Just what the doctor ordered

Comeback Kid returns with Symptons + Cures

Comeback Kid (from left): Kyle Profeta, Jeremy Hiebert, Andrew Neufeld, Matt Keil and Casey Hjelmberg. Courtesy Distort

Prepare to hear a lot of material from Comeback Kid’s new record, Symptoms + Cures, if you go see the band live at the Garrick Centre this week.

“Our big goal with this record was to make an album that we would have fun playing live,” CBK vocalist Andrew Neufeld said over iced tea in Old Market Square last month. “With (2007’s) Broadcasting, we play a few of those songs live, but we’d really like to play a lot more of the new songs with this new record.

“The album in general just has more of a fun vibe to it – just fuckin’ good times,” the 29-year-old continued. “We’re not joking around when we’re singing, but it’s more of a fun record to listen to.”

Symptoms + Cures, the hardcore band’s fourth studio release, came out on Distort at the end of August. CBK – which includes guitarists Jeremy Hiebert and Casey Hjelmberg, bassist Matt Keil and drummer Kyle Profeta – recorded the 11-song album in Toronto with producers Eric Ratz and Kenny Luong (Cancer Bats, Billy Talent).

The quintet wanted to switch it up after recording Broadcasting and 2005’s Wake the Dead in Colorado.

“We wanted to go for a more screaming-through-the-speakers, raw sound with this record,” Neufeld said. “And that’s what we got. It still sounds big, but it’s more ripping and tearing through the speakers – a little more intense.”

We really appreciate the support we get from (Winnipeg). It would be really hard to do this band if we were (from) anywhere else.

Andrew Neufeld, Comeback Kid

Neufeld drew from some interesting life experiences to write lyrics that matched the intensity of the music. G.M. Vincent & I, one of the standout tracks, was inspired by a van accident Neufeld experienced while traveling with fellow hardcore band Grave Maker and friend Matthew Vincent Howes.

The van rolled on the highway between Kelowna, B.C. and Calgary, Alta., leaving Howes trapped underneath it for about an hour.

“It was one of those moments where you actually feel the craziness of life,” Neufeld said. “That song is about how, every time we tour, we keep passing this place on the highway we should have died at. It’s a celebration of life and what we went through.”

The band’s current tour, with New York hardcore legends Madball, is taking them from coast to coast. As soon as it’s over, they have five other tours lined up that will take them around the world.

It’s par for the course for Neufeld, who has been able to support himself by playing music since January 2003.

“I feel pretty awesome,” he said. “I just had a month off tour, so I’m pretty ready to get back on the road.”

Neufeld is also looking forward to playing at the Garrick this Wednesday, Sept. 15.

“We really appreciate the support we get from this city,” he said. “It would be really hard to do this band if we were (from) anywhere else.”

Published in Volume 65, Number 2 of The Uniter (September 9, 2010)

Related Reads