by Ryan Meehan
Coming together in late 2007, Touche Amore plays hardcore that aims at making their listeners aware of a few things that “ruffle the band’s feathers” so to speak. The quintet’s sound has been linked to “traditional”; screamo bands like Orchid, pageninetynine and Hot Cross, while also being called reminiscent of the more “straight-up” approaches of outfits like American Nightmare, Curl Up & Die and even Jawbreaker. Vocalist Jeremy Bolm is our guest today in 7 questions.
RM: Out of all the music you’ve listened to, which vocalist has been the most influential on your current songwriting process? What was the first record you heard where you really noticed the true importance of songwriting? And what do you define to be the true importance of songwriting?
JB: There has been quite a few in my life I would consider heavy handed influences. Anyone from Kurt Cobain to Leonard Cohen. At an early age I loved Nirvana with a passion, but I didn’t fully grasp how good the song writing in the band was until it was performed Unplugged. I was 11 when that was recorded so I suppose it was then. Nirvana was a band that mastered the three chord pop song, so it goes to show that it doesn’t take much to make a masterpiece. I don’t know if there is a true “importance”, to quote Kurt himself, “as long as it’s good and has passion”.
RM: In the bio from your profile on No Sleep, you use a Woody Allen quote “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable”… How do you go about making music for a world where sometimes it seems like your only two options are “bad” and “worse”? And how do you manage to put positive messages into what is typically a very defeatist culture?
JB: First off, that bio is 6 years old and was written by our first drummer, but I can still speak on it. We go about making music the same way anyone who comes from the same world as us would.. with your friends in a room with four walls and some outlets. As much as we have songs now-a-days with a bit more of a positive outlook, it hasn’t always been that. The majority of our set when we play live isn’t positive. But when you have a room singing those words of negativity and defeat in unison, it makes you feel less alone.. and that is a positive in itself.
RM: In regards to the death of Fred Phelps (the former leader of the Westboro Baptist Church) the band printed T-shirts bearing his image with the phrase “Good Riddance” underneath… Were you surprised that there were people who did not agree with the design; even when you consider all of the horrible things that guy did? Does it scare you a little bit that there are still people who are willing to defend the life of a guy like that in the name of free speech?
JB: I understood the debate that happened. I think it’s important to get people talking and ruffle feathers now and again. The whole thing came off positive to me in the end because it got people talking about the issue and money was raised for charity regardless. I don’t regret anything and I’m happy he’s being eaten by worms.
RM: You’re about to begin a pretty intense European leg in May, with a majority of the shows featuring Birds in Row…What do we need to know about that band; and what is your favorite track of theirs? Are there any countries on that tour where you haven’t previously gotten the chance to perform?
JB: We’ve done a couple tours with Birds in Row now and we absolutely love them as a band and as people. Check out any song off their last record (on Deathwish Inc) “You Me and the Violence”. I will say personally the song “Colossus” from their Collection LP makes me want to crash a car into a median.. it’s that good. We’ve never played Spain and the tour ends there at the Primavera festival.
RM: Being on a tour like that with several other dudes must get ripe at times…who within the band prides themselves on having the best hygiene?
JB: Most of us do our best to shower every single day. There is one member who may only shower once a week. I’ll leave it to the reader to guess who that is.
RM: How is the material that will likely be the band’s next piece of work going to be different than “Is Survived By”? Do you try not to get too ahead of yourself with stuff like that when you’re on tour, or are you more of the restless type when it comes to writing down new lyrical ideas?
JB: When it comes time to write the follow up, we’ll start thing about that. Is Survived by is only half a year old or so, so those thoughts haven’t even entered our head yet. We enjoy writing, but when it’s at a comfortable speed with no stress involved. I imagine the next step will be one that makes the most sense. Natural and comfortable is our game.
RM: What is it about the split record format that is so attractive to you; other than the fact that a listener can check out two separate artists on one record?
JB: Truthfully, they’re just fun. Working with another band, especially one you respect and enjoy is a very fulfilling thing. It’s like making art in a group project.
RM: What’s up next for Tocuhe Amore in 2014? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
JB: We leave for Europe next week then we’re doing another US tour with Tigers Jaw and Dads. Some festivals later in the year that haven’t all been announced yet.
Official Website: http://toucheamore.com/
Touche Amore on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ToucheAmore
Touche Amore on Twitter: https://twitter.com/toucheamore
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