Light The Torch, once known as Devil You Know, has gone through a lot these past few years, but the guys have risen from the ashes to bring us an amazing new album. Howard Jones (vocals), Francesco Artusato (guitar), and Ryan Wombacher (bass) quietly worked on what was to become ‘Revival’ throughout 2017. Joining forces with Mike “Scuzz” Sciulara behind the kit, they wrote and recorded the album without even their label or management knowing.
Light The Torch is set to release their full-length album, ‘Revival’ on March 30th, 2018 via Nuclear Blast Records.
We here at Overdrive Music Magazine had the chance to catch-up with the one and only Howard Jones to chat about the new album, and some of the journey the band has been on to create it.
I started the conversation by congratulating Howard on ‘Revival’. “Oh, thank you,” he replied graciously.
Moving to how the band worked under the radar on this album, I wanted to find out if that helped with their creative process by taking away some of the outside pressure at all? “Um, maybe, yes, I don’t know. [laughs] It’s hard to say. Ah, we just kind of had to do it. It was just one of those things, we had been stagnant for a long time, you know? And we had done an album in 2014, 2015, and here we are now 2018! So… just having all that dead space and everything we went through, we just wanted to do something, so we did!”
After having the chance to listen to the new album ‘Revival’, I wanted Howard to know how much the amazing chemistry of the band translates through the music to the listener. “Thank you,” he said. “Basically, a lot of the band hanging out. We went through so much, and then because of it, we bonded and it got past bonding. It’s one of those things now where we’re friends who work together, and we hang out when we’re not on tour. You know, we’re gonna go camping in a couple of weeks? That’s the stuff we do.”
He also went on to tell me about the experience of having the guys around throughout the recording process. “First time I recorded the album with everybody in the studio listening. I have never done that before! Not with Killswitch Engage. Not with Devil You Know. Not with Blood Has Been Shed. Just everybody was like ‘start to finish, we are doing this together’ and we did.”
We also chatted about how long the guys had worked on the album, and it was a pretty quick process. They didn’t muck around. They got straight down to writing. We are grateful for it. “I think it got written over a few months, starting the beginning of 2017. I think I started writing… I had some lyrics and stuff like that, and stuff that I jotted down; but I started piecing together Die Alone on our UK tour. So like January, February it started from there. I think we finished recording sometime this summer. I’m just so bad with dates [laughs]. Terrible.”
‘Revival’ has 12 songs that complete the album. I asked if there were any that did not make the cut for the record? He spoke about the band playing with the idea of a B side to the album, and they were having trouble with it, talking with the label they said they didn’t need one, so they moved past that idea. Howard did let me in one song that went little sideways. “But there was one we did, music was written, I walked into the studio and, you know, we’re hanging out. I go into the vocal booth, then I walk out and said: okay, guys, total honesty! This song and the lyrics suck, we’re got to shelf this. [laughs] two minutes later, I started another song. Everyone agreed, it was like, why are we doing this? The song’s terrible [laughs] yeah, that one’s on the back burner, its gonna stay there.”
First single Die Alone and second single, Calm Before The Storm was released this past week. I asked Howard how he was liking the responses so far: “From what I have heard, it’s good. I tend not to look at that stuff, but I mean, people like it: that’s great. I will keep plugging along, and hopefully, people will keep listening. I am grateful for that.”
As you can see from those singles, Howard is killing it with those clean vocals and does so throughout the whole album. Trust me, they are amazing. Not that it is new to hear him sing if you know Howard’s work through the years, you will know what I mean but I wanted to know if it was a planned-out flip, as Devil You Know had very little in comparison. “Well, it wasn’t like there was a whole lot of thought,” Howard notes. “It’s like we wanted to write, we started writing. It was kind of melodic, and well, we got to change the name. Well, let’s just really give it a bit of a flip. So, it’s what we do. I’ve been doing music for gosh knows how long. To me, it’s a bit of a departure. But at the same time… is it? I’ve been singing and screaming forever. I just mixed up the ratio. I just change the ratio a little bit, that’s all.”
Howard is such a great guy too speak with, I went on a little side note to ask him about working with Jamey Jasta and Dee Snider on Dee’s new album. It is something I am looking forward to, and believe many reading this would too. Here is what he had to say about it. “AS YOU SHOULD BE!” Howard stresses. “Because it’s awesome. How could you not? That album [whistles]… Yeah, just getting to be a part of that was an honour. It was awesome, and he really does sound amazing. And to get to write some stuff for him – get to sing with him – it was like, come on, how lucky am I? It really is bucket-list stuff. It was great.”
Closing the interview, we spoke about if Light The Torch was looking at hitting Australia anytime in the future? He let me know they are still working out all the details for the tour of this album, but had this to say: “Yeah, we’re working out all the touring stuff. If you had done this in a week or two… I’d probably have more info for ya! Yeah, we’re gonna definitely cover some ground with this album. Australia’s always a spot. I have actually shown up there early a couple of times and went fishing. It will be November at this point.”
I, for one, will be hanging out for the official announcement that will hopefully be in the next few months!
Do yourself a favour and check out ‘Revival’ when it drops on March 30th. In the meantime, keep those singles Die Alone and Calm Before The Storm on repeat.
‘Revival’ is out March 30th via Nuclear Blast Records. Pre-order your copy of ‘Revival’ now HERE!