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Articles : “Our bass player actually had coronavirus” – An Interview With Mish Sharma (Torizon)

By on June 10, 2020

Coronavirus has rocked our world. It has especially rocked the rock world, the music industry, the arts and so on. But new Queensland heavy alternative rock act Torizon have been truly and directly touched by the disease. Frontwoman Mish Sharma joins us from her home in Brisbane to fill us in on the scary details.

“Our bass player actually had coronavirus,” she reveals, “so he tracked his bass parts on our new single while at home in lockdown, he was extremely sick.”

The band’s bassist Damien has now fully recovered, and the band have turned the adversity of his affliction and the virus overall into a positive, preparing a brand new single, the appropriately titled Find My Way Out, which is to be released on June 13th.  “The plan was to get the producer in and record it, but that didn’t happen,” she recalls, “so the next best thing was to record our own parts individually. We’ve all invested a lot in our own studios, so that allowed us to do that.”

The band have been working with a pretty big name in the American music biz recently, not only as their producer but also as a guiding light as they find their way through the often unforgiving music landscape. “We got hooked up with Robb (Torres), ex-Trapt,” she explains, “he’s based in the US, and he has a lovely band called Robbery Inc. He’s an extremely talented guitarist, songwriter and producer, and also a mentor.

“So between Robb, myself, Sarah, Damien and Ian from Capitol Records, we are kind of the Torizon production and song creation team.”

The result of it all is a song that packs a real emotional and musical punch and features a twin-barreled theme/meaning. “There’s a duality to it, the message behind the song, I sort of delved into my own emotional pain … do I sound like an angsty singer now?” She laughs good naturedly, “it’s such cliched stuff. But the emotional pain that I delved into to write this song was about coming out of an abusive musical relationship, and sort of realizing ‘this is what’s been happening to me and I didn’t realise it the whole time, I’ve been a victim of gaslighting this whole time. I don’t seem to have any self esteem left, maybe it’s time to find my way out of it.’

“So we wrote this song using that inspiration, and the second part of the equation is that this song was recorded in the thick of the covid lockdown, so mid-March. So thematically and spiritually, it resonated to us to record it there and then as to find a way out of this. The duality is coming out of that abusive relationship and coming out of covid.”

The song signals not a start of an EP or album cycle, but the possible beginning of a series of standalone songs that the band will release over time. “I do love the singles game, big fan of it,” she says, “because we work so closely with Robb, and because I feel like we constantly study music and get better at things, and it allows us to, whatever we learn on this single, apply to the next one and learn some more. So we’re likely to be doing the singles game for a little while until the travel ban is lifted and we can go record our debut album with Robb in America.”

So big plans hey? “Yes!” She laughs again, “all the plans that were supposed to happen this year were canceled.”

And those plans include a massive return to the live scene when the live scene finally resuscitates itself and returns to something close to its normal self, as well as some slightly quirkier ways and means of promoting themselves. “It feels like it was a hundred years ago,” Sharma laments, “but it’s only been a few months, but yes, we’ll be going for it. We had actually booked out first international tour, touring Japan. That was meant to fall around my birthday this year, but it’s okay, I’ll live. So that’s happening as soon as restrictions are lifted. We also have a couple of other tours, it all just depends on restrictions, they’re a little bit fluid at the moment, but we are looking to do a national 20 date tour.

“Plus we have plans to do Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast VIP smaller events, it’ll just be like 30 people with Torizon-branded edible merchandise!”

And what does that entail? “Beers!” She announces, laughing, “it’ll be alcoholic, and they’re going to be very exclusive, limited edition, and you can only get them at those events. They’re not going to be sold anywhere else.

“There’s so much awesome music out there, and to get a point of difference, you have to be creative. As horrible as covid has been, I’m going to put this out there as someone who knows someone who had covid, we utilized the time really well. We studied the hell out of marketing, we upskilled ourselves as much as we could, and utilizing and applying that has given us avenues to people that are actually now working in our own marketing team, who are making all those big plans happen for us, which is amazing.”

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.