For Next Mondays Hangover festival, one of the last remaining festivals this season, the German duo COMA will pay a visit to Amsterdam. With a line-up that is going to let us hear and feel the deeper and progressive side of electronic dance music, these boys fit right in. We had a chat with them to talk about the party scene in their town Cologne (Köln), indie music and whether they preferred Rihanna or Katy Perry.
“Synth!!! Synth!!! don’t really like guitars anymore haha”
So when we type: ‘Coma Interview’ in Google, we do not really get the information we want to get. How did you guys come up with the name COMA?
It’s not the easiest name to Google, that’s true. Maybe we will change it someday.
Before you discovered electronic music, you guys were in an indie-rockband with two high-school friends, inspired by Weezer and Radiohead. What eventually drove you to change to the electronic music scene?
We still have a lot of pop and indie ideas in our music. But we like to mix up things… club and pop music. We don’t really like to listen to minimal and functional club tracks so much.
Could you tell us something about your first experience with electronic music?
The first electronic music we knew was not really interesting. But when we’ve been to our first Techno party in Cologne, it finally inspired us. It must have been a Total Confusion party around 2004 or 2005. It was a legendary weekly party during that time at Studio 672.
Describe the Cologne electronic music/party scene to us. Like what are the hottest clubs, what type of music is played there, what’s the energy like? I mean do people dance or is it more like Berlin where everybody just hangs around in the clubs for the most part?
Haha. Well there are some clubs in Berlin where people dance! But back to Cologne: We don’t have a big club scene anymore, but there are some good parties at “Gewölbe” or “Roxy” for example. But since we are traveling most of the time, we stopped being these party maniacs when we have a weekend off. So it probably won’t be us dancing. Buy yeah, people definitely know how to party and dance over here.
You started out playing techno in Cologne, where Kompakt, your main label, also discovered you. Your biography reads that you integrated guitars, synthesizers and microphones in your setup during your very first DJ performance together. Did you feel like it was death or glory right from the start? Because most DJ’s are terrified of even playing with a set of decks and a mixer on their first few gigs.
Just to say… we never did any DJ performance. For us it always felt like doing a live show, which means that it’s more like a concert where you are playing your own material. And this guitar and vocals thing was nothing special for us. But indeed, there were a lot of people that were surprised, because everybody else was playing with laptop plus controller. But whatever… we prefer to play instruments, because it’s more fun.
A couple of times you guys have claimed in interviews to prefer indie music, whether it be rock or electronic music, and you don’t really listen to the sounds of major artists. Do you feel that there is a possibility your creative minds might be affected if you start listening to what’s hot on the charts? Or do you dislike popular music in general?
No totally not. We actually really like pop music. Maybe we talked about the stuff that is big on the club charts or something. There is a lot of boring music coming out, a lot of good stuff as well, but if you go to a record shop or on Beatport and listen to new music it’s mostly really boring. And there are way too many releases. I think the labels have to focus more on their particular style, curate more and then it will get more interesting again to discover new music.
Your latest album is called ‘In Technicolor’, and you describe it as being more colourful than your previous work, which, according to you, was ‘mirroring a foggy black and white movie’. What influenced you in making this more colourful record?
You don’t need to do an album anymore, if you want to release club music. We always released very poppy electronic music, but for the album we wanted to go one step further. We really like the older EPs as well, but somehow we tried to produce like we also did in the very beginning. When you just discover things and everything is new, you always have the best ideas, because it’s very naive somehow. So we tried to remember this time and then it came back in our minds. And this was more cheerful and also more colourful than the music we did on the EPs.
Do you know some of the other artists personally in the line-up at Next Mondays Hangover? Whose set do you really want to attend Sunday?
To be honest, we did not really see the whole line-up, but I think I saw Robag Wruhme is gonna play. We really love this guy and already played with him a couple of times. Last time was just two weeks ago on a festival in Poland and we got really tired and missed his set. So maybe we will have the opportunity on Sunday.
If you had to choose: guitar or synthesizer?
Synth!!! Synth!!! don’t really like guitars anymore haha
Thom Yorke or Tom Waits?
Tom Waits (Non Musically Speaking)
Thom Yorke (Musically Speaking)
Katy Perry or Rihanna? (Non-musically speaking)
Katy Perry or Rihanna? (Musically speaking)
The Godfather or the Lord of the Rings?
Thanks guys. Good luck on Sunday!