Europe soon.
After twenty years of relative obscurity, do you think that the extreme kind of music you are making will ever reach a large audience?
I don’t know if I’d like it or not, but anyway the answer is no. This kind of music doesn’t appeal to everyone, you’ve got to be experienced and introduce to it. The ear needs to be educated. I think anyone can appreciate it at the end, but you have to want it for real. This said, I think Comity didn’t reach his whole audience for now.
As many people would think: what inspires you to make such noise in the first place? Why not just take it a little bit easier?
We started with a mix of modern HXC and death metal. What we liked at the time. But we already were fans of progressive and psychedelic bands like King Crimson, and we discovered some HXC bands that were mixing punk with progressive parts. It was really exiting to find out that such mixes were possible. We just start to make our own, with the will to make it sound ‘natural’. Since we all play in other bands, even in pop and atmospheric ones, we can push Comity very far in an extreme way without being frustrated at all, because we do take it much easier, but in other projects.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I know our music can sound obscure and difficult to understand, but it’s not really on purpose, so give it a try! When you’re into it, it can be enjoyable for real.