Seit nunmehr sechs Jahren zählen Touché Amoré aus Los Angeles als eine der größten Hoffnungen im Hardcore. Ihre ersten beiden Alben „To The Beat Of A Dead Horse“ und „Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me“ wurden mit ihren energiegeladenen, screamogetränkten Songs und einer Spiellänge von gerade mal 20 Minuten allerseits gefeiert. Am 27. September folgt nun via Deathwish der dritte Longplayer „Is Survived By“. Frontmann Jeremy Bolm nahm sich die Zeit, um am Telefon einige Fragen zum neuen Album zu beantworten.
It’s midnight in Los Angeles right now. How do you spend your time now that the record is finished? Nothing to do?
Haha, I’ve always been a night owl, so this time makes sense for me. I don’t like waking up early, so I’m always scheduling interviews with people in Europe like that. And the people over there are kinda frustrated that they have to do the interviews at two in the morning or something like that, haha. But now that the record is done I’m doing my best to fill my time with productive things. I’ve been working at a record store that I used to work at when I was a younger lad a couple days a week. I’m still doing my record label, hang out with my girlfriend and all that stuff. I try to keep my time pretty full.
So, let’s talk about your new record. In an older interview you said that your first album is about complaining about things but not trying to change anything, while the second album is about the attempt to make those things better. How does “Is Survived By” continue this concept?
It’s not written with those kind of ideas. That was just where I was at when I was writing those records. But “Is Survived By” is definitely a record that is in a different place. I’m a lot happier person these days, I’ve gotten through a lot of things that I used to write about. I guess, in that regard I cast a lot of my demons out. Things are going a lot better, so there is a lot of different lyrical content on this record.
Especially the second song “To Write Content” tells a lot about what happened to you since the last album. It seems like growing older made you more confident …
Yeah, there’s transition in different things. I recently turned thirty years old in April. That was right in the middle of writing the record and writing a lot of the lyrics. It made me start looking at life in a different light because when you’re in your twenties you’re still thinking you’re a teenager. But I think, when you’re hitting the thirty you start looking at this big picture of responsibility and who you are. You start asking yourself questions that you didn’t think about before and take all a bit more seriously, I suppose. “To Write Content”, just like the whole record, is about reflecting back about a lot of things but also realizing what’s more important, which is the future.
Your lyrics tend to be quite depressive, nevertheless you don’t seem like a super depressed person. Do you think that you are positive although or just because you write those negative lyrics?
When you pick up a pen, that’s when I think who you really are comes out. It’s a lot easier to write about your problems but I chose not live my life walking around all day with a frown on my face and being mean to all the people around me, to take it out on anybody else. These are all just things that I personally had inside and I am lucky enough to be able to express myself through music.
How does it feel to sing those songs all the time?
Well, like I said, I’m in a much happier place now but when we play those songs, it can take you there. You remember why you wrote those songs. I would never want to be on stage singing songs that I don’t actually mean anymore. It’s important to be as authentic as possible. I wouldn’t lie and say that every single night every single one of those songs is doing it for me. I mean, you play the same songs every single night for months. But there are points in the set every single night where you are there.
The new songs are longer and more positive than usually. Did you feel the need or the desire to change after “Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me”?
No, it was a natural progression. A third record is a really hard record to write. We realized that there’s a lot of pressure on it. You can’t write the same record a third time. You need to challenge yourself but I would like to hope that for most bands, when they get to the third record, there’s a level of maturity that does come with it. Because you’ve now been playing your instruments long enough, you’ve been working with each other long enough that you’re chemistry should be a little stronger. For “Parting The Sea” we worked with a guy named Ed Rose who recorded the record and who was the first producer we had ever worked with. He taught us a lot about songwriting. That came into effect when we were writing this record. We took a lot of what we learned from Ed and mixed that with working with Brad Wood who did this record, who is a complete genius and responsible for a lot of our favorite records. He’s listening to the songs we’re writing and he’s giving us pointers and telling us when things can be stronger and how this transition can be better. So we get the influence from some elders who know a lot more to help shape the record. I knew going into it that I was not going to do the same thing a third time and that it needed to be a lot more thought out. And I think it is.
“Is Survived By” will be released in about a month and you already released two songs. Why did you choose “Just Exist” and “DNA”?
Well, “Just Exist” is obviously the first song on the record which we did that the last time as well. The first song we put out for “Parting The Sea” was “Tilde”, so we figured following that same model isn’t a bad idea because then when the person puts the record on for the first time there is this sense of familiarity with it. But also I think that song ties the whole record together, it condenses quite a lot. The lyrical content is an ongoing theme to that whole record. That’s definitely why we chose “Just Exist”, because there’s this sound that’s gonna resonate throughout the whole record as well as the content. And then we chose “DNA” because it is the most familiar Touché sound on the record. I think it’s the safest Touché song. It’s aggressive, it’s fast and so we think it’s the safest song for people who like our band. It sounds familiar. We didn’t want to put out the actual studio version of the song, we wanted to put out a live version because that has even more intensity to it.
How did people react when you played the new songs on that preview show in La Puente?
I think I was so nervous that I didn’t really pay attention to what the crowd was doing, haha. I watched some of the videos afterwards and I saw that some people were bopping their heads and smiling and hopefully enjoying it. A part of me was worried that we invited all these people to come out to a show and then bum them out by playing a bunch of songs that they have never heard before, haha. But everybody seemed really cool about it and we had a really good feedback after the show. We ended up playing some older songs at the end of the show to thank people for coming, haha.
Will you release more songs before the album comes out?
I don’t really know what the full plan is right now. I can imagine there will be something, whether it’s a song or if we’re gonna do a stream or something like that. We have a ton of ideas but haven’t really secured anything yet. The record release is about a month away at this point, so I’m sure something else will show up eventually.
I read a review for “Parting The Sea” from 2011 where the record was described as a “modern classic” already. What do you think when people write such things about you?
I think anyone wouldn’t feel other than just flattery. Nobody in our band would say that themselves. When you read that from somebody else it’s really sweet but I think you have to be a complete jerk to say that yourself, like “Oh yeah, we just wrote a modern classic”, haha. Reading stuff like that is really humbling. It’s not anything we ever set up to do. Making that kind of an impact on somebody is really special.
Especially regarding your second album I read the word “hype” pretty often. Do you feel as a part of a hype?
I don’t know. I suppose it’s a thing because people see a band getting a lot of attention and that’s all it is. It’s considered hype, I guess. If you can outlive or outlast the hype and still keep people’s attention, then I think you’ve truly done something special. Who’s to say what’s gonna happen but I like to hope that the people who are listening to our band aren’t the kind of people that just jump on trains like that. I feel like so far we’ve done pretty well, I think we have a really special following.
How does the rest of the year look for you?
We will go on tour with AFI which is very special because that’s like ridiculous, haha. A lot of us grew up on that band and we’re really honored to be a part of this. Nothing really is a hundred percent after that. There’s a lot of talk but nothing is for sure yet. But I can’t imagine it’s gonna be too long before we cross the pond over to you guys.