I can't remember the exact date of this interview but it's at least 3-4 years old now. Suppose see print in MF 6. Kinda to old for that not. Anyway, thought I'd post it here. Here's a link to pix I took of the band from New Britain CT back in 2007 while on tour with Jesu:
Hey Steve! Torche just completed a tour with Mogwai. How did that go? How did Torche go over with Mogawi fans? Howabout a story from the road with The Sword. You guy’s killed at CBGB’s on that tour.
Steve: The Mogwai tour was out of this world! We got to play some legendary venues and see Mogwai every night. What could possibly be better? I could actually hear myself through my monitors and that never happens. haha.. They're a Incredible band and such a pleasure to be around, as well as their entire road crew. Best experience ever! Their fans probably didn't "get" us. However, I know we did turn a few people on, but it wasn't a overall great thing lookin' out to a few thousand blank faces every night. We did our thing, had a great time, left some ringing ears and got paid for it. hahaha... Mogwai loves that sort of thing. Seein' the horror in the audience faces as they get bands like us, Part Chimp or Electric Wizard to open the shows. The tour w/The Sword, Tarantula AD & ASG was really good. Other than having a guitar stolen in Providence by some "low-life-shitbag" at "THE LIVING ROOM" (*bands...take note, keep a close eye on your shit when you play there. Seedy characters workin' at the place), we had a great tour.
I was actually suprised to read that your remixing the entire s/t LP ("cause we just weren't happy with it" StonerRock.com) and re-releasing it this Fall w/a extra track and it will be available in Europe on Mogwai's label "Rock Action". I like the way the album sounds, what don’t you guy’s like about it?
Steve: Well, if you hear the remixed version compared to the old mix, you'll hear a world of difference and why we were unhappy. It's especially tough when you mix your own record. We over-analyzed everything and it sounded like shit to us in the end. But, after spending all our money, we couldn't go back and remix the whole thing. We were also on a schedule and had deadlines to meet. Anyway, it sounds beefier now and you can just hear all the little things better.
Let’s talk about the debut. You guy’s must be pretty sick of those tunes by know, right? Haha. I’m curious about the lyrics though. Can you give us some insight into what you write about. Especially Vampyro I really dig that tune! What’s it about?
Steve: Yes, we are indeed sick of most of the material. I'm especially sick of it 'cause some of those songs are over 4 years old and written with my old band FLOOR. Plus, the newer material is all written as a band and truly represents who we are. We're all looking forward to completing the follow-up. The lyrics? Don't read too much into 'em. Some of the stuff has meaning to me and some of it is just silly. "Vampyro" is about downers (people that suck the life out of ya emotionally).
Reading reviews of Torche I’ve been taken back by some of the comparisons you guy’s get. Stoner Rock? Nirvana's first album Bleach? Kings X?, Helmet? I don’t get it, you sound nothing like those bands. Your thoughts? If I had to describe the Torche sound I would say it’s a mixture of Sabbath, Melvins, Hellhammer, and of course touches of your old band Floor. Shit, I would even throw in some '70s/early '80s British heavy metal and doom influences too.
Steve: Uh, yeah, I don't get the "Stoner rock" label either, but the record company used it as a tool. I'm sure some people bought it because they were curious. Only 1 guy in the band smokes occassionally, the rest of us are pretty clean. Everything we listen to and hold close to us inspires our sound. Wide range there....everything from The Mama's & The Papa's to Autopsy. I'm a big fan of older metal stuff like Accept and early 80's new wave pop like Adam & the Ants too.
Keeping with the influence theme. The Torche interview up on StonerRock.com you mentioned listening to Sadus (demos and 1st LP), Righteous Pigs, Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends, Husker Du, Bad Brains, Swervedriver, Death’s Scream Bloody Gore. Right on! My question is would you consider those bands and the thrash, death metal, and hardcore scenes an influence on you as a musician and on Torche musically? How did you deveolpe the Bomb String Assualt?
Steve: Of course. I grew up on that stuff, it warped me. I love the raw fury of bands like early Kreator, Dark Angel, Slayer, etc...Our song "Safe" kinda shows a bit of that influence. Those bands were more brutal than 99% of all the extreme metal being played today. It was raw and fuckin' steamrolled over everything. Also, bands like Bad Brains and Husker Du had such intense material, yet weren't as limited. They grew into something different and it inspired the hell out of me. I always wanted to be in a band that could do just about anything and not be stuck in a "genre". I can't really consider us a "metal" band 'cause songs like "Erase", "Fire" and "Last Word" are far from metal. I'm gettin' my Husker Du, U2 and Slowdive on with those jams. haha.. The "bomb string assault"? Broke a string and it blew speakers and shook the room. What better thing to incorporate in a heavy sound? I'm a genius! haha... Yeah, well, Butthole Surfers did the "floppy string" a long time ago with "Locust Abortion Technician" (one of the greatest records ever!), but didn't use it the way we do. I get asked about it all the time. Hopefully, it doesn't start getting used by every joe-schmo out there and lose it's appeal. I dig the power greatly, but the hell if I want to hear it get used all the time. Shit gets old real quick. Which is why I don't use it all the time.
Whadda been listening to lately?
Steve: Silence is bliss sometimes, but here are some of the bands i've been listening to in the car the last couple of weeks (i'm lookin' at the stack I pulled out and haven't put back yet).....Magnetic Fields, Rich Robinson, ELO, Rival Schools, Catherine Wheel, Stone Roses, Atheist, Bubblepuppy, The Dandy Warhols, Accept, Yngwie Malmsteen, Velvet Underground & Brian Wilson.
So tell me about the song writing process. A group effort? Howabout new material. When can we expect another full lenght? New 7" ("In return/Rule the Beast") out yet?
Steve: We write everything together as a band nowdays. I do most of the vocal stuff on my own, though. Most of the material on the s/t LP was written by me with my previous band FLOOR, except for "Erase", "Safe", "Holy Roar" and "Make Me Alive" (bonus track) which was written as Torche. So, the new material really represents us as a unit. When we get back from Europe, we'll finish writing and recording the follow-up LP. Our 7" ep "In Return/Rule the Beast" should be out this fall on Robotic Empire. We've had a few problems since Jon's mixing board broke earlier this year to get that one done. It's fixed now and the mixing/mastering of the B side track is near complete. That's why it's been delayed.
Floor was amazing! What are your fondest memories of the band? Somebody needs to do a Floor discography disc.
Steve: Thank you. Floor was the most fun during the early years '92-'95 'cause we didn't give a shit about anything and had a blast. Things got a little more serious when we got back together in 2001. Much more focus on writing material we were proud of rather than crapping in a microphone and releasing a ep with whoever asked. The discography probably will never happen. We'll give that stuff away to download before we sell it to anyone. It's a bit dated.
All the another members of Torche seem to be invloved in other bands/projects. Or are they? I would assume Torche is the primary band for everyone now!?
Steve: Yeah, Rick and Jon are involved with Shitstorm at the moment. That's about all the other projects goin' on at the moment. I'm gettin' antsy to start playin with different people, so I may have a side thing happenin' soon? Torche is the main "baby" though.
So, you guy’s are gearing up for a Euro tour. What are you most looking forward to playing/seeing while on the other side? Any idea who your playing with?
Steve: We're touring Europe with Baroness. I've never been to Europe, so i'm looking forward to EVERYTHING! I want to see some wild insane shit! haha
Steve, many thanks for the interview man! Best of luck with Torche. Let people know how to find more on Torche(tour dates, cd’s, merch etc.)
Steve: Thank you so much! Check us out on Myspace. That's where the latest updated info is and best way to contact us. Torche merch is sold at shows, so come out and help support us. See ya soon. Cheers!