LIGHT THE TORCH INTERVIEW
Twinmusix got to speak to Francesco from Light the torch about their new album and more.
TM - This is Elizabeth and Amelia from Twinmusix.com, we are here with Francesco from Light the Torch, thank you for having the interview with us today we appreciate it.
FA - Thank you, It's my pleasure.
TM - How's everything been going for you?
FA - It's been good, we finally released this record after a long time of waiting. As you might know, we finished the record in February 2020, we just had to wait and finally, we got to release it. It's such a good feeling and so far it seems like people like it a lot, it's a very exciting time.
TM - Congratulations on being number three on the Billboard charts for the current hard music album and in the top ten for five categories, how does that feel?
FA - It's great when you see things like this, it's unreal in a way and it puts a big smile on my face.
TM - what was your writing and recording process for "You will be the Death of me"?
FA - I usually start with writing a bunch of songs. In this case, started writing 2 to 2 and a 1/2 years ago. We always try and have more songs that we are going to need for the record because you never know which songs are going to make the record. I make music, send that to the guys and Howard and Ryan give me their opinions or feedback and after that. We just keep working on the music till it's time to go to production. We always do pre-production to give us a kind of an idea of what the record is going to sound like. I had some time off, I mean not time off, just time to keep writing kind of re-evaluate certain things. After that, I went into the studio to do the final takes, so the process is kind of a long process. We have figured out what works for us, it's very important for us not to be rushed. I like to have time in between different sessions in the studio so we can just revisit a bunch of things. Everything keeps getting worked on till the last day till we decide, ok now we're done, so it takes many months of working on songs.
TM - How do you pick which songs you use, is that difficult for you?
FA - It's not that difficult because of how Howard connects with certain songs. I write like 20 songs and we get to the studio and there's a couple of songs right away and he's like I want to work on these and try to record these. When that happens naturally and quickly you know they're going to be great songs or a great performance. Sometimes they take more time to try. I don't know to connect right away, I guess those are the songs that we end up not putting on the record because to me, it's very important that the music connects with me. I love when he sends me a text after I send him a song and a day later he sends me a text saying I already wrote the song. To me, that is a sign of a good song. It spoke to him and it happened very naturally and like I said, all the main songs all the singles are songs that happened like that, nothing was like pre worked a million times in the studio.
TM - You worked with produces Josh Gilbert and Jason, what was it like working with them?
FA - This is the second record that we have done with them and we liked working with them the first time, that's why we chose to do it again. The whole vibe I like them as people and the whole working environment is so mellow and relaxed. They have great ears, when you work on music for a long time over a year and you are writing songs and having ears that you trust in this case the two of them it's really good to have outside feedback and I think they understand the sounds of the band. They understand the potential for certain parts to be great and when Howard can shine so they are good with that. As I said, it's such a mellow vibe so it doesn't even feel like you're going to work, you're just hanging out with friends.
The first Light the Torch was all seven-string, when we were doing Devil You Know, I was playing both 7 and 8, sorry my bad we have one song on the first Light the Torch record with an eight-string. It's fun, it's cool to have an extra note. I feel like this time around we are just keeping it in a certain range and even though I'm playing a 7 string I'm not the type of guy to have the lowest note you can play on an instrument. In every song just because my guitar is in drop A many of the songs don't have an A. It would be the same as if you were playing the piano and every time you've had to play the lowest note on the piano it's not necessary. Most music is not written like that. I think by having an extended range guitar you just have more space, so you can try different things a little more.
TM - Alex is playing the drums on your new record, how did you get him involved with your band?
FA - I have known him for a while and he and I did a project with a bunch of musicians years and years ago. We recorded on that so we were familiar with each other and kind of talked to him a few years ago when we were looking for a drummer and unfortunately he was busy with Whitechapel at that time. When it was time to think of a drummer to play on the record for me that was the first choice and fortunately he was available. It was such a good experience, he is an incredible Drummer and he is mellow, fun and very laid-back, it was a very good vibe.
TM - In 2018 you changed your name from the "Devil You Know" to "Light The Torch" do you think that made a distinction of music differences between the bands?
FA - Yeah, we got to the point even if we weren't going to change the name we did want to play music because before that we were writing music with the drummer that we had at that time, the music has a different approach, a different vibe but when it was just the three of us we had an idea of what we wanted to sound like and it happened at the same time that we had to change the name. For us Light the Torch is a new band, a lot of people see it as a name change, but the way we see it is a new band. It's like the three of us stay the three of us but it does sound like a decent band even the way approach working together and recording and yeh it's very different.
TM - Something people may not know is you're an amazing concept artist and a designer and you have your websites, can you tell us more about that?
FA - Thank You, Six years ago at this point I needed a hobby, at that point music felt a little bit too much like a job. In a way of dealing with lawyers and with my previous band All Shall Perish and then Devil You Know, I was kind of like I need a hobby and it started from there. I have always been passionate and had that creative aspect, always paid attention to artwork and write about it. I like going to museums and visual elements have been a big part of my life. I started with album covers and then from album covers, I moved to Productions like TV shows and video games. It started as me having fun then it became a career that I could stop doing music and dedicate my time just doing that, but it's still so much fun because now anytime I want to take time off from music I can find a project and work on that. I also found out how much it helps my creativity to find different ways to apply my need of doing art, so it's a great way to keep it fresh.
TM - You also designed the last two album covers for your band Light the Torch, can you tell us the inspiration behind those album covers?
FA - First of all Howard always gives me the idea for the album title and then I think of what the image could be. On the first record I had a completely different cover and then a fairly big band released a similar album cover shortly after I was done with the artwork and I sent it to the label, then we decided, ok we have to start over and I came up with that idea and it's just a bit something more classical visually.
With the second recorded, I wanted to do something a bit edgier and more colourful. I started to think about the artwork on the second record after we were done with the first session of pre-production, where I started to get an idea of the sound of this record. I started from the ideas of colours to me the music was sounding, blue and sounding certain kind of elements I hear in our music, for example, some kind of influence from the 80s and that's why there are certain elements in the album cover. I like the fact that doing the artwork is what the music is for me on that Pacific record, it's almost like a more complete way to present a product you work on the music and you also work on the visuals.
TM - They are cool Album covers as well.
FA - Thank You
TM - You have an upcoming festival Blue Ridge Festival, what can fans expect?
FA - Yeah we have five or six festivals in September, a lot of new material will be played. We recently did a Livestream and that was our first time performing our new songs and obviously, that's going to be part of the show in those festivals. We can't wait because those songs are really fun to play, we can't wait to see the crowds reaction to those songs.
TM - If you could have any band play one of your songs, what band would it be, what song would it be and would it be in your style or their style?
FA - Oh dam that's hard, it's a great question, it is one that requires a bit of thinking. Do you know what, I love Deftones, I think I would like to hear one of our songs done by them and in their style.
TM - What was your favourite memory of watching someone else perform live, can you tell us a story?
FA - I mean Honestly, one of the first concerts I went to as a kid my parents took me to see Elton John and Eric Clapton, it was my first time in a big Stadium, I must have been 5 years old or something like that. It was this massive crowd and an awesome concert. I think that's my first time seeing one and back then you know the internet was not as big as it is now so you can't experience visually show like that, it was the only way and it was a big soccer stadium in Italy, probably that is my first big concert.
TM - What a cool concert to be your first Elton John, that's so cool.
FA - Yeh absolutely amazing.
TM - Is there anything else you want to say to your fans?
FA - I want to thank everyone for checking us out and listening to our songs and streaming our songs, it's making us feel good about what we do. That's a very essential part of doing what we do. We can't wait to come back to Australia, it's literally one of our favourite places for shows and in general honestly its one of those places if we go to Australia it's like can we stay longer and just spend time there, so hopefully play shows all over the world again.
TM - We will see you somewhere on the road, Thank You for having this interview with us today we appreciate it.
FA - Thank You, have a great day.