Torche blaze path for melodic metal
By Tim Anderl
Photo: Torche brings their melodic metal to Taft Theatre in Cincinnati on Monday, June 3; Photo credit: Gary Copeland
For the better part of the past decade, Miami, Fla. outfit Torche has emerged a triumphant and powerful quartet responsible for pioneering their own brand of groovy, melodic metal that some have dubbed, “stoner pop.” Whether it carries that title or other fun monikers like “thunder rock” and “doom pop,” Torche are undisputed frontrunners of a new sound that waves the Sabbath banner while also nodding to rockers like Nirvana, The Melvins and even Dayton’s Guided By Voices.
Dayton City Paper caught up with Torche bassist Jonathan Nuñez as the band prepared to bring their sludge-filled, pop-tinged rock to the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati on Monday, June 3. This is what he told us about the band’s love for GBV, their forthcoming vinyl release for Volcom and touring.
Being from Dayton I have to ask: We heard three Guided By Voices covers on the Part Chimp split. What was it like doing that and has Bob reached out with any feedback?
We were all longtime GBV fans and we were hoping that we’d be able to do those songs some justice. It is hard to cover a band that you really love and make them your own versions. We figured we’d give it a shot and hope it turned out cool. – Jonathan Nuñez
One of your bandmates outed you as a big grunge fan in an interview for another publication. Is there another band you would like to do a handful of covers of?
A grunge fan? (laughter) I like a lot of ‘90s stuff, but not grunge specifically. That’s pretty funny. (laughter) I’m not terribly into doing covers, to tell you the truth. We had to do the GBV stuff because we love them, and we were running a little low on studio time. Bob reached out and said he liked what we did so there’s nothing cooler than that. – JN
I remember the metal neck that I woke up with after seeing you on tour in support of Meanderthal, so I was surprised when Harmonicraft sounded more melodic and groovy. Have you gotten any push back from the fans about the maturation of your sound or is everyone digging it?
There are always people who are going to be hesitant as a band progresses or develops their sound in other directions, but you can’t write the same record over and over. Some bands do, I guess, but we can’t. We are not that type of band. There are going to be people who liked Torche better when we were extra heavy or whatever. But we are the kind of band who is going to play what comes to us, and as long as we are having fun doing it, we will continue to do it. – JN
Do you feel like you’ve matured in your style of play over the course of Torche?
Absolutely. Everyone in the band has. We have more experience, creativity and control. People have expanded their playing abilities and writing abilities. We’ve explored different ideas. So yeah, I feel like when you are touring, writing and making records with a group of guys all these years, naturally you will progress. We want to explore new territories and get better as musicians. – JN
You guys announced your participation in the Volcom vinyl club this week. What have responses to that been like?
We had a lot of fun writing those songs. When we got together to write those songs, we actually got a head start so we have a few other songs prepared for the next record and out of the way. So it was a very productive few days. It is always cool to see our efforts transfer over to something people are interested in and want to hear. – JN
How close are we to another Torche full-length?
I’m very confident we’ll have something out in 2014. – JN
You guys have had the opportunity to do some pretty major support gigs. Do you prefer the challenge of winning over an audience to the challenge of delivering for an audience of fans who already have expectations?
I’m down for both. One thing that we’ve learned in the past is which tour will work and which one won’t. In the past, there have been times when we’ve been lucky to tour with a great group of guys and the money is good, but the audience is not necessarily open to what we were doing, or just not feeling it or understanding it. Sometimes that is not necessarily a crowd you want to obtain either. So, we are down for support tours and all that, but we need to know what we are getting into as a band and pick the right one, you know? -JN
Torche will perform on Monday, June 3 at The Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., in Cincinnati. KEN mode and Lo Pan are also on the bill. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show. Doors open at 8:30 pm. For more information, visit torchemusic.com
Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at TimAnderl@daytoncitypaper.com