Feb. 10, 2005

The Comas Wake Up, Tour Behind ‘Conductor’


By Randy J. Klodz

The Comas, first named when the band performed strictly sleepy instrumental pieces, that well, might have put somebody into a coma, now record wonderfully-crafted indie-rock at its best. The Comas are packing up the van on their longest tour in memory, and will be making a stop in Chicago on Feb. 18 at the Empty Bottle.

The Comas--which is now a 6-piece that includes Andy Herod (lead singer, guitar), Nicole Jeweler (vocals, guitar), Jason Caperton (bass), Matt Sumrow (keyboard), Cameron Weeks (drums) and Sarah Trogdon (auxiliary percussionist)--has had its August 2004 album “Conductor” receive kudos in such popular magazines as “Rolling Stone” and “Spin.” Some indie-rock bands would rather give their right arms than be mentioned in such mainstream magazines, but Herod and his bandmates don’t mind the extra attention, after all, they aren’t making music for just themselves to hear.

“[The making of “Conductor”] was something we all really cared about a lot,” said Herod, the leader of the Comas. “Sometimes you make a record and not that many people get to hear it, so anything like that, when people respond positively and they tell other people, I’m glad that it gets that kind of exposure, because I want people to hear it. We’re proud of it.”

While the album as a whole is well-received, many people are curios in regards to the third track from “Conductor,” which is titled “Tonight on the WB.” Herod said that there’s a possibility that “maybe some people just read too much into it,” and there is a brief history regarding the song’s title. It turns out that Herod once dated Michelle Williams, who portrayed Jennifer Lindley, on the popular but now-defunct WB show “Dawson’s Creek”

Herod said that “Tonight on the WB,” as well as many songs on the record, were created while he and Williams were in the process of breaking up, and although not all aspects of the record refer to the break up, many do. But Herod said that much of it is light-hearted, and that Williams is a big supporter of the band’s material. With that in mind any possible controversy should be diffused.

The Empty Bottle is at 1035 N. Western Ave. Tickets for this 21+ show are listed for $10 each with show time scheduled for 9:30 p.m. The bands Vietnam and Parker & Lilly are also scheduled to perform. For more information on the Comas log on to www.thecomas.com.
The Comas Photo: c/o Nasty Little Man