It’s no secret Melbourne is having a pretty tough time of it lately, but that hasn’t stopped all those musical types churning out some amazing and fresh music. Especially on the heavier side of the spectrum. Torrential Thrill are one such band, the Victorian heavy rockers aren’t letting something like a global pandemic slow them down. Rather than spend time whining about wearing masks or not going to the footy the band have put the final touches on their latest single Itch.
So with interstate borders firmly closed we used the appropriate social distance of Perth to Melbourne to scratch Torrential Thrill guitarist Steven Morell‘s itch and get some background on the band and the new single…
Kicking things off, tell us about the new single Itch. What’s the inspiration behind it?
Itch is a track about your average stand-up, citizen Joe.
The role model, the nice guy, the quiet one with the loving family, the “found him at the bottom of a ditch with a suitcase full of money and a car full of dead hookers” kind of guy. It’s a classic tale of a double life, Jekyll and Hyde, which so many people seem to have these days. That’s why the pre-chorus has the news headline, “All the papers are talking, it’s the worst we’ve ever seen, oh it’s just so shocking” – In a way, its kind of a ballad, a little Ash Madison.
No one saw it coming. But there were signs.
The track explores the idea that everybody has an Itch within, that they just need to scratch. It might be that drug, that gamble, that habit you kicked years ago. It might be that dream, that career you inspired to have, but never got off the ground.
Something below the surface – good or bad, that draws you towards a vice, a passion. Something that keeps scratching away at you, refusing to go away. We’ve all got one, what’s yours?
There’s some spoken word dialogue in the song, it sounds like it may have been taken from a movie, where did that come from?
It’s a deleted scene from the sequel to Goodfellas… is what I would like to say lol.
Nah, its just Chris, getting funky with a megaphone. Adds to the theme of the song and helps to transition the heavier verse, into that more melodic chorus. We thought it would add to the tragedy of the piece and help to tell the story a little more.
With your previous music videos you don’t shy away from getting theatrical and trying to do something different, can we expect the same if you do one for Itch?
We do enjoy a good music video ha-ah. I’m not sure that they really add much value to the overall track or piece, but they have been fun to do. I think the way that Animal came out was really good and it lightened that song up a bit. We did talk about doing one for ITCH, but the theme is quite complex and we have a few more tracks to come, so thought we might keep this one old school and leave it all with the listener’s imagination.
Talking about music videos, and if you have plans for one, has the current lock down restrictions made you rethink the process in making a video? Have you come up with any out-of-the-box ideas you could share with us?
It definitely has, we have scheduled and rescheduled plans to shoot a video about 3 times now and eventually have just parked the discussion until things settle down. To be honest the restrictions really have. Why do we need music video’s all the time? Why is it that a track cant be out there without having to have some extra fluff over the top to rebrand it in order for it to be a single or marquee release? I’m all up for doing a clip, but nowadays think that unless the clip really adds an extra dimension to the track – it’s a waste of time and energy. Some cool cover art and a good stereo should be all you need lol
With touring plans seemingly on perpetual hold, what are your plans to Torrentially Thrill us in the near future?
We’d like to think that LIVE music is on the horizon of getting back in the game, but until the world gets a vaccine for COVID, it seems unlikely that we’ll see any momentum. Personally, I have been hell bent on notching this 5 year plan and bringing album number 3 to the table in 2020, but for what? If its rushed, not released properly and you can’t promote it properly its basically just going to be a flush. For now we’ll be sitting tight and putting extra time into the writing of this next chapter. In a way, it’s simplified everything because there is no timeline or agenda. Hopefully there are rainbows on the horizon, with plenty of good tunes to come.
You’ve played some pretty high-profile shows in the past like with Fozzy, both bands share the same fun attitude. Did you pick up any tips from those guys
Playing those sorts of shows reminds you of how much of a toll being on the road takes on everyone involved. When FOZZY came to Melbourne for that show they were pretty flat, looked like it had been a hard tour, Chris Jericho was battling a cold or some throat issues. It’s not all glitz and glam when you’re putting together those shows, I think that’s what people easily forget about the entertainment industry. Its hard work, cutthroat and there are no guarantees.
They still got it all together though and put on an awesome show. When you are given the opportunity to step up with bands like FOZZY’s calibre – its really humbling, especially when you realise how nice and down to earth everyone who works on the production crew and bands were. That was a really fun night for us, especially because we played alongside Dangerous Curves who we’re good mates with. The bar is always set pretty high when you play in front of a large audience because it’s your chance to try and connect with as many ears as possible, but I just look back on the night with so many laughs.
Funny story actually, I hit the can with a mate of mine who came to watch us play and as we’re finishing up he spies this dude in the corner and totally freaks out. “is it really you?” he keeps asking. I was just about to bail cause it was all very weird until I realised that it was Joey Jordison, so random. We ended up hanging out for a bit while we watched the rest of the show.
Aside from releasing your latest single Itch which must make you very happy, what are you doing to keep sane and positive during lockdown?
We’ve all got families, hectic day jobs and kids running around to keep us out of trouble ha-ha. Its been a good excuse to get the home studio setup and keep the writing energy up and we’ve managed to remotely collaborate on some cool stuff which may just find its way onto this next piece. Outside of that, trying to keep active, keep smiling – all that healthy body, mind stuff.
To mask or not to mask, that is the question. Will Torrential Thrill be masking up?
Absolutely mate, mask up. Whatever we can do to try and minimise the spread. Sign us up.
Last but not least, something less serious and more insightful to your world… If you were isolated with only one album what would it be and why?
I thought about this for a bit. I would struggle with one album, I need some variety – much more of a mixtape kinda person lol. I’d probably go right now with Bryan Adam’s Reckless album (but the 30th anniversary edition with the bonus tracks). I’ve got a reasonably broad range in music taste, but this is an album I come back to regularly. Was one of the first bands I really got into as a teenager. Has light and shade to it which gives it something for a lot of different occasions. Hopefully the isolation didn’t last too long though, I’d probably be ruining my choice and looking for something else after about a week!
Fair cop, but we’ll take it! All the best with ‘Itch’ mate!
Interview by Gareth Williams
‘Itch‘ hits streaming services tomorrow!