An Interview With Torche's Jon Nunez

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The Great Scott is tucked away on a street corner in Allston, Massachusetts.

If you stand in front of it, you can hear the hiss of the T as its doors close, transporting the denim-clad college kids that compose a majority of the neighborhood's population.

It's a venue that is a focal point in a thriving punk scene--one that is every bit as bustling, but far less alarming, than the neighborhood's traffic.

Torche, a sludge-slinging quartet from Southern Florida, played the venue for two nights in promotion of their new album, Restarter. If you haven't listened Restarter yet, you should. When I first discovered it, I was embarrassed for having no previous knowledge of the band that wrote it, and I immediately went through the band's discography.

Restarter, however, is different than the band's past releases. There are still doom grooves mixed with the melodic sensibility, but it's less hard hitting than past records.

"As far as the recording goes, I definitely wanted it to represent how we sound live. I feel our sounds have changed since we released Harmonicraft."

It's true: Harmonicraft is a great record, but it has more excesses than Restarter. When you listen to the former, you'll hear pickslides, scorching leads, and cleaner production.

In Restarter, however, it's stripped down--to the benefit of the record. There's no flash, just sludgy rock in an era where everything else sounds pristine.

Currently touring, Nunez reflected on the band's latest series of shows positively, and it sounded like he was looking forward to the remainder of it.

"(The tour) is going really good, actually," Nunez said. "We're stoked to be on the road with our friends Wrong, and also Nothing, which we are playing with and seeing for the first time. It's been awesome."

"There's a few really awesome, great nights," he continued. " The one that sticks out immediately was Least Palace in Toronto. And that was really awesome."

Restarter is the band's highest-profile release to date, and it has the fingerprints of four hard-working musicians who never gave up on their dream. Jon Nunez epitomizes this; he works as the band's tour manager, but--more importantly--he is their bassist.

They just signed with Relapse, a high profile label in the metal scene. And he is optimistic about the band's direction, and he put his past musical labors in perspective as Torche rises to prominence.

"(Getting well known) feels good." Nunez said. "We've been putting in hard work for so long, and (Relapse is made of) music fans.

They're fanatics. They work for bands that they care about... I think this album, signing with them lined up perfectly."

Despite this, there is no clean path to the top. The musical world is a hard one, and you have to put work in. This is true for Nunez, who had a sense of humor about his musical journey.

"To me, the way I always saw it, playing in the more DIY punk style. I just feel that some bands do get lucky, and it just clicks somehow. And the universe f**king delivers success.

I want to say, man; there's a certain window of time. Give or take--more likely to give than take--5 years, where you have to quote, unquote 'eat shit.' You've got to work hard.

You've got to stay hungry for it. You've always got to just push it."