An Interview with Industrial Icon, Sebastian Komor
Creating music since 1992, Sebastian Komor is most well known for his work with Icon of Coil alongside Norwegian compatriot, Andy Lapleuga, as well as, but not limited to, Melt, Zombie Girl and Komor Kommando. To say the least, Komor has become an Industrial icon. After playing with multiple bands during the Triton Festival in Brooklyn, New York, Komor finds some time in his busy schedule to talk about his multiple current projects, his inspiration, and his distaste for popular mainstream music.
Chain D.L.K.: What would you say your main influences are, that are not music itself?
Komor: Movies used to be a big influence, but over the years life itself has become a bigger influence. You know, people you meet, shit you have to deal with, positive and negative. Music is great for getting shit out of your head. Currently also unleashing years of frustration with the government, the sleeping people in our world, or “sheeple” as I rather call them. Been a couple of times when random things become an inspiration, like walking in the street and noticing a pattern in street lights, parked cars, etc, turning that into music or a groove to base a song around. Sometimes some stupid shit I see on TV can fire up an idea for a song. I think human behavior in general is a great inspiration. Never ending, really.
Chain D.L.K.: What would you say your main focus is currently, or are you focusing on multiple project at once?
Komor: [laughs] Yeah… too much. My main focus currently, besides getting the Komor Kommando album out is wrapping up the MELT album. MELT is and has always been my baby, and this time around, [it is] harder with guitars and more personal. Call it an autobiography of the last 10 years of my life. Besides that, I do remixes here and there, and [I am] also in the process of producing Ayria’s new album.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you find that different emotions or influences contribute to different projects you are, or have worked on?
Komor: Absolutely. Komor Kommando is more based around a beat and mood from an instrumental point of view. MELT is more based around the topics in the lyrics, using sound and groove to emphasize what the lyrics are about. I just wanna write and release something that has a deeper meaning behind it. Music with something to say, if you may.
Chain D.L.K.: You just released 400 audio samples from your studio in February. You don’t sleep, do you?
Komor: Indeed. Then a second sample pack. Sleep is overrated…sometimes. You snooze you loose. I do however enjoy some days off being 100% lazy, with movies and just do nothing at all. Re-Boot the mind and soul. But I kinda do hate wasting days- you know going to bed having done nothing, kinda sucks [laughs]. The whole ‘accomplish something in life’ ordeal. I got something to prove to a lot of people. Besides, hard to sleep when working on something as fun as music.
Chain D.L.K.: What prompted the move from Europe?
Komor: [laughs] Oh boy. To make it short, a girl. That being said, I [had] been thinking of moving out of Norway for a while but this kinda just happened. Good and bad. Now the reason I came here is gone, I’m still here. Met so many great people here, made good friends, and all in all I think there is a reason why I am here. Sometimes things just line up, call it the bigger picture. I do miss Europe frequently though. Friends and family. But music unites.
Chain D.L.K.: Did moving give you a new outlook on making music?
Komor: Yes and no. My music definitely has more of a North American flavor to it now. And living here you experience things you won’t in Europe, or at least from a different angle. I think moving here did a great thing for my music. Made me more frustrated, agitated and with higher goals than before. In many ways, I sometimes tell myself… “Holy fuck dude… the shit you have experienced and done the last five to six years”. Stuff I never [would have] thought when I started out.
Chain D.L.K.: What inspired you to start making music vs listening to it?
Komor: Simple, I said… “I wanna do this.” Never been into being the passive observer, and loving music as much as I do, in so many ways became the natural choice. Spent all the money I had buying gear and just went for it. Hearing so much music beforehand definitely helped, as I basically studied the songs I loved, down to each sound, element, etc. However, now after all these years I listen to music differently.
Chain D.L.K.: Komor Kommando, Icon of Coil and Moonitor are bands you played with at Triton. Is there any difference in the “getting ready” process when revisiting bands that are not your current main focus?
Komor: Sure is. MELT is a full band with drummer, guitarists, so much more that needs to work. A [Komor Kommando] show has a much simpler set up to worry about.
Chain D.L.K.: What about emotionally?
Komor: Absolutely. Different people, different music. But really it all comes down to just hype yourself up. You know, the whole “Lets do it!” thing. I mean going on stage not being exited about the show isn’t the way to go. Sure, at times there is bullshit going on behind the scenes like technical problems, or issues with the promoter, etc. But one can never forget that there is a crowd out there who paid to see this show, and you just have to give them what you got.
Chain D.L.K.: If you were forced to start over on a new world where you had absolutely no way of making music, what would you be doing?
Komor: Build stuff. Always loved [carpentry], making stuff, painting, etc, even gardening [laughs].
Chain D.L.K.: What is your favorite venue or festival to play at?
Komor: Limelight in NYC is still one of my [favorites]. And the Whiskey a Go-Go in LA. Simply for the history.
Komor: The crowds are different, but in so many ways the same. Many places in Germany, the crowds stand still, with their arms crossed, looking like they hate the show. Then later they come up to you and say “Wow, best show ever.” [It is] confusing. The Industrial/Goth/EBM scene is pretty universal when it comes down to it… Food is better in Europe.
Chain D.L.K.: Did it bring back memories performing with Icon or Moonitor? Do you foresee future shows with either band?
Komor: Oh yeah. Great Memories. Seeing Andy and Christian again was great. Kinda awesome, we don’t see each other for a year or more, meet up and its like good old days. Always fun talking about old stories. Great laughs. [Icon of Coil] is doing another gig in Phoenix in October. [None] planned with Moonitor yet. Again, MELT is where its at.
Chain D.L.K.: What you do in your free time that doesn’t involve music, or does it all involve music?
Komor: Hmm… [laughing]. Well the obvious, hanging out with my girlfriend. Watch movies. Try to enjoy the summer. Talk to friends in Europe.
Chain D.L.K.: If you could start over in any genre that isn’t goth/industrial what genre would it be and why?
Komor: Hmm… interesting question. Star a genre over… jazz. And I would bury it [laughs]. And this new bullshit hip hop/gansta rap. Bling and hoe’s galore. Can’t stand it. Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Public Enemy got it right. Then again, starting a genre over might change the course of music, so I think its better left as is, but yeah, some music out there is just agony. And fuck Lady Ga-Ga!
Chain D.L.K.: Say you have roughly 6 minutes until imminent death. What is the one song you want to hear last whether your own or another band’s?
Komor: [thinking]… Hmm, a couple comes to mind, but I would have to say [Nine Inch Nails], “Right Where It Belongs.” Kinda has that goodbye world vibe to it. Chain D.L.K.: What is your favorite part about being a musician? Komor: Being able to create. Make something that the world can enjoy. Not be put into a corporate cage for the rest of your life working some shit job just to get by, and still end up fucked. At least when I go to bed I feel I made something, left a mark, not slaving for someone who doesn’t give a fuck. That and [being] on stage, seeing the reaction from the crowds. It’s just such a great feeling, loud music, cheering people. Like everything is okay in the world at that point, you know. Chain D.L.K.: Inquiring minds want to know, what do you want to be known for in the end? Komor: That guy who just went for it. The guy who went against what one is “supposed” to do in life. Hopefully leave behind lots of great music appreciated by humans, aliens and animals decades to come.
Chain D.L.K.: Is there anything we should know about that is coming up?
Komor: MELT! Industrial Metal, no compromise. In your face! And the first Komor Kommando album, some surprises in there!
Visit Sebastian Komor on the web at: