Torche’s Meanderthal is definitely one of the best albums of the year. Accordingly, I listen to it more than I probably should (basically daily). We posted “Healer” some time ago. If that’s all you’ve heard from the record, you should be blown away by the sludge-pop goodness of “Grenades” (ignore pun), which you’ll find after my discussion with frontman Steve Brooks about his job in a pizza shop. (If you already know the song, listen again.) You’ll also find dates for the band’s tour with Boris, etc. But first, here’s Steve, the guy in the center in the Jesu shirt, and the rest of Torche playing “Healer” in Fort Worth in early May.
Now he’ll talk pizza.
STEREOGUM: Is the pizza shop the kind of place where folks come in and sit down to eat? Or mostly takeout? What’s it called?
STEVE BROOKS: Sit down restaurant and take out. Fellini’s Pizza. Definitely the best Pizza place in town. I work in Buckhead [GA], so most of the customers are rich and snooty and rarely tip. Fuckers.
STEREOGUM: What are your duties exactly? Are you making the pizza itself?
SB: Clean up messes, serve pizza and take money. I don’t want any other responsibilities, which is why I didn’t start making pizzas.
STEREOGUM: Hmm, any insight into what goes into the dough? Seems like that’s where the different restaurants differentiate themselves.
SB: I’m clueless about the dough and ingredients. I usually cut lemons, make iced tea and small shit.
STEREOGUM: Too bad you don’t make the dough. I was going to ask if there was some metaphor that extends to songwriting.
SB: Nah, I don’t think too much on the job. I usually talk a bunch of shit with my coworkers.
STEREOGUM: It seems like deep-fried pizza is popular in Scotland and Italy. Do you see any crossover potential in the States?
SB: Anything deep fried would work in the States. We’re fat fucks.
STEREOGUM: While on the job, have you ever invented your own signature pizza? A specific combo of toppings, or whatever.
SB: No, I eat the same shit every day. Experimenting ended up in disaster from experience.
STEREOGUM: What, for you, constitutes the perfect pizza?
SB: Ingredients that mix well.
STEREOGUM: What’s the most ridiculous topping request you’ve had to field?
SB: Anchovies. I just don’t get it.
STEREOGUM: Are your co-workers aware of Torche?
SB: A few of them.
STEREOGUM: You’re in the midst of various tours. So your boss must be cool with you taking time off?
SB: Yeah, I can go back whenever I want. I probably won’t if the band does me good for the rest of the year. Hehe…
STEREOGUM: When you tour do you eat pizza? Or do you get sick of the stuff?
SB: Not really. [But] I ate pizza mostly ’cause it was free and I’m poor.
STEREOGUM: In your experience, which towns have the best pizza?
SB: Miami has good pizza, but other than Atlanta and Miami, I rarely eat pizza. The pizza I had in Europe wasn’t as good as I thought it would’ve been.
STEREOGUM: What other jobs did you have prior to this?
SB: Awe shit … um …. UPS, Lawn Service, Retail, call center customer service, receptionist and random temp bullshit.
STEREOGUM: Can you imagine making music full-time without a day job?
SB: I can imagine it, but we’ll see what happens. I live pretty simple, so it’s a possibility.
- Torche – Grenades”Download
06/16 – Greenville, SC @ Gottrocks &
06/17 – Wilmington, NC @ The Soapbox Laudrolounge &
06/18 – Charlotte, NC @ Milestone Club *
06/19 – Louisville, KY @ Cahoots %
06/20 – Indianapolis, IN @ Dudefest 2008
06/21 – St. Louis, MO @ 2 Cent Plain $
06/22 – Tulsa, OK @ The Monolith
06/24 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah ^
06/25 – Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse ^
06/27 – Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves ^
06/28 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk ^
06/29 – San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit ^
07/01 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon ^
07/02 – Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds ^
07/03 – Orlando, FL @ The Social ^
07/05 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl ^
07/06 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle ^
07/08 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat ^
07/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church ^
07/10 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall ^
07/11 – Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East ^
07/12 – Montreal, Quebec @ La Sala Rosa #
07/13 – Ottawa, Ontario @ Barrymore #
07/14 – Toronto, Ontario @ Lee’s Palace #
07/15 – Buffalo, NY @ Tralf #
07/16 – Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop #
07/17 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Diesel #
07/18 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall #
07/19 – Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall #
07/22 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room #
07/23 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theatre #
07/25 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater #
07/26 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge #
07/29 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s #
07/30 – Vancouver, BC @ Richard’s on Richards Cabaret #
07/31 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre #
08/01 – Reno, NV @ Tonic Bar
08/02 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall #
08/03 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex #
08/31 – Orlando, FL @ The Back Booth
& w/ Howl, Shitstorm
* w/ Harvey Milk, Major Stars, Shitstorm
% w/ Coliseum, Howl, Shitstorm
$ w/ Clouds
^ w/ Boris, Clouds
# w/ Boris
[Photo by Jason Hellmann; left to right: Jonathan Nunez, Rick Smith, Juan Montoya, Steve Brooks]