By Sarah Kitteringham
BeatRoute is proud to premiere Torches to Trigger’s music video for “Clay Minds.” Directed and produced by Sean Smith, the video is the first for the four-year-old socio-politically inspired melodic punk band. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Kreuger describes the video as focusing on an epiphany had by its main character.
“He seems really down and out, and he has this mental breakthrough that coincides with the lyrics, so he is holding up signs that have messages on them. Stop fighting each other, stop seeing the economic divide between classes, stop being divided by religion. All of these things, all of these positive messages and let’s work together and take care of this planet we have right now.”
CALGARY — “I love science and I love cosmology and astronomy, and I like big ideas.”
So begins vocalist and guitarist Chris Kreuger, the frontman for Calgary pop punk quartet Torches to Triggers (TTT). The band is made up of multiple music scene veterans, including Kreuger, guitarist and backing vocalist Kyle Wilson, bassist and backing vocalist Corey Tapp and drummer Phil Schumacher. Since their inception in 2011, the band has been releasing and touring at a ferocious rate, arguably becoming Calgary’s biggest pop punk export. To point, they’ve toured Europe and North America, opened for the likes of Guttermouth, Authority Zero, Strung Out, The Ataris and Canadian hardcore icons Grade. This is on the strength of two releases: their 2012 debut Doomsday in Douglasdale and its 2014 follow-up Modern Day Monsters, which are both slick, cerebral, melodic pop punk released internationally by an array of labels. Heavily inspired by Winnipeg act Propagandhi, TTT has morphed from aggressive to a more pop oriented sound in their four years. Fans have clearly embraced the change.
“The first album, we always describe as melodic hardcore punk. Punk basically describing the pace of the music, melodic being all of the guitars and bass constantly doing different things, and the vocals are singing, but I’ll scream too. So that’s where the ‘H’ word comes in,” describes Kreuger.
“Our songs like [the fourth track from Doomsday in Douglasdale called] “This Moment” are basically love songs. Those were the songs that were being latched on to by people. But you know, it’s a balance of what do you want to do and what do you think people want to hear. So we decided in a group discussion, what direction do you guys want to go with the next album… Fans, were enjoying the poppier side of what we were doing. And because, for me, from my perspective, from playing so much metal in past bands, I was really enjoying playing pop punk. It’s different and exciting writing hooks. So we went pop punk. Now we were melodic punk, at least for the second album. So it was melodic, but it was still fast.”
Their next project will be even gentler: the band is playing their first (and possibly last ever) acoustic set at the Blind Beggar Pub in Calgary on Friday, March 13.
“You have to step out of your own comfy zone,” says Krueger of the decision to play their aggressive, driving songs in an acoustic format.
“You can’t be all techy when you’re playing with brushes. So this is probably the only time we’ll ever do an acoustic show….. But it’s also expanding our audience.”
He continues, “I am so excited to show people the songs. It took us like a good four or five jams until I could see everyone in the room was feeling it. They’ve got this country, pop basslines. [Bassist Corey Tapp] has a lot of experience with pop cover bands, so he really brings out some different things in the songs. A couple have come out beautifully. They sound better than they do as punk versions.”
The band will continue on their non-acoustic trajectory on their upcoming tour of the United States and plan on recording again in the near future.
See Torches To Triggers on tour in the United States in March.
March 16: Portland, OR @ Rotture
March 17: Oakland, CA @ The Night Light
March 18: Los Angeles, CA @ The Redwood Bar
March 20: Winchester, CA @ The BUM Steer
March 21: San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
March 22: Las Vegas, NV @ Dive Bar
March 23: Tempe, AZ @ Tempe Tavern
March 24: Denver, CO @ Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub
March 26: Colorado Springs, CO @ Triple Nickel Tavern
March 28: Spokane, WA @ The Hop
Torches To Triggers play an acoustic show in Calgary on Friday, March 13 at the Blind Beggar Pub. Watch the “Clay Minds” stream on BeatRoute.ca. Listen to and buy music from the band online at their Bandcamp page.AB, Alberta, Blind Beggar, Clay Minds, Torches To Triggers