To continue our coverage of Indiana’s Firebreather 2018, we have landed an interview with the prestigous stoner badasses in Toke. They are about to embark on a pretty big European Tour with Year of the Cobra, but before they head off to the smoke filled land they are going to bless us with their presence, as well as play a handful of US dates. Please go over to their Bandcamp page and listen to their newest album called Orange. Get yourself acquainted with their noise and join us and them at Firebreather 2018! I shall not keep you waiting. Here is my interview with the mighty Toke!
Indy Metal Vault: Greetings! It’s great to be able to chat with you guys! Let’s discuss your latest album. I’ve been following Toke for a couple of years now, and I’ve noticed that Orange has pretty much elevated your band to a household name in the current wave of heavy music. How do you feel Orange was different from your self-titled released back in 2015?
Toke: We’re insanely pumped on how much buzz Orange has received. From making the Doom Charts twice to making a bunch of year-end lists including a personal favorite of ours Blasko (plays bass for Ozzy and Zakk Sabbath also Ex Danzig, cryptic slaughter) it’s been a very awesome experience having so many people enjoy what we’ve done. We love our first album but when writing Orange we were shooting for something heavier, bigger and just pushing what we thought the toke sound was.
IMV: I have always loved discussing songwriting and the recording process with others. Can you give us a little insight into your writing process and the challenges of capturing your ideas in the recording stage?
T: When we write, our guitarist normally comes in with a riff idea. If it gets the thumbs up from everyone we then all jam out the rest of the song until we all think it’s the best it can be. One reason for the six song albums. Short sweet and to the point. As far as recording goes we record it all “live” where our guitarist and drummer jam the songs until we feel the drums are captured properly. Then we each record our parts. Guitars usually two to three tracks all done by Tim our guitarist then Bronco comes in and does bass tracks then vocals.
IMV: I know you are about to embark on a European tour with Year of the Cobra, as well as a handful of US dates before the tour that includes Indiana’s own FireBreather Festival (Which we will discuss in a minute). Can you tell us a little bit about preparing for a tour overseas and what you are expecting from this run of dates?
T: A lot of work has gone into this. Our guitarist Tim has been busy getting all things set up. Tickets bought, gear rented, van rental as well as all visa stuff and getting merch purchased. We have a booking agent booking the dates but all else is DIY. We are hoping it’s a good time, we obviously know it could go either way being our first time, but we’re excited and hopeful. We’ve had a lot of good buzz going online and a bunch of people is reaching out saying they’re coming. We have a show with Mars Red Sky which rules and also ends at the sold-out Freak Valley Fest.
IMV: Are there any particular tracks that you are excited to perform?
T: We just love to play! At this point, we’re playing all of Orange, one song off our first album, and a new one. “Weight of the World” seems to always be a fan favorite live and also one of our personal favorites!
IMV: I mentioned FireBreather Festival. Some may remember that you were on the bill for the very first Doomed and Stoned Festival in Indianapolis a couple of years ago, and now you are going to be a part of the very first FireBreather Festival. How did you get involved with that and do you enjoy coming to Indiana?
T: We’d been featured on Doomed and Stoned, so Melissa reached out and we instantly said yes! With FireBreather, we’ve met Drew the times we’ve been through Indiana and he reached out and it was a no-brainer! We love Indiana and it always treats us right!
IMV: Are there any bands on the bill that you are particularly excited to share the stage with?
T: Greenbeard and Heavy Temple are good friends of ours, so we’re always stoked to jam with them!
IMV: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us again. We are very excited to have you back! Would you like to add anything in conclusion?
T: Just wanna say thanks to anyone who’s bought merch from us online or at shows and to anyone who’s come to a gig and banged their heads with us. It’s what keeps us doing what we do. Y’all will be seeing a lot more of us soon. Stay High.