Torche has been one of my favorite bands for the past five or so years now and I absolutely never miss a chance to see them play live. These dudes seriously put on one of the loudest, most powerful and extremely fun live shows I have ever witnessed. Torche’s brand of bodacious, destructive, bliss-metal is even better live than on record and when Torche is up on stage it is obvious each member of the band truly loves being a part of the group and really believes in the music that they are playing.
Torche’s latest blistering live show in Salt Lake City came late last month on May 28th at a local dive bar called Burt’s Tiki Lounge. I was stoked to find out they were playing such a small venue; because as loud and energetic as they are, I knew It was going to be even more amped up in such a small place like Burt’s. Torche again did not disappoint. They launched into the first song only to have the power cut out on them. After a small delay began once more, again knocking out the power. I was beginning to wonder if Burt’s was actually capable of handling the ferocity that is Torche. Finally, things were back up and running. The two power outages did nothing to stall or subdue the band. They straight up killed it for the remainder of their set, cementing their status in my mind as one of best live acts around.
A couple of days before the band unleashed their chaos on to Burt’s. I got in touch with bass player Jon Nuñez to find out what was going with the band’s new 7″ and see what else Torche had in store for the remainder of the year.
JN: It’s something new. We self released a 7″ ourselves called Harmonslaught and Voclom contacted us and asked if we’d be down to another 7″ inch on their vinyl club. We were totally into it. So we got together and wrote six songs and then chose two for the release.
What was the writing process like for your latest full length Harmonicraft?
Well, that was this first record that we did with Andrew (Elstner, guitar). We did some writing in various other places too. We got together in Gainseville and Miami. When we got down there (Miami) we started to solidify things with demos . So those were the main two differences and when we got together we would just play for six or seven hours. Then we just chose the songs that we really liked and those are the ones that ended up on Harmonicraft.
What’s it like recording and engineering the Torche albums? Do you ever have to tell any of the other members to change their parts or anything like that?
We’re all pretty open and we’re also open to giving each other opinions and advice. We’re the type of group that we will try things differently and you know, kind of feel it out. If it’s something that could benefit the song or part we’ll roll with it. That’s something that’s not always the case with other bands. We kind of have an understanding of how the final finished product should sound too and that kind of takes off some of the pressure in the studio.
My friend and I caught your show with Corrosion of Conformity last June and your set was insanely intense and loud. I don’t know if it was where we were standing or what, but it was literally vibrating my sternum. What’s Torche’s approach to your live show?
I think we are very happy to be playing songs that we truly like. When we write songs we try and to make sure that it translates to the stage as well. When we play live it’s our time to enjoy the songs and you know, just play as loud and energetic as possible. You now just let loose and enjoy our time up there. It’s just about enjoying it. I honestly couldn’t think of anything better to do. To be able to do this as my quote-unquote job. I couldn’t imagine doing to many other things that could be as fun and as satisfying that you could share with a group of people that definitely feel the same.
You guys seem to get put on fairly diverse amount tours as far as the style of the bands goes. Recently I’ve seen you open up for Corrosion of Conformity and more recently with Converge. How do you end up on most of these tours? Do other bands request you? Or are the shows pre-booked for you?
It’s definitely a mixture of bands requesting us and our booking agent. We just try to keep on the road as much as possible and keep on trucking, ya know. (laughs) With COC they approached us through their manager who also manages a lot of our friend’s bands. We actually did two tours with them. It was really awesome to tour with such a classic band. They were totally rad and phenomenal players. It was good tour. The Converge tour was awesome because we have actually been friends with that band for years. We actually did our fist tour with Nate’s other band Doomriders. So this last tour with them was something that had been getting thrown around for awhile. But yeah that tour was great as well. Those dudes are great and a total powerhouse live. Those two tours actually were probably the highlight for us so far this year and last year as well.
Any favorite movies or TV shows that you’ve seen lately?
Oh man! We are totally absorbed into American Horror Stories. Especially the second season “Asylum.” That show totally just grabbed us so hard. We try and stay up late to watch it after we are all loaded in and are settled in our room or at a friends house. I think we watched the first episode the first night on tour and since then we just dove in. We killed a season within like three nights. We’ll be going to sleep around five in the morning lately because after an episode someone’s always says “Another one?” and we are always like “Yeeah”.
You guys are touring the rest of the summer up until the end of August. Do you guys have any plans after that? Have you guys started writing for the next album?
We only used two out of the batch of six songs for the Volcom 7″. So we have a four song head start for the next record. After this tour is over we are going to tour Europe for a month. Then two weeks off overseas and then tour for about a week in the UK, then a week in Holland. After that we should be home for a bit and September through November, around that time of year, we always tend to write. So I think we will be writing throughout the fall. Then basically start recording after that in the winter time. So I think we can expect a new record around the early part of 2014.
Can we expect the new songs to have a “Keep Up” vibe to them?
You know it’s hard to tell man. We can’t predict or plan what the next record is going sound like, but the four songs we have started we are really stoked on. So you know, we are really looking forward to it. After all this touring is over we will be amped up and ready to lay down some new jams. I know I’m really excited and I’m sure everyone else is too.