Updated: 11/15/02

Time to binge and purge with the mighty hard rockin' machine known as Torok from Miineapolis, MN!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Torok, and how long the band has been together.

Bryan: I am the lead vocalist. Live I also play rhythm guitar. Mike and I have been together for about 8 years with a few line-up changes.

Ken: I'm the "new" bass player. I've known Bryan and Mike for years. It's great to be back in a band with them!

Where is the band from and what is the music scene like there? Are there many places to play?

Bryan: We are based out of Minneapolis MN. The music scene is pretty diverse. There is clubs for all styles of music in the Twin Cities area.

Describe the music of Torok to someone who has never heard it before.

Bryan: I think there are elements of old Black Sabbath, Skid Row, Badlands and a touch of Metallica in what makes up the TOROK sound. We are basically a groove oriented hard rock band. I'am big fan of singers like John Carabi(Motley Crue)and Chris Cornel(Sound Garden) guys that have an element of evil in their voice. At the same time my all-time fave is Ray Gillen (Badlands) who could sing very melodic and still sound mean as hell. Vocally I try to add these elements to the Torok sound. 

Mike: The music has cocky strut to it. The core is a Les Paul (guitar) plugged straight in to a Marshall amp. No effects to hide the sound. This album is like a '65 Mustang. The music is balls out with groove and feel! This music is dangerous to the health of sensitive wimps. 

Yanni as an influence? (listed in your CD booklet as one of many influences) Who in the band is influence by Yawn-E?

Bryan: That is one of (drummer) Eric Althaus's influences. I do not know ... I hope that he is kidding. (Laughs)

Eric: I'm influenced by so many artists and musical styles. I've actually known Yanni for several years now - since his Minneapolis days in the rock band Chameleon. Anyone that has heard that band would have to admit that they absolutely ROCKED! That said, I still enjoy his 'new age' type of music as well. From a musical point of view, it has a progressive edge to it by using interesting key and time signatures. Being that my roots are based in prog music (with Equinox), that's right up my alley - and I hope to bring more of a prog vibe to Torok's hard rock music. I think that's what Bryan and Mike expected from me in the first place. (laughs) 

Where do you get the ideas for some of the lyrics you write, and cite specific songs.

Bryan: The lyrics on this album are for the most part based on my perspectives on life and the society around me. For example: Shame (the 1st song on BINGE & PURGE) is about how each generation seems to have a hard time accepting the style of clothes, music and attitudes of other generations. Title track Binge & Purge is loosely autobiographical. It is based on my hard partying days, which went on for a good ten years. Wings of a Butterfly once again are personal, based on some of the same inner turmoil that I have battled with throughout my life. Free is about the every day search for inner peace, which I have found can be illusive. Immortal and How Much More are more fictional based. Tracks like Useless War, Amidst the Lies and Follow are me lyrically venting about society around me. Shine On, Cry for Dawn, How Much More and Wings of a Butterfly Mike and I CO-wrote and are more relationship based.

What is a live Torok show like for those of us who have yet to see you play?

Bryan: I would like to think that it is a high-energy show with solid musicianship. Also with the addition of Ken Olson (bass player) who has a great singing voice the vocals have been taken to a new level. 

Mike: There are no theatrics as there were in my old band (Impaler). But the energy is still there. There is an element of unpredictability. 

Any chance of you guys coming out to California to play a few dates? Have you ever been out here before?

Bryan: I would love to. We are hoping to get on a tour that would get out to the West Coast. I have been to California many times. A good friend of mine Marcus Kaladjedski, is a successful photographer based out of L.A. Hopefully he is going to do our pictures for the next CD. 

Ken: I've been out there a few times also, and I would love to do it again!

How did you connect up with Nightmare Records?

Bryan: I have known Lance King since his Gemini days, and have always respected his music business sense. So we presented him with the BINGE & PURGE material when we were looking for a label to put out the CD. It turned out to be a good fit. 

Why did the band decide to call yourselves Torok as opposed to Erickson, Althaus or Davis?

Bryan: When the band was named, Aaron and Eric were not in the band, so that was not an option. I thought Mike's last name had a "rock" sound to it. It was my idea to use Mike's sur-name. Believe me, Mike is not an egomaniac! 

With Binge and Purge being recorded over a year ago, how close are you to writing and recording new material?

Bryan: We have 8 new tracks written that just need to be worked out as a band. We are playing 5 of these songs in our current set list. We hope to have a new recording out this winter. The new songs will be recorded with Pro Tools. We want to have more control over the mastered product. It will still have the live vibe!

Are there any Torok groupies lurking about?

Bryan: (Laughs) For Ken's sake I hope so.

Ken: No, I've taken a vow of celibacy! (Grin)

What are the future plans for Torok?

Bryan: (A) getting our live show ready to go out on tour. (B) Get the new material ready to be recorded. (C) Start the whole process again. 

Any messages for people who might be interested in checking out Torok?

Bryan: Check out our web page Also, if the people who have read this far in the interview are interested in good energetic hard rock music with some unique twists, check out our CD. 

Mike: Binge and Purge is a genuine Hard Rock album. People use the phrase "Keep it Real!" Well this is it... The raw ingredients are: beer, coffee, chips, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, one Marshall amplifier, one sore throat, a pile of broken drum sticks, duct tape, a broken snare, one tape machine and 4 guys. This is a labor of love. If you don't like it... move on. If you do like it, great we hope to play for you!

Eric: This album was really fun to record. It was such a departure from anything I'd ever personally been associated with in the past. No click tracks, only a handful of mic's (to mic a huge drum set), minimal production - just raw tracks and energy. We approached the recording process with the goal of capturing the vibe of our live shows on tape. I think we accomplished that goal with Binge & Purge. When you listen to this CD, that's ultimately what the band sounds like live. A rarity, when considering the over-production trends in music these days.


TOROK: Their Official Home Page!
NIGHTMARE RECORDS: The record label for Torok!
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