In 2004, Rick Smith was 19 years old. He was a drummer with a penchant for chaotic hardcore, playing in South Florida outfits like Tyranny of Shaw and Concrete Evidence -- but none tested his mettle quite like Torche.
"Torche changed the way I thought of the term 'heavy'," says Smith. Steve Brooks, seasoned guitarist and singer for the South Florida band, was the force that truly altered Rick's perception of hard tunes. Playing in bands for 10 years before Torche, Brooks had a considerate ear for lone, unassuming riffs that made even the Beatles heavy, if only for a few measures.
He introduced Rick to aktionist, percussion-based tracks from groups like Crash Worship, whose primitive toms brought chills up his teenage spine. Suddenly "heavy" became much more than obvious, abrasive grind, and today, Torche's colorful development epitomizes that subtle weight.