So the other day I interviewed the Christian Deathcore band, Toarn. Here it is:
TBD: Who am I speaking to? (for the readers)
T: Taylor Cort (drummer)
TBD: Could you give a quick background on the band?
As they started their first song of the first set of their first show with an empty club and ended the same set with a full crowd, TOARN new that what they started was only going to vault them into a well-received, heartfelt musical career. This heavy mix of metal genres and worship has been building buzz on the west coast since they’ve released two albums and have been touring since June of 2012.
With members from all over the western hemisphere all crossing paths at the right moments, there was no mistake that TOARN was meant for great things. Justin Wanless (Guitar) and Michael Roberts (Lead Vocals) often spoke of similar taste in heavy music, but one day they decided to set out and create their own noise for the world to hear. It wasn’t long after that they stumbled across Taylor Cort (Drummer), Kyle Nortan (Guitar) and James Kolstedt (Bass Guitar).
With early influences of post hardcore and metalcore, TOARN began writing their fast paced chaotic riffs that early fans started to take notice. As time went on, influences evolved as did the band. Though holding onto the many past influences, TOARN has taken notes from the eerie, doomy, slam music alongside technical riffs and ambient overlays with the end goal being a communication of deep feelings of darkness, despair, depression and in the end a way out towards salvation.
Even though TOARN grew a quick fan base after their first release, “PROTOEVANGELIU
“though TOARN is new to the face of the Christian Metal scene, they’re certainly coming out of the gate fighting.” – Mary Nikkel (of New Release Today)
“There is some really fantastic music here and you should do yourself the favor of checking it out. “brood of Vipers”, the title track, is just crushing and exactly what a metalcore song should sound like… Literally wall shaking stuff.” – ODIN (of The Ripple Effect)
Even though they couldn’t be more excited about their solid fans and community that they’ve built in Everett, WA as well as a growing following in the west coast region, TOARN ventures to reach across the map to the East side of the States and potentially cross the over to the Great White North in 2016 on their upcoming record. “This record, if not already, is going to really define who we are as a band and where we are headed with our tone as a whole. We have a lot to say and plan on sharing it with A LOT of people this year.” Says Taylor Cort (Drummer). “This is our opportunity to reach out to those that are in the same state as we are or have been; broken, alone, feeling betrayed and growing cold to the world as we know it. Our message to those hurting hearts is that there is HOPE, there is a way out and we are proof of that, but most importantly, they are NOT alone in this. Others struggle just like you, just like we have. We can all come together and be the love and the light for our fellow metalheads."
TBD: What is your full timeline [Editor's Note: originally discography]?T:
Formation- November 2009
First show- July 2010
Released our first album Protoevangelium
Signed to Itchy Metal Records- January 2013
Released our second album Brood Of Vipers- April 2013
Released our first music video for Brood Of Vipers- September 2013
Signed with Luxor and Releasing our third album Giant Killer- July 2016
TBD: Are there any other Christian heavy bands near where you guys are located?
T: There have been a few who have come and gone. The most notable would be Demon Hunter. A few locals that we loved and shared the scene with are Redeem The Exile, They Charge Like Warriors, A Hope Not Forgotten, Prepare the Bride, Dissimulator, Vises, Into The Flood, Destroy Lewis, The Fisher, Thorns And Thrones, I/Delilah, Believer and honestly quite a few others. All "Christian Metal" bands at one point in there career. Some are still going strong!
TBD: You guys recently were signed to Luxor Records. How's that experience been so far? Also a sub question, is Luxor run by Nick Morris of Cloud City Studios and As They Sleep?
T: We feel so blessed to become a part of the Luxor family! We've connected with their well received bands, As They Sleep and It Lies Within and we really look up to those guys so to join them on the Luxor roster means the world. When they would tour through, we would do our best to feed them and get a solid show booked for them. And we really feel like this label has that community feel and embraces that encouraging attitude where everyone works together to build each other up. That was one of our biggest deciding factors in signing with this particular label. Nick does work as a driving force for Luxor, yes. He's great to work with.
TBD: You guys have a new album coming out correct?
TBD: What's the theme behind the new record?
T: The new record, like the title somewhat implies, is based on "Giants" in our lives, struggles that everyday people go through just as we have. We are dipping into some deeper darker places that the mind and body can go to show our listeners that they are not alone in this fight. We all have our Giants to Kill. We all have something standing in our path and with Christ as our side and heaven at our backs, we can have the confidence to push forward and take on anything this world throws at us. We also hope to connect deeper with our fan base and build a community of love, hope and family. We are all in this together!
TBD: I watched your music video for "Bloodstained Love Story" the other day, and I have to ask what is the message behind it? I think I kind of understand, and my take from it was like "Sin is evil and it will eventually destroy you", "evil always turns on evil" that type of deal?T: You're on the right track! There are two separate stories going on in this video. One, you have a young female dealing with the evil that is self loathing and trying to find her value or self worth. As she struggled to feel any sort of good in her life she combats thoughts of suicide and depression. Really rough stuff but VERY real in our youth today. And two, you have a man caught up in his own world where everything is about him, the thrown in his as he idolizes himself. Using and abusing women, and incidentally causing self loathing issues for the female character.
Both are struck by evil, but only one reaches for the strength of God while the other relies on themselves to get out of their dark path. You can see for yourself what happens in the end.
TBD: How would you guys describe your sound?T: We are definitely metal. Started off with influences of post hardcore such as Zao, Haste the Day and Underoarh. But lately we have been pulling a lot of influence from bands like CREATIONS, Impending Doom and others that have evolved us into a more eery and technical heavy sound.
TBD: What gear do you guys use?T: Kyle Norton: "Personally I use a Jackson JS22 7 string, a Schecter Omen with Kalium strings & a Po X3 Live with the metal shop expansion pack, and the Shure wireless, Khaller strap locks too."
Justin Wanless: "Michael Kelley Patriot Low Boy Baritone guitar, Kalium strings, Axe fx ultra, Rocktron power amp when needed, and Jimmy Clip for noise dampening on the guitar. Line six wireless pack. Fuhrman power conditioner"
Taylor Cort: "A swing star pro series with a Gretsh Birch snare and Zildjian A Custom cymbals. Might be revamping my whole set up shortly."
TBD: What artists/bands have you been listening to lately?T: Talks at band practice as of late have brought up Silent Planets new sound. They are revolutionary in our modern day faith based heavy music. They will be going far. We've also been keeping an eye on Redeem The Exile and Hermosa. Both have new music in the works and we are dying to hear it all!
TBD: Is there anything else you would like to say?
T: We would like to say thank you. To you, for reaching out to a group of guys trying to make a difference. To everyone who has backed us and has been there for us, fan, friend, family, band, label, everyone. We wouldn't even be here if it weren't for the smallest acts of love and grace that we've been surrounded with. So as we move forward, we just want to stay grounded in that and use it to bless others.
Well that was a Tay of Toarn! Check them out! Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Check out Luxor Records! Thank you! And goodnight!
The Bearded Dragon