Interview: Touché Amoré

Touché Amoré - Photo courtesy of Deathwish Inc.

Touché Amoré – Photo courtesy of Deathwish Inc.

It’s impossible to mention any of the following band names – Defeater, La Dispute, Make Do and Mend, Pianos Become the Teeth, Touché Amoré – without some reference to “The Wave.” The term, which is a self-prescribed moniker for this quintet of post-hardcore bands, dates back a few years and has been proclaimed far and wide in nearly every bit of press surrounding them.

But Touché Amoré singer, Jeremy Bolm, laughed and shook his head when discussing the topic, insisting that it’s not so much a movement, as purported, but rather a proclamation of friendship that became misconstrued.

“It was an inside joke blown entirely out of proportion,” he said. “It was an excuse to get a friendship tattoo, basically.”

Of course, the members of the five bands didn’t actually get matching tattoos, but the idea of “The Wave,” although maybe silly in retrospect, is a nod to the power of music and how it can bring together like-minded individuals from all over the world and build solid, lasting relationships.

This includes not only the bands that play this kind of music, but the community surrounding it, which brings together fans on an international level.

Moreover, Bolm explained that “The Wave” could theoretically be extended to include a handful of other bands who are doing similar styles of music with the same kind of attitude backing it, an attitude which essentially entails passion. This is something he specifically feels has been lacking from a lot of music in today’s climate.

“Music has been…flatlined for so long. And it’s been cluttered with the most dishonest, dog-shit, rockstar attitude bullshit, boring, mosh, ignorant, like, embarrassing music,” he said. “It’s insincere and it bums me out.”

That’s why “The Wave,” as tongue-in-cheek as it is, is so important for people like Bolm, because he feels it is bringing recognition to the response toward music that is simply regurgitating whatever is trendy or whatever sells.

“There’s such a cool special thing going on right now…and I’m so thankful to, like, say I can be a part of this. [There are] so many young bands right now that are all just simultaneously putting out music that [is] exciting again,” he said. “It’s cool that people are noticing this world and giving us opportunities.”

In particular, Bolm noted that many of the lesser-known post-hardcore revival bands have been touring with bigger acts, many of which are the bands that first inspired them to begin playing music. He cited Pianos Become the Teeth touring with Coheed and Cambria, La Dispute touring with Thrice, Make Do and Mend touring with Hot Water Music, and his own band’s springtime European tour with Rise Against.

“We could break up tomorrow and I’ll be OK with it because I’ve done more than I ever thought I could, and I’m thankful for everything,” he said, sharing that he is stoked for his own opportunities, but more pleased that younger, up-and-coming bands are getting recognized, whether by the media, by new fans, or the music industry. “It’s exciting when your friends do special things, and that’s been happening.”

Of course, with all the new friendships that are made and relationships that are fostered on the road comes the downside, which is the sacrifice made regarding the ones back home.

“When you’re gone eight or nine months out of the year, you come home and you don’t even know where to begin with reconnecting,” Bolm explained. “You get a big disconnect with people.”

He shared that he misses his family when he’s gone, and that touring so often makes it difficult to have any kind of romantic relationship as well.

Because of that, he said it has forced him – as well as the other members of the band – to reevaluate the importance of certain relationships, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly isn’t easy either.

Still, when weighing the pros and cons, Bolm can’t help but love life in Touché Amoré, even with its many challenges.

“We just don’t know how to have a normal life, I think,” he said, referring to constantly being on the go.

But ultimately it’s what he and the other members signed up for, and on the days when they might have their doubts, playing shows especially serves to reinforce that choice.

“Seeing kids react to what you’ve made is so exciting,” he said. “That’s easily the most rewarding thing.”

Touché Amoré plays tonight at Magnet Club in Berlin. The show begins at 20.00.

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