Rising Stars: TOLOACHE

Toloache are a Switzerland/UK based progressive metal band named after a plant famously used during mystical rituals by Mexican shamans known for its intense hallucinations. Their new single ‘Watching Close’ is out now.

Andrina Travers from Toloache answers our questions…

1. The band’s name is taken from the plant used in Mexican shamanic rituals. Have you or any of the band experienced using this plant first hand?

Unfortunately not; we’ve only been reading and obsessing about it. But who knows – hopefully, someday we get to see it in real life!

2. Tell us a little about your upbringing in Switzerland; it sounds quite magical? Do you think it inspired you?

I grew up in a very spiritual family. I was baptised in the forest next to my parent’s house and always felt very connected to nature. My aunt got me into tarot when I was very young; my grandparents always knew everything about healing herbs and foods, and my mum collected different stones and crystals. All of that is definitely still a big part of my life and inspires me every day.

3. Where are you based now?

I was born and raised in Zurich and moved to London with my dog last year. I absolutely love it here and don’t see myself going back home anytime soon.

4. How has Lockdown been for you?

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. Luckily I have a dog who was great company, so I went for 4 hour walks every day to get some fresh air. I wrote a lot of music in my living room and read all the books I always wanted to read but never had time for. Christmas was quite depressing because I really missed my family back home, and there was no way to leave the UK.

5. What books, films, tv shows or albums helped you through the pandemic?

Albums: Tool – Fear Inoculum / Soundgarden – King Animal / Fink – Perfect Darkness / Taylor Swift – Folklore

Netflix: Anything true crime (I am way too obsessed!) and Gilmore Girls

Books: We were liars – E.Lockhart / All the light we cannot see – Anthony Doerr / Sold – Zana Muhsen

6. Watching Close, your new single, is about being bombarded with news events and trauma via our social media and devices. Are you addicted to your phone / iPad too, or are you very conscious of putting these things down and being present in the moment?

During Lockdown, I definitely scrolled on Social Media way too often, and I started to obsess with reading the news. I could definitely feel how bad that was for my mental health, so after Christmas, I decided to delete all my Social Media and News apps for a few months. I knew once we release “Watching Close”, I will have to spend a lot of time on Instagram and co. again so taking a long break before that was amazing. Now I am definitely scrolling less and use Social Media almost for work only.

7. Now live music is returning. Are you planning on any gigs? Playing or attending?

We are planning our first few gigs for 2022, so that’s really exciting! I also can’t wait to see some live music myself: I got Tickets for Foo Fighters in Berlin, and Tool, Halestorm and IDLES in London. Last week I attended a very intimate Event with Dave Grohl where he talked about his new book and played a few songs, which literally made me cry happy tears. Since I was a kid he’s been my hero, and I am so excited to read his book “The Storyteller”.

8. Are you working on a debut album, and what themes, musical and lyrical can we expect?

Before we drop an album, we have a few more singles ready to release. The next song we are about to release soon is my absolute favourite and the first one we wrote for Toloache. I don’t want to say too much yet, but lyrically you can get ready for some pretty dark stuff. We are currently planning the music video for it.

9. Any message for your fans in the UK?

Thanks to everyone for streaming, buying, sharing and supporting our debut single; it really means the world to us. I absolutely cannot wait to meet you in person when we play our first gig ever in the UK!

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