Again we caught up with BLACK VEIL BRIDES at the beginning of their euopean BLACK MASSES tour in Cologne. Christian “C.C.” Coma – showman, clown, but in the main – and widely accepted – a fantastic drummer, took the time for a friendly chat with entertaim.net.
Interview: Martin Hannig / Pic by courtesy of Oktober Promotion
entertaim.net: Your initials are BVB. Which is quite funny here because there’s a very famous soccer club here in Germany. Did you know that?
CC: Ya. We got tweets about that all the time. (laughs). From all over the world.
entertaim.net: If I would say I go to watch BVB tonight, people would ask “Which game”?
entertaim.net: So “Christian Coma” – well that name reminds me of the old glam metal names like Nikki Sixx…
CC: Yeah, my stage name… apparently there was too many Christians in the band when I first joined one. Everyone was calling me that anyway. I don’t know how I earned that. They started calling me Chris Coma.
entertaim.net: Maybe because of your drumming style…
CC: (laughs). I guess… I don’t know… I didn’t make it up.
entertaim.net: Your last show in Tilburg was cancelled. What was happening?
CC: We have some illness going around in our band.
entertaim.net: oh no (moves away) 😉
CC: No I’m okay. It’s really hard to stay healthy. You know the fans wait out in the cold, they got snod all over their hands and their noses running. And they want you to sign autographs and stuff, and they wanna hug you. It’s really easy to get sick, and with so many people travelling on the bus – I think we are 14 with the crew…
entertaim.net: Well, someone is always ill, right?
CC: Yeah and especially at the beginning of a tour, we’re gonna be out for a month and a half. So we had to take a day off. But we got some medication….
entertaim.net: But it’s always hard to cancel a show, because of the fans.
CC: Yeah but we didn’t headline that show – we were supporting STEEL PANTHER. Not does that mean that it’s any better – but the majority was out there to for the headliner, you know.
entertaim.net: You played also in Paris as a support for STEEL PANTHER. Did you have fun with the guys? Because we recently had the guys for an interview, and they are so great….
CC: It’s a blast with those guys! We’re both from Hollywood area, and we always run into each other. Actually it’s surprising that it took this long to play with them. We had a great time backstage.
entertaim.net: Let’s talk about your drumming skills. How did it all began? Did your parents forced you to play or did you say as a boy “I want to play drums now…”
CC: It might have been by watching the high school marching band. Obviously the drums was loud to play. I think that started at the age of 10. My daddy got me a snare drum and I practiced hard on that and kind of worked my way out. Then I had a percussion teacher and he got me kind of hooked on to jazz drummers. Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson. At the age of 12 I was going to see them and meeting them!
entertaim.net: No! How did you managed that?
CC: I was going to their shows you know. Everyone was like triple my age. I was a 12 year old with drum sticks hanging out. It was pretty obvious what I was doing there you know! That was kind of some encouragement that I needed at young age. Cause when you first learn an instrument it’s kind of frustrating….
entertaim.net: I guess learning jazz drumming is like the going to the university of drumming. Hard stuff…
CC: Yeah and they make it look so easy! At young age learning the hand coordination and the independence between feets and hands it’s really difficult. So having something you admire and to look up to…
entertaim.net: So you learned jazz first and then went to play rock.
CC: Yeah and that was quite easy. At the early age of high school I played in rock bands, I was like 16, and I was a very good drummer then.
entertaim.net: So if you can play jazz you can play anything, but if you play rock that doesn’t mean you can play jazz ….
CC: Yeah pretty much! It opens the doors. You learn a lot of rudiments, with different patterns, right hand twice left hand twice you know, start transferring it over the drum set and get this incredible sounds.
“I I try to have fun every night.”
entertaim.net: Could you describe your own style of drumming now? Do you have an own style?
CC: Maybe, I don’t know. I have different influences. To me it’s the less I think about it the better off I am. When I start concentrating on it too much, I go ahead and start freaking out and just overthinking it. It’s kind of second nature. You know I do a little bit of stick tricks in the show. I don’t wanna overdo it, but sometimes bring a little bit of that, little bit of rudiments, try to bring a lot of fun to the playing. Rock’n‘ Roll is about fun! I try to have fun every night.
entertaim.net: Your last album was called “IV”. Reminds me of Led Zeppelin IV… was it a kind of a statement, to keep it that simple?
CC: It was an important album for BVB. You know the inner personal relations of all the guys in the band were strong as they ever been. Technically it’s a self titled album. We were all motivated to do a great record, you know. We were coming out of the last one working with Bob Rock. He’s a really great producer. He’s made so many great records. And he kind of even shaped our band. So we just thought it was time to have a self titled record. Everybody was getting along and creatively we all got it right. We’re proud of the record.
entertaim.net: For me it was like they couldn’t do another “Story of the wild one”. It was a very different album…
CC: Yeah it was a concept album.
entertaim.net: Yes, but what could you do after a concept album, so it was the end of that direction of development?
CC: The Wild One was very difficult. The personal relations was tough. The guitarists went into their own studio to record their guitars. The producer was so controlling. He knew what he wanted and we didn’t necessarily see the direction he wanted to go. He did a phenomenal job, I don’t want to take anything away from him. For me – I hated it. The worst record I ever recorded. I had no fun. But you know, when it came out I was happy with it. Now I have fun playing it. It took some time for me to grow.
entertaim.net: So now -when you look back you see it …
CC: Exactly! When I was in the studio I hated it. I was like “oh my god”… But when I was starting to hear the mixes I was like “ooookay” – sounds sick (laughs). So we had a story, we made a plot, we made a movie, that stuff…
entertaim.net: Old school rock opera stuff, like The Who “Tommy”….
CC: Exactly!! We put a lot of production in all that. This one we kind of… set ourselves free.
entertaim.net: One of my favourite song from IV is “Goodbye Agony”. Very straight. Reminds me of Metallicas Load / Reload phase. Even your drumming sounds like Lars Ulrich on that.
CC: Yeah I try to play whatever the song calls for. Some songs I play with more metal vibes. Songs like that I try to kind of lay back. I never wanna really overplay. Depending on how much I drink during a live show (laughs).
entertaim.net: I found out that you are about to play some shows in Russia in May. Which is very unusual for a US band. Did you ever play there?
CC: No. The first time! We were talking doing Russia a while ago – and we got some offers years back. So now we set up a whole tour with different cities. It’s gonna be a fun one! We’re definitely looking forward to it. I’m a bit nervous, I never been there, heard crazy things over there!
“I can’t believe
that this is our life!”
entertaim.net: Russia – that’s un-p.c. to play there I guess – Putin, the bad guy, and his empire of evil, and all that shit….
CC: Yeah I’m sure everybody has a machine gun (laughs). If we get shot, we go to hell. That’s rock‘ n‘ roll (laughs). But if we made it to Brazil, you know – the fans are so wild… – we’ll be going back there after Russia…
entertaim.net: And then Mexico… that’s great, sounds like the old rock‘ n‘ roll dream – to tour the world…
CC: Oh absolutely! We went out for drink last night, and we were in a bar, and it was like “I can’t believe that this is our life!” It’s good to take a step back once in a while. I try to be really humble and try to appreciate it. We are travelling with such great people – the crew, the drivers, just everybody. We’re all one big family.
entertaim.net: Do you have time for sex drugs & rock’ n’ roll on tour? Especially when playing with STEEL PANTHER?
CC: (laughs.) Sex, drugs and rock‘ n‘ roll! That’s crazy – every show I see like 46 titties – that’s inredible…!