You're talking to John Ferguson Lead Vocalizer and part-time roadie. I'll get the other guys to chime in when other opinions are needed. SImon (bass) and I have known each other since middle school, and were good friends until he left High School early. I didn't see him again until after he began working with Ben(Rhythm Guitar), Adam (Lead Guitar) and Dan (Drums) at a local grocery store. They had been jamming regularly, and I was invited by Simon to come see his band perform as an instrumental act. I was blown away and immediately went to one of their practices where they invited me to try-out. I jumped at the chance, but had to deal with the problem that I didn't know how to scream yet. I taught myself during the next two weeks, and tried out using our song Axewound. They were very impressed with how well my Blackened Thrash sound went with their style, and immediately inducted me in to the brotherhood of Torrefy. The rest, as they say, is historry.
2. What other bands have you played in previously?
In high school I played in a Garage Punk band called Exit Wound. We only ever played one show in a field....4 people showed up. Ben has an impressive roster of bands under his belt such as his first band a Punk band called Moot, as well as Initium, Merkablea, Moonlit Burial, and The Tower. Dan is currently an MC for a Hip Hop group called Common Anomalies. The eclectic Metal Heads out there should go give them a listen!
3. What are some of your musical influences both in metal and maybe in other styles of music?
I once heard a great quote. "What is your favourite Metal band, and why Iron Maiden?" I'm sure in this business you know you'd be hard pressed to find a metal band that doesn't cite them as an influence. Vocally I would say my two main influences were Dani Filth particularly off the first two Cradle of Filth albums, and Chance Garnette of Skeletonwitch. Adam draws influence from Jerry Cantrell, Dimebag, and the almighty Stevie Ray Vaughn. Ben has to give credit to bands like Vektor, Witchery, and Skeletonwitch for his coherent chaos style. Simon was introduced to metal through Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath and still worships them just as vehemently. Dan found the seeds of his style in multiple genres and styles from Sepultura to Gojira. It all comes together and melts down to a delicious fon-doom for hungry listeners
4. Can you please share with us your band's recording history and any interesting stories and experiences from the studio?
We've only ever been in the studio once. We went to record our latest (and only) release "Thrash and Burn" a full album of Classic Thrash with a twist. To be honest the "studio" was actually our drummers basement. We used the bathroom for guitar and the bedroom for drums and vocals. We worked with the guitarist from the local Metal band, Scimitar, to record and produce the album. He was putting together a "portable studio" business and we were excited to work with him. He sound proofed the two rooms and set the mic's to the environment. The vibe was very relaxed. Essentially hanging out in a basement with your best friends. While the guitarists recorded and rehearsed Simon and I just played Pokemon Stadium on the Nintendo 64, but lent moral support from afar. The room that we recorded in heated up real fast and we were all soaked by the end. Simon wound up near nude while recording the vocal tracks to our song "Direwolf", the only track of ours with clean vocals. So remember, when you hear that, you are listening to a naked Simon.
5. How about your bands live experiences? Any amusing or memorable shows you would like to share with us?
It was a show that coincided with my birthday, so we had all the Torrefy loyalists, or Torrefans as we call them, there to support us. This was in Logan’s pub, our favorite venue in Victoria, where we are from, and it was filled to capacity (actually past capacity, but the fire marshalls don't need to know that) The two out of town bands dropped off the bill so we were asked to fill nearly a 2 hour slot, and jumped at the chance! We were pretty excited that it was basically guaranteed we wouldn’t get cut off and tore in to the longest set we’ve ever done. The crowd was nuts! A circle pit opened up almost immediately, and by our third song there were already two beer glasses smashed across the stage. After several people got pushed on stage (and on to the glass) I tried to kick the glass back away from the crowd, but not soon enough that nobody got cut. Two bangers in the front row were throwing the horns and swirl banging so hard that they were showering me, and Adam in their blood. Sanitary? No. Awesome? Yes. The massive set got a huge reception and the crowd stayed for the whole thing.
If I had room for another paragraph I would have to say our show with Skeletonwitch was one of the most amazing times of my life.
6. We have all heard of the big 4 of thrash. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. It has been talked about in the past and critiqued quite often. In your mind, what are the Big 4? You don't have to just list thrash bands, lets open it up to all metal genres, past or present, what is the big 4 in your mind?
Oh man. Thats a tough question. I think we'll each give our own answer for that
J- Iron Maiden, Cattle Decapitation, D.R.I, and Electric Wizard
B- Necrophagist, Propaghandi, Skeletonwitch, and Vektor
S- Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Nocturn Slaughtercult, and Immortal
A- Pantera, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Lamb of God
D- Gojira, Necrophagist, Metallica, and Iron Maiden
7. What would be your dream supergroup? Again lets open it up to past or present musicians, what would be the dream band lineup?
J- Layne Staley and Jim Morrison on Vocals (whoever is conscious plays the set) Fat Mike on Bass, 1980's Dave Mustaine on guitar and Keith Moon on drums. It would be the most inebriated band known to mankind.
A- Mr. Dimebag Darrel on lead guitar, Marty Friedman on lead/rhythm guitar, Mario Duplantier on Drums, Steve Harris on Bass, and Sauron on Vocals
S- Johann Sebastian Bach on keys/composing, Abbath on vocals and bass, Tony Iommi on lead guitar, Onielar on rhythm guitar/back-up vocals, and Gene Hoglan on drums.
B- Greg Graffin doing vocals with Joel Grind on rhythm guitar and vocals. Muhammed Suicmez on guitar, Sharlee D'Angelo on bass, and Mirko Minneman on drums
D- Hannes Grossman on drums, Steve Harris on bass, Chuck Shuldner on vocals with Muhammed Suicmez doing guitars and back up vocals. Oh, and throw Aesop Rock in there somewhere.
8. Now if you were to be a member of any band, who would you love to join up with?
I'd want to try doing vocals for a band who's style is quite a bit different from Torrefy's. The two that come to mind are DeafHeaven and Kvelertak. Ben would like to add that, though he would not be able to keep up technically, he would join Necrophagist to force them to go to the studio and record their new album
9. Now its time to get philisophical. What IS heavy metal?
Heavy Metal is more than a genre. It's a community. You can be walking down the street and see any person rocking a badass band shirt and show your approval in one hand gesture, one that goes back through a sprawling history of brotherhoods and development. It's like an emotion. It can't be described, and the only way to understand the feeling Heavy Metal sparks is to experience it for yourself. There's nothing like losing all your social inhibitions to the soundtrack of 500 decibel chaos intertwined with the screams of complete strangers who all have a common trait with you; the undying love for metal. Heavy Metal is a lifestyle.
10. What has heavy metal done for you thus far both in music and in your personal life?
Right now Heavy Metal is my personal life thanks to this band! Musically it taught me that are no rules when it comes to creating music, and anything contrived is going to feel stale and boring immediately. It really supplied an outlet for the pent up rage at the constant flow of idiocy the general population projects upon us, and most likely prevented me from ripping peoples faces off more than once.
11. What is your heavy metal dream? I am not talking about goals here, I am talking about going to bed and dreaming...what is the dream you are having? Or is it a nightmare?
J- I have this one dream where I'm at a beach and I have swam out pretty far from the coast. I can look back and see the beach is busy and covered with people. Suddenly a nuclear bomb goes off on land and out of pure instinct I dive as deep as I can to avoid ground zero and the heat. I can feel my body boil around me as I succumb to third degree burns. When I come to I'm strapped to a gurney in an empty hospital hall. There is only one light on in the hall and its hanging right above me. All around in the darkness I can hear voices beckoning me, but the straps prevent me from investigating even if I wanted to.
B- Hell, every guy's got his dream, am I right? Between you, me and the wall here, I had a doozy myself last night. Ha ha, ha, ha. Get this: A corn-fed harvest mouse, a hooker, a nun, a Flemish peasant woman, whips, chains, whistles yo-yo's, a circus midget. My grandmother riding by on a bicycle giving me the finger, and a duck.
12. What is your view on the current state of heavy metal?
Honestly it really excites me. All too often you hear people complain they were "born in the wrong era" but all being born today means is not only do you get to listen to the entire discography of all the metal veterans and legends, but you get to experience what generations of people influenced by their music have done with the Heavy Metal sound. Just off the top of my head I can think of Vektor, Archspire, Revocation, Wretched, and Skeletonwitch as a few modern bands to really bring an interesting style to their respective genres
13. What are your thoughts concerning the digital era of metal. I am curious what you think of digital downloading, recording in the modern era and anything else that has changed since the early days of the industry.
We wouldn't be doing this interview if it wasn't for the digital age of music! It still boggles my mind that we are based out of Victoria Canada, but still have fans from as far away as Germany and Poland, and that is only possible through our music being available in digital form on the world wide web. Imagine Metallica back in the day being able to project their live shows to metal groups in Japan? The only difficulty that has come from the digital scene is the absolute over saturation of bands and musical output. It has made getting noticed quite the challenge for talented up and coming bands, but is probably good for music as a whole in the end.
14. Several musicians have gone on record to say that the full length album is dead. That with the digital age there is no need to produce a full length release. What are your thoughts, is the full length dead or still viable?
My favourite band is Pink Floyd and our second album is going to be a concept album, so no we definitely don't agree the full length album is dead. I collect vinyl, and one of the main reasons is that it is a much a more interactive experience where you are more apt to listen to the piece of music as the artist intended it to be heard.
15. Okay time to talk and promote your band some more. What is the current news coming from your camp. Any new music, tours, festivals or anything going on?
We just recently released our first full length album "Thrash and Burn" and promoting it as much as we can. It's available for download on our Bandcamp and Facebook pages, and the singles from the album are free! We were lucky enough to score a name that nobody else appears to have so simply searching Torrefy on either site brings us up immediately. Right now we are signed up to take part in the Wacken Metal Battle Canada competition in hopes to win a chance to play a set at Wacken Open Air. A dream of any self respecting Metal band.
16. What are the immediate short range goals for your group?
Right now our main focus is spreading Thrash and Burn as far and wide as possible, as well as possibly tour to promote it. Within the next year we want to go to the studio with our second album "The Infinity Complex" a concept album which has been completely written and well practised over the last year. Aside from that we just want to keep moving our merch around and make new fans all over the world. Some bands we really want to perform with are 3 Inches of Blood, Vektor and Toxic Holocaust
17. What about ultimately any long range goals?
Getting signed to a proper label is a big one. Even though we aren't actively seeking out a label at the moment we certainly are keeping our ears open for an opportunity to make it easier to spread our music around. Playing Wacken, or any other international festival is something we want to accomplish. Personally I would love it if I was able to pay the rent with Torrefy at some point in my life.
18. Finally if you have any last words you wish to express to your fans and the metal community in general please do so here
J- Stay thrashy, support your favourite bands, and stay out of prison. The gigs there blow,
B- After you give Thrash and Burn a listen give us a shout on Facebook to let us know what you think!
A- To all the Metal fans outs there. Keep playing. Keep listening. Keep it heavy
S- Party! Oh! and Judas Priest fucking rules!
D- Thanks for taking the time to interview us. You'll be hearing a lot more from us in the future