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      Torche in Washington

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      July 31, 2019

      Wednesday   7:30 PM

      1811 Fourteenth Street
      Washington, District of Columbia 20009


      with Wear Your Wounds, Unring The Bell
      People are always trying to figure out which compartment we fit into. They wannaput us on a shelf. But in a world of Sabbaths, we get to be Van Halen.Thats Torche guitarist and producer Jon Nuez talking about his bands uneasyrelationship with categorization. Over the last 15 years, Torcheled by the core trioof Nuez, guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks and drummer Rick Smithhave oftenbeen saddled with one-dimensional niche terms like doom, sludge or stoner rock,but none of them really apply. That shit is tiresome, he says. When people ask mewhat kind of music we play, I just say, Loud rock n roll.Which is a good way to describe Torches fifth and latest album, Admission. From therumbling cannonade of opener From Here and chunky bomb-string detonatorWhat Was to the staccato siren song Reminder and glistening thunder pop of thetitle track, its a record that manages to be hi-powered, dynamic and melodicall atthe same time. To me, its a real record with peaks and valleys and emotional upsand downs, Nuez offers. Musically, the intensity doesnt stay in one lane.Nuez says Admissions musical rangeand Torches unwillingness to be pinneddownis a result of the bands wide spectrum of unlikely influences. I feel like weall listen to so many different types of music, but not really much within the realm ofwhat were considered to play, he explains. We like 70s rock, shoegaze, ambientmusic, obscure noise, and stuff we grew up with like Latin or Hispanic music. All ofus grew up in Miami during an interesting time, so theres all kinds of things thatdrew us in.Behind the scenes, Torche underwent some lineup changes in the wake of 2015sRestarter. First off, Nuez switched from bass to guitar. To fill the bass position theyenlisted Eric Hernandez of Miami noise-rockers Wrong, who joined the originalTorche triumvirate in time to play on Admission. We knew right away that Eric wasthe guy, Nuez explains. Hes bailed us out on drums before when Rick had somehealth issues. Now that this is the lineup, things are easier. No one needs to be toldanything, and everyones excited.The fact that Nuez switched to guitar during a short break between tours didntslow Torche down in the least. We bounced back pretty fast, he confirms. Ijumped on guitar in nine days and we did a whole US tour. I was so nervous at thatfirst show that I got a headache onstage. But then you ease into it and it feels right.With the bands members spread between Florida and Los Angeles, Torche gottogether whenever possible to work on the songs that would become Admission.I think the only two we wrote on the spot were Extremes Of Consciousness andthe closer, Changes Come, Nuez explains. We wrote some in Gainesville, some inLA, put one together in Colorado and a couple other ones came together in Miami. Itwas exciting to do things differently and it kinda kept us on our toes.Writing in different locations also allowed the band to get together more often thanthey had been able to for Restarter. The way Restarter was put together was kindanuts, Nuez explains. It was written in two weeks and then recorded in two weeks.It was a little stressful. I wanna say we got together four times for this record, whichwas twice as much as last time.There was also an abundance of material to work with this time around. Steve waswriting stuff, Eric was writing stuff and I was writing stuff, Nuez says. We justhoned in on what would make a cohesive record. It ended up being three songs fromeach of us, and the others are collaborations. It was a real group effort.Admission also marks just the second time Torche have actually printed their lyricsin an album sleeve. Usually Steves lyrics make sense to me in some sort of abstractway, but this album has some more personal stuff in there, Nuez point out. Its acool little insight into Steves twisted head.In fact, Admission might be Torches most personal album yet. This album is morerevealing of who we are, Nuez offers. I think the core of the band is happier andmore inspired than we have been in some time, and weve got somebody new whosexcited to be a part of it. Its just refreshing. On tour, we wanna play the entire thingbecause we stand by this shit. It feels right. It feels real.

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