“I Never Did It For Success Or Money” – Combichrist’s Andy LaPlegua Talks Longevity, One Fire and Line-Up Changes

Andy LaPlegua of Combichrist discusses the forthcoming album, his inspirations and touring exclusively with The Metal Report

Combichrist band photo. Black and white image of the band in denim clothing and facepaint eating food from bowls.
Andy LaPlegua, second from right

One Fire is your 9th album, what can we expect from it?
I took a big step back before I started writing this album, and looked at everything I’ve done so far. I decided I wanted to implement something from every album into the new songs. I feel That I managed just that. It also has its own identity, as I’ve put a huge part of my soul in it.


The reception has been very positive to the single Hate Like Me, how have fans reacted to the new material live?
Man it’s amazing. Nothing feels better than good reception for new material. I feel like the new songs already are fan favourites. 


As the only member of Combichrist, where do you draw your inspiration from when working on new material?
Mostly it’s soul searching. I put myself in a very dark place, and try to dig out all of those emotions and put it into music. Sometimes it’s hard to get back to normal life after, but it’s so worth it. 


You’ve been around since 2003 while a lot of bands have come and gone, what do you think is the secret to your longevity?
I do it for the passion. I never did it for success or money. That’s where people fail. If you love what you do, you’ll never look at it as work.


How do you think you have evolved as a band over the years? 
Always looking forward. Always evolving. I hate repetition.

 How has the music industry changed during your career and how has that impacted you?

Really haven’t changed too much for me. I always been on the road and doing the grind. Have to tour to survive in music. It’s crazy to think that we probably sold more albums early 90’s with my old hardcore bands than we do today due to streaming haha. But it’s okay. I don’t mind. People having direct access to the albums as soon as they come out is amazing, and the biggest fans will always support us in other ways.

A lot of bands in recent years have gone the route of self production. Do you think that being signed to a label is still important to gain recognition? 

I don’t think it’s as important as it was. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know what you’re doing. I personally like working with a label still. 


Joe Letz recently left the live line up to focus on his recovery and last year Brent Ashley left to work with his family. Is it tough to lose members, especially Joe as he’s been with you for so long?
Not really. I’m probably closer to them now that they are not in the band haha This band started as a solo project, so I didn’t have to deal with band drama, so when people start rubbing each other the wrong way, it’s time to part. Best for the band, best for the band members. 


Is it also a positive opportunity to change things up a bit live?
For sure. It’s rejuvenating. We have so much passion in the band right now, really haven’t felt this good in years. Always forward, always with passion. 


Does working with different live musicians help inspire you and keep you passionate about music?
Hmm.. mostly I like to work with other musicians because I love the person I’m working with. Of course I also love their work, but bringing in good friends and writing together is next level.


Is the industrial scene making a comeback this year? The scene seems to be getting a lot more attention at the moment with yourself, Rammstein, Ministry and 3Teeth all being in the music press. 
I didn’t know it went anywhere haha


You’re currently in the middle of a massive world tour. Over the years which place has been your favourite to play and why? 
Anywhere it takes me man. As long as we have the right connection with the audience, it really doesn’t matter where we are. Days off is a different beast haha Then I would say Osaka Japan.


When on tour what three items can you not live without? 
  1. My phone- that’s my lifeline to home 
  2. Pants
  3. Shirt
What things do you like to do to unwind after a tour?

Being at home with the lady, the dogs, all of our other animals. Just real life/

What hobbies do you have outside of music?
I build Hot Rods and Choppers. That’s where my heart is at outside of music.

One Fire will be released June 6th and can be purchased here


Combichrist One Fire

One Fire track listing:

1: Intro
2: Hate Like Me
3: Broken United
4: Guns at Last Dawn (feat. Burton C. Bell and co-written/mixed by Gigantor)
5: Lobotomy
6: One Fire
7: Bottle of Pain
8: 2045
9: Interlude
10: Understand
11: California Über Alles (Dead Kennedy‘s cover)
12: Last Days Under the Sun (feat. Daniel Myer)
13: The Other

Combichrist are in the middle of a massive world tour, dates are below


6/21 – Dessel, BE @ Graspop Metal Meeting
6/22 – Clisson, FR @ Hellfest
6/24 – Bristol, UK @ The Fleece
6/25 – Dublin, IE @ Voodoo Lounge
6/26 – Belfast, UK @ The Palm House
6/27 – Glasgow, UK @ Audio
6/28 – Manchester, UK @ Academy 3
6/29 – London, UK @ Electric Brixton
6/30 – Birmingham, UK @ The Mill
7/2 – Amstelveen, NL @ P60
7/3 – Ballenstedt, DE @ Rock Harz
7/4 – Saarbrücken, DE @ Garage
7/5 – Lyon, FR @ Ninkasi Kao
7/6 – Barcelona, ES @ Rockfest
7/7 – Madrid, ES @ Caracol
7/9 – Montepellier, FR @ Secret Place
7/10 – Zurich, CH @ Xtra
7/11 – Milano, IT @ Legend Club
7/12 – Ljubljana, SI @ Kino Siska
7/13 – Zagreb, CR @ Mocvara
7/14 – Vienna, AT @ Scene
7/17 – Sofia, BU @ Mixtape 5
7/18 – Brasov, RU @ Kruhnen Musik Halle
7/19 – Budapest, HU @ Dürer Kert
7/21 – Bratislava, SK @ Randal Club
7/23 – Posnan, PL @ Klub U Bazyla
7/24 – Warschau, PL @ Proxima
7/25 – Riga, LV @ Melna Piektdiena
7/26 – Tallinn, EE @ Tapper
7/27 – Helsinki, FI @ Virgin Oil
7/28 – Tampere, FI @ Klubi
7/30 – Stockholm, SE @ Fryshuset Klubben
7/31 – Oslo, NO @ John Dee
8/1 – Göteborg, SE @ Sticky Fingers
8/3 – Hamburg, DE @ Grünspan
8/4 – Oberhausen, DE @ Kulttempel
8/6 – Stuttgart, DE @ Wizemann
8/7 – Munich, DE @ Backstage
8/8 – Frankfurt, DE @ Batschkapp
8/9 – Nürnberg, DE @ Hirsch
8/10 – Jaromer, CZ @ Brutal Assault Festival
8/11 – Hildesheim-Drispenstedt, DE @ MeraLuna Festival
8/14 – Zebbug, MT @ The Garage


8/30 – Sao Paulo, BR @ The House
8/31 – Montevideo, UY @ Music Box
9/1 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Uniclub
9/2 – Cordoba, AR @ Casa Babylon
9/4 – Santiago, CL @ Blondie
9/6 – Lima, PE CC @ Embassy
9/7 – Bogota, CO @ Ace Of Spades
9/8 – Ciudad de Mexico, MX @ Ford Indie Rocks

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