Staying true to yourself and your music is one of the fundamental principles of maintaining a career in the industry.
Although being an extension of your creative self, for your music to resonate with others it must also hold a degree of honesty and integrity. If you are making music for anything other than yourself first and foremost, you are simply selling yourself short.
Brisbane duo The Comfort learned this out the hard way when their debut E.P Ghosts failed to live up to their own expectations. However, in a bold display of professionalism, Liam Holmes and Dom Harper re-evaluated themselves and their music and returned with sophomore effort Love which has provided them with a basic life lesson.
“I think we had to think more long term,” admitted Holmes, “as well as think more about our past. With, ‘Ghosts’ we were influenced more by the Brisbane scene being more heavy music based and I think we subconsciously veered in that direction a little bit in parts whereas we might not have naturally.”
“We put things in like screamy parts just because that was what was going on around us. This time, we wanted to be more like the new Angels and Airwaves or Death Cab for Cutie type thing and we wanted to make an E.P that we wanted to listen to ourselves, and not care too much about how other people might react to it. We love what we do and what we’ve done, and it seems a lot of other people do now too.”
Released in September, Love has seen the band slip out of their comfort zone and receive the acclaim and attention they had hoped for with their first release.
“The response has actually been amazingly overwhelming,” Holmes enthused. “We kind of had that mixed response to our first one but we more did exactly what we wanted on this one, which is [to] have no regards to the current stuff that our peers are doing. Instead, we looked to our early influences that really set our futures with live music.”
“We went back to older bands like Brand New and U2 and stuff like that and just stuck to our guns, and it’s been amazing. There’s been people from all over the world getting in contact with us and saying how much they like us.”
Being a product of your environment and not your music is an easy trap to fall into. Rather than dwell on past misgivings, Holmes says The Comfort decided to re-evaluate their goals and treat Love as a new beginning.
“We kind of wanted a fresh start,” he mused. “As I said, our first E.P probably didn’t do as well as we wanted, so we wanted to re-establish ourselves and get our name out there for being the kind of band that we wanted to be. I think originally we were pigeon-holed a bit as a core/post-hardcore band but now we’ve gone more towards the alternative rock side of things, so we wanted to start setting ourselves up for what we wanted to do in the future and the direction we wanted to go.”
Holmes says that with the competitive nature of the music industry currently it is important to keep on top of things in order to be successful. He believes that while there are many factors out of your control, there are certain things you can handle yourself to get every opportunity.
“I think it’s a bit of good luck and good management,” he points out. “It’s definitely who you know, but I think it’s more than that. We’ve been lucky sometimes, with friends we’ve made at shows we’ve played that have led to meeting other people with the same mindset as us. The thing that we pride ourselves on, especially with Dan, is we really think about what we want to do and plan it out.”
“A lot of bands chuck out a song here and there and don’t put any thought into [the] promotion or put any preparation into it. We try to have all the work done in the background before we put something out. We’d written our first E.P before we launched the band and this time around, everything was in place before the C.D came out. We’ve had a lot of help from people along the way that we’ve just met through the local community. It’s a mixture of luck, talent, and preparation.”
Listen to Love at https://thecomfort.bandcamp.com