5th February '04
Listening to Comeg's album "Perfect Summer" for the first time is like opening a window into a stuffy room - it's a real breathe of fresh air. There's always a plentiful supply of "good" indie music dropping through the SkidMark letterbox but Comeg's CD is one of those occasional "Wow" moments we have during the year when something really special arrives. The album is a wholesome selection of pure unadulterated Brit-pop / rock tracks with flavours reminiscent of many of the finest British acts such as the Beatles and Oasis to name but two. Comeg are currently unsigned artists but once this album has done the rounds, we guarantee they won't be for much longer! Due to Comeg's hectic recording schedule we weren't able to hook up live on the net for the VI but the boys were able to do the next best thing and answer a question sheet we sent over...

SkidMark: Hi Coemgen, Giles, Casey thanks for making the time to answer some questions about the band's current scene. I'll start off by asking…

SkidMark: Where did the band name "Comeg" come from?

Comeg: When people see the name Coemgen written down, the likelihood of them realizing it is pronounced Kefen, are pretty slim. So I get called some of the strangest things. After Cunt and Twat, one of the most common mispronunciations is Comeg; hence the band name.

SkidMark: How long has the band been together?

Comeg: We've been together as a band now for around two years, although myself and Giles have known each other for a lot longer.

SkidMark: Where did you meet each other?

Comeg: How do a Scouser, a Mancunian and a Brummie ever meet?
Me and Giles met whilst I was trying to relieve a music store of two dozen flutes in order to improve my finances. Whilst Casey and myself met at an audition for a vocalist in a middle-aged, pub covers band called "The leather Joy Boys" . Unfortunately there is not enough space here to fully explain the above.

SkidMark: Who writes the songs, or are they a communal effort?

Comeg: I tend to write the majority of the material which will be chords, melody and structure. Which I'll then pass on to Casey and Giles, who will create and add relevant bass and guitar parts. At other times, Giles will bring me a piece of music he's written, to which I'll add a melody and a structure. I tend to get a bit more involved in the overall sound as the studio is in my den, and I'm the only one who knows how to use it.

SkidMark: How long have Comeg had an internet presence?

Comeg: From the very beginning the idea was to promote our stuff through the internet. I've seen so many bands in this useless city, spend their entire careers playing each week at the poxy local pubs and crap venues, wanking off to their own ego's and enjoying their pseudo-fame whilst a bunch of brain dead mates and family members cheer them on regardless of any obvious talent. I have no desire to con the public, let alone ourselves. So it was very important to create the best material we where able, and to throw it out to a genuine world wide audience of honest and unforgiving opinion; to see what the reaction would be. The perfect media being the internet. And behold. It was Good.

SkidMark: Is the site band-maintained?

Comeg: We tend to have an editorial control over the material on our site, whilst I deal with the technical side of things. But the actual up keep is down to our mutual friend Paul Graham, and my co-producer Wendy Altea. Obviously the actual band are above such menial tasks.

SkidMark: How do you feel the internet has helped promote the Comeg scene?

Comeg: Without the Internet, there would be no Comeg scene, and the entire credit for every mention of the band out there, has to be given to Wendy Altea. She has tirelessly worked wonders in promoting us in every possible area and on every possible site. I really cannot overstate the work she has put in. We could have paid a specialist company VAST amounts of money and only got a quarter of the results. It still amazes me the ground she has managed to cover. And she co produces the music?

SkidMark: What's the furthest away from the UK a fan has communicated with you over the web?

Comeg: New Zealand!

Comeg: We have had positive responses, literally from every corner of the planet. We even have a mystical Indian astrologer, who direct from India has been emailing us and posting on loads of sites about how " he has seen the future, and it is Comeg" I swear this is genuine! I could list many more examples like this as the list is endless. Just type "comeg" in to Google and see what you get.

SkidMark: Do you have a bigger proportion of online fans to local fans?

Comeg: The locals here in Exeter,UK are either too busy sleeping with their relatives or playing in insipid punk and glam rock cover bands to notice anything that goes on outside of their own proverbial front doors. I can probably count the amount of local fans we have on the fingers of one hand. Whereas around here that could be anything up to seven, on my hand it's five. Hence the world of the web really is our stage. As for actual numbers, I really couldn't say.

SkidMark: Have you ever played live on an internet webcast show or have plans to do so?

Comeg: We haven't. But you have just given me a wonderful idea.

SkidMark: Do you have a particular favourite music web site that you like to check out on a regular basis?

Comeg: I like to check out sites about the Reynols (amazing Argentinean band), otherwise we tend to check out sites like Overplay, Garage Band and of course Skidmark.

SkidMark: What do you prefer: playing live or studio recording?

Comeg: I think that the days of the "Gig" as we know it are long gone; regardless of the self bloated opinions of that arsehole Steve Lamaq. As I said earlier, if you want to be a big fish in a little pond, then gigging around is for you. On the other hand, if you'd like to deal with the real world and take the chance of failure and genuinely put your talent to the test, then at present there is no alternative than to record your music and get it out there. And all of this bollocks about cost is rubbish, it's far cheaper these days to set up a home studio than it is to kit yourself out with PA's, live gear and a fucking van. There is no excuse, take a chance, give it a go, see what the opinions of the real world are.

SkidMark: What's the most bizarre thing to have happened at a Comeg gig?

Comeg: I would have to say that it was when we were joined on stage by Johnny Cash, Bono and David Bowie; whilst yellow elephants danced on the mixing desk. Or was that a dream?

SkidMark: Any plans for a major tour?

Comeg: Yes. Of tea shops in the Rutland area.

SkidMark: If you could tour as support for a major artist who would it be and why?

Comeg: Oasis. So that I could unearth Liam Gallagher's microphone and bring about the extinction of dinosaurs once and for all.

SkidMark: You've received some great reviews for the recently released album "Perfect Summer" and you're now played regularly on Radio Devon's "Devon Demo's" what's that all about?

Comeg: We still have no idea how we ended up on Devon Demo's. Or at least nobody is willing to admit it. What is also fascinating, is that they have a "virtual interview" with us on the site. Now I admit, that they did send us a questionnaire, which we duly answered and returned. Unfortunately I don't think they where entirely happy with our opinions on Devon, so decided to make up the answers themselves? Not only that, but they also decided to take the piss out of the answers they had themselves given? So if you want to listen to our music, go there, and if you want to listen to the site administrators pretending to be us, then go there. However if you want to read the bands genuine opinions, there is not a single word from our mouths on the site? You have been warned!

Comeg: Although it is a BBC site, and I genuinely respect that.

SkidMark: You recorded the album on a home studio right?

Comeg: No, we recorded the album on a home help who was passing at the time. She complained at first, but her renditions are consistent; although her Mp3 versions are slightly suspect!

SkidMark: How long did it take you to put the studio together and what is the core item of equipment in it? Do you use computer-based recording software or digital / tape orientated hardware?

Comeg: Train spotter section, but here goes.

Comeg: We use a Pentium 4 2.6ghz , 1 Gigabyte of DDR Ram, Audiowerk sound card, 80 gb hard drive for audio and 40 gb hard drive for system and EXS24 samples. Cooled by a Zalman Flower on the cpu, and Zalman hard drive coolers. Inside an Acoustifoam lined antec server case. Srong yet silent.

Comeg: Running Emagic's Logic Audio Platinum 5.2, EXS24 Sampler, Steinberg Wavelab 4, T-Racks, CoolEdit Pro, and Waves effect plug ins.

Comeg: Outboard equipment includes Guitar Pod, Bass Pod and Rode NTK microphone, all running through a Joe Meek Meequalizer. Played back through Alesis M1 Active Mk2 monitors.

Comeg: Guitars include Hohner Jack Bass, 72' Telecaster guitar, Samick Gibson E Style copy, Tanglewood acoustic guitar, Bass Collection 5 string bass, and the unforgettable banjolele belonging to Giles.

Comeg: It took us around six months to build and bring together, most of which included a learning curve that would scare Spider-man shitless!

SkidMark: How are the plans for the latest album going?

Comeg: Very well. We have nine tracks in preparation at the moment, though whether they will make it on to the final album is anybody's guess. As for the direction, we seem to be taking the nod from Perfect Summer, and heading off further down Mellow Lane. And that is not a bad thing. The ideas are still very dark, but the music seems to be even more uplifting. And if anybody is expecting us to carry any of the ideas from the Spine album further, then they may be disappointed, as Mr Clean from Perfect Summer finally put that ghost to rest. I guess it's called progression, and if we lose any followers on the way, then so be it. Things change (which is actually one of the track titles and possibly the name of the album). This is not a democracy, but it WILL be our finest album yet.

Comeg: I'll stick a couple of copies in the post to you as soon as it's ready.

SkidMark: Do you have a projected release date for it?

Comeg: We're aiming to get the majority of work finished by the end of March. It'll then be a case of mixing and finishing off. And that will take as long as it does.

SkidMark: What are Comeg's targets for the rest of 2004?

Comeg: Get the album finished and out there. Get signed up (not that I'm too sure what that phrase means, but if it means we get decent distribution for our music and make some money into the bargain, then that's what we want). And to tell our respective employers to go and fuck themselves. Hang on? I already have!

SkidMark: Many thanks for answering our questions guys. Good luck with the further promotion of "Perfect Summer" (it's a GREAT CD!) and the production of your next album and I look forward to seeing the band live in the Midlands some time soon!

Comeg: On behalf of the rest of the band, thank YOU.

Comeg: PS. Why are all of the best UK unsigned band sites in the Midlands?

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