Full of emotion and earnestness, Touche Amore's 2009 full-length debut …To The Beat Of A Dead Horse was a walloping punch to the gut of the hardcore scene. Their 2011 follow-up Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me kept the jabs coming.
The Los Angeles group's popularity has grown in large part to their relentless touring schedule, and last month they played in Southeast Asia for the first time. Vocalist Jeremy Bolm kept a diary for West Coast Sound of their visit, and here it is!
November 14th, 2012
Auckland, New Zealand to Singapore
This is day 63 [of our tour]. Our booking agent has always called our ways of touring “unhealthy” and jokes how we are “the dumbest band he books” due to our constant work ethic that has little to no regard for our personal well-being.
We arrived in Singapore safely. The drive [to our hostel] was absolutely mind blowing. The city skyline at night puts all other skylines to shame. Some of the most outstanding building structures I've ever seen. It's so massive and just keeps going.
November 15th, 2012
The boys all get some Thai food and I find a place that has American style Thanksgiving food. Since we'll be missing Thanksgiving for the fourth year in a row, I decided to have my own in the food court that day.
We head to the local record store to meet the owner, who has been selling tickets and promoting the show as well. His name is Chan. The store is basically a glorified walk-in closet. He asks us to autograph a couple copies of our first album that he had brought to the store.
We arrive at the venue, and it is obvious that this show is going to be happening in a place that probably shouldn't have punk shows. The show is happening in Fort Canning's “Old Married Soldiers Quarters.” Fort Canning was built in 1859. It survived World War II and is still standing strong today. It's a tiny room with no stage…the perfect recipe for a great show.
It starts pouring rain outside. Not like that random burst of rain that makes the streets in Los Angeles smell like wet gravel when we've been in a dry spell. This is tropical rain like I've never seen. It reminds me of the rain you see in movies about Vietnam.
At this point I see that Chan is selling our autographed LPs as “limited” records for twice the price we'd ever want anyone to pay. I'd be a liar if I said I was comfortable with it. But hey, he helped with the show and if the money goes back into his store, I'm happy to help.
We start the set and the room explodes. Though there is no stage, kids are still jumping off anything they can, including Tyler's bass amp. This is one of those moments where you realize you have the coolest job in the world.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Here is where we encounter the first of many bathroom differences. No toilet paper, just a hose. We [had been advised we should pack] a roll of TP each. Something tells me Americans just aren't smooth enough to [use the hose] without making a mess. I don't trust myself, so I'm sticking to toilet paper.
The show tonight is in Damansara at OVO Live Bistro. It's a massive room. There are five local bands on this show. My two favorite bands of the night were Memorial (which ended up featuring our drivers) and a band called Daighila. The singer of Daighila gave me a shirt before we played and I proudly wore it on stage, as they just blew my mind.
The room is packed as we start the first song. Like an explosion, kids start jumping off everything. I feel bad for a lot of the show-goers who wanted to sing-along up front because they were landing pads the entire time. Here we are, playing one of the wildest shows of our career in Malaysia.
Check back tomorrow for part two of Touche Amore's Southeast Asian tour diary, as the band heads to Indonesia.
Follow Jason Roche on Twitter @JasonRocheLAW.