''We work at our songs until we like them or they end up being scrapped'' hmv.com meets Touché Amoré
Life's pretty good for California post-hardcore troupe Touché Amoré right now. The band have just released their third album Is Survived By, which has been a big hit with critics and fans alike, and they've just completed their biggest UK tour to date.
We caught up with frontman Jeremy Bolm to talk about the process of making Is Survived By and why they're happy enough to stay in venues where they can still see the whites of the crowd's eyes…
You're in the midst of your biggest headline tour to date, how are you adjusting to playing bigger places?
Jeremy: It feels like it's been an ongoing thing for us. We've done a lot of support tours and they've allowed us to play bigger places. Last year for example we did a support tour for Rise Against in arenas and in the US we just finished a run with AFI, so we've done bigger places. I like the level we're at right now, good sized rooms, but small enough that's there no barrier and it can still be intimate.
Did you enjoy playing those big shows? Did you enjoy them?
This (the interview took place backstage at the London Underworld) is the kind of room I like playing in. The bigger things get, the more rigid your setlists and show have to be because there's more going on. I like changing things up and not doing the same things over and over.
Did playing those shows make you think 'Man, I'd love to be in a band as big as Rise Against'?
I enjoyed parts of it, nothing left a sour taste in my mouth, I can see how thrilling it must be to have thousands of people singing your words back at you, but I like this level, playing 200-capacity rooms is just as exciting to me, I feel successful now.
Your new album Is Survived By has been out for a couple of months now. How have the new songs been going down live?
Really well. I feel like even though you can get a great response from press and see lots of kids posting photos of them buying the record, the real test is if kids take the time to learn the lyrics. This is our first tour playing to our fans and lots have been singing them back to us. It's been fulfilling.
Has the album changed things for you? Do things feel different?
Not really. I feel like there was so much pressure put on our last record (2011's Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me) that we're all just enjoying the exhaled breath of all whole thing. We're just enjoying playing the new songs.
What kind of record was it to make? Did it take a long time?
It was a completely different experience from our last record. We did that live, in five days in Kansas, whereas we live in California. This time we did it in a couple of weeks, we got to sleep in our own beds because we recorded a couple of miles away from where we live, it was a lot more fun.
Did everything you recorded end up on the record?
Yeah, it's crazy to me when bands say 'We wrote like 20 songs and we only used 12', I always wonder what happened to those songs. We work at our songs until we like them or they end up being scrapped.
Are you thinking about new things already? Are you writing in soundcheck?
When it's time to do a record, that's when we write, when we don't have touring plans. We wrote for two and a half months and then recorded for two weeks. We need to be focused. So nothing's going on with new stuff, no.
Did it pay-off? Having more time?
I'm still deciding to be honest. I feel like I shine when I'm under the most pressure. I drive myself crazy, but feel really rewarded afterwards. I had more time to second-guess myself this time, which I don't like. But then again I'm really happy with the results.
Finally, what's been your favourite album of 2013?
The National's Trouble Will Find Me. I'm a longtime fan and it's an incredible album.
Touché Amoré's Is Survived By is out now.