On a world map, Komodo wouldn’t be easy to pinpoint. Their vintage exotic rock & roll is induced with flavors and magic spells from all over the world: desert blues, surf rock, afro-disco, 60’s psychedelica, rumba and Indian raga. All of this comes with lush vocal harmonies, non-western sounds & rhythms, and unexpected instruments. Komodo might be a little weird and gritty, but the melodies will get stuck in your head. And can you dance to it? Hell yes!
In their home country of The Netherlands, Komodo played some prestigious festivals like Noorderslag and Gransnapolsky, but they played at the famous French festivals Transmusicales de Rennes and Printemps de Bourges too. The band also did a couple of
successful little tours in Switzerland. Indeed: Komodo is hard to pinpoint on a map. Just as you won’t be pinned down on the dancefloor!
On the occasion of the release of their third single “Lost Kids” from their upcoming second studio album, we contacted Komodo’s frontman, Tommy and we asked him a few questions about their music and their future plans. Read his answers, in the exclusive interview he gave to SounDarts.gr, below!
Hello Tommy from Komodo and welcome to SounDarts.gr! Recently you released your new single, entitled “Lost Kids”. We can say that it is a mix & match of music genres. How did it end up in the form we heard it?
It all started with the bass line. That really is the skeleton of the song and after I figured that out, I went looking for some extra flesh and blood (i.e. other instruments) to make it a living & breathing creature. I came up with the main instrumental theme on guitar. I liked the melody, but it sounded too ‘regular’. I wanted a sound that you don’t hear everyday and I remembered the melodica in my parents attic. The melodica is a reed instrument that looks like a little piano you have to blow in. It sounds a bit like an accordion and I like the ambiguity of that.
We can tell that you combine the rock n’ roll elements with afro-disco, rumbia and psychedelic among many other genres. What’s the idea behind all those different inspirations?
We want to make rock ’n roll, which is blues-based guitar music to which you can have a good time. But we want to give it our own spin and make something that sounds fresh as well – at least to our own ears. Rock ’n roll has always had a strong ‘Western’ focus, but there are so many beautiful sounds, musical genres and traditions outside of ‘the West’. The world is a musical goldmine, why not use it?
In 2019 you released your debut album, “Komodo”. How do you recall the whole recording procedure and the day that it was released officially?
I recorded and wrote all the songs with my buddy Gino Bombrini in his home studio. Once or twice a month I would go to his place and we would work on music for three days straight. We have a real good chemistry when we’re creating music together and the process felt new and fresh. It was a magical time! Gino doesn’t play in our band anymore, but we still make new songs together occasionally.
Two years after the release of your debut album, what differences or evolution do you notice in your musical perspective?
My perspective on the art of making music is still the same. We still are following our hearts and instincts, making music we like to hear ourselves and hope other people dig it too. In the past couple of years we did got a little wiser about the music industry, though. We had some setbacks, but came back stronger!
Are you currently working on a second album?
We are currently working on our second album indeed! Lost Kids is our third single we released ahead of the album, which we plan to release in February or March of 2022. The previous two singles were Zig Zag and Easy Prey.
In the fall you are going on a tour. How do you feel about it?
If everything goes well and we don’t get another lockdown (you can’t be sure anymore these days), it will our first club tour in front of a standing and dancing (!) audience in two years. We have played some seated shows. It’s okay, but not the way it’s supposed to be. Our songs are made to make people dance! If we can play in front of a dancing, sweating, singing and hugging audience again, we are the happiest band in the world.
How do you imagine Komodo in five years from now? What is your biggest dream?
We would be perfectly happy to play in small clubs and nice festivals all over Europe. Big ones and venues outside of Europe would be nice too, but we don’t need much to be happy. Just to see a little bit of the world outside of our home country and a handful of groovy people to play for.
In a world where everything is changing constantly, what are your deepest thoughts? How do you think music can help society?
I don’t think art can change society. Bob Dylan wrote Blowin’ In The Wind in the 60’s and sixty years later the same shit he was protesting in that song is still happening. It maybe even have gotten worse. I do think art can offer comfort. It’s like a little window into eternity that can make you marvel at existence. Or at least it’s a little escape from our daily routines. Just listen, watch, move and forget about the rest of the week for a couple of hours. If Komodo can do that for you, I consider my work done.
Interview: Elektra Limnios