When Touché Amoré takes the stage on Oct. 17 and 18, it’s going to feel a whole lot different than any of the post-hardcore band’s recent hometown shows. For one thing, the quintet will be headlining for the first time in awhile — after a string of dates opening for such legendary bands as Thursday, Converge, Rise Against and AFI — and they’ll also be returning to their roots to do it.
Rather than sticking to hits and newer tracks from last year’s Stage Four, the band has rehearsed an extended list of songs for this tour that they'll draw from to make every show a unique experience. They're also playing smaller venues, such as this week's stops at the Teragram Ballroom, with no barricade separating stage from mosh pit. The wild scene undoubtedly won’t be anything like their concert earlier this year at the Wiltern, where they opened for Thursday.
“This tour in particular we sort of looked at as an opportunity to make every night special in its own way,” says vocalist Jeremy Bolm. “We’re playing a lot of small rooms we haven’t played in six or seven years, so every night we’re switching things up a little bit and playing a lot of songs we haven’t played since 2010 or 2011 — but then we’re also playing a lot of stuff off the new record as well. We’re doing over 20 songs, and we’re really trying to make it career-spanning.”
Although Touché Amoré considers the current shows to be a bit of a throwback, Bolm doesn’t miss the DIY touring days of sleeping on floors and sharing a van packed with the band’s equipment. But while having hotel rooms and a trailer may be an uptick in the quality of life, almost every other aspect of Touché Amoré has stayed remarkably consistent. Over a decade-long career, the band have put out a new release every year since their 2008 demo, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon — a feat Bolm credits to growing together while also spending time apart.
“I think the fact that we’ve never been a band that’s lived with one another when we’re not touring helps,” Bolm says. “We get along so well with one another and have such a good relationship with one another that it’s not a big deal to exist in small spaces with each other, but then we get home and give each other a lot of space. We all have our own lives that take up all our time away from the band, so it’s like a reunion every time we get back in the van together.”
Along with the upgrades in comfort for their tours, Touché Amoré’s biggest musical indulgence over the years has been working with truly world-class producers. After crafting their raw-sounding second record, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, with Ed Rose (The Get Up Kids, Motion City Soundtrack), the group has called upon Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Sunny Day Real Estate) to take care of the mixing duties for the last two, on which they've explored a more layered, artistic take on post-hardcore. Bolm credits Wood’s relaxed mindset with helping the band deliver their two most highly acclaimed records to date.
“Working with Brad Wood for the last two records has been completely awesome,” Bolm says. “He’s such a kind and inspirational person, and he can talk your ear off more than anybody on Earth. He’s got a great story for just about every situation you can find yourself in, but he’s very easygoing and not very demanding at all. He’ll put his opinion out there when you ask for it, but his studio is in the back of his house so it feels like a very friendly environment.”
Bolm’s fond memories of recording with Wood may be influenced by both the quality and success of Is Survived By and Stage Four. Beyond the positive reviews and commercial success, the vocalist has another means by which he can consider Stage Four, in particular, a victory — it’s one of the rare times he doesn’t have any personal regrets about it.
“It’s a great feeling to look back at it and not wish we would’ve done something different — which I can’t say about a lot of our other recordings,” Bolm says. “There’s always something where I’m like, ‘I wish I could’ve delivered that line a little better’ or, ‘I wish we would’ve extended that part a little bit.’ But we put so much time and effort into making sure that everybody was on the same page with this record that thankfully I don’t have those feelings this time around.”
Touché Amoré headline the Teragram Ballroom tonight and tomorrow, Oct. 17 and 18.