Outside the Coma: Gearing Up For The Battle
UK prog metal band SikTh’s vocalist Mikee Goodman on finally pushing out his electro-rock/metal project and working on new material
When UK-based vocalist, producer and video director Mikee Goodman first visited Tokyo for a tour in 2004, he felt an instant connect to the country as both, a musician and a traveller. Says Goodman over a Skype call from London, “In 2012, I was thinking, ”˜Where do I want to be in the world?’Â Because I don’t want to be in the UK any more. I decided to get a flight to Japan.Â I knew a few people there, I stayed with them.” That’s when he began looking out for collaborators for his new electro-rock/metal project Outside The Coma, which started out as Outpatients with Tokyo-based singer Yuuri B Joux.
After a few UK tours and creating songs such as “Throw Rocks” to get them off to a start, the band renamed itself since the name Outpatients was already taken. In addition to the rebranding as Outside The Coma, 2014 has been all about working on their debut album The Battle Of Being. While they are signed to Japan’s Zestone Records and a yet-to-be-announced American label, Goodman says Japan is a tough market for international artists to break into. Adds the vocalist, “It used to be amazing. You used to go to Japan and get similar treatment to when SikTh went to India [for metal festival BIG69 in January 2015] ”” you’re taken care of very nicely. For UK people, we love Japan. And I think I liked it more than anyone. It’s important for us because we’re a half-Japanese band. We’re talking about having a Japanese backing band.”
Outside The Coma currently comprises Goodman, Yuuri, drummer and beatmaker Kieron Pepper [who has previously played drums for UK electronica act The Prodigy] and UK guitarist Charley Olsen and drummer Will Romain. They played at club festival series Camden Rocks earlier this year, which Goodman called “very strange.” The vocalist adds, “It was hard, man ”“ from playing to 1,500 people with SikTh, selling out London, to playing in a little room in Camden, is very, very strange.” But the music does have a pull ”“ their first official single “Flavour of the Weak,” which released in May this year, has a crushing mix of metal and the frantic vocal attack that Goodman is known to write. Except now, it’s not just screams and growls, it’s Yuuri’s girly accented English verses over Goodman occasionally joining in the takedown of the instant gratification celebrity culture. While Pepper made the electronic elements and beats and wrote songs such as “Nosebleed” and “Outpatients,” Goodman also worked with Japanese guitarist Hayato Imanishi [from metal act Cyclamen] on The Battle Of Being. Says Goodman, “The thing is, it’s a flexible project. You can put us in a dance thing and we could do it ”” just two vocalists and backing track, if worst came to worst ”” we wouldn’t want to. But it all depends on how we can do it. Getting the music out is the most important thing.”
With the album slated to release worldwide on September 25th, Goodman, also a music video director, has plans to release at least three music videos, including “Can’t Find the Words,” which he says he shot nearly three years ago. Says Goodman about the delays, “It [the album] was meant to be [released] April, then July and an American label came in and they said September. You either throw it in the bin or say September.” Unfortunately, plans for an American label release also fell through, and the band is releasing the album on their own.
With plans to take Outside The Coma on the road in November, Goodman is also in the thick of it with SikTh’s upcoming six-track mini-album, OpacitiesÂ¸ their first new material since 2006’s Death Of A Dead Day. The band recently moved into Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire, East England for two weeks to record. Says Goodman, “Right at this moment, it’s the best thing we’ve done. I have not experienced wanting to listen to SikTh music so much. I was on the train, and I was thinking ”˜Oh should I listen to the SikTh album?’ I was that excited. I could never say that about SikTh before. I always give my honest opinion about these things and for me, it sounds amazing right now.” Looks like 2015 is one packed year for Goodman. Says the vocalist, “It’s completely crazy. I am always working now ”” I don’t really stop.”
This article appeared in the September 2015 issue of ROLLING STONE India.
Watch the video for “Can’t Find the Words” here. BuyÂ The Battle of BeingÂ here.