An Interview with Combichrist

Combichrist is the brain child and creative baby of Andy LaPlegua, first known here in the States for another of his bands, Icon of Coil.  Andy took time away from that project to create Combichrist’s Kiss the Blade, first released in 2003.  What started out as an exploration of harsh beats and noise has morphed over the course of six years into an aggro/electro industrial project producing four albums and five EPs, as well as a number of remixes.

Combichrist for Auxiliary Magazine

In the studio, LaPlegua writes and produces the material for Combichrist alone.  When he takes the show on the road the whole project not only comes to life but explodes into full being.  The project has manifested as an exciting and energetic stage act, winding the audience into a frenzied, throbbing hoard bent on losing themselves in the beat.  This kind of high-octane live presentation feeds back into LaPlegua’s studio work for the next Combichrist release, creating a cycle that has an infinitely building momentum.

With live percussion and a commanding stage presence, they pound through each show with fanatical energy, setting this act apart from the sea of contemporary acts that just occupy stage space as their laptops play.  Combichrist seems that they would happily stomp those automatons to dust in their quest to deliver a unforgettable show.  The experience of their live performance in not to by missed and certainly won’t be forgotten by those who’ve lived through it.

Their most current tour adventure, “Demons On Tour”, started off in North America with Black Light Burns before they split off and engaged a European leg.  We caught up with LaPlegua and the current tour line-up, Joe Letz, Z_Marr, and Trevor Friedrich in Toronto just before their show at the Opera House, where they were gracious enough to take the time to meet with us.

photography Jennifer Link
interview Aaron Andrews

It looks like you’ve got a long tour ahead, US then Europe; do you enjoy being on tour?

Andy LaPlegua – Yes and no.

What do you specifically enjoy, what don’t you enjoy?

AP – Nah I mean I enjoy being on tour; it’s rough, but it’s cool. It’s what we do, I guess. It’s rougher to not be on tour.
Z_Marr – Never a dull moment.

Is it the variety that entertains you?

AP – It is just the life on the road, living in a bus, being on the road all the time; that’s basically what I do. When-ever I am at home it’s really weird.
Joe Letz – It’s really hard to do this, it’s fun, but it’s really hard. And once you get home, you are always like, ‘I needed to be home.’ Then after a couple days you are like ‘what the hell am I doing? I got to get on the road.’
Z_Marr – There is this weird decompression period where I run around trying to find things to do and there is nothing. You wake up and you’re like, ‘fuck I missed sound check.’

Read the full interview in the April/May 2009 Issue.

Aaron Andrews
Aaron Andrews is a long-time music contributor for Auxiliary, an electronic music DJ, and the host of the weekly radio show "Sequence" on Buffalo's WBNY 91.3 FM.
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