Open Mind Saturated Brain

Open Mind Saturated Brain

ZEGEMA BEACH RECORDS

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

***COMA REGALIA exclusive interview***

BandCOMA REGALIA
GenresPunk / Hardcore / Emo / Screamo / Skramz
Related artistsAche/Emelie, Gorgon Sans Seer, Regret, John Q Public, Dance & Destroy, Kaki.O.Badi, It Kills Me, Body Of Wasps and Plague Walker.
CountryLafayette, Indiana USA
Years Active2010-present
Song: "Aesthetic Dialectic"
Album: "Orchid Tribute"
Year: 2013
Label(s): Middle-Man Records / Zegema Beach Records / Friendly Otter Records / Time As A Color Records / Utarid Tapes / Desordre Ordonne / Whereisthatdeerhead? / Off Cloud Nine Label / It's A Trap! Records / Moshtache Records / Sea Of Tranquility Records / i corrupt Records / Pure Heart Records / Carucage Records / Boslevan Records / Walking Is Still Honest Records / Crapoulet Records / Skin & Bones Records / Lead Rivers Records / How Soon Is Now Records / Pure Heart Records / Listen To Aylin Records / Dzukhell Rekords / Itai Records / Antithetic Records / Galt House Records / Black Lake Records / Moment Of Collapse Records
This post's artist is from the August 2015 Mix. This is track #8.
You can download: the August Mix#8 right here or get the new September 2015 Mix#9 here.
For fans ofFuneral Diner, ...Who Calls So Loud, Orchid, Matsuri, Hot Cross, You And I, Capacities, People's Temple Project, Greyscale, For Want Of, Kodan Armada, Storm The Bastille, Wolves, Maths, Ecorche, Bright Calm Blue, Four Hundred Years, Ampere, Gaff, Foxmoulder and Montcalm aka PROPER SCREAMO.

How in the hell am I supposed to start this? Shawn Decker, Middle Man Records and COMA REGALIA are household names for punk/screamo fans and that triad has had a magnet's pull on the influence and direction of screamy hardcore music over the last few years. Before I continue, no words can sum up the importance that Shawn Decker and his outlets have had within the very niche and divided scene that is modern day "screamo". There are just way too many splits to embed a video/song from each and the discography is so vast that I'm going to do a condensed review. The interview that I had with Shawn Decker in the summer of 2015 sheds additional light on his brainchild known as COMA REGALIA.

So, COMA REGALIA. My introduction to this band came sometime shortly before I helped put out the Foxmoulder/COMA REGALIA split 5" and I was immediately taken with the sound. Why? Because it kinda sounded like everything screamo that I love, but I'm having a hard time (over the course of the last few days) to pinpoint who they sound like, besides Funeral DinerOrchid and ...Who Calls So Loud. Serious though, COMA REGALIA really sounds a lot like Funeral Diner but with a unique spin that makes it obvious that it ain't. It's primarily the vocals, which Shawn delivers from the drum set that have a very Seth from Funeral Diner and ...Who Calls So Loud vibe...as well as straight up sound. That's a hella compliment because Seth is one of the vocalists that I associate with screamo and that band (FD) was god. The instrumentals of COMA REGALIA vary between a few bands but Orchid and Funeral Diner again would be the most obvious and accurate comparisons. It's the perfect mixture of controlled chaos and anger with serene and tranquil melodic moments. There are certainly occasions where the guitars and bass lend themselves to Hot Cross influence with sexy results, see "MQWC", "We All Have Our Ghosts, Man", "The Skywalk is Gone" and "Regret".

How Shawn does the passionate, screaming vocals in conjunction with them sick ass drums is beyond me. Speaking of his many talents, he also does some sporadic singing/yelling and on the new release really belts some bangers. Although primarily screamy, there is definitely emphasis on singing throughout the band's releases, and on newer albums the singing is very appropriately placed and generally takes the music to the next level, with prime examples being the new "The Knight in the Squire's Imagination" and "The Stone Golem". A fair amount of gang vocal singing takes place over the course of the discography as well, with isolated vocals generally taking a backseat. Speaking of Shawn he also does most (if not all) of the art for COMA REGALIA releases and runs the extremely amazing Middle Man Records out of Indiana in the United States. His distro is unparalleled in amazing screamo releases. His attitude, positivity and moral compass are a beacon of leadership and hope in a confusing and sometimes jaded scene.

OK, back to COMA REGALIA. The releases (all 21 of them as of this post on August 26th, 2015) are have been recorded over the course of only 5 years. This seemingly constant writing and recording process may shed light on my personal opinion that the COMA REGALIA sound has remained very consistent (even with numerous members shuffling in and out) with specific signatures, but nearly every release injects something new, something different, like subtle evolutionary shifts. The first of which appears on 2012's 'Vowel split' 7" that houses "And Wake From the Dream Still Knowing" which is primarily an acoustic track with sung vocals but is sprinkled with electricity and screaming at the very end. "New Voices" harnesses a sludgy alternative groove right from the get go while "Peace" from the 'Foxmoulder split' 5" is an ambient/noise track. COMA REGALIA tracks are generally one to three minutes but the band certainly has their share of longer songs such as "This One's For Rue" ('Gas Up Yr Hearse split'), "It Actually is Rocket Science" ('Capacities split'), "The Brothers - Liam the Silent/Rafe the Brave" ('We Had Leaves split'), "Won" (Locktender/Oaken/Wounded Knee split') and "The Danse Macabre - Home is Where the Hard On" ('Laeirs split').

My favourite releases would have to be 'Ours is the Cause Most Noble' and the following splits: Kaoru Nagisa, We Had A Deal, Foxmoulder, Book Of Caverns, Gas Up Yr Hearse!, Greyscale, Quantis and the 4-way split 10" with Flesh Born, Marcy and Mothlight. The new 2x7" is unreal (with the physical product on its way shortly!) and that 'Kaoru Nagisa split' track "MQWC" is fucking mindblowing and if it shows the direction COMA REGALIA is heading then holy fucking shit. It harnesses some very playful bass riffs amongst the chaos of stop/start beats and is by far my favourite song by the band. Coming up is the 'Diploid split' 7" and a 'Piri Reis split' 10" that will have pre-orders going up on October 1st, 2015. Other than that, you can find Shawn Decker absolutely everywhere. I'm extremely lucky to be involved with this man and his band.

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DISCOGRAPHY

2010 - Quantis split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2010 - Mixed Manias & Sorrow Songs tape

2012 - En Sperata 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)
2012 - Capacities split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2012 - Laeirs split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2012 - The Caitlyn Elm split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2012 - Vowel split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2012 - Marital Roles split cassette (stream/donate/download here)

2013 - 4-Way split (w/Locktender, Wounded Knee & Oaken) 12"LP (stream/donate/download here)
2013 - Gas Up Yr Hearse! split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2013 - Book Of Caverns split 7"EP (stream/donate/download here)
2013 - 3-Way split (w/Cavalcades & Heart On My Sleeve) 10"LP (stream/order here)
2013 - Greyscale split 7"EP (stream/buy here)
2013 - Epilogue of a Carcrash: A Tribute to Orchid 12"LP (stream/buy here)

2014 - 4-Way split (w/Marcy, Mothlight & Flesh Born) 10"LP (stream/buy here)
2014 - Sordid States comp (w/Anodes, The Story Changes, Gas Up Yr Hearse!, Acidic Tree & Dessa Sons) 7"EP (stream/buy here)
2014 - We Had A Deal split 7"EP (stream/buy here)
2014 - Foxmoulder split 5" (stream/order here)

2015 - Ours is the Cause Most Noble 2x7"LP (stream here or purchase here)
2015 - Eros + Massacre split 8"EP (stream/buy here)
2015 - Kaoru Nagisa split 5" (stream/buy here)
2015 - Empathy compilation cassette (stream/donate/download here)

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(2015) COMA REGALIA - live video from July 13, 2015 in Indianapolis

(2015) COMA REGALIA - "MQWC" (from 'Kaoru Nagisa' split)

(2015) COMA REGALIA - "The Undead Swordsman" (from 'Ours is the Cause Most Noble')

(2015) COMA REGALIA - "The Stone Golem" (from 'Ours is the Cause Most Noble')

(2015) COMA REGALIA - "Regret" (from 'Eros + Massacre' split)

(2014) COMA REGALIA - "...The the Skywalk is Gone" (from 'Greyscale' split)

(2014) COMA REGALIA - "The Brothers - Liam the Silent/Rafe the Brave" (from 'We Had A Deal' split)

(2013) COMA REGALIA - "We've All Got Our Ghosts, Man" (from 'Book Of Caverns' split)

(2014) COMA REGALIA - "Ravenous" (from 'Flesh Born/Mothlight/Marcy' split)

(2014) COMA REGALIA - "Anger/Suffering/Peace" (from 'Foxmoulder' split)

(2010) COMA REGALIA - "Back... With More Murder!" (from 'Quantis' split)

(2010) COMA REGALIA - "La Rosa Pervosa" (from 'Mixed Manias and Sorrow Songs')

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COMA REGALIA additional links


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How many members are in your band?
Two.

Has it changed over the years?
Yes, there have been two other guitarists before Brad.

Why the name, COMA REGALIA?
The name coma regalia comes from this period of time where i let my own issues with anxiety and depression keep me from doing the things that i really wanted to do with my life. When i started coma regalia with my friend mark at the time, the idea was to confront those issues head on and see what i would wind up having to show for it. It's been a lot.

How would you describe COMA REGALIA's sound?
I generally wouldn't. When someone from outside the scene asks i say i play in a punk band.

What are COMA REGALIA's biggest influences?
I don't know. my guitar playing was influenced by Dave Wenger and Blake Schwarzenbach and a ton of others. I don't know that i specifically have an influence on my drumming but there's a ton of screamo drummers i admire.

I generally compare  you guys to Funeral Diner and ...Who Calls So Loud, do you feel that it's accurate? How do you feel about being compared to other bands?
Those are good bands to be compared to, that's for sure. As far as being compared though, I don't mind at all but I always think that just because that comparison works on some songs doesn't mean it will on others. i don't know if that makes sense but there it is.

What is next for COMA REGALIA after the upcoming 2x7"?
Split 7" with Diploid, flexi split with Kaoru Nagisa, split 10" with Piri Reis. All those are at the plants right now. we'll have a split 6" with Gillian Carter going in soon too. We're recording our 3rd LP next month. It's called "There's Still Time" and it'll be out March 10th 2016. There's a few more splits that we haven't "announced" yet also. One of them in particular is going to get people pretty excited i think.

What would you like to say about "Ours is the Cause Most Noble"?
I started this recording in 2013. A lot of things have happened since the beginning of this process. Usually i tend to write a group of songs that sort of flow together and i wanted to specifically do the opposite. There's a reason for that which has to do with the context of the record but i'm just going to leave it at that.

Why a 2x7"?
I've always wanted to do a 2x7". I thought it would be interesting to see how you would separate the sides. I would really love to do a 2x10" as well sometime so if any of you labels want to do that, hit me up ;)

If you could give advice to younger punks/emos/whatever they are called that was guaranteed to sink in and stick, what would it be?
Never stop trying to be better.

How do you generally record? Do you demo your songs?
I have recorded all of our stuff in my basement. I have demo'd songs in the past but i don't really do that anymore. What i do more often than not is a sort of stream of consciousness guitar recording and i'll put the songs together later.

I think you told me that you generally write the songs for COMA REGALIA by singing melodies and beats into your cellphone while driving around? Is that even correct? Can you give us more insight?
I have done that a lot also. I wrote the split with foxmoulder that way. I just use whatever tools i have on hand to get the idea somewhere where i can't lose it.

What other bands have you been in?
I released a 7" and a tape in high school in a band called regret. Still in high school i started John Q Public. I was in Dance & Destroy with the first bassist from Usurp Synapse and some other rad kids. after that i played in Kaki.O.Badi and It Kills Me. I started Ache/Emelie with my wife and charlie and eventually brad and some others came in and filled that out. I wrote an album with some friends in a band we called Body Of Wasps and then there is Coma Regalia.

What is the primary reason for COMA REGALIA's diy packaging?
I like to make things and i try to make them interesting. I'll have an idea and think "can i do that?" and i'll figure out if it works.

You posted a comment that as a fellow record label founder I found very intriguing. You mentioned how helpful if would be if band members from bands that you've helped release just bought one album from your label a year - or something along those lines. Can you talk about that?
Well, i said that if all the people who asked you to release their record would buy a record you'd be able to keep making records. I mean, it's true. Don't get me wrong, there are people from bands who buy records from me, and it's awesome! But out of the hundreds of emails i get from people asking to release a 7" or LP i never recognize any of the names from ordering records and i always thought that was weird how you can claim to be such a big fan of the label but not own any of the labels releases. I think there's a weird thing that is happening where bands want to have their stuff on vinyl but probably don't even have much of a collection of their own or if they do it's not anything like what is on your label. Like, i'm not naive enough to think that they wouldn't rather be getting "signed to deathwish" than emailing me.

What was the catalyst for you starting Middle Man Records?
Helping my friends. to this day, it's still about that.

Why did you choose Middle Man Records as your label name?
My first release was a cassette for some friends in a band called No More. They are still active and i definitely recommend everyone check them out. anyway, They wanted someone to take care of the logistics but they were going to pay for it so i said something to the effect of "so you want me to be the middle man?" and i thought it was funny and there it was.

How do you generally choose which albums/bands to help release stuff for?
There are a lot of factors i guess. I'm really getting away from releasing things just because it's a great record. It has to be a great record but it has to mean more than that to me as well.

There has been crazy slow downs at plants, will this affect how Middle Man releases in the future?
I guess to an extent. I think there will be more cassettes in the future for one thing.

You've had some issues with at least one pressing plant regarding sizes, or perhaps other issues. What did you want to say about that?
I have and if people want to contact me specifically in regards to whether they should work with a specific plant or not i would be happy to help but i would like to give people the chance to make things right before putting any names out there.

How in the hell do you juggle work, a label, a band, a wife and three children? Do you have access to a time machine or something?
Did you know you can just not sleep?

Do COMA REGALIA or Middle Man Records have any goals that you are striving for?
I just want to keep releasing music that i'm proud of and meeting people that i'm proud to know.

Did your label have inspiration from another label?
Not really.

How does your wife and children feel about your level of involvement in the scene?
My wife is super supportive. my children, i don't know, only one of them is really old enough to know what's really going on. He's pretty stoked about music and diy in general. He does buttons for bands. If you are in a band you should have him do your buttons. He listens to screamo and has told me he's proud of me. That's pretty great.

What's the Lafayette scene like?
I don't know that there is much of one anymore. I booked a show a while back and the only local i had on the show, showed up, said they would be back and then never returned. I know there are bands in town but there aren't any emo bands and i keep trying to start more but i can't dig anyone up.

You've had an insane amount of shows at your place(s) over the years. Did you want to list them all or just the ones that blew you away?
I couldn't list them all if i wanted to. I think every time i think about a show here or there i remember another one i forgot about. as far as one that blew me away... probably the first time Since By Man was here with Seven Days of Samsara. If you don't know, back in the beginning SBM would dress up in these skeleton costumes, the thing is the show at my house was only like their 2nd or 3rd show and i am pretty sure it was their first out of town show but can't remember. Anyway, they set up all their gear and they're just wearing their normal clothes or whatever and then asked if i could turn all the lights out. The basement was pitch black at this point. You couldn't see anything at all. You hear the guitars start making a little noise or whatever, then the sticks click and this strobe light comes on and bam! They're in front of you going off and they're wearing these skeleton costumes. It was amazing. Also, The Locust played here.

What were the 10 best shows at your house?
Since By Man, Seven Days Of Samsara, The Examination Of The..., The John Brown Battery, His Hero Is Gone, To Dream Of Autumn, The Assistant, Everyone Asked About You, Sergio Vega, Horace Pinker (yes Sergio from Quicksand/Deftones and Chris from Jawbreaker have been in my house)

What's the worst show you've ever been to?
I don't know. there was a show on the bad dads tour that i'd probably say was the worst but i won't say which one it was.

What ws the best show you've ever seen?
I have been lucky enough to play with some really amazing bands. Up there are Funeral Diner, Pg.99, Seven Days Of Samsara, Since By Man, The Assistant, Kodan Armada, Cobra Kai, With Arms Still Empty, Zegota and Capacities. The newer bands that are just amazing to see are Amygdala, Ostraca, Flesh Born, Marcy, Anodes and Gas Up Yr Hearse!

What was the best lineup you've ever seen?
idk. So many over the years. That ABA fest house show had Left Astray, Amygdala, Under A Sky So Blue, Father Figure and some other sick bands on it.

You are quite active in many emo/screamo/punk facebook communities. Which ones do you like the most? Talk about your general opinion regarding fb communities?
I am and i'm not. I work a few days a week and sometimes i rack up some time in there for sure. General opinion is that they can be fun but they can also be not fun. Also sometimes people talk about all these records that they really like and i am glad that people can find something they connect with and enjoy but also i am just thinking those are terrible records. Also sometimes those people are in the bands that ask you to release their record and they're practically or actually supporting corporate labels and not other rad diy labels and i get confused.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Making music is great but what really gets me is when my children do the right thing because it's the right thing.

What dream do you have that is furthest from realized?
I haven't thought of that one yet, i guess.

What is your tape:record:cd ratio?
3/6/1

What would you like to say about drugs and drinking?
They say there's a time and a place for everything. i've had those times and been to those places. They're not for me anymore but as long as no one gets hurt, more power to you.

Talk to us about Joshua Snell and Hunter Guffy.
Joshua is kind of an internet son of mine. Hunter, i have met. They both seem like very nice people. I look forward to what the future holds for them both.

What is "punk" to you?
To me it's doing it yourself but also it's community so sometimes it's doing it together. I want to imagine that you can effect some kind of change in each other's lives if only on a personal level. The people that i've come to meet over the last few years have changed me a lot. I could thank them all individually but i won't. I'll just say thanks to all of you. Thanks.

What is screamo?
Good.

What is emo?
The best.

Are the terms important?
More so to some than others.

What is the nicest band you've ever met?
Capacities.

Tell us about Tom Schlatter.
He's great. He's fucking Tom Schlatter.

Tell us about Brian Chamblee.
He might come off bull headed online but he's a great person. Before i met him in real life i wasn't sure that we'd get along but we really do.

Tell us about Billy Thompson.
I love Billy. He's like a positivity engine. You kinda can't be in a bad mood around him.

Tell us about Neil Perry.
No.

What are your top 10 records of all time?
Top 4: Spine & Sensory, The Curtain Falls, Revolution Summer, Look Now Look Again

Favourite movie?
Mumford.

TV show?
I don't know. I like old cheesy horror shows like Tales From The Crypt and such. I like the Daredevil show that is on Netflix. I like comic books.

Books?
American Gods, The Magicians, TCITR, The Most Beautiful Woman In Town, Big Sur, The Stranger, The Metamorphosis, Horns, Invisible Monsters.

Food?
Pizza.

Band shirt? (Kodan Armada?)
Either that or my ROM shirt.

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