TOUCH – Interview

"Just try to let go and start to appreciate..."

 

Touch are a 5 piece hardcore band out of Budapest Hungary, their new record will be released this week on Chiller Than Most Records. “Rearrangement” is streaming on bandcamp! If you haven’t heard yet, check it out at https://touchyoursoul.bandcamp.com. (Interview originally released in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 4. / pics by Milan Kara, Peter Fuzfa and Alexandra Mate)

 

 

Chiller Than Most: Please introduce your record for us.

Laci: Our 7 inch will be out really soon! 01 Growing Consciousness – In my opinion, the lyrics are unlike our previous record’s – “Illusion of Truth” – atmosphere. It reflects a more positive outlook on life; for, it is about swimming towards self-awareness. These lines would also be perfect for a youth crew band, and that is why Packo’s featuring matches/fits well with this song. (Last March, we had the opportunity to book a show for Justice and Not Afraid in Budapest. We were hanging out with the guys all day before the show and checking out all the cool places in the city. We got to know each other during the sightseeing. Touch played at that concert as a support band and after our set we received some positive feedbacks from the Belgian guys. Before the recording session, we realized that Packo’s strong, intensive voice would be perfect for the last four lines of the first song. We discussed this with him and fortunately he said yes. It is a pleasure to us, and we are very thankful for his help and for his time. The result was a blast!) 02 Out of the Void – We are slaves out of the boxes and expectations created by our society which can easily force us into servitude. Permanent reflection is neccessary to deal with these “chains” and get to know ourselves, our true selves better. This song is my personal favorite. It is short, straight forward, and it has Adam’s untraditional solo which is more than awesome. 03 Years Of Conflicts – Compared to the other lyrics, the topic is more specific and written by Balazs and I. It is about the people in our lives who are not capable of stepping out from their selfish/egoist world and not understanding other’s viewpoints. The dialogue is essential, and probably the most melodic song on the EP. 04 In Progress – Undisguised confusion about our future. We should find our own path through life. It may sound cliché, but It’s a relevant topic for every single member of the band at this point in our lives. This one is the most musically diverse song on the EP.

 

Chiller Than Most: Touch delivers their musically and lyrically thought-provoking debut EP ILLUSION OF TRUTH. Are you satisfied with the results and how have people’s reactions been so far?

Laci: I’m proud to say that overall I’m satisfied with the results. We were prepared when we went to the studio, we did the best we could. It’s always hard not to focus on the mistakes, of course there are many things – mainly with the sound and how we selected the tempos of the songs – that I’d do differently today, but there’s a point when you need to finish your work and appreciate what you’ve done. We used all our opportunities, we discussed our problems, hopefully we will be even better by the next recording session.
Balázs: The responses for Illusion Of Truth were way better than expected. We received a lot of positive feedback from our friends and family in person and online as well, but strangers sharing their opinions with us was more surprising, and also motivating. The first pressing for our tape sold out in a week, we recieved orders from countries like Japan, Germany and the USA as well. Many distros also ordered some tapes, it felt fucking awesome shipping packages to the other side of the world, haha.

 

Chiller Than Most: When are you going to record the Knight Rider theme song?

Laci: As soon as possible, since our collaboration with Chiller Than Most depends on it. Oops, was this a spoiler?

 

Chiller Than Most: How did the band get together and how did you assemble the current line up?

Dani: Before Touch, Laci and I played in a 90s influenced metallic hardcore band called Iron Chains. In the summer of 2014, after one of our rehersals he asked me to stay a bit longer. He showed me some new riffs which were totally different than our sound. On that day we created the first song (Virtuous Circle) of our nonexistent band.
Laci: A few days later we asked Balazs -, who is the singer of the hungarian Dirty Money, Cold Reality – if he wants to join the band and get wild on stage with us; Patrick, the womanizer to be the second guitarist, Tomi – the best oldschool tattooer of Budapest – to play bass. For a few months we have rehearsed with this lineup, but Patrik had to move back to his hometown and Tomi was quite busy and had no time to stay with us so our numbers decreased. Luckily the problem was solved soon, the lineup was final by april of 2015. Our two good friends joined the band: Lóri, who previously played in many youth crew bands and makes the biggest sacrifies since he’s the only one who has a car, joined to play bass, and Ádám, the master of solos, filled the second guitarist position.

 

Chiller Than Most: Who came up with the name of the band and does it have a special meaning? Please tell us why you picked this name?
Balázs: I just realised that the guys don’t even know the real source of the name, haha. I’m a TV show addict, I’ve seen countless series and episodes. A couple years ago I was amazed by an american series called Touch, with Kiefer Sutherland who’s known for 24, and I thought that if I ever had a spiritual hardcore band, this name would be perfect for it. There is no real connection between the story of the series and the meaning of the band’s name, I just liked it. When Laci showed his ideas to me and asked if I want to sing in the band, I came up with this name and luckily everyone liked it.

 

 

Chiller Than Most: What is your message that you want to give to people through the music? What goals do you want your current band to accomplish?
Laci: We don’t have a particular message, our first and most important goal we have is to have as much fun as we can while creating songs and playing shows, and for Balázs to dance on stage as much as he can. If other people like it too, it’s a pleasure to us.

 

Chiller Than Most: You try to write about things that affect you personally and also can TOUCH and inspire other kids. Actually you are a very positive dude, but all the lyrics on every level, personal, social and spiritual are a bit dark and heavy. This duality is really interesting… I mean the principles that you try to express in your lyrics are based on using negative energy and harnessing and transforming it into something positive.

Laci: You see it right, there is a contrast between my basic nature and the mood of the songs, but it’s only the surface. Apart from the usual positive worldview, the drawbacks of life do concern me. Hardcore is a great form of expression to release your frustrations, and as you said, to turn them into positive energies. For me, writing lyrics was a new challenge. I always wanted to express my thoughts in some form, but I never wrote them on paper. Cliche or not, hardcore is not just about writing mosh-positive riffs (which is also important, haha), it’s about sharing your ideas within the community you’re involved in. Knowing this, I tried to do my best.
Chiller Than Most: The first song on your ILLUSION OF TRUTH release has a spiritual vibe, can you give us some thoughts the lyrics to VIRTIOUS CIRCLE?
Laci:After a few failures we often feel like we’re victims of vicious circles: chains of events that push us deeper and deeper, as if we were determined to fail. Problems after problems that make us unable to see clearly. We accept our own bad luck, we blame things on the inevitability of failing just to bypass our own responsibility and blame everything on some invisible, unknown force of nature. It’s true that there are situations that call for an extreme, almost superhuman power of will but those rarely occur in everyday life. We need to get our heads straight, be aware of our own capabilities and do everything in our power to get out of our mess, leave behind the thought of predetermination and move forward step by step to create our own virtuous circle to find a way out.

 

Chiller Than Most: I was thinking about two other lyrics on the EP, maybe you’d like to talk about them. RAISE YOUR HANDS and ILLUSION OF TRUTH…
Laci:The lyrics to Raise Your Hands were written by Gergő Ofner and me. They were written in a time when I was interested in a lot of topics but I had trouble articulating my thoughts. But when we got together, I started talking about something and the brainstorming just kicked off, and we completed the lyrics in a few days (just in time for our first show). The song is inspired by re-evaluating things that are said to be dogmas and the experience of the continuous fluctuation of our world view that we used to believe was more static. The first half of the title track deals with these topics, too. I was influenced by a university paper about the limits of knowing the objective truth and whether it’s even possible or if it even exists. The title is a reference to this. The paper examined the contrast between the reality created by our words and the world that is independent from them. In this system our own opinions and reflections, and our ability to support our argument gain more weight.

 

Chiller Than Most: Touch is a straight edge band, but it’s not the focus of the band, I mean that it is an important issue to you as individuals, but as a band you don’t find it necessary to push or promote edge. Do not get me wrong, I don’t care if a band is edge or not, to me if their music is bad ass, their message sincere and they have awesome cover arts and designs, I am all for it! What do you think about this issue?
Laci: When we started Touch it wasn’t a straight edge band, so we didn’t think if this could be part of the concept. By Lóri joining this changed, but we still don’t feel like we should become an “outspoken” edge band. Being straight edge is an important segment of our lives, but this isn’t shown in either the lyrics, nor the symbolism of the band. Creating my actual “playlist” it was never a viewpoint if the band was edge or not, I try to be more open minded, so I completely agree with your standpont!

 

Chiller Than Most: The LOJ influence in your sound is more than obvious, did that happen accidentaly, or did you set out to sound like LOJ when you first started playing? Tell me about your influences besides LOJ.
Laci: I won’t lie, Lion of Judah is one of my favourite bands. Both the music and the lyrics are unique and inspiring. The retrospective sound created with the help of the legendary Don Zientara, which brings the Dischord sound but is still slightly different, drives me mad. We tried bringing in as many influences as we could, but the writing is not neccesarily a conscious job. Many times we didn’t have any ideas, we were just jamming in the studio. What influences could I name? Bad Brains and Faith/Void would definitely be on my thanks list if I knew them, but Reason to Believe and Burn also influenced us in a big way. Burn is a bit different from the others, but the mood of some of our riffs wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for them. Desperate Measures and Lights Out also should be named.

 

Chiller Than Most: Besides LOJ and Mental, in your opinion what bands changed hardcore for the better in the last ten years? Which band gave new impulses in the hardcore scene?
Balázs: Angel Dust – Mixing Bad Brains with a bit of rockish sound brings a freshness to the scene. Turnstile – They mix today’s sound with the sound of the 80-90’s. They’re not my favourites, but what they do live is amazing. Tons of energy in them.
Laci: Give – Incredibly creative sound and imagery mixed with intense live performances. Definitely a unique band in the scene. We are love! Blacklisted – While all of their releases are different, their discography stays coherent. From the in your face We’re Unstoppable through the grunge and Death in June influenced No One Deserves To Be More Than Me, to their new album, they were able to reinvent themselves and are still bringing new impulses to the scene of the last 10-12 years. Cold World – If you’ve seen their video with Sean Price you don’t need an explanation.

 

Chiller Than Most: Last words?

Laci:Our friends, Bluesbreaker from Kiev, are going to record their new LP soon, It’ll be a blast! If you’re into Helmet, you’ll definitely dig the new songs! Keep your eyes on them! Thank you for the interview!

atimental

atimental

1997: My high school classmate played me the Flex Your Head compilation on his walkman. Twenty years ago my life changed forever.
2003: Breakthrough put out their demo tape.
2005: Mental released their LP called Planet Mental.
2013: I started my fanzine called Chiller Than Most.
Based in Miskolc, Hungary.
atimental

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