Touché Amoré Detail the Themes and Inspiration Behind 'Is Survived By'
Published Sep 23, 2013Touché Amoré's third full-length album, Is Survived By, is sure to capture the attention of emo/hardcore and heavier indie rock fans, not only because the band has written their most impassioned batch of songs, but also because of the collaboration with noted rock producer Brad Wood (Sunny Day Real Estate, mewithoutYou, Far, Smashing Pumpkins). Working with Wood, vocalist Jeremy Bolm tells Exclaim!, felt natural right from the start of recording.
"Brad doesn't believe in bullying a record out of somebody to get them in the zone, he just wants to make you feel comfortable and he works with that. I like that about him," says Bolm. "We're definitely very proud of what we came up with. We took a lot of what we learned when we recorded the last record [2011's Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me] with Ed Rose, and we just applied it to when we were writing songs for this record. Combined with what Brad brought in, it came together better than what we would have ever expected."
The 12-song album is hardly a departure from the Southern California band's jangly, serrated hardcore, but Wood's touch on the album can be heard in the emphasis of more shoegaze-y guitar work and a clear, crisp sound, not unlike some of the band's '90s influences.
"We're right into Smashing Pumpkins, Far, etc., but those Sunny Day Real Estate and mewithoutYou records that Brad did are huge for us as well," says Bolm. "Also, one of the upsides this time was that Brad's studio, which is in his house, is about two miles from where we live, so it was awesome to sleep in our own beds every night and not have to worry too much about getting there on time and all of that stuff. It was a much more relaxed environment."
Known for his deeply personal lyrics and dear-diary-like vocal screams, Bolm, who was suffering from a blown-out voice when Exclaim! spoke to him, says the band's third album saw him once again contemplating his own personal stamp on the world around him.
"The ongoing theme of the record is the idea of mortality and how you'll be remembered in this world, and how at the end of the day you really don't have control over that. It's up to everybody else. So it's thinking about how you want to be represented and making sure you're leaving a good taste in people's mouths," he says.
The always-outspoken Bolm recently took some heat for comments he made about the Warped Tour, saying that Touché Amoré, who are currently on tour with goth-punkers AFI, would never play the popular outdoor punk rock festival.
"I don't take back what I said. That's the truth: I don't want to play Warped Tour," he reiterates. "But the bad part is when it doesn't really get explained that well and kids don't actually read the story, all they read is the headline. And they think it's me saying we're too cool to play Warped Tour. That's the part that bums me out. It has nothing to do with us being a cool band at all, because we're not cool. It has everything to do with not surrounding ourselves with stuff we don't want to be affiliated with. There's much better places I'd rather be, even just touring with a bunch of our friends on a small bill in a more closed environment, rather than playing a hot parking lot with bands I don't want to be around."
Bolm says, now that Is Survived By is being released, that the band are focusing on their current North American tour with AFI (including one Canadian show in Vancouver on November 2), as well as a headlining tour in Europe after that. He's also interested in pursuing his heavy hardcore side-project, Hesitation Wounds, featuring former members of Trap Them and Against Me! and a current member of the Hope Conspiracy, but says that won't happen until Touché Amoré take a break from touring. As for the couple of shows they've played with AFI, Bolm says they are getting a good response so far.
"It's okay," he says. "We're going into this tour knowing we're playing to their fan base, and a lot of these shows sold out in minutes. But people seem to understand us and get what we're doing. We got a lot of nice words after the show and it's gone well so far."
The dates left on the tour are below. Is Survived By is out Tuesday (September 24) on Deathwish Inc.
10/02 Albquerque, NM – Gasworks
10/03 Oklahoma City, OK - The Conservatory
10/04 Des Moines, IA - Wooly's
10/07 Boston, MA - Royale Nightclub*
10/08 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club*
10/10 New York City, NY - Webster Hall*
10/11 Philadelphia, PA - Theater of Living Arts*
10/12 Asbury Park, NJ - Starland Ballroom*
10/13 Oneonta, NY - Hunt Union Waterfront
10/14 Pittsburgh, PA - Club Zoo*
10/15 Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts*
10/17 Dallas, TX - Warehouse Live*
10/18 Austin, TX - ACL (The Mohawk)*
10/20 Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre*
10/22 Los Angeles - Fonda
10/23 San Diego, CA - House of Blues
10/25 Pomona, CA - The Fox Theater
10/26 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
10/28 Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst*
10/29 Reno, NV - Knitting Factory*
10/30 Arcata, CA - Humboldt University
10/31 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre*
11/01 Seattle, WA - Showbox Market*
11/02 Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom*
* with AFI