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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Interview with Tora

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Tora – Can’t Buy The Mood Tour at Hotel Great Northern on Friday

Tora – Can’t Buy The Mood Tour

Hotel Great Northern  |  Friday  |  7pm  |  $33.55

This region is renowned for some very creative people. Tora are a band created by kids from Shearwater back in 2013 – years later that band has claimed some pretty significant international recognition. They’ve clocked nearly 100 million streams globally, they’ve toured the UK and Europe with over 40 album tour shows and sold-out sets in Melbourne, Paris and London. Tora is greek for ‘now’ and the band certainly embody every aspect of that.

Founding members are Thorne Davis on drums, Shaun Johnston on bass, Jai Piccone on vocals ad guitar, Tobias Tunis-Plant on vocals and synth and Jo Lowenthal on lead vocals, guitar and samples. Jo spoke with The Echo about the wild ride Tora have been on. They’re certainly not getting off any time soon.

‘We’ve been hard at work getting things ready for the Australian show. We’ve been back and forth from Europe quite a lot. This year we were there three or four months over summer, in Berlin. You have to take those opportunities when they present themselves.’

The band is getting ready to tour their second album,  Can’t Buy The Mood. Primarily made in the Byron area, the band also ventured into iconic studio spaces in LA, London and Amsterdam to work on the album. Completely written and produced by the band themselves, they also did all the design and artwork, completing an artistic vision that was key to the whole experience of the album. With field-recordings once again a key feature, the album is 13 tracks full of lush grooves and intricate moments.

‘I think our approach to music is pretty much the same as it has been since we started’ says Jo. ‘To experiment with sound until we find something we like, and try not to restrict ourselves with instruments. If we want to put an instrument on a song but we can’t play it, then someone in the band has to learn it. We don’t prevent ourselves from making what we want by what we can’t play – over the years we have had to pick up a little bit of everything to create the music we want.’

While the band is now spread across the world, Jo says that ‘we are all culturally Byron. We have Byron ingrained in us.’ Although, because Europe is such a growing market for them, the band are planning to move to Europe for a longer period next year.

‘For some reason people in that part of the world love what we do’, says Jo. ‘Our following is big there, I think because there are just so many more people in Europe and in America it’s easier to build a following, because there’s 20 times more people – you don’t need everyone to like your music.’ That’s very modest, but this electronic Aussie band seems to have a knack for hitting the right notes to build a fan base, which sees them perform at festivals throughout Europe and the UK.

Jo is excited about touring  Can’t Buy The Mood.

‘Having a bunch of new tunes brings a new energy to the show. The crowds and our fans have been more supportive of this music than any other we have put out, because of how we chose to do things, we started making music from day one and as result the quality of our music has been on an upward trajectory. The feedback is that this is their favourite record so far, people are really enjoying it.’

Tora are playing only three Aussie shows before they head back to Europe for a big 2020. You can catch them at the Hotel Great Northern on Friday at 7pm. Tix are $33.55 from thenorthern.oztix.com.au

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