From struggle comes strength, from perseverance comes professionalism and from passion comes creative excellence. For Toronto-based alternative rock band In My Coma, their new album Next Life is a landmark musical statement enveloped by epic arrangements, meshed with powerful melodies, insistent guitar riffs and a dark emotional intensity that infuses every note and every lyric.
Founded in 2010 by U.K.-born vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Jasper James and his partner, bassist Laura Doll, the band's lineup was augmented with drummer Mike Paterson in 2011 and later by the addition of keyboardist Linz Clark in late 2015.
In My Coma has worked hard to build a solid fan base, touring coast-to-coast and sharing the stage with the likes of Sum 41, Moist, and Neverending White Lights. They have enthralled audiences with their fresh, modern take and unique mix of Brit-Pop, 90s Alt-Rock with a dose of the emotionally darker side of the 80s synth-pop scene.
Next Life sees each member going ‘all in' devoting their creative impetus and prodigious talent to make In My Coma the next truly exceptional Canadian rock band.
"We take every aspect of what we do seriously. Our attention to detail is off the charts and each time we play, each song we write, we get better and better," said James.
Next Life was produced by Mark Makoway, co-founder of the Juno Award-winning band Moist, who has produced the likes of Hey Rosetta, Wide Mouth Mason and Colin James. "Mark captured the essence of the band's energy by recording the tracks live off the floor, then brilliantly sculpted around that. Everything about the process with Mark felt natural and unforced like he was letting each song guide the process, so the album feels exactly like what it was meant to be" said James.
Like a fiery crucible, a host of frustrations and challenges over the last few years have hardened the resolve of each member of In My Coma and have inspired the leave-it-all-on-the-stage intensity they bring to every show. James said that attitude has also grafted itself onto the creative process, spawning songs such as the title track for Next Life.
"It's a song that has a lot of parallels with the struggles we've had as a band and speaks to a lot of the turmoil that everyone has in their lives. It's kind of talking about a point in time when you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you still have some shred of hope," James explained.
‘Desperate Man' has a universal message of pushing through the barriers and the blocks to get to the fruitful end of the process – acting as a metaphor for life, for careers, for relationships, for creativity in general.
"There is this sense of impending doom and time running out and sometimes you feel like time is the enemy and that is kind of what I am saying in this song. There are a lot of references to time and a real sense of finality to it. And I think that feeling is applicable to so many things, so many goals, so many relationships in life," James said.
The album's first single, ‘Take a Ride', aptly demonstrates In My Coma's ability to convey emotional depth and complexity while still retaining the ability to create a solid memorable riff-oriented rock song.
"It's a song that is really full of conflicting messages and imagery. The initial inspiration came from the mythology of the Sirens, who were both beautiful and deadly, and who lured sailors causing ships to be wrecked on the rocks. I love that dichotomy of beauty and death together," James said, giving a great deal of credit to Makoway for helping he and his bandmates dig deeper creatively and performance wise than even they thought they could go.
There is an admirable persistence to the band that is conveyed through the music on Next Life – a barely harnessed energy that is bursting to be unleashed. But it is not reckless abandon, lashing out blindly, but rather a focused power that In My Coma uses to create songs that are instantly memorable and stage shows that are remarkably powerful.
After years of hard work, perseverance and dedication it's all paying off, as In My Coma delivers a record of remarkable depth and artistic excellence – an album that insists upon repeat listens and the full attention of the listener.