This month, Zoë sat down Ottawa band TORPOR to talk everything from d-beat to creepy crawling. TORPOR is a hardcore band whose members, Felix (guitar), Ruby (bass), Michael (drums) and Elodie (vox), are all under 21.
Teens in the Scene is a get-to-know-you feature series directed by, Zoë Argiropulos-Hunter. Through her bite-sized interviews and experimental film portraiture, Zoë will put a different member of our community in the spotlight every month to get the inside scoop on what is happening in the scene from a teen’s perspective.
ON COMING TOGETHER
Ruby: I know we had our first jam during Ottawa Explosion when Michael was like, “Hey are you coming to band practice?” and I was like, “What band?”
Micheal: The way I think it started was when Felix and I were in his basement jamming playing d-beat riffs . . . Trying to be d-beat warriors . . . And I guess that’s how it started.
Felix: I guess it was an amalgamation of all this different stuff we wanted to do that came together.
ON THEIR SOUND AND INFLUENCES
Elodie: I don’t really know. There’s a lot.
Ruby: It started out as d-beat.
Zoë: Can someone clarify what that means?
Felix: This band Discharge in the late 70s, early 80s, this hardcore punk band, had this hardcore drum beat and a bunch of bands hopped on it and started forming these copy cat bands around it.
Michael: I think a really big influence in terms of d-beat on our band would be ULTRARAT from Montreal.
Felix: Also Impalers from Texas and Tashme Toronto. We steal from a lot of different bands.
Elodie: Whenever I listen to our demo, or at least my vocals, I think of X-Ray Spex; I never realized how much of an influence they were.
Micheal: We’ve got slow breakdowns in our songs, called crawl parts.
Ruby: The slowdowns.
Zoë: What does that mean?
Michael: So creepy crawling is a hardcore move where, it’s almost like a walk: You put your two feet in front of the other and move your arms a little bit during the slower parts of the song. Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from moshing and show off your cool moves. Y’know?
ON THEIR RECEPTION IN THE HARDCORE SCENE AS AN UNDERAGE BAND
Ruby: Everyone has been super open and accepting of our age group. If anything, they want younger people in bands. I felt really encouraged to start hardcore bands in Ottawa before we started [TORPOR].
Felix: Some younger kids are even getting into it. Kids who are 14 or 15. Which is cool, because it’s like this cycle of inspiration.
Ruby: Someone came up to me once and said they were losing hope that younger people weren’t in the scene, but they were so happy that we started bringing out this group.
ON HOW TO MAINTAIN HEALTHY DIY SPACES
Michael: Being respectful of the space, being inclusive, making sure everyone has a good time. That is the essence of DIY spaces.
ON MISCONCEPTIONS OF HARDCORE SHOW-GOERS
Ruby: We’re all drinkers.
Elodie: That we’re all tough.
Felix: Or the opposite (laughs) that everyone is straight edge.
Ruby: That people aren’t aware of their space and hurt other people? There are lot of people who are really respectful.
Michael: Punks have jobs!
ON POTENTIAL CHANGES IN OTTAWA’S MUSIC COMMUNITY
Michael: More people. Inclusivity around the board.
Elodie: I would love to see it less cliquey. The scenes never come together! But when they merge I get so happy to see punks at emo shows, or hardcore kids at a metal shows for example. I don’t see enough of it!
Ruby: Mixed bills!
Felix: People trying new stuff! Checking out other things. I’m guilty of this too. It’s silly to ignore some bands and hype up other bands that live in a block of each other that are more or less friends.
Elodie: Ottawa has a big beautiful scene, and because none of it merges together it feels like these tiny clumps of something that could be!
ON TORPOR’S PLANS FOR THIS COMING YEAR
Michael: We’re going to release a new EP.
Felix: Recording soon.
Ruby: It’s going to be on and off because Michael [goes to school in] Waterloo. But we’re going to be writing and playing shows when we can!
– Check more from Torpor: torporsanglante.bandcamp.com
– Catch Torpor playing live: