Torche. Rare Virgins Australia.
In the lead up to their US and down under tour, FrankenSounds caught up with guitarist Andrew Elstner during a Miami based tour rehearsal. We cut to the chase about their first time in Australia, the new album, the set-list, beware the bats and the vintage Torche merchandise that will be available very soon at a live show near you!
"We're digging super deep in the catalog. Stuff that the band has never played live, especially since I've joined."
2014 sees the 10th Anniversary of these Miami spawned stoner rockers and they are coming our way to celebrate, "None of us have been to Australia." Doing their investigation they've, "Heard nothing but amazing things" about our home from their colleagues High on Fire, "Steve, our singer/guitar player, was talking to High on Fire's manager and it was nothing but a positive experience. He was like "Oh my god if you've never been it's amazing, you have to go."
"For us, this first time down, you want it to be an absolute explosion. We're only doing three shows, that's totally fine. I'd rather do three than zero. We've got at least a few days off in Australia, maybe not all consecutively, and we'll be in New Zealand as well just before."
Well aware the set list "Will get leaked online I'm sure" before they set down this way, Elstner offers his own insight, "I think it will be similar to what we are doing here on the US tour because of the 10th anniversary of the band." On a mission to offer the rare this year in celebration he adds, "we're digging super deep in the catalog. Stuff that the band has never played live, especially since I've joined.
"Really, really old tracks, from the first record, from the second record. Stuff that we've had a lot of requests for over the years but just never made the cut that we are finally gonna break out."
I think it will be similar to what we are doing here on the US tour because this year, right around now, is the tenth anniversary of the band. So we are digging super deep in the catalog. Stuff that the band has never played live, especially since I've joined. Really really old tracks, from the first record, from the second record. Stuff that we've had a lot of requests for over the years but just never made the cut that we are finally gonna break out.
Will you be playing any new tracks? "It's tough to say. We might. It's debatable. Do we wanna hold off and be patient with it and just rock out these next few dates? Not sure... I have a feeling a new one will sneak in."
Fishing for any new tracks that may be in their infancy, Eltsner offers up "We're all still jamming and coming up with new ideas." Relapse dropping the new album to the masses February next year, "We finally put together all the details for the new record, it was such a hairy beast to wrestle down. It's finally done and wrapped up."
Are you guys getting any heavier? "I joined as a fan of the band and from my ear, yeah absolutely. It's somewhat more straightforward but definitely darker and, in my opinion, the heaviest record since In Return"
Uncanny but the band BATPISS are headlining the Crowbar the day after Torche light up the home of the heavy. That, and the dense bat population of Queensland begs the question and elicits a warning that brings forth laughter and fear all at once, "Oh Jesus! Hahaha. Yeah, I'll just have to travel everywhere with a huge helmet over my face. I'll be safe." Laughing he elaborates, "When all that went down, we had a Florida show not long after that, I think within the same week. I think we played Tampa actually. Friends of mine threw rubber bats on stage, they hung a gigantic bat above the stage. It was all pretty hilarious."
Eltsner's home in Atlanta is a "10-11 hours drive" from Miami where the rest of the band join forces, "When I joined the band Steve was still living in Atlanta. One of our sound guys was living there... I knew more people in Atlanta than I did in Florida so it was a better fit for me." Pledging allegiance to Torche he, "Symbolically committed to the band by moving from St. Louis."
"Oh Jesus! Hahaha. Yeah, I'll just have to travel everywhere with a huge helmet over my face."
Day to day logistics, shaping how the music and tours are put together, "Depending on the arrangement of the tour, usually we will practice before a long tour or we will get together to write.
"If we are getting together to write, that's usually in Miami by Jon's [Nuñez, bass] house. If we are getting ready to rehearse for a tour, usually the guys will drive up to Atlanta or Gainesville. It sort of depends, it's been hairy."
Their dedication knowing no bounds, "It's not a walk in the park but it's not that hard to organise. You get everybody in one place, between 2-4 days before the tour starts. You rehearse, crank it out, and then hit the road."
Are you bring any tasty merch with you? "We have a gigantic pile of merchandise that's new to me. It's like old designs from when the band first started."
"There's a few that everybody freaked out over over the years. They dug them out of the grave and repressed them. Depending on how quickly these go we will likely have more to bring down. That's as far as shirts."
"Hell, as far as records and 7"s or anything, apart from what anybody can order online, I guess it will all be new, it's our first time down there! We're really excited. It's all gonna be sunshine and roses and shots of whiskey. It's gonna be great."
Interview by Kenada Quinlan
TORCHE TOUR DATES
Thursday 16th October | Crowbar, BRISBANE
Tickets via www.lifeisnoise.com // oztix // venue
Saturday 18th October | Corner Hotel, MELBOURNE
Tickets via www.lifeisnoise.com // oztix // venue
Sunday 19th October | Oxford Art Factory, SYDNEY
Tickets via www.lifeisnoise.com // moshtix // oztix // venue