【email / interview】ANDY LAPLEGUA (COMBICHRIST / Icon of Coil)
Ever since the release of Making Monsters in the year 2010, COMBICHRIST has maintained silence. Their latest album, No Redemption (2013) — which was actually the soundtrack for Devil May Cry — wasn’t supported by a promotional world tour. Frontman Andy LaPlegua took advantage of this hiatus to get back on the saddle with ICON OF COIL, who played at Dark Castle festival (FR) last July. With the following interview, Andy wanted to reflect on this reunion and talk about COMBICHRIST’s future plans.
You recently toured Europe and America with ICON OF COIL, what inspired you to tour again as you said once that the band was pretty much dead and will only reunite sporadically for rare live-performances ? At Dark Castle festival, there were only two members playing on stage, what happened ?
Andy : Yeah, we did a couple of tours with ICON OF COIL. We were in Australia for a couple of one-offs, and we had so much fun that we decided to do more. That’s what it’s all about : having a good time doing what we love doing. Unfortunately, Sebastian couldn’t do two of the tours we did. Though they were great tours, I so hope he will be around next time. I miss that little polish dude.
When will you release a new album with ICON OF COIL ?
Andy : Hum, it is hard to say. I don’t want to rush it. We are taking our time to do it right.
For years, you have been continuously expressing yourself through various musical projects, experimenting with different genres that are significantly out of kilter. Isn’t it a bit confusing and unsettling for you and how do you manage your time with those projects ?
Andy : For me, it isn’t confusing at all. I listen to all kinds of music, so it’s pretty normal that I am putting my fingers on all types of music. I am not a “music-scene” persona as most people in this scene. I consider myself as an artist and therefore, I use all mediums.
Does your musical approach differ from a project to another ?
Andy : Yes it does, for sure. It’s like comparing paint and clay. Those are two different worlds. Acoustic work is based on vocals and words, then on music. Whereas, any dance music is based on the beat and the bass line, then on the vocals.
With Combichrist, you have been enjoying a growing success. Did you expect this project would become so successful ? With insight, how would you explain the success of the band (compared to your other projects) ?
Andy : Even though its all different projects, it all comes down to one in the end: Combichrist. Everything I have learned from everything I have done, is in Combichrist. Its literally a lot of blood sweat and tears in this band. Its a 24 hours working machine on tank belts, ready to crush anything in its way through any battlefield. What was the question again? Did I expect this? I never expect anything, I work hard for a result, and I get it.
The album, No Redemption, differs completely with Combichrist previous work. Does this album mark a new area for the band or was it just a side-project ? Combichrist has just completed a new album. Can you tell us more about it ? When will it be available ?
Andy : It was a perfect fit for what it was. Its a video game soundtrack for DMC, thats it. That being said, I stand behind the album 100%. Some of these tracks works really good live! Im excited for the next tour. The new album is the next step in Combichrist evolution. A lot more of everything; electro, rock, metal, ebm.. everything. It will be out in March 2014
A little while ago, Combichrist played with an orchestra for the Gothic Meets Klassik festival. What was the biggest challenge of such project ? Have you learnt anything from that live-performance ?
Andy : Oh it was amazing. It was such an humbling experience. The challenge was literally to play with the orchestra, because they dont stay in one tempo haha It was a total rewire of my brain to make this work. And yes, I learned a lot. Its just amazing that we had the chance to do this.
On stage surrounded by many musicians, did you feel different from when you play with the band only ?
Andy : Everything was different of course. The volume was much lower, I didnt know the musicians.. and etc. I know my musicians better than I know anyone else in this world, we have a musical bond, and I trust them to get through anything. I have been through a lot of band members in the past, and only the best ones remain.
You performed with an orchestra on stage few weeks ago, last year at the Amphi Fest in Germany, you went on stage with stuffed animal costumes. How did you come-up with those ideas ? Would you like to plan any others ?
Andy : If I like to do something, I make sure they happen. And yes, there is more to come hahaha
To conclude, are you planning a European tour any time soon ?
Andy : We are booking now, but not sure at what time yet, but we will for sure be in Europe some time summer 2014:)