By Matthew Murphy
For those unaware, Andrew Neufeld is major player in the Canadian music community. He has fronted the Winnipeg hardcore band Comeback Kid for over 10 years, and also has a side project with his brother Joel called Sights and Sounds who have been releasing atmospheric rock ‘n’ roll since 2007. Between the two bands he also acts as a producer. We had the chance to catch up with him and talk about it all.
People know you best for Comeback Kid, who seem to never stop touring. However, some may not know that you have another project, Sights and Sounds. How did that band arise?
We started that band for real, probably ten years ago in Winnipeg; kind of as another outlet for me because I had been playing in hardcore punk bands forever. I started jamming with that in 2006 with Matt (Howes), who is the other singer and my brother (Joel Neufeld). It just grew into a thing very slowly and naturally ‘til we did our first self-titled EP in 2007 and our LP Monolith in 2009. As well we released Silver Door in 2013. It has been a slow moving thing but an extra thing I can do when we have the time to do it. You get older and everyone is doing their different shit but it’s nice when you can find the time to make it happen.
So you mentioned that Joel, your older brother is the drummer in Sights and Sounds, how is being in a band with your brother and are their parallels to how your relationship was growing up?
I don’t think we hung out until we were a little bit older, probably after high school and into adulthood. We definitely come from different backgrounds as well, even musically and socially (laughs) but it worked. The age difference is much more of a gap when you are younger but we are super good friends. You know, I have been playing in heavier bands for ever and he was more poppy kind of stuff. Sights and Sounds is melodic and at times experimental but now we are aiming for a more straight-forward thing.
Exactly. Music is so cyclical that even if there were a few bands years back that were doing that style, they may have just been before their time. You can look back and probably name a handful of bands that you thought were the best thing ever that didn’t make it because it wasn’t the right time or place.
Someone said, “You never want to be the very first to do something.” That makes sense. Just in general, maybe it’s best to be the second or third to do something. Someone else can come around and try to figure out what works and what doesn’t and have their failures and maybe you can learn along the way and refine your craft.
So you have been in the studio, but acting in the role of producer. Can you talk about why you chose to switch seats and who you have been working with? The last few years I have been producing while I am off tour and it has been a mix of all types of bands, some hardcore but the person I was just working with is a singer-songwriter from Australia, named Chasing Ghosts.
So with you producing more and more, does that mean the road has finally gotten to you? Are you done with touring?
No dude, I am the one in both bands constantly pushing to play shows. I am turning 35 and to have music as a source of income I feel pretty lucky. Comeback Kid isn’t as much a full-time thing, Jeremy (Hiebert) just had a baby, so we are a one month on, one month off kind of band but it just gives me more time to work on other things. It use to be Comeback Kid is out for eight months this year but now it’s nice to just have some time. As well, it’s nice to be able to just have a home to come back to.
So what does the rest of 2016 look like for the bands and yourself?
Sights and Sounds has a full album written. We are just looking at what label may put it out. As well, Comeback Kid is writing. I have these Sights and Sounds shows and Comeback Kid is back in Europe for festival season. Then, there is Japan, as well as producing more in December.
For Turn It Around, you did a 10th anniversary tour. We missed the Wake the Dead 10th anniversary but is there a Broadcasting tour in store in 2017?
Sometimes I think, fuck, I should have broken Comeback Kid up on one of these years and then gotten us back together because it just seems to work for some of these bands. But I have never broken up a band ever, I just would never want to; why stop playing music you love? We did the 10 year mostly to get Scott Wade back out there and honestly it was that album and a ton of songs from Wake the Dead. We just wanted to celebrate what he was a part of.
That just goes to show to that Comeback Kid seems like a family more than the band is one or two members and the new guys are just passing through.
Yeah. I just love playing music and playing music with a lot of people. Just because they can’t dedicate eight months out of the year doesn’t mean I don’t love playing with them. Everyone has a life.
Haha, yeah, well we are all getting older.