Interview by Tracey Moyle – Music Maven Events
Brisbane heavy rock band Torizon have been through a metamorphosis over the last few months and have an exciting new line up and new music on the way. On January 1st Tracey Moyle started the new year off chatting with lead vocalist Mish about the new direction they were heading and the brilliant musicians who have joined the band ready to take on the world in 2020 and beyond.
You’ve had a few line-up changes over the last few months with some of your members taking a different direction musically. It’s exciting to hear you have some amazingly talented musicians joining Torizon to start of the new decade. What can you tell us about your new line up?
“Yes that’s right, a couple of the guys wanted to explore more progressive style music and the others wanted to pursue more Gojira, heavier, darker sounds. I guess the vision of the band was no longer the same, so we decided to part ways and pursue what we wanted to do individually. Creative differences.”
It sounds like from what I’ve heard you have some pretty awesome musicians who have join the line-up?
“Yes. I was in limbo for a good month. I was still going to make music and then I had my partner from Tria Mera and his drummer, Mike (Radeck) and Matt (McRae), both of them filled in for Wallapalooza. And they were going to help me out like they always do. We have a big studio together, it’s like a big music family where we help each other out. They were going to fill in and play until I found new permanent members but it happened sooner than I expected so Sara (Louise Allen) contacted me, she’s a videographer, photographer through the day, has the same musical influences as me, graphic designer, the perfect package. I’m not just a singer, I like to be involved in the writing process, I play piano, I like to help, if I’m not in the song writing process it’s hard for me to come up with lyrics and melodies that are really good, or at least I’m happy with. Like every musician I’m pretty critical of myself until its really good. I’ve never had anyone write music with me, Sarah has been the closest anyone has ever been and dare I say pretty much exactly where I go with my brain. It’s like ‘this is what I think and this is what I feel and this is what should come across and how this should be executed and this passage should be this’, and I’m thinking it and she’s doing it. It definitely has been a great asset that way. Aaron (Hose) is on drums. All four of us have formal music education. Aaron and Sarah have degrees in music. Aaron studied percussion and he’s amazing. His influences again are along the same line, like Gojira, Flyleaf, Lacuna Coil style of music, Evanescence. I love that. That’s his style and it fits in really well with Sarah. Damien (Rechagias) is a sound engineer, lighting guy and a bass player. He’s been playing bass for 20 years and he is so solid it’s insane. He brings his own flavour but at the same time it fits in so well. He plays more Tool style of music, its progressive, it’s really cool but at the same time it fits in so perfectly, it’s almost like Lego bricks. It fits in different influences at the same time but creates something really cool and dark. And the darkness is something I wanted to purse because I love that and that’s one of the creative differences with the previous band, I love bands like Lacuna Coil and Gojira, there is a lot of darkness to their music, the rawness, I love that. I love emotive music and I love the heavier aspect of music, I want to create that and I didn’t want to compromise on that anymore.”
It sounds like you have found artists who are on your page. By doing this do you think it will take your music, not in a different direction but add new elements to the sound? What direction musically are you wanting go?
“It is heavy rock/metal but very dark. I can hear it in my head. It’s full of heavy riffs, tones we are picking with the guitar and time signatures we’re playing with, some are very Tool-esque but have a commercial chorus and some brightness to it in the chorus. It’s heavy rock, quite dark. I would probably put it in the alternative category.”
Music with a dark element usually comes from the deep in the soul and that’s the music that touches people.
“And that’s the kind of music that saved my life when I was 15/16 and it’s the same healing that I’ve pursed for so long and I’ve never had it so clearly with a bunch of people that are not just willing to create it that’s not the point, but that’s how they feel and that’s what they create with me. So it’s not just me saying play this, it’s all of us on the same page.”
You have a new single coming out very soon.
“Yes, it’s called Find my Way Out. A bunch of new songs coming out are going to highlight things that are probably more for women. There’s a new song coming out about women’s health and how it’s not taken seriously in the public health system. That comes from my own battle with chronic pain and why it took so long to get diagnosed. Find My Way Out is written about people in positions where they are being made to question their own sanity. Lots of gaslighting and stuff like that. People in that position can lose their identity and you know what to do but you’re stuck. It’s written about that, it’s written like ‘find my way out’ of that situation. Its heavy, but it has a big chorus that is super light and backed by this heavy guitar.”
So it has that dark and light aspect to it?
“Yes and that commercial aspect to it which is what people like and what I like as well.”
Will you be touring the single soon?
“Yes. So we will start recording the single at the start of February and we are working with Robb Torres (formerly) from TRAPT (currently Robbery Inc) . And it will then go to Capitol Records to add their final touches. So that whole process takes 3 to 4 weeks for one song so we are starting that in February, we aim to have that finished end of Feb start of March. We will be doing a single launch around end of May and we will be doing a national tour as well as an East Asia tour which I can’t say much about just yet.”
And your upcoming shows, you’re touring with Seraphic, Devonian and For The Wolves?
“Yes it’s Devonian’s EP launch. It’s their long awaited EP, which is pretty awesome. We did their single launch about this time last year, which was one of the first singles off the EP. So we’re playing at their launch on the 24th January, the Australia Day weekend at The Woolly Mammoth with Seraphic and For The Wolves. They are all the bands I really love and always back up.”
You’ve recently done a cover of Sally’s Song from A Nightmare Before Christmas, with Seraphic for Christmas, how did that come about?
“We did that cover as a thank you for all the love and support we received this year. It’s not easy starting a new band obviously. And it was just being a very new band our EP didn’t come out until July 2019 and in that very short time we’ve had a lot of good opportunities and received a lot of support from not just the fans, who have been amazing but fellow bands giving us opportunities and helping us other out, producers and people I’ve dreamt of working with like Robb, so it was a thank you for everyone for being so awesome. With Sally’s Song, I’ve wanted to cover that song since I was 16 years old so we created this cover. The original was sung by Sally Finklestein and it’s a really cool piece and highlights her sadness for Jack (Skellington, A Nightmare Before Christmas) and she’s like, I love Jack but he’s not listening to me and he’s never going to accept my feelings, and then I also took inspiration from Fiona Apple who’s got this really cool orchestral passage and same with Amy Lee who had the tempo but slower. We used the same key signature as Amy Lee just a faster tempo and inspiration from all three of those pieces. We did that with Sam (Wolstenholme) from Seraphic. Sam did the piano and vocals with me. We added some sound scapes, some crazy ebow on the bass, and the chorus to make it dark, some distorted guitars. We changed the meaning of the song a little bit because Sam and I did calling out vocals to each other. So I sung the first verse calling out to Sam and Sam did the second verse and the last verse we did together with the acceptance that it’s not meant to be. So we’re releasing a film clip to that very soon.”
Was the video fun to make?
“The film clip is of the process. All of us just jamming together and individual takes. Sam came and jammed at our studio to get the sound down. There’s also our recording process and my crazy dance moves in between.”
Did you say Sarah was a videographer?
“Yes she did the whole thing. She’s amazing.”
It sounds like you have the pieces to the puzzle come together with the band.
“Yes the band is a business. It should be run like a business. To be honest it’s not about the money but when there’s a lot of people putting in their time and you’re not really making money on it, you want to keep it smooth and seamless and streamlined and transparent. It’s great we can do it all in-house. We have our own studio fully setup, it’s our rehearsal and recording studio. Between us we have five studios. So we can do all of our recording demo’s in house. We do as much as we can in house so we spend the money where it’s necessary and needed and do what we can in our own studio but at the same time I would throw all our money at the music aspect if what we were doing at home wasn’t up to scratch. But we’ve got people qualified in engineering so we get to do all our in-house pre-production and it is pretty high quality.”
Over the time I’ve been doing this it has stood out to me that the most successful bands do run it like a business, at band meetings they leave the ego at the door and keep it about the music.
“Definitely and that’s one thing that’s so effortless, Damien came in and after two jams we’d written a new song with everyone together. It was effortless, it’s like the complete package. It’s been going really well. Ego, there’s no room for it. You put in your creative process which is great for your individual flair you want to put into the music but as a team you’re family and you treat each other with respect and give each other the creative space. We’re such a collaborative band that if someone had a lot of ego it would probably not work out. I want everyone to have equal opportunity to collaborate. We all click so well with each other, it’s like the only way we know how to write music, it’s not like one person writes one song and brings it in, we write it all together.”
What’s your vision for the band going forward?
“Honestly play as much as I can and what we’ve discussed in meetings is that we are going to be doing lots of singles. There will be lots of singles coming out spaced out throughout the year and then in 2021 we will be going to LA to record with Robb and that will be a whole album. This year is about doing a lot of single work. The singles we’re going to dropping we’ve already written them it’s just a matter of recording them now. Lots of writing as well. You have to write 20 songs to pick 5 best ones. We’re taking a break between our January show and May to reset our rig because we want to come back with a new live set up that will have samples, triggered lights, smoke machines, it will be a real theatrical experience. So we are taking few months off to set that up ,practise it record singles and play as much as we can. As much as I love playing live I think it does get difficult to do both, we write and play at the same time. So we want to take a few months to breath and focus on creating music. The vision is to keep creating music, I mean I’ll do this til I’m 100. It’s to level up, do national tours then do international tours, do international supports. Bottom line is to make sure the music we put out there is quality. I think if you build it and it’s good quality it will all happen.”
You mentioned earlier the band members influences, who are yours?
“My influences are not metal, Fiona Apple, Mazzy Star, Tori Amos, all very strong independent women. Devin Townsend, Florence and the Machine, I love Machine Head, Evanessence, Flyleaf, Lacuna Coil, Gojira. A mix of all of that and that’s what I want to implement in the new music. It will be taking influences from all of those people.”
And that is what will give you your own style, you will draw from your own influences and your band members will have been inspired by different music.
“Usually yes, but this time we are not too far away from each other. They do like different stuff but the majority is quite similar influences. Apart form the pop stars I mentioned. The new music will be a good mix of all of that. I finally feel like I’m at home with a band. Everyone is excited and keen, it’s good to see everyone excited for it and there will be a lot of good things happening and we will just keep everyone posted on social media.”
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