“It came as a pretty big surprise,” says John Cota, guitarist and vocalist for San Diego hardcore act Hostile Comb-Over, after sipping from a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon inside North Park’s Live Wire.
Last month, after nearly five years of playing music together — and eight months into recording their second full-length record — the jarring hardcore trio called it quits.
“I’m ready to tour,” explains Cota, who will join bassist Cole Mears and drummer Ben Johnson for Hostile Comb-Over’s final show August 11 at the Radio Room. “Those guys aren’t able to commit to that. They have obligations and want to start a family. I totally get where they are coming from, and I don’t blame them for wanting that. There are no hard feelings; I’m bummed, but that’s the nature of playing in a band with other people.”
As for the 11 songs they recorded at Archival Studios, instead of shelling out the money needed to release the album, Cota says the songs will be posted onto the band’s website and MySpace profile as free downloads.
For Cota, only weeks after the members of Hostile Comb-Over announced their final two shows, he is at work on two new projects: Black Flag–inspired hardcore band Rats Eyes and a new project with Irradio drummer Greg Sudor.
The untitled project with Sudor will have the same aggressive approach as Hostile Comb-Over, says Cota, but in place of a bassist, Cota will play guitar out of two separate amps and use an octave pedal to give it a heavier, fuller sound.
“It’s less complicated with just the two of us, and I know Greg is down with touring.”
After another swig of beer, Cota adds, “It’s definitely a bummer that [Comb-Over’s] done with. Now, it’s all about closure."