Interviewing being tortured

Hey punkers!! Today we’re having an interview with a punk band from California… The Tortured!!

1. How are you doing these days with Covid?

Personally, I am unemployed, but I am healthy, I try to eat well, and exercise 5 days a week. Although I will admit I’ve been drinking alcohol a little too much. Haha. Sam is also unemployed. Derek works from home, and lives with his girlfriend. JJ is a firefighter, and also lives with his girlfriend. We’ve only practiced or recorded 5 times in the last 9 months due to the Corona Virus.

2. You were born out of the ashes of Elegant Trash in Berkeley, California… How did you meet?

Sam and I met at an open mic in Berkeley, California at a bar called Bec’s. He was playing the house drum kit that night for all the singer/songwriters there. He liked my songs, and we started playing shows together in the Bay Area. We were just a duo at the time. I also played lead guitar from January-July 2012 in a band called, “Elegant Trash.” In April 2013, Sam had to quit the band, and I had to look for another drummer. I played a lot of solo gigs and open mics for a while. I actually ended up hitchhiking with just a guitar and backpack throughout the west coast. I played any coffee shop or bar that would have me. I traveled from San Diego all the way to Canada, and then I moved back down to San Francisco after doing that for eight months. I found a different drummer, and a new bass player for The Tortured. They were in the band from July 2014-December 2016.

3. Why “The Tortured”?

I came up with the name because every single person is fighting a battle that we can’t see. Everybody is tortured inside on one level or another through the experiences they go through. That is part of the human condition. No life is perfect no matter how much somebody is shown smiling, or having a good time. Some people struggle financially, others are hated because of the way they look, even wealthy people struggle to please their parents, and have obligations that they wish they could just make disappear.

4. Who are your influences?

That’s always a tough question, but here we go! The Dead Kennedy’s, The Clash, Black Flag, Nirvana, Social Distortion, The Offspring, Rancid, Operation Ivy, Screeching Weasel, The Casualties, Blink 182, Green Day, Tupac, Beethoven, NWA, Ice Cube, Biggie, Wu Tang Clan, Beck, Radiohead, Best Coast, NOFX, GET DEAD, Nothington, Dead To Me, The Lawrence Arms, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, The Doors, Lana Del Rey, Elvis Presley, Eddie Cochran, Richie Valens, Carlos Santana, Jefferson Airplane, CCR, Best Coast, Bikini Kill, The Distillers, and so many others. The list goes on and on.

5. “This society” is a crazy song and a rad video… How were you guys inspired with this song?

Well, from June 2013, until March 2014 I was homeless. I was hitching around the west coast, trying to become this rockstar. Finally I moved back to San Francisco. My best friends Adam and Lyndsay said that I could crash on their couch while I look for a day job. I finally found a good place to work after a few months with the help of my friends. Through all this I felt the pressure of trying to find a “normal” job to pay rent. I got rejected by so many jobs. I had only a little experience. And, I also saw how society affects people. How it puts all in this small bubble. It tries to contain us in a box. How it tells women that they need to be skinny and feminine. How it says that men aren’t supposed to cry, or have any emotion. It tries to make us feel small and limited to work as police, businessmen, doctors, or lawyers in order to be rich and live in this plastic life filled with happiness. The American dream isn’t what we were promised we were kids, it’s a facade. They tell us to dream big, and that we can do anything that we put our minds to. Unfortunately this isn’t true. The American dream rags to riches story isn’t real. Most people do not achieve upward mobility. Even in the music industry to have to water down your music to be accepted by the masses. You can’t be “edgy” or have a mind of your own. You have to follow the formula that they have created. That’s why we play the music we play, and look the way we want to.

“Society video”

6. Tell us a little crazy history of the band?

Well, I already did in an earlier question by accident. Sorry about that. I’ll tell you a little story about our “Leeches on the Empire” tour, though. We set out for a 1 week California tour on May 26, 2015. By the time we got to play a show in Yorba Linda in Orange County. The Bassist (Keanan)and Drummer (Brooks) who were in the band at that time hated each other. This was after we played 4 shows in Southern California, I climbed into the RV to talk to the bass player. He said that he doesn’t want to play the show because it doesn’t feel like it. He tells me that he wants to grab a flight back to San Francisco, I told him how much hard work I put into booking this tour, and did everything I could to convince him to stay to finish the tour. Keanan still says that he doesn’t want to play. I get out of the RV, and I am seeing red. I feel this rage overcome me. The place we were playing was an All Ages Pizza cafe with a bar inside that only served beer and wine. You could get alcohol with a valid ID. The owner had taken out all the furniture, and stored it next door, creating a dance floor. I went next door, and I started smashing chairs. I was so angry. This was a sold out show, and I was ready to rock and roll! My drummer comes in, and says you have to stop. I do. Then, the bass player comes out of the RV when it’s time for us to play, and decides to play the show. It ends up being our best show of the tour, and I made some lifelong friends that night with the local Orange County bands that played. We ended up going to a campground down the street from the venue, and partied all night in these two cabins that my friend Ryan from the band, “Terminally ILL” had rented out. I’m still friends with everyone in that band, and we still play shows together.

7. Anything coming up for your band that you are interested in sharing?

We just came out with a new music video. It’s called, “Unite.” This is also the title of our new EP, which is going to be coming out on Spotify, and all music platforms on January 1, 2021.

8. Something to add?

On behalf of the band I’d like to say thank you for this interview, and getting our name out there. I’d also like to include some social media links where you find our music. We’d really appreciate it if everybody could please like us on Facebook! Thanks!

The Tortured contact

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