It's All About Closure

“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."

Share / Tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • AddThis
  • Email

More from SDReader


Wow. That was one of the coolest comment threads ever.

Kudos to you all, and enjoy your icy beverages.

If every misunderstanding online were handled with such class, the world would be a better place.

wow...that is kind of unprofessional. i think an apology is owed...

Ben, I get it, and I take your criticism to heart. I apologize for not succeeding in what I set out to do, which was to report on the band's breakup, talk about John Cota's new projects, and draw attention to the final show. But, thanks for the feedback and for the years of music.


Ben, the story wasn't about you, it was about HoCo's breakup and final show. More than anything, the article focuses mostly on what John Cota is doing after the fact. I can't help it if you read more into that.

Trust me, I understand when a band breaks up there's always some residual drama, and I apologize if I added to it, but if you reread the article, you can plainly see that I never gave reasons why you, specifically, quit the band. I hope this clears things up.


I reread the article, and it shows you asking one person in a band why a band broke up without getting anyone else's view. The residual drama is actually you doing shoddy work, I have far less of a problem with John than I do with half assed journalism. Thanks. -ben

I do apologize, and I do need to possibly lighten up a bit. If you happen to see me anywhere, I will buy you an icy beverage of your choosing. I tend to run a wee hot under the collar occasionally, and I actually do feel bad and am sorry. You did what you set out to do, and the comments made by me were out of line. Thanks for your understanding and patience, -ben

Thanks for the mediation, Refried, and I'll take you up on that offer for a cool beer when we meet, Ben. You're a drummer, you have to run a little hotter under the collar than the rest of us, all good ones do!

-Dorian (One Love) Hargrove

You're right. Sorry. It's difficult to see things in print about yourself that you have no control over. my bad. take care. -ben

WOW! Nice of you to contact me in a story about me! Oh, wait, you didn't! Way to go! My departure from Hostile Combover has far less to do with family oriented issues than it does with the fact I am already in a touring band-The Long and Short of It, and cannot commit to two touring bands. I prioritized my life to go with the band that has a concrete plan, and not one who wants to tour just for the sake of touring and partying. What I do in my private life is private, and you should at least contact someone when naming "reasons" for that person changing something in their public life. The breakup of HoCo is unfortunate, but if you want the reasons I have for quitting a band, no one will be able to tell you better than I. This is ridiculous. -Ben Johnson

Slow down, Ben, you're bringing a whole new meaning to Hostile Comb-Over. This wasn't a tell-all story about the band, nor was it meant to explore the personal lives of each and every band member. It was a short article about an interview I did with John Cota, briefly touching on the breakup. I didn't name any specific reasons for the breakup, and I didn't say anything about you personally, other than that you will be appearing on stage at the Radio Room on August 11th. There are no hidden messages between the lines, except for the ones that you put in there.


Dorian, I think you did just what you set out to do. And Ben, lighten up! I'm totally uninformed and nuetral concerning your band(s) and I didn't read anything negative into the blurt.

"Those guys aren’t able to commit to that. They have obligations and want to start a family."

I certainly didn't think anything from this quote other than people decided to move on for WHATEVER reason. Besides, think of it as an opportunity. Give Dorian a call from your current tour and give him an update! You can never have too much promotion.

Log in to comment

Skip Ad