Combichrist interview

Posted on 1 October 2010
By Danny Keightley
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Purple Revolver sat down to chat with underground Electrohead Andy Laplegua of Combichrist about facing demons and making monsters.

P.Rev: So, Andy, how’s 2010 treating you so far?
Andy: It’s been explosive (laughs)

P.Rev: Would you say the tour with Rammstein contributed towards the ‘explosiveness at all’
Andy: Well of course, but not just that. Just the past year and a half, it’s been very very busy.

P.Rev: Do you feel like your were heavily inspired by that tour a lot?
Andy: Sure it was cool playing big arenas with Rammstein but inspiration comes from all around me — everything. So to say Rammstein was a huge part of that would be unfair on the other stuff.

P.Rev: Is the title Making Monsters a reference to the last album title, Today we are all Demons?
Andy: Yeah, it’s like that previous record was about facing and embracing your demons whereas Making Monsters is like…now we’re gonna make our own. It’s all very cynical and horror themed.

P.Rev: Could you talk us through your lyrical choices?
Andy: Well if I wanted the lyrics to be clearer, I would’ve written them clearer. It’s up to you (laughs) what you think, y’know. It’s more personal, though. I was feeling whilst writing.

P.Rev: Well I kinda saw the album in two parts, the first half being very…Combichristy and the second half being more experimental, a little like your other projects, Panzer AG and Scandy.
Andy: That’s interesting you think that because I didn’t plan it like that at all! Just the order that sounded best to me after listening to the songs a thousand times.

P.Rev: Would you agree the vocals are cleaner on the new record? Less harsh? Less metal?
Andy: Not neccessarily cleaner, no, just…more vocals. The first two albums have no vocals at all so it’s just different I guess.

P.Rev: How did you come across finding the Bleeding Through frontman to contribute to Follow the Trail of Blood on your new album?
Andy: It just happened! We’re both mutual fans of each other’s work and one day just happened to be in Georgia so I was just like, ‘wanna sing on my new album?’ that’s all there is to it.

P.Rev: What made you pick electro and aggrotech music over metal?
Andy: I grew up with metal music with the hardcore scene. There’d be underground illegal shows I’d go to and most of the music was illegal to play live. I don’t think it was a conscious choice to choose electro, it’s just through the bands I listened to and was inspired by…Law…Ministry. I still love metal but I feel I can express more through what I do now. Don’t feel I can bring anything new to metal.

P.Rev: Just going back to the support slot you had with Rammstein, do you feel playing the bigger venues helped you guys get more fans? More publicity.
Andy: Yes and no, I mean, it’s upto our promoters to do their thing. Flyers, posters and all that. People obviously hear us at one of the arena shows and they might listen to a song or two online but not neccessarily buy our record. There’s not much money in it all!

P.Rev: Must’ve been amazing to play to such a huge number of people though?
Andy: Oh wow, of course, I mean I love playing hot and sweaty small clubs just as much, but playing arenas is just a different experience. It’s like having sex and making love — both are great — it’s the same act, but a different feel.

P.Rev: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Andy: I just have an on switch (laughs) seriously, I could be so hungover and throwing up all over the place, and I’ll just get the guys to just go on stage and play the intro tape. When I hear it I’ll bounce on stage and feel amazing. After the show I’m on the floor throwing up again!

P.Rev: I saw you guys playing with Rammstein in Manchester, I guess it’s true about people being a completely different person on stage. You seem so laid-back (laughs)
Andy: I’m veryyyy laid-back. People are surprised I don’t smoke pot!

P.Rev: So what’s the big plan now?
Andy: Touring, just…touring. That’s the big plan! Hope to see you all out there.

P.Rev: Thanks a lot Andy
Andy: My pleasure, thank you.
Making Monsters is out now, on Play, Amazon and at Hot Topic.