Andre Comeau On "Clean Break," His New Album, And The Real World Homecoming: New York

Can you believe it's been nearly 30 years since The Real World debuted on MTV? While he's no longer fronting Reigndance, original ...

Can you believe it's been nearly 30 years since The Real World debuted on MTV? While he's no longer fronting Reigndance, original Real World cast member Andre Comeau does have a successful solo career. Last week, we sat down with Comeau to talk about his new single "Clean Break," his upcoming album, The Real World Homecoming: New York, and his dream music festival.

I love your new single, "Clean Break."
Thank you! We just shot a video for it yesterday.

So what are you breaking clean of?
Ha! Well, the lyric is "From my good senses, I've made a clean break." I think that's more of a figure of speech perhaps. I don't really like to spell out what I mean so much. I like it when people interpret it in their own way.

You're currently working on a new album. Will any of the songs from Wrong Within appear on the album?
No, Wrong Within is its own EP. The new album is all-new tracks.

I thought "Clean Break" was harder or heavier than your Wrong Within EP. Will the rest of the new album be in that vein?
I'll say this about "Clean Break" as opposed to a lot of Wrong Within--it's more uptempo. I would say a lot of the tracks on the new album are uptempo and there's a bit of a mixture because some of it is acoustic as well. I definitely made an attempt to incorporate some of my acoustic influences as well as the more straightforward rock stuff.

Speaking of Wrong Within, the EP ends with a song called "Clairvoyant." Do you feel you are clairvoyant?
No, I don't believe in any of that hocus pocus. I like to write in character. I like to explore, as a writer, things that aren't pertinent to my real life. I think that's what writers are for. They're for imagining worlds that are new and different.

My first producer gave me some great advice that I try to instill in up-and-coming songwriters because I think one of the big mistakes young songwriters do is tear a page out of their journal and make a song out of it. That advice that the producer gave me was, "What does the truth have to do with a good song?" It's not about what actually happened, and that's a mistake young novice songwriters often try to do is force that square peg into a round hole. No one gives a shit what actually happened. Give me the writer's interpretation of that. No one wants to hear you say, "I feel so down." They want to hear Bob Dylan say, "I'm stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again." That advice has stayed with me throughout my entire career.

You're hitting the road next week for a 4-date tour of Texas. Why Texas?
Texas is one of the states that opened back up fairly early. I have a lot of friends in Texas. My folk band that I disbanded in the mid 2010s, they're all Texans. They were also one of the first states to make offers on the original feeler to play shows. We're working on the East Coast right now, booking a run of shows up and down the East Coast. I'm just anxious to get out there and promote the new material and capitalize on the massive press that the new season of Real World Homecoming brought. Texas is a great state with a rich musical heritage and I'm thrilled to be getting back there.

Let's talk about the Real World Homecoming: New York. What was it like seeing the cast all together in the same loft again?
It was great. Unfortunately, we had to deal with the issue of our times: Covid. Unfortunately, Eric had Covid and wasn't able to participate with us in person in the loft. He was sequestered but he did participate via teleconferencing. We've all kept in touch over the years pretty regularly via text threads and/or in-person visits. I live in Los Angeles which is a destination town so most people sooner or later come to LA for business or pleasure and anytime someone's in town, I try to make some time to see them for dinner or coffee. Same thing goes when I travel to New York for business or pleasure. Kevin and Heather are still based out there so I always make an effort to see them when I'm in town. We've definitely kept in touch over the years, some more than others.

It was nice to get us all back in the same room. Unfortunately, I think through the need for drama, I think they added elements that changed the dynamics and chemistry. It created an atmosphere that was sort of toxic for some people. Obviously what happened was not intended and should've been handled better by a certain cast member. It was just a poor showing.

What did your daughter think about being on the Real World Homecoming: New York?
She just turned four, so she doesn't quite understand the difference between a FaceTime call on the computer screen and something that's broadcast to millions of people on that same computer screen. I'm sure as the years go by and she sees the actual magnitude of the exposure, it'll change her opinion. She was just thinking Daddy and his friends are away for a week. It's funny how that's going to change in the years to come, her interpretation of it. I'm hoping she'll be happy with the results.

When the Real World debuted, nobody knew what to expect. Looking back, would you have rather been on say, Season 5 and known what to expect--
Oh God no! The only one I ever would've participated in was the first one because I had no idea what it was going to be. The first couple of seasons they stayed true to what they had originally sought out to do. But then it changed, as did the entire landscape of reality television and the medium itself started to become more salacious, more prone to drama for drama's sake rather than an actual artistic endeavor. I'm so thrilled that I was on the very first season. It would've been difficult to pass up the opportunity as a musician in his early 20s to participate on the network that speaks to Gen X exclusively, but I may have given how it evolved and what it became. I would've probably not participated in any other season.

Final question: You're in charge of a music festival and can choose any five acts, living or dead, to appear on the bill with you. Who do you choose and what song do you all perform together as the final jam?
I want to play with the blues greats from the '50s and '60s. Give me Muddy Waters. Give me Howlin' Wolf. Give me any of those guys. That's who I want to play with. I want to play "Mannish Boy" with Muddy Fucking Waters. Chuck Berry. Little Richard. Those are the guys I want to be playing with. Jerry Lee Lewis. The originators of rock 'n' roll. Hank Williams Sr. I could go on for days.

More Andre Comeau: Facebook | Spotify


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Strange Carolinas is the Travelogue Of The Offbeat, a wry look at the interesting, unique, and offbeat roadside attractions, people, music, art, food, and festivals in North and South Carolina.


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