TOR Interview and That new Album!
Awhile ago I got tipped off about TOR (the guy who released that amazing Illinoize album!) releasing some new tunes and what you saw was this very excited post (HERE) debuting two tracks one older and one newer that I figured were just random tracks he was making for public consumption. And, by the way, how oddly prescient I was in uttering the name Emancipator as well.
At any rate, in talking with TOR, it was made known that there was an impending album release. One that was ready to roll and ready to shoot out to the masses. Tor was then gracious and kind enough to have a chat with me regarding the album and what he’s been up to in general. Playoff hockey game be damned, we had quite the nice chat and all was ready to be released to the wild when I got word to wait.
TOR had secured a relationship with then unknown record label Loci Records, the brainchild of the one and only Emancipator. And now, the album is released, 8 months later, but still as fresh as it sounded when I first heard it back in the spring.
So check the tracks below, read the interview (make sure you listen to the last track..might be my favorite of the album) and follow TORS (Soundcloud, Facebook) and Loci Records. And remember to listen to those tracks posted in April (HERE) to round out the album.
Waxhole: Where did the inspiration to this album come from? Was it a natural step from illinoize or did it take time to determine?
TOR: I don’t think it was a natural step, and it actually took a really long time after illinoize to come to the point that I was going to try and make this album. For the first year or 2 after illinoize came out, I was all over the place, and was going to try and do more indie themed mashups, but nothing was meshing as well as illinoize did. I had the idea to make an album that sounded like this for a long time, so eventually I came to the point where I was like OK I’ll give this a shot.
Waxhole: The tracks off the album are very organic in that there is a lot of live instrumentation and vocals…this sounds in line with what your musical background is, did you feel that it was a natural fit using instrumentation or was that hard to master?
TOR: I definitely had the concept of having lots of live-sounding sounds. A lot of the sounds are samples, and some of it is live instruments that can be played through a sampler, if that makes sense. I really wanted a gritty but organic sound to it all. I actually don’t play any real instruments besides the keyboard, and can fix up any mistakes on the computer, so its more of a technical process than playing an instrument normally, so yes, to get it all to sound right was difficult to master.
Waxhole: It is hard for me to discern what is live and what is sampled…which speaks to how well you did the production. How much is you, guest artists and how much was samples?
TOR: All of it is either me, or samples. In the future I’d like to lay down some cello or guitar recordings if I can track down some talented players. I guess more specifically, I played the bass on every song, some of the string parts, arranged the drums, percussion, electric piano, and a few other random instruments using the keyboard. Sampled instruments have come a long way in the past few years, and can sound super real. But I’d say that’s maybe 30 or 40% of it, and the rest is samples.
Waxhole: Samples or not, the instrumentation gives opportunities for an epic live show. Is there any thoughts on doing this? Did you make this album with that in mind at all?
TOR: Thanks! I’m definitely brainstorming ways to do this live. I wasn’t really letting that determine how I made any of the songs, so now I’m trying to wrap my head around ways to do it, as I don’t want it to sound like I’m up in front of people pressing play on a CD. Also learning about all the software and ways of doing it, so am planning to spend the next few months figuring all this out.
Waxhole: The album has a real flow to it. When you were making this album, did you find as the tracks started to take shape that they were all coming from a similar place in terms of inspiration or process?
TOR: It’s kinda weird how that turned out. 4 of the songs were done over a year ago, with a long break in between production, I kind of got stalled. Then I just committed myself to hibernating all this past winter and getting it done, and as I made the new tunes I kind of figured out where they were going to go, and had a few of them blend together with the previous one in mind.
Waxhole: Wow! That had to have been hard to pick up the thread after so long. So illinoize obviously was a huge success in terms of buzz and exposure have you seen any negative backlash to the album? Like people expecting more of the same and not understanding the new direction?
TOR: Yea illinoize definitely got peoples attention, and even now 3 years later it still gets a few hundred downloads a week. The new stuff is definitely a whole different thing, and I’m not sure if fans of illinoize will be into it or not. Mashups are funny because people are into it to hear the artist they like getting remixed, not really for the guy remixing it, so there’s not really that element when it’s an album by just me.
Waxhole: What is next for you and what should we look out for in 2013?
TOR: I’m happy to announce that I will be supporting Emancipator on his winter North American tour! So now I’m just totally focused on getting the album to as many ears as possible and figuring out the live thing. I think performing it in front of people will be a crazy experience, despite the fact that I hate being the centre of attention. Also hope to get some more remix opportunities as I love doing remixes, and down the line I’ll start to tackle album #2, which is most likely going to be a similar style to Drum Therapy.
Posted By: Hypo-Luxa