Light The Torch Interview

Nuclear Blast

You Will Be The Death Of Me is the latest album from Light The Torch. The trio of Howard Jones (vocals), Francesco Artusato (guitar) and Ryan Wombacher (bass) recruited Whitechapel’s Alex Rudinger to play drums on the record. Wombacher fills us in on the album, the return to touring, the importance of videos and other topics.

Chad Bowar: How did drummer Alex Rudinger come to play drums on the album?
Ryan Wombacher: We had seen his drumming with Whitechapel and his videos online and thought it would be a great fit for the songs we have on this album. So we got in contact with him to see if he was available and interested to play on the record. He crushed it.

How did the songwriting process for You Will Be The Death Of Me compare to Revival?
With Revival we were just finding our sound and experimenting with what we could do together. This time around we had a better idea of the direction we were going. That added with a few years on the road together, made this album flow. Really stoked on this album. It has a little bit of everything.

What will be your strongest memory of the recording of the album?
Everyone gets along so there is non-stop laughing. It’s hard to really pick a moment. Lots of funny outtakes and jokes get turned into drum beats and vocal pitch shifting. It gets ridiculous.

Did you struggle with track order at all?
Track order doesn’t end up being much of an issue. Francesco always tends to have a good idea of the order early on.

What led you to work with producers Josh Gilbert and Joseph McQueen again on this record?
After working with Josh and Joseph on Revival and having a really comfortable but hard working environment, we knew they were the guys. They were familiar with our sound and working with them again proved to be a really good decision. They always come to the table with ideas and hit it out of the park on this one.

How has the band’s sound evolved from Revival?
After touring for a few years off of Revival, I think that’s when we really became a band. We got comfortable with our sound and figured out what worked for us. I have always liked a good combo of heavy and melodic and I think this new album has a good balance of both.

How did you decide to cover the ’80s Terrence Trent D’Arby song “Sign Your Name?”
Francesco and Howard were hanging out after the studio one night and it came on during dinner. Francesco heard it and said he could make a really cool and heavier version of it and thought it would carry over really well. I heard it once and loved it.

How was the video shoot for “Wilting In The Light?”
Oh man, talk about sore. The video for “Wilting In The Light” was directed by Ramon Boutviseth. It was the first thing the band had done together besides a photo shoot. The last time we played together was over a year ago. You never realize how out of shape you are until it’s too late. (laughs) It was a great video shoot, and the director and crew were awesome.

How important are videos in album promotion these days?
Nowadays content online is everything and everyone has a computer in their pocket. I grew up on MTV so maybe I’m a little biased, but I think music videos are the perfect way to get your art to people in a different way. A really good music video with a good story line can sometimes make a just ok song memorable for a generation.

What inspired you in creating the album artwork?
Francesco was the one behind the design and layout of the artwork. I had the chance to recreate the album artwork in airbrush form for a raffle. Looking at that design, you just see more and more the longer you look at it.

What led to the decision to wait to release the album?
When the lockdown started and the rumors started to spread about no touring for the foreseeable future, we wanted to wait and see how things played out and to get a better idea of how long it might be. But it gave us time to plan everything out and in the end it was worth it. It’s nice to have an album drop just in time for summer.

The timing seems to be good with shows starting to resume. When do you anticipate you’ll be able to play live again?
With the new album coming out June 25th, we hope we can be on the road sometime late summer. Fingers crossed.

One thing that resulted from the pandemic was streaming shows. Do you think that will continue in some form? It seems like a good way to reach fans in areas you aren’t able to tour and could generate additional revenue.
I think we will be seeing streaming shows become more of a thing as time goes on, it’s another way to make great content and get you to a large audience. But it will never replace the real thing!

Since the album was in the can and there was no touring, how did you occupy your time during the pandemic?
I’ve always had a ton of hobbies and struggled to find the time to do them all. This past year I spent time checking off some bucket list items and doing some backpacking trips.

What are some of your non-musical interests and hobbies?
I’ve always liked being outside. I like to surf a lot. When we are home between tours, I do a lot of fishing and camping. I’ve been spending a lot of time fly fishing up in the eastern Sierras lately.

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Thank you everyone who has kept checking in on us and getting through the year together. We’re looking forward to getting back on the road and playing live shows again. Check us out on our Instagram.

(interview published June 24, 2021)

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