“As long as there’s an honesty in what we’re doing, that’s what keeps people around: people go through these things that I’ve been singing about.”
Touché Amoré frontman and wordsmith Jeremy Bolm reflects on the raw and open truthfulness that bonds his band with their fans. It’s a quality notable on their upcoming fourth release ‘Stage Four’, which sees them taking on new depths lyrically as well as musically.
“The guys knew pretty early on what the record was going to be about,” he says. ‘Stage Four’ concerns the illness and death of Jeremy’s mother in 2013, and the lyrical content is a heavy listen. “They’ve been with me through everything so it’s sort of to be expected… and I think it helped with writing the music, they had that in the back of their mind.”
Recording was always going to be difficult for Jeremy, and there’s an emotional edge to his voice when describing the process. “I waited until we had a few songs before I started writing lyrics,” he explains, “My mum was sick for about a year and a half before she eventually passed, so there’s so many different things I could touch upon. I wanted to wait so I wasn’t left with all these things in my brain and in the front of my thoughts with no way out.”
With such delicate lyrical content, Jeremy took a softer vocal approach; a change he felt was necessary. “The guys were bringing in all the musical elements, and these things warmed me in a way. The melodies and stuff were very pretty which inspired me to do the singing element. There are certain parts where it would make no sense for me to just be screaming, I would be doing the band a disservice.”
The album is littered with references that only the most die-hard of fans will be able to piece together. It’s these little breadcrumbs that Jeremy revels in from other musicians. “There are a lot of references that if you follow the band or what I’m doing you have almost an inside scoop on what’s going on,” he reveals, “and what’s really being sung about.
“I’ve had a couple of people ask me, ‘Oh what’s 8 Seconds?’ That’s the name of the venue we were playing in Gainesville the night that my mum passed away. As a music listener I love that stuff. I nerd out on things like that all the time with certain bands I love, where you can paint the picture of what’s going on. That can only make me love the song more.”
Touché Amoré are an enduring band. You might think now they’re nearing their tenth birthday, celebrations would be afoot; but Jeremy doesn’t quite agree. “I’ve always had a problem with us being called a band that started in 2007, because I don’t consider a band an actual band until they’ve put music out,” he insists. “Our first demo came out in 2008 and we didn’t play our first show until 2008.
“You can’t call yourself a band unless you’ve recorded music and played a show. When you’re in high school and you’re in a band: ‘Oh my friend plays drums, I play guitar – we’re in a band!’ Well, you’re not.”
Though he doesn’t dismiss the idea entirely. “Maybe we’ll try and book a show for the anniversary of our first show which was March ’08, I believe. It’s still crazy, in my brain we’re still in the van, I think it’s the punk rock stunted growth thing where you feel younger than you really are.
“If you’ve found punk rock at some point in your life then in your brain you’re always going to be 19 years old. Then you wake up one day and you realise, ‘Oh shit, I’m still wearing jeans and a band t-shirt every day, am I an actual adult?’”
Touché Amoré’s album ‘Stage Four’ is out 16th September.