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FACING FORWARD WITHTORS

by Megan Bowles

Tors serves up the vulnerable anthem to the ‘right person, wrong time’ breakup…

“I think we’re all guilty of pretending we’re okay and believing if we keep it up long enough it’ll actually happen”, says Tors, a band comprised of three brothers Matt, Theo and Jack Bowden, whose delicate vocal harmonies and indie-pop melodies have led to over 500 million streams to date. Their newest track, ‘I Don’t Miss You (Except For When I Do)’, is a sincere, heartfelt collaboration with singer-songwriter Lily Williams, that is almost the antithesis of your classic heartbreak story. Lily opens the song with the lyrics, “I don’t get lonely / I don’t get drunk / I don’t stay up till five in the morning wondering what I could’ve done”, Tors’ Matt Weedon then relaying “I never call you real late at night / I don’t hang up as soon as you answer the phone”. Dedicated to the kind of heartbreak where resentment doesn’t play a factor, Tors says that the song is about the “denial and the lies you tell yourself knowing deep down you’re still in love with the person you lost”.

Having studied at Berklee College of Music, Lily has been making significant headway into the industry with her recent singles ‘July (Later On)’ and ‘I Hope You Think Of Me’, all laced with her distinctive butter-smooth harmonies and soft, delicate vocals that ache with emotion and perfectly blend with Tors’ Matt in their new single. Incredibly, the song was written over Zoom with the artists never having met IRL before, Lily in the US and Tors in the UK. “We immediately hit it off and somehow wrote one of our most personal and intimate songs in the most impersonal and clinical creative environment”, they said.

The three brother’s involvement in the industry comes as no surprise, as music runs through their family lineage: their grandfather, Bert Weedon OBE, is credited to have influenced the likes of John Lenon and Brian May to play the guitar with his best selling book series, Play In A Day. Tors has certainly lived up to their heritage, already having headlined London’s Scala and released their debut EP, Wilder Days, along with a succession of singles including ‘Lonely’ and ‘Garden On The Kitchen Floor’. We caught up with the trio to celebrate the release of their single, find out who they’re betting on for future stardom and more…

Congrats on ‘I DON’T MISS YOU (EXCEPT FOR WHEN I DO)’! Talk us through what inspired you to create it…

Thank you very much! We were fascinated by the universal denial we all harbor following a difficult breakup. It often seems easier to fool ourselves into believing we don’t miss that special someone anymore and that our erratic, lovesick behaviour is entirely normal and healthy. We liked the idea of singing the entire song from this perspective of out and out denial but tail ending the chorus with the only honest line “I don’t miss you, except for when I do”.

What message do you hope people take away from it?

That it’s okay to admit you still love someone you’ve lost and that sometimes those feelings don’t ever go away but they become a part of you and help to enrich and shape your life going forward.

How do you feel like your music has evolved so far?

Honestly, every new song we write feels like our biggest and best (whether it actually is or not!). Since setting up our studio in the last couple of years and giving ourselves a real base to work from, it feels like the way we approach songwriting has changed a lot. We’ve accumulated an array of bizarre instruments (synthesisers, a haunted harmonium, lapsteels, theremins etc) and we often sit and play through different chord progressions, try different sounds until something feels exciting, there’s a lot less pressure when you’re in your own space and not paying for studio time. Playing so many live shows has also influenced our sound a lot, learning by trial and error what kind of songs grab the audiences’ attention quickly and which lyrics connect the most. Every tour we head out on we learn something new and come back in better fighting shape than before.

What do you envision the future of music to look like?

Music in general or our own music? Things have changed drastically since we first began and it feels like there’s a large shift towards artists having their own autonomy and the platforms to showcase their uncompromised art – but with that comes the pressure of making a continuous stream of content for your fanbase and a lot of unhealthy comparison with similar artists doing better etc. It’s quite exciting currently not knowing where your next big break might emerge from and it definitely keeps us on our toes as we navigate it all. In terms of our own music I envision we’ll be lifelong career artists, that’s the absolute dream.

What is one change you’d each love to make to the industry?

The infrastructure of major labels seems to be a little old-fashioned compared to the demand from audiences/fanbases and their shift towards following an artist based on their music and personal creative output instead of the genre or even mainstream airplay/exposure.

If you could all collaborate with any musician in the future, who would it be and why?

Stormzy, the song we make could be appalling but I just watched him with Louis Theroux and he seems like a lovely human.

Where would be your dream venue to play?

Red Rocks is our bucket list venue at the moment.

Who are you betting on for future stardom?

St Lundi, Benedict Cork and Peter McPolland.

Where do you hope to be in the next year?

Releasing plenty more music and doing a headline tour across the UK and Europe.

The next 5 years?

Selling out stadiums and owning the most successful pumpkin farm empire this side of the 21st Century.

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