Interview: Dominic Harper from The Comfort talks new album, tour and Coldplay

Credit: Nick Hargans

Brisbane’s heavy scene is flourishing right now and one of the most exciting acts is emo punk quartet The Comfort. The lads are back with their first new music in three years in the form of their sophomore record, Experience Everything. Live and Die., out 11 November via Greyscale Records.

We caught up with vocalist and bassist Dominic Harper to chat about the album and more.

“A couple of weeks ago it felt bizarre, but it’s sort of starting to feel like we’re back in the groove of things,” he says of the new album’s release. “It’s almost like a piece of ourselves that has been missing for ages, that we didn’t know was missing, is back.”

Lead single “Love is a Dying Plant” – released 6 May – was the band’s first new music since 2019 single “Pain”. While the pandemic disrupted their release schedule, there were also other factors contributing to the wait.

“We had most of the album written pre-COVID. We went in to record it in the COVID period and it was right at the beginning when everything was shutting down and no one really knew what was going on. In the meantime, our guitarist moved to Melbourne. We’re in Brisbane, so it made things difficult halfway through the process for promo photos and videos. But we’re here now and ready to roll!”

For fans who have been following The Comfort since their emergence in 2014 and those just discovering them, the band aimed to service all listeners and themselves with the new album. From hardcore breakdowns to piano ballads, Experience Everything. Live and Die has it all.

“The last record we released was very much like a listening experience where we wanted you want to hear it from start to finish. While this is quite similar, it’s a lot more dynamic. It’s really vast in what we’re trying to tackle. Even the next two singles we’re releasing are totally different from anything we’ve ever done before. The difference in everything is what I’m excited for everyone to hear and see.”

Even the title lets you know right off the bat that you’re in for a ride. While it may sound grim at first, the lyrics delve deep into the human experience and touch on a variety of relatable thoughts and emotions.

“We kind of realised that everything we write about is experience, whether that be personal experience or in the broader sense of the term, like what is our consciousness and who we are as beings. That sort of philosophical side of thinking, it all comes back to the word ‘experience’. One day, Liam said ‘I’ve got two ideas for the album title: Experience Everything and Live and Die.’ So I said ‘why don’t you just put them together’, and I’ve taken the credit for it ever since.”

Latest single “Supernova” features AJ Perdomo of The Dangerous Summer in a moving song referencing the Oasis hit. Now one of his favourite songs, we asked Dom what it was like to work with an idol.

“It was really cool, man. He’s a bit of a hero of ours. Liam and I went and saw them when they first came out here for the Vans Warped Tour. We’ve been big fans from way back, so it was really cool to have him come on. He was so keen and excited to be a part of it, so it was just cool to have someone I really look up to be happy to collaborate with us.”

It seems that the musical influence of The Comfort is quite varied. So, what led them to the experimentation present on the new album?

“Overall, all four of us are always listening to different kinds of music. We all love Coldplay and listen to them every tour, same with bands like The 1975 and Underoath. I think the amount of music we all listen to is so massive that eventually it was going to come out in our music. We never want to get stuck in a box. We don’t want to write the same song over and over again.”

Speaking of tours, the band will be heading out on the road with Terra and Wolf & Chain this September, stopping at Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. With live music well and truly flourishing again, it’s time for The Comfort to brush the cobwebs off.

“We did a short run with Waxflower about two months ago now – that was weird. By the third show, we were getting back into our stride and starting to feel like a real band again. Now that we’ve had a couple jams, plus the free shows, it really feels like an exciting time and I’m keen to play shows again.”

So, can we hope to see a tour of their own soon?

“We’re working on something at the moment. We want to make sure it’s not just a headline run where we’re playing shows back-to-back, we want to make it special and something really unique to us. Hopefully in November, December!”

Experience Everything. Live and Die. is out 11 November via Greyscale Records. Follow The Comfort on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates.