Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with New Jersey’s By Torchlight. Together we discussed the history of their name, their creative process, their most recent album “A Night to Remember”, and so much more!
1. Hello! Mustard is thankful to have you join them. How are you?
Very well, after taking a little home vacation recently.
2. Mustard loves your name, By Torchlight. How did you come up with it? What inspired it?
The name By Torchlight was thought up in 2015 as part of a line I wrote for the song “The Edge of Forever”
‘Guided by torchlight though the dark.’
Originally I was going to use the name The Flames of the Phoenix but I felt that it was too long to use for a band name.
3. Who (or what) inspires you? Both musically and in general?
In general, I have always been a fan of fiction, specifically movies, ever since I was a child. I would say that stories/fiction are what inspire me. Musically, when I was younger I always enjoyed listening to orchestral music, it just spoke to me, like it was moving a scene. I would buy soundtracks because the score is what I would be interested in the most.
4. What is your creative process?
Typically when I set out to make some music I go and sit in my studio and turn on a metronome and just start playing until I hear something I like. When something clicks I start building all around it until I get a song. I’m not the type of artist that has a bunch of unused tracks or ideas sitting around, so every thing is always fresh.
5. After releasing your solo EP, you began work on your concept album saga: The Flames of the Phoenix. Could you share the process behind crafting these albums? What inspired them?
I began work on FOTP long before I released my solo EP. I started writing the framework for it in 2013 as I sat in the backroom of CVS hiding from work. I didn’t write a song for it until 2016 with “The Watcher and The Damned” which helped me focus in on the story and help lead it in the direction it needed to go. Even though I had outlined FOTP I still ended up making a prequel album with “Before the Flames” because I felt there was just more to tell and show how the protagonist got to where he was.
I would say that nothing particular inspired the albums, since I was a teenager I would always write stories or see a story in my head. It’s like watching a movie that isn’t there. I am pretty terrible at actually getting things to page though and I just carry them in my head, watching scenes play out, so when I actually do something with these stories it kind of frees up some gigabytes in my brain.
6. Mustard loves how you switch genres and come up with concepts. How did Summer Nights come together?
Summer Nights was the fastest album I have ever written and recorded. I’d say it was all done with in a one/two week period. I had wanted to do a 50’s inspired/kind of surf rock album since probably 2005. At that time I was very into rockabilly/psychobilly, like Tiger Army and The Nekromantix. So one day I was in my studio messing with different guitar pedals and I finally found that wet reverb/tremolo sound that make up the typical guitar sound for such music. I then quickly studied up on some music from the era and got to work.
7. Your most recent album, A Night To Remember, is based on a story you’ve written. After writing it, did you know you wanted to turn it into an album? When was this story originally written?
The album and the story were written together. It started with the song “A Dangerous Game” when I was trying to write The Flames of the Phoenix Part 3. When I wrote, “A Dangerous Game” I didn’t know how it was going to fit into the overall story of FOTP. So I was sitting and listening to the song and in my head I was like, “This is a murder mystery.” So after that song, I explored where the story would go and with each section that I had written, I wrote a song to go along with it.
8. What’s next for By Torchlight?
I am hoping to do a couple of live streams this year, once I figure out the camera set up. I also want to start playing live shows again, which I find hard as a solo musician with music that isn’t necessarily meant to be played solo acoustic. Then I would say its time to start recording and writing again, which I already have a few ideas in place.
Another project I am currently working on is finishing the script for A Night to Remember. I really want to turn it into a movie or series of short films, but all that really depends on funding the project I guess.
9. Where can readers listen to your music?
By Torchlight can be streamed where ever people choose to listen to music.