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New Music Friday: Torus

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Torus are a young hard rock/grunge trio from Milton Keynes/Northants. Their debut EP showcases their considerable powers, so New Boots spoke to singer/guitarist Alfie Glass for the lowdown.

Who is in the band [and what do they play], and where are you all based
Alfie Glass – singing and lead guitar; Harry Quinn on bass and backing vocals; Eleanor Lawrance on drums. Harry and Eleanor are from Milton Keynes and Alfie not far away, living in Towcester.

How did you get together?
So I started Torus around January 2019, starting with releasing demos of my own songs. Recording vocals, drums, bass and guitar in search of a killer band. Instantly hooked up with old bandmate Harry Quinn, who would become the bassist. Us two had not been communicating for about a year so it was really exciting to be playing together again. The search for the right drummer took about a year. We had played with the likes of Jack Gooderham from Wyldest and CUSP, and Lewis O’Grady of Tragic. They had both helped us out with gigging until we found the right drummer for the band. It wasn’t until December 2019 that we tried out Eleanor on drums, and it just clicked. She just lays down tight heavy grooves, giving me and Harry space to really jam out, and made the guitar riffs sound even bigger. Which was exactly what we needed. Not to mention before meeting Eleanor we kept saying to each other, “How sick would it be to have a girl drummer?”. So that’s when the band really came together; it took a good year.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
The music definitely takes inspiration from bands like Queens of the Stone Age and Kyuss, with groovy riffs that make you wanna shake some butt. When I started this band I had a strong vision of it being a really tight exciting rock band with great songs. There’s obvious influences in there like Black Sabbath. I can’t help but mention when I was 12 turning 13 I got the chance to be mentored by Toni Iommi [guitarist of Black Sabbath], so since then I have been even more inspired as he made so many iconic heavy riffs and he’s a big part of the way most metal bands have sounded since. Older bands bands like The Doors, Led Zep…you know all the classics, the list goes on.

You put a few songs out in 2019. What was the reaction like?
Yeah we released a couple things in 2019 and the response was decent. Our music was travelling around people that were going to our gigs and our friends started to make a small scene. But we didn’t release enough music really in 2019 as the band wasn’t properly formed. Since Eleanor has been in the band we’ve been releasing a lot more music like our single ‘The Feeling’ and the new EP, which has had a much better response!

Tell us about this new EP.
We’ve just released a brand-new EP named ‘Next Time / Follow / Blurry’. A three-track EP with new songs that have never been released before. Since the release of the EP people seem to really be liking it. ‘Next Time’ is a teenage struggle song, feeling lonely in lockdown and in some serious need of human contact, which I’m sure most young people get. ‘Follow’ is kind of contradicting the first in a way, trying to appreciate what’s around you when in lockdown – there is places to go, things to do, life ain’t that bad. ‘Blurry’ is completely irrelevant to lockdown but talks about the toxicity of confusing relationships, and anger towards that. Ya know just the old teenage drama hidden in a heavy-rock song. But the EP is doing well and has helped us out, exposing us to more people. We’ve got a lot of new music in the bag, so be sure to check us out on the streaming platforms.

What are your live shows like?
For me our live shows are what we do best. Every time I write a Torus song I have the vision of us playing live in my mind – every time. The songs are designed for a live audience, we really do hype the crowd up because we wanna see them moving and having a good time! So our live shows are normally pretty sweaty, loud, and we like to keep them exciting with new music.

How has lockdown been for you?
To be honest lockdown has been great. There’s been a lot more free time to write new material [a little too much free time, maybe]. I feel like we’re a great team even in lockdown because I record the music, and then Harry mixes all the songs, and we work on it together. Same goes for the artwork for all the releases. Of course there are some major downsides to the lockdown. We can’t meet up and practice, and we miss playing gigs so much. We can’t wait to get back on the stage. But overall it’s been positive and very productive.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Hollow Bones by Rival Sons. Great album, pretty sure I listened to it all the way through just dancing around my room. This is what lockdown has come to man. Going a bit mad, but oh well.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
It has always has been to be a successful musician; in this case I want Torus to be successful. I’ve never had a back-up plan and to be honest I still don’t have one, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have music man. It’s a massive part of me and how I live really. Also the band has been flirting with a major label since the summer of 2019, so we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and see where it takes us!

‘Next Time / Follow / Blurry’ is out now on all digital platforms

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