Comrades

By in Interviews | Comments closed

Blood And Ink Records have recently signed Virginia’s 3-piece post-hardcore group Comrades.  Blood & Ink have released a compilation of Comrades songs from between 2010-2011 titled “Collections: 2010-2011” that you can check out here.

I recently completed an email interview with the band, so take a second and get to know Comrades:

 

 First tell us a little background on the band, who you guys are, where
 are you based out of, what style of music do you guys play?
We are based out of Richmond, VA, and all of us currently live either in, or close to the city. Our music is a blend of post-hardcore and instrumental music, with few, but some lyrics.  We are all between the ages of 22 and 24, and Laura and myself are recently married.
Congrats! How does having 2 of your 3 band members being married affect the dynamic of the band?
Thank you! It definitely does, but we have been doing the band together for so long that I think we are all pretty used to it. Our band dynamic is definitely much different then most bands. If anything being married in a band is definitely easier then being in a relationship in a band! 
How did you guys end up on Blood & Ink Records?
Over three years ago, one of them attended some of our shows that we played with B&I bands, and we were introduced to the label then, but we were a very young band at that point. They kept up with us throughout our member changes, and this past year, it worked out for us to work with them as a label. 
Have you met and/or played with the other bands on the B&I roster?
We have played with many of the current B&I bands, just through tours crossing paths, and they are an incredible group of people.  Its great to be part of a label that has so many community minded bands. 
You guys are, for the most part, an instrumental band. Tell us about
 the decision to go that route. Do you plan on adding a vocalist in the
 future? who handles the few vocals you do have (like on songs “Lend Me
 Your Heart”…)?
    -if you do add a vocalist, will you go back and vocals to older songs,
 or just start with fresh, new songs?
Being primarily an instrumental band kind of just happened.  We had some shows lined up, and we didn’t have vocals done for our new songs, and it just sort of worked out.  We decided to play a few of them instrumentally, and the response was very good.  From that point on, we realized that not every band has to have lyrics to say what they want to say.  None of us are really “instrumental music kids” or whatever, we all listen to more music that has words then music that doesn’t, it just seemed to be the right path for Comrades to take.
Our drummer, Connor, handles the shouting vocals, and Laura does some singing here and there.  I don’t see a vocalist in our future, but its not an impossibility. 
What is the live show like when you guys play? How does the crowd
 respond to an instrumental band?
Usually we play with heavier bands, and so the show has that sort of a vibe, but we have seen everything from crowd surfing to hardcore dancing to the entire audience sitting indian style and staring at us. We like to play on the floor, at the same level with people, so people watching can be part of the music, rather then just watching us up on stage. 
Do you guys have a message or statement you’re trying to convey with
 your music?
Absolutely! We are all Christians, and understand that we could not do any of this apart from God or without His purpose. We want our music to “minister” to people.  I put “minister” in quotation marks because its different for different people.  We aren’t a band band that preaches from stage, because we aren’t that way as individuals. We have all seen in our lives that God communicates through music, showing us who He is and what He does. He is much bigger than our words can convey, and that’s one of the unforeseen blessings we have found in being instrumental. It is a different thing entirely to simply leave the floor open for God to do what He does: communicate who He is through His creation. Our greatest hope is that, maybe, our music can help people understand God better, or simply think about Truth in life. I cannot express to you the wonder when someone tells us that our music conveys to them the very same thoughts and feelings we ourselves have when playing it. We can only attribute it to the fact that this is part of something much larger than three musicians with a van. Sometimes we may use the stage as a place to raise awareness for social issues, or from time to time share something about our beliefs, but all of that is what we consider ministry.  Most of the places we play aren’t decidedly “Christian” places, and we don’t always tour with “Christian” bands, but I think most people know what we are about. 
Tell us a little about the song writing process for you guys, how do
 the songs come about?
Its different every time, but recently we have just all set up in our dining room and started playing music, and when something cool happened, we would run with it.  Then we would sit down, take it apart, see what we wanted to say with the music, and put structure to it, and develop it from there into a full song that has the meaning we want it to have.
What other bands do you guys look to for inspiration? What bands have
 influenced your sound?
“Son I Loved You At Your Darkest” by As Cities Burn is probably one of the biggest influences for all of us, and we also learned a lot from Beloved in our younger years.  The older My Epic releases influenced my writing style personally in a great way. 
What type of bands do you usually play shows with? Will you guys be
 hitting the Festivales in the summer?
More often then not we play hardcore shows, or heavy shows in some shape or form, but we have really had the priveledge to play many different types of shows.  We will probably play some smaller festivals, but we don’t currently have plans for the big ones, but we are open to them if the opportunity arises. 
Are you guys planning on touring full-time in 2012? Is this a
 full-time gig for you guys?
This year we won’t be full-time, but it has been pretty much full-time in the past.  We will probably do three major tours this summer, but our drummer is getting married this fall. This band is definitely a priority we work between work, school, and weddings, and we’re really stoked that we get to tour with it when a lot of bands can’t. 
Laura, your bass player, is the scene lady-friendly? I’ve heard some
 pretty gross stories about dudes on tour not washing their pants,
 clothes… etc. Do the ladies in the scene get a chance to clean up more
 often? Does that impact how much you can tour? Do you guys make an extra
 effort to find a home to stay in each night as opposed to sleeping in the
 van and whatnot?
It is very true, boys have a hard time washing pants…but that isn’t a strictly tour related circumstance. All the guys I have been privileged to tour with have been disgusting at one point or another, so I’ve accepted it to some extent. Being on tour assures that you will have thoroughly repulsive moments. It’s taught me a lot about people and dirt in the spiritual sense, as well as made me extremely grateful for the miracle of indoor plumbing.
Girls on tour have to learn to adapt, I will definitely say that. The art of navigating truck stop bathrooms and learning what is necessary in your routine is invaluable. Touring is like camping in that sense, you only carry (or do) what you need to after a while. We may clean up more than others, but I think it’s a gender thing.
     As for how much that impacts tour, I would say we’ve never stayed home on account of me. We have a really comfortable van set up, and I knew that if I was going to be a part of a band, I would have to accept certain things. Like sleeping in the van with no a.c. at night in Floridian July. I have noticed that we are offered places to stay often, out of the goodness of people’s hearts. We don’t necessarily put in more effort than any other band to find homes, because we have everything we need and sometimes prefer our van, but there are other times when its freezing or scorching that we love a little respite and a load of laundry washed. I do think that because there is a girl in the band, people are more aware of our situation and prone to consider our housing needs. And if we do stay with a family, it’s always great to get the first shower. That’s something I will not be shy to assert my ladyhood for.
 Can you tell us a little about the full-length planned for 2012?
Yes! It is in the final stages of being written at this point.  It covers a more broad spectrum of emotion then our older material, and though parts of it are dark and ambient, there is much more “joyful” or “encouraging” music.  It gets pretty heavy in a few places as well.
Tell us a little-bit about this compilation you released on Blood &
 Ink in 2011, were these songs previously released?
    It’s basically the best songs off or our past 3 releases.  The label did a great job of putting together an e-book for it with pictures from our tours, and I think it did a great job introducing the B&I fanbase to our band.
 Did you guys play in other bands before Comrades?
Yes, our drummer Connor played in quite a few bands, to name a few, a hardcore band called Second Guess, an instrumental band called Letters and Memoirs, and a Ska band called The Skatterbrains.  I played in a screamo/hardcore band called Ready The Way for a few years before Comrades, and Laura still plays her acoustic music here an there.
What could the readers at Indie Vision do to help you guys out? Prayer
 needs/requests? Specific items for touring (like socks?)? Places to stay
 in certain cities?
Our beloved bright orange van is approaching 300,000 miles, and needs some serious rejuvination, so prayer for that would be great, as we are starting touring again soon.  Socks would be great! I always seem to lose those on tour!  But in all seriousness, prayer would be the biggest thing, as most everyone reading this knows, touring bands don’t make much money, and we want to continue doing this for the forseeable future, while paying rent, insurance, etc, all those adult things that seem to creep up on us all!  Also, we do all of our booking for tour ourselves, so any help we can get finding places to play is always appreciated.  Maybe there are some people reading this who book shows, and if you would ever like us to play, send us an email(comradesmailroom@gmail.com), we would love to play anywhere and everywhere.  Giving us the oppertunity to share our music with you is the most we could ever ask for!
https://store.indievisionmusic.com