Oh Lord.. I’ve been hunting for TOUCHE AMORE since April 2012. The band’s vocalist, Jeremy Bolm, finally managed to squeeze in some time to answer my questions. We mostly discussed touring, a bit about their upcoming new album and a few more topics.
I really can’t wait to hear their new tunes and see how they evolve further, so I am beyond thrilled to reveal our chat. Check it out below.
Pleasure to have you, Jeremy! How has your Asian tour with LOMA PRIETA been going?
Apologies for taking forever and a day to do this interview. Japan was really wonderful. It had always been at the top of our list of places we’d dream to tour. We’d known the LOMA guys for quite a few years, we had played some of our first shows with them. It was cool to reflect on that and see how far we’d come.
Cool, I’m stoked you’re finally here! [smiles]
How was it different comparing to your November South East Asian run?
It was a lot different on a series of levels. From the atmosphere and way of living to how the crowd would interact. In SEA there was a feeling of intensity in the room and kids would jump off pretty much anything. In Japan the crowd was more polite and reserved. Both sides are great for different reasons.
What do you love Asians the most for?
Their overall politeness. I can’t stress how welcomed you are made to feel.
I`m sure you`ve been asked this before, but please give us an update on how do you feel about touring so heavily. Aren’t you tired?! [laughs] How important is being on a road for you after all these months of constant performing?
I’m replying to this from my bedroom in California and I have to say that it’s really nice to be home. I admit I will probably get itchy feet soon enough, but for now it’s great to relax and write. I think the hard years of touring for TA may be slowing down. We’ll still tour mulitple times a year, but we’re putting an end to back to back tours without stops at home. We were gone from September to practically January with only a stop at home to play a show. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but when we got to Europe in November we can all admit to having tunnel vision.
How have TOUCHE AMORE members been able to stay together for such a long time on the road? Do you get tired of one another sometimes?
I can’t speak for everyone, but you find ways to enjoy it. You learn what makes everyone tick and what buttons not to push. We’re more like Brothers as cliche as that sounds. As long as you have things to escape with (headphones, books, etc) we survive. Sometimes just taking a walk by yourself will recharge you.
How did your last year’s big tour (the RISE AGAINST / ARCHITECTS adventure) change the feeling of playing for hundreds of people clapping in the wrong rhythm to your music? [smiles]
HAH, people clap out of rhythm no matter where you are. Some nights worse than others. That tour was exactly what we’d hoped it would be. It was eye opening, very different, and comfortable. You never had to worry about the turn out to the show, because no matter what you’re probably going to play to at least 2,000 people. We never got booed and we ended up making fans along the way. The guys in both RISE AGAINST and ARCHITECTS treated us warmly and have remained friends till today. To answer your question, it didn’t really change anything. We’ll play to 20 kids in a basement or 10,000 in an arena. It’s just what we like to do. We’ll always prefer a more intimate / no barrier situation, but we’ll take what we can get if it feels right.
Did you make some good friends in Europe? What did you like the most about the Old Continent and our local scenes?
Nate from CONVERGE once told the group that the friends you make on your first European tour will be your friends forever, and it’s really been like that. We’ve been back about 5 times now and we still see the same familiar faces. Our tour manager and driver Krzysztof from Poland has become one of our bands closest friends, we refuse to tour Europe without him. I love the buildings and the cafes and the overall scenery most when it comes to touring over there. The shows are always well attended and most nights there are record distros which are fun to look through.
You’ve been doing a lot of side shows that cost 1/10 of the RISE AGAINST tickets price [laughs], the 20-people gigs you mentioned before. It must have been an amazing adventure, to switch from a God forsaken venue to an enormous live clubs, huh?
Venues that are squats are always the best venues. You can pretty much smell the history. Like I said, we’ll play anywhere. Not too cool or too punk or anything.
How did you like the Fluff Fest back in 2011? I’m a big fan of this annual party, so I’m dying to find out what’s your opinion on that. Please speak from your heart, even if you’re simply don’t remember the show [laughs]. Anyway, check out my recent interview with the Fluff Fest crew and tell us what you think about the festival.
Fluff Fest was my favorite show we’ve ever played. It was overwhelming. Looking out and seeing so many faces during a beautiful sunset was absolutely breathtaking. We would be happy to play again if we ever were asked.
Ieperfest was one that we certainly had fun at. It was the last day of that tour and a great one to end on. That tour seems like forever ago, so it’s hard to recall. Most nights were absolute bangers so it’s hard to pick out specific memories.
How do you remember your tour with ENVY? Have you been into their music before that sweet US run? Did you make friends with them? Any chances to see you guys together… recording? Touring? [smiles]
That was a big tour for us. Specifically because they’re one of TA’s biggest influences. We got to see all of them on our Japan tour. Two of them recently became Dad’s so I can’t see much touring coming from them anytime soon. We’d do anything with them if we were offered.
Any thoughts on visiting new places in general? What countries caught you attention the most recently?
As in places we want to visit? We really want to tour South Africa. Hopefully we can make it work this year.
Now that you’re back from Japan, I wonder… how do you manage to come back to life after coming back home and feeling detached from your local things and issues?
It takes about a week to fall back into a home routine. I’m about to start working back at a record store I used to work at years ago for some part time money. I spend my days with my girlfriend and writing the new record. Can’t complain.
Summing up the subject of touring, do you guys have anything else coming up soon? Can I count on seeing you live in Europe in 2013?
The focus right now is doing the new record. No official plans of touring anywhere anytime soon.
You’ve recently revealed your amazing new track from the PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH split. How did you guys team up for this one? What’s the story behind this brief outing?
We recorded that song about a year ago and it only recently was released. It took a while for it all to come together. Same with the CL split. No real story other than the obvious. We’ve been friends and tour partners for many years and it only felt right.
“Gravity, Metaphorically” shows a slightly different side of TOUCHE AMORE. Are you transforming? [smiles]
I think it just overall shows the growth of TA. I don’t see it much as transforming because it still has all the elements of our song writing.
Sure it does.
Would you consider to take a turn and hit the more post rockish road? Like my beloved ENVY did? [smiles]
There was vibes of that even on PTTSBBAM, like the song Amends was heavily influenced by that kind of sound. You’ll just have to wait and see!
Is there anyone you’d like to get to collaborate with on the new album? I bet kids are dying to hear the round II, after the amazing collaboration with Geoff from THURSDAY [smiles].
No plans on a collab yet. I’m always thinking though.
As you have been approached by many labels, will you be sticking to your current label agreements?
Deathwish will be releasing it.
TOUCHE AMORE is often referred to as an amazing and groundbreaking post hardcore band. How difficult is it at times to keep your egos in check when people rave about you so much?
It’s always flattering but I just take it was an added pressure to do good things, whether its writing or touring.
That is an impossible question to answer. We have no idea why we would break up to begin with. I have no problems with reunions.
Ha! Ok. Let’s move beyond TOUCHE AMORE [smiles]. Tell us about the Secret Voice’s plans for the coming months. Any new signings coming up?
The next release is my side project band HESITATION WOUNDS. It’s me, Jay who used to be in Against Me, Scuba who was once in TRAP THEM, and Neeraj from HOPE CON / SUICIDE FILE. We wrote three songs and an intro in one day and recorded them the next. It’ll be out very soon.
Hell yeah, I love it, man!
Have you read some cool zines recently? Any titles you’d like to recommend?
Nope. I haven’t got one in a while.
Ok, so that’s about it, right? Thank you! All the best for the rest of the year. Hope to see you and talk to you soon! Feel free to add anything you want.
Again, sorry for the delay of this.
No worries, thanks so much for your time!