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“When you get into the specific details when you’re writing songs, you might initially worry about alienating people. Over time, though, you realise it’s by writing so directly that you’re able to have something that people relate to. I’ve seen every response to it – some people have told me the record helped them cope with their grief; others told me it hit too close to home and they couldn’t listen to it more than once. It’s a record that really hits people in different ways. It’s been interesting to see how differently people react to it. At the end of the day, though, I’m proud of it. I’m glad it’s out there, and that people are responding.”


As well as strengthening the band’s musical resolve, trading in more of an indie-rock and post-punk scope on a lot of songs, Stage Four also marks a proper foray for Bolm into singing. As someone who has spent the better part of their career screaming at the top of their lungs, the stylistic switch-up is a little surprising – and one that, Bolm admits, he’s still getting used to.


“I’m never going to be a confident singer,” he says. “I’m doing my best. I’m finding different ways of making it work – in the song ‘Benediction’, which has probably the most singing on the record, I’ve started playing guitar as well. In a way, that gives me something to hide behind – it’s a little bit of a comfort zone. The songs where I’m singing, I can feel so naked and so vulnerable. I really feel like I need something to hide behind in order to get through it. It’s been a real learning experience. I can’t say that I’ve been getting up every night and nailing it. Still, if people can tell that I’m putting in the effort, I’m hoping they’ll give me a pass.”

Stage Four has received some of the strongest critical reception of the band’s career, as well as its best commercial reception. Hitting the top 20 on the independent Billboard charts, the album’s performance represents a greater expansion of what was once strictly considered a cult fanbase. It’s given the band an extra boost of confidence in a record that they were already insurmountably proud of – and touring in support of the album has only helped to put that properly into perspective.


“We didn’t finish [previous album, 2013’s] Is Survived By being 100% confident in the songs. We did with Stage Four. I should say that we do like Is Survived By – it is what it is – but I think it says a lot that, when we’re writing a setlist, there are fewer songs off that record that we’re properly amped to play. Compare that to a record like [second album, 2011’s] Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, which is the record where we gained most of our current following from. That still takes up a good 45% of the setlist, with two or three songs off Is Survived By and one or two songs from [debut album, 2008’s] …To the Beat of a Dead Horse. The rest is Stage Four, and that’s what we really want to be playing – it’s nice to know people have been reacting so positively. I see that record as a perfect snapshot of where we are as a band right now.”



Touché Amoré are touring Australia in July through Destroy All Lines. Stage Four is out now through Epitaph Records.