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Infidel Interview #144: Coma.

First off, just want to thank you for participating in this edition of Infidel Interviews. Could you start off by giving a little information about you to the audience? Whatever you feel comfortable with, but name, age, and where you live would be pretty standard?

Vøid: I go by the pseudonym Vøid and live in the small town of Feldkirch, Austria.

Moloch: I got called liked this by Vøid since I’m involved in Coma. I live about 40 min. south of him in a small village up in the mountains.

How do you enjoy where you live? Is there a vibrant music community where you are? Would you say you find that your local scene influences your attitude and/or creativity?

V: It's kind of a love/hate-relationship. The town still feeds my creativity though, so that's good. The local scene sadly consists of many bands that sound similar, thrash metal is very big here, same as metal core. I try to stay out of the scene since a few years, it helps me focus a lot more.

M: Pretty much the same on me, but I still like to join small concerts in the area. Often I saw really good bands with a crowd of 30 people or less – that’s sick!

What do you see in the near, and far, future for your creative output?

V: To be honest, I don't know. I'll try and keep recording music as long as I live, when it comes to shows it's more complicated. I think “time will tell” is the best answer here.

What do you feel separates your music from the rest of the music in the Metal music scene?

V: I think the fact that we are not afraid to cross genre-borders and incorporate more styles in the sound.

What does Coma. mean to you guys in 2017? And how does that compare to what the project meant to you guys when it was formed?

V: When I started the band back in 2012, it was like a safety-line for me. I was in a very bad place back then and needed some sort of output to keep going, so I turned to song writing and more extreme music. By now, it's a huge part of my everyday life, something that keeps my mind stable, but in a more controlled, conscious way. It's like therapy to me.

M: When Vøid started the conversation with me that he was searching a real drummer for the band, I didn’t even know that there exists music like this. I’m not sure – I think it was in early 2014… He gave me some Songs and I started to practice – since then I’m in!

Nowadays I really enjoy what we are doing, cross the lines of different genres and not give a fuck on what others tell us to do. Also I am able to release my darker side for a walk.

The interview continues below this video and all further streaming content...

When it comes to composing music, do you approach things with a clear vision in mind, or do you prefer to let songs feel themselves out? Do you have any particular techniques or tricks you use to keep yourself creative and consistent? What sort of processes do you go through when making music? Do you have a formula(s) that you follow, or do you feel it out as you go along? Or is it more of a mixture of the two?

V: It's more a mixture of the two, yes. I first feel into the overall idea of an album, line out the thematic and think about how I want it to sound. I love concept albums, so there is usually a line of theme throughout an album cycle. As soon as this feels right, I start recording. An important part is also the atmosphere I record in, usually I start working on music during the evening, or if earlier I like to dim the lights down.

M: At first I wasn’t really interested in getting into the song writing process, but I’m growing into that as well. There is the point where Vøid throws his original idea on us others – and then I start to do my work as well. I also like to change the drums more than one time to fit the particular part even more perfect. Like the choppy blast beats in “Stillborn”.

If you could say there are underlying themes or messages that permeate throughout your discography, what would you say are the most important concepts and ideas you've tried to express throughout your artistic career, political, spiritual, or personal?

V: Everything I write is mainly personal, sometimes with some spiritual elements and symbolism added to it, but I don't try to express it or convince the audience of anything. I want everyone to make their own opinion about what Coma. is and experience it differently.

So much has been said, and it sometimes feel that every word combination has every been taken. As a lyricist myself I know the pain of how hard it can be to articulate something in a way that is both engaging to the audience and uniquely artist. How do you find inspiration for your lyrical poetry?

V: I use to write down single words while feeling bad, like a mind map of certain emotions and experiences. Those notes also guide as inspiration for the music, and when it comes to finalizing the lyrics for a song, I listen to the demo, re-read the words and just concentrating on the feeling, the emotion. Then it somehow connects in my mind and starts to form sentences.

Would you say that your choice to pursue music has changed your life since you started? Would you say that creativity has evolved you spiritually, emotionally, or logically?

V: Definitely, yes. I draw a lot of emotional strength from it, and spiritually it helped me refine my believes, made me study certain things deeper and form my own theories.

M: I also think its way too easy to just think inside genre borders. You should open your mind to everything, not only to different music genres – also in other parts of your life. It’s the only way to grow to a respectable person and separate yourself from the scum that’s left behind..

That is what we do –that is the main point why we are so much different than the rest!

When you first started making music, was there a particular sound or artistic/musical influence that you would say was your biggest inspiration to start pursuing the creative path yourself?

V: When I first started, I was pretty influenced by the early Nu-Metal-Scene, especially Slipknot's first album. After a while I got also interested in DSBM, especially Lifelover, as well as Industrial. I pretty much listen to anything that gives me a certain emotion by now, be it Rap, Jazz, Classic, Black Metal or anything else. The emotion is what counts.

M: I was also pretty much inspired by the whole Nu-Metal-Thing and all their drummers. Then I got interested in Black-Metal and more extreme music. One day a friend introduced me to “Dream Theatre” and from that time on, my interests grew in so many different directions and I started to practice more often and harder.. It’s just like Vøid said.. the emotions count!

When it comes to your musical self and your real world self, would you say that their is a separation? Do you find yourself getting into a character or mindset when you create, or do you find your music is a representation of your day to day self?

V: There is no separation, the only thing that makes it different from my everyday-self might be the mask. Whenever I put it on, it feels like a barrier between me and the outside world, like isolating myself in my own thoughts and emotions, complete freedom.

M: We create the music in our “everyday” character – so I also think there is no separation – just different faces.

Sometimes I can hide something behind my mask that is my secret for a moment - a thought, a small fail on a concert or an emotion. That moment of total privacy is by far the best thing about the masks.

What are your thoughts on genres in general? Do you find them creatively helpful as a template to work with? Or do you find them restricting? Or possibly somewhere in between? Now that the internet has caused so much crossover in music, would you even say genre labels are relevant any more?

V: I don't like genres at all, many bands restrict themselves through them without even realizing it. There are so many subgenres by now that it just causes confusion and frustration, the need to be 'True' etc etc. Free your mind.

When it comes to fan and critic feedback, how much do you take it to heart, and how much do you feel it evolves, pushes, or holds your sound in place? Do you feel that the personal response and interaction in the live environment, and the subsequent positive press you've regarding both your live and recorded music has consciously encouraged you to do things a certain way?

V: To be really honest, I barely read any feedback I get. Everyone has their own opinion, but I'm trying to stay clear of this as much as possible to avoid any influences on the music. It's just the way this band works, I think... we give ourselves feedback inside the group though.

Have you had any particular moment(s) that you would like to share, that you would consider to be a crowning achievement in your musical career so far, or moments that you would say truly continue to inspire you to pursue your artistic path?

V: There would be two particular moments: When “Phantomscherz” was finished, because this marked an important step for the band as well as for myself. We all achieved some sort of closure with it, in one way or another, and showed us that there is still a way to go on.

The second one was a mail I got through our bandcamp-page, once, it said “Thank you for your music, and thanks for helping me to live like you do.” This meant a lot to me, because I saw that the music can really have an impact on others as well in a positive way.

Playing live shows, recording new tracks, attempting to go live the life that gives you the experiences that inspires it all... it can be difficult to balance the time. Do you have any particular methods that you use to keep yourself focused or balanced in your direction?

V: I sometimes have to force myself to step back from everything and just have days where I absolutely do nothing. I tend to be a workaholic when it comes to music, which can exhaust very badly.

M: At the moment I got barley any time for our band which I feel pretty sad about – but everyday life has to go on as well.

For fans who have not seen you yet, when it comes to your live show, how would you describe yourself thematically and visually? Are you an energy and audience driven band in the live atmosphere? Or would you consider yourself to be more thematic or presentation oriented?

V: We are a very visual band, trying to incorporate as many ways of expression as possible. There are backdrop-videos which we project over the whole stage, the only light on stage are dimmed white LED's from the floor. Our live-shows have always been very energetic, though with barely any audience interaction... The goal is to create some sort of unpleasant, space where the band can live out their emotions and memories.

What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your musical career?

V: We have never been an easy band, that’s why we went through many line-up-changes. We're still struggling to form a full line-up, which makes live-shows not possible for now.

Do you have any other musical projects that you are involved with, or do you have any other musicians or artists that you collaborate with in some capacity?

V: I am also playing in an Industrial-Metal band called “Devil-M”, I also collaborate a lot with our session-guitarist Deha in a few other projects, “Nadddir” and “Ter Ziele” to name two. I am also sometimes collaborating with friends of mine who make Electronic/Industrial music.

M: I do also have another project but it is more the bourgeois type thing. Whatever..

What sort of new bands have come out in recent years that have caught your attention? Is there any bands out there you see yourself, or would like to, remix or collaborate with in the future?

V+ M: We would definitely love to collaborate in some way with “Ofdrykkja” or “Harakiri for the sky”.

Outside of music, what are some of your favourite past times and emotional engagements? V: I love to spend my evenings watching some good movies with my girlfriend. I am also very interested in synthesizers and everything surrounding them, comics and video games.

M: I do also like video games, especially old school ones like the original “Half Life” from `98. But I am also interested in extreme sports, and from time to time I look at all my scars and broken bones to think back on all the good times out there, in the nature surrounding my home.

Thank you so much for participating in this episode of Infidel Interview. Any parting words for your fans, or my audience?

Coma. : Thanks for the support!

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