You may think that the best acts rise out of places like New York City, LA, or Nashville, but I’, venturing to guess you never thought you’d hear about a sophista-punk band from New Haven, Connecticut. A hybrid between Blink 182 and Green Day, Cometa is a group of adorable “boys next door” who have catchy hook, and a sound they don’t stray away from. The boys have just as much personality as they do passion, and after being formed in 2006 by twin brothers Grant [lead vocals, guitar] and Gareth Cometa [lead guitar, vocals], the rest was history. Originally hailing from Manitoba, Canada, the brothers moved to the states in the late 90s and would begin writing songs together during college.
I first spoke with Gareth about a year ago when he realized I too, was New Haven based, an artist myself. When I moved more toward journalism, I felt that there would be no better band to feature here, then these fun & personable guys. A year later, we made that interview happen, and I’m here to tell you all about Cometa and their new album “In Rhyme & Reason.”
The boys first launch a Kickstarter campaign to reach their goal of $5,000, which they needed to get their album professionally recorded. They raised just over that, do in a huge part to their stellar attitude, and awesome promotional video (<—- clearly linked here). Even though the Kickstarter campaign has ended, I highly recommend you watch the video so that you can grasp the kind of charisma and energy that these four young men posses.
I was a bit unoriginal when I asked Gareth about the origin of his band name, but I have to say that I have never heard ‘Cometa’ as a last name before, and I was curious if that was some sort of alias the brothers created.
“Following in the tradition of bands like Van Halen, Bon Jovi, & Dokken – we just used our last name,” Gareth replied.
“I would have to say the most difficult part of the recording process was the mixing, it took much longer than we expected so patience became a virtue,” he explained. This is very common, especially with a band’s first professionally recorded album. Mixing is all about creating the group’s sound, so it is taken very seriously, and with a good engineer in the chair, a song won’t move on until everything is perfect down the last reverb, delay, or slap echo.
“How did the name for the album come about?” I asked.
“We felt it sounded like the end of a letter. Kind of like ‘In Loving Memory” or “Yours Truly’. But in the most basic sense, our music rhymes and we bear our souls for a reason.” The most poetic and thoughtful response I have ever heard before when asking an artist about the title of their newest album. Most often, an album is titled after a time of change in that person’s life, but the end of a letter? This was something I had never heard before, and honestly after Gareth explained that thought process, I had an entirely different outlook on the concept of the album.
Sometimes when you’re listening to an album, especially if it’s a genre you aren’t familiar with, you connect to it a bit better when you know the story behind the album, or song.
“Rule of Thumb is a super-cool song about the 9-to-5 grind that went through a lot of evolution,” Gareth explained, “The verses are very mechanical and rigid, but the chorus climaxes and bounces brilliantly – very dance/reggae influenced. Thanx is about our college days and a lost love.”
Without even knowing it when I first compared them to Green Day, oddly enough the band compares themselves to the 90’s band as well, also explaining they pull influences from the Foo Fights and The Offspring.
The band’s next step you ask?
“We recording the first half of a double-album titled “Radiant Silvergun”. We’d just secured funding on Kickstarter and we’re in pre-production now.”
And the band’s pre-show “pump-up” playlist is a little contradictory to their sound, but definitely one I could rock out to.