Dave’s band of the day: Torchbearer

By on 21 October 2011

Today’s band of the day is from Terrorizer blogger Dave Fensome, and is New Jersey bruisers Torchbearer (not to be confused with Swedish melodeath outfit Torchbearer).

NAME: Torchbearer
THEY ARE: Filthy Abrasive Experimental Hardcore
FROM: New Jersey, USA
FOR FANS OF: Deadguy, Burnt by the Sun, Converge
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Dirty Swagger’
SONGS TO CHECK OUT: Living Disorder, Security Blanket, Decay
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter

It’s been a while since I was able to get genuinely excited about a hardcore record. But ‘Dirty Swagger’, the new release from Torchbearer, has certainly changed that. Featuring ex-members from bands including Mother Night, Low End Theory ,The Fire Still Burns & Ensign, they have a strong heritage . Yet with this release they are truly taking the sum of their parts and coming up with something bigger and better. Menacing and broody, with some of the most visceral and abrasive production heard in recent years. It’s a record that jars you from first listen and makes you sit up and take notice.

We caught up with some of the guys to get some insight on what’s going on with the band.

How did you end up with such a raw sound? Is that something you were intent on going in, or something that evolved along the way?

Chris (drums): I think it’s a combination of both intention and evolution. Still, even though we may have embarked on the project with a blueprint in mind it was elevated to another level through collaboration and experimentation during the writing and recording process. By accepting that blueprint as a guide but not a road map, it allowed certain things to evolve on their own, and the album is definitely better for it.

Lyrically this is very dark record, with heavy themes of betrayal and disillusionment. What inspired this?

Amit (vocals) Writing this record was an extremely personal, cathartic process for me.  There are themes of betrayal and disillusionment, for sure, though whether I’m the betrayer or the betrayed varies.  I had a pretty dramatic falling out with someone who was very close to me before I started writing for this record and it set off a chain reaction of looking not only at the person who hurt me, but at myself.  I’ve been through a lot in the past year and the hardest part was coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t a victim.  I was just as much responsible for anything I went through as anyone else.

Are you going to come to the UK anytime soon? We have the Olympics here next year so a visit from Torchbearer seems particularly relevant.

Dan (guitar): While we don’t have any plans as of right now, we’re at the point as individuals where doing something like touring for a few concentrated days in the UK is more attainable and more practical than driving across the United States for three weeks, so maybe you’ll see us sooner rather than later. If we can catch some synchronized swimming, even better. Torchbearer live is a pretty loud and chaotic machine, especially now that we’re getting back into a routine after so much writing and recording. Catching that blend of being interesting enough to watch to make an impression on new faces, but tight enough to appease people who came to see you is challenging. I end up on the floor a lot.

‘Dirty Swagger’ is available now, and is currently streaming on the band’s Facebook page and here.

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

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