UTG INTERVIEW: The Torn Images Talk ‘Reviver’ and Follow-up Plans

Orange County, California’s The Torn Images, the brainchild of Briand Arabaca, released their debut full-length in November of 2014. Titled Reviver, the album explores ’90s grunge/rock influences and Arabaca’s personal lyricism, a theme expected to be further explored and expanded on his next release which Arabaca says is “85% complete.”

We had the chance to speak with Arabaca recently as we discussed his musical past leading up to The Torn Images, his debut release and what we can expect to see out of his camp moving forward this year. Read through below to get the scoop and be on the lookout for more new material and a new music video very soon from The Torn Images.

I’ll start with something simple that I always like to know for my own personal curiosity: where does the name The Torn Images come from?

I remember when I was in high school, one of my friends told me, “If there’s a great name for a band that would be The Torn Images.” It stuck with me ever since. And why? When it comes to music, innumerable perceptions and interpretations can be made out of it. Like a concoction and conflict of different images, hence The Torn Images.

Tell me a little about your history with music. What experiences did you have that led up to The Torn Images?

I was exposed to music at an early age when I couldn’t even read or write then. My dad introduced me to Elvis, my uncle exposed me to The Beatles, and my older cousins with Led Zeppelin and Eagles. My curious set of ears were like sponge for different genres of music. Then the first instrument I learned to play was a Yamaha B55 organ, and I used to play in a church when I was nine years old. The funny thing was I couldn’t read a note so I played by ear. My first composition (at ten years old) was a classical piece, entitled “Mind Over Matter,” which I performed with my uncle (a violinist).

When Jayson left the band, what was it that made you decide to keep going with the same project as opposed to starting fresh with something new?

The formation and birth of The Torn Images came about at a time when my marriage was about to be annulled in 2011. It was the trying period of my life, and only through music where I found a true solace of comfort. I started to write my own songs then, shared and played it with a like-minded group of individuals. That’s when I met my drummer, Jayson Thompson.

Jayson left the project during recording of The Dawning EP. To continue as The Torn Images was an easy choice or decision since all the songs were written, and all the sound ideas were already made up in my mind. It became a solo effort with my producer Jonathan O’Brien (played bass and keys) and session drummer Tyler De Young. It’s interesting to note that the three of us had that instant chemistry. We worked fast and productive at the studio.

You have a very ’90s grunge sound going on. Are there any particular acts that have influenced you to take that route with your writing?

The ’90s grunge sound in the Reviver album could be attributed to my influences, namely Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Pixies. These are the formative bands that unselfishly serve a song not through a trickery of blistering million notes of useless guitar solos. Less is more dictum is how I approach my music, my songwriting, and you can justifiably appreciate this with ’90s grunge.

How would you describe your growth from your first two EPs to Reviver? Is there anything specifically that you feel you got better at or more comfortable with that helped this become what it was?

I’ve set some kind of a milestone with Reviver if I have to compare it with my two EPs. The main idea or goal is to blow the waters out of these previous recordings, in terms of performances. With that being said, I believe this album has definitely succeeded in doing so, and has far exceeded my expectation. I must admit this album is more focused and tight sounding. In terms of songwriting, the notable change is I made it simple, and more personal but still intricate as a whole. At the studio, I maintained the same crew of Jonathan and Tyler. We also added a very talented multi-instrumentalist named Andy Hernandez. The highest level of confidence, trust, and comfort I had with these guys is likewise reflected on the outcome of Reviver.

With Reviver having been out for a few months now, have you already been working on any new material?

Yes, I’ve written new materials since Reviver was released last November 2014. I’d say it’s 85% complete to make a full-length album. It’s only a matter a time before I start sending rough demos to my producer.

You released a video for “The Drifting” right around the time the album was released in November. Have you had plans to release a new video any time soon?

The next video, “Mantle of Disguise,” will be made any time soon, and hopefully it will be released this coming month of April.

Do you foresee any changes in sound and style going into this next release? Have their been any inspirations that have struck since recording Reviver that might be present on your next effort?

For the next full-length recording, I’d foresee some changes in style but the element of grunge would still be there. The theme could be a continuation or an evolution from what we started in Reviver. I always strive to do better on each of my recordings. I also have plans to add more players or guest vocals perhaps from another indie band. OC is a haven of talented musicians whom I like to work with. My inspiration is life-related, it’s safe to say that majority of my songs are semi-autobiographical.

As of right now, I’m not seeing any upcoming performance dates for you. Do you have any plans to tour this year?

At present, there are no plans for a tour yet.

When you do play live, how does this music translate to the stage as far as a backing band and such? Do you get the guys that recorded on the album to play?

The Torn Images is basically comprised of Jonathan O’Brien (bass/keys), Tyler De Young (drums), Andy Hernandez (guitars), and Briand Arabaca (vocals/guitars). What one hears on the album can easily be translated on stage, since the approach is the same as playing live.

As far as the rest of 2015, what can fans expect from The Torn Images? Any big plans you can reveal?

A new recording is expected to commence late of this year, and hopefully a tour will follow through after that. I feel grateful and blessed for the support of my fans around the globe!

Brian Leak
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