Joliet, Illinois grindcore band Torso is most well-known in the scene for having a drummer who is also the vocalist, sick hair flips that compliment their epic beards, and brief songs, ranging from thirty seconds to a minute and a half. The three-piece band released their EP, titled Armless, earlier this year, including “Wagonwheel,” “Bible Beatdown,” and “The Cell,” which was featured in their first music video.Their music might come off as offensive, but the dudes in Torso show nothing but passion and truth in their lyrics and instrumentation.
Lead vocalist/drummer Mike Gorecki, guitarist/”FUCK” yeller Rikki Baudino and bassist/deep growler Mason Sukley sat down with BRP’s Kelsie Lunsford to discuss their fellow band mates, music, upcoming tours and past struggles. Check out what the guys had to say below.
So, how did your band start exactly?
GORECKI: Literally Rikki and I just sit around and joked about all the bands we want to start all the time. Like, we’ve created about 800 bands that just never happened. We joked about the concept of us just writing pointless, angry music. It was originally supposed to be me on bass, and Rikki on guitar. We were going to set up a blow up doll behind a kick drum, a snare drum, and one single cymbal and play with a drum machine. We were literally going to just play break downs, and then just beat the shit out of people and yell random shit. I then went through some shit, got really mad about it, called Rikki and I said, “Hey, I wrote some songs, we’re calling the band Torso, and you’re my guitar player.”
BAUDINO: I was like, “Sweet.” We didn’t have plans to have a bass player at first.
GORECKI: Rikki and I actually argued about it for a week because I did not want anyone else besides the two of us in the band. But since we were all in another band together, I just asked Mason to play bass since he’s a good friend and he plays well. I was really against it at first, but then I lightened up to the idea.
BAUDINO: Mike wrote like, six or seven songs in a week. It was my job, essentially, to go over it and throw glitter on it and do whammy bars.
SUKLEY: YOU DO WHAMMY BARS.
BAUDINO: I do things with the whammy, whatever.
How would you describe your writing style? How do you guys come up with ideas?
SUKLEY: Well, Mike sits on the toilet, he thinks of something, immediately runs downstairs—
GORECKI: I’ll get riff ideas in my head and no matter what I’m doing, I have to stop, go downstairs and play that riff. There have been times I’m in the bathroom, and I just fly out, mid-shit, and by now they know that I have a song idea. I can’t come back to the song later, I have to do it all in one shot. I know this sounds prima donna-ish. I’m just surprised that anyone really likes this band to be honest.
SUKLEY: We just talk about a lot of stuff people get pissed about.
GORECKI: That’s how I write my lyrics, like an outlet of negativity. It started after a nasty breakup I went through, which is cliche, but that’s how this band started. You know, those lyrics wrote themselves and came out very harsh. The guys literally cringed when they heard me recording in the studio.
BAUDINO: It wasn’t like a cringe, more like a sick “ohhhh” you do when someone gets burned. I was so floored with how poetic it was. He put it into a yell, made everything rhyme, and to top it off, it was incredibly hateful. The band itself is negative, but in an honest way. But for us as people, we’re the total opposite.
GORECKI: The lyrics and music are my form of psych. I never realized that it kind of dictates how they have to act when we’re on stage. It’s funny because Mason is usually my gauge of how heavy the slams are.
BAUDINO: You can usually tell from his “OHHHHH.”
GORECKI: I can tell I’ve written something heavy from when one of these guys gets a huge smile on their face or if they start punching the air. We mosh all the time. Car mosh, bedroom mosh, shower mosh. Our writing process is cool. I don’t set aside time or anything. I just write a song, and it some how works.
Could you tell me about your progression as a band?
GORECKI: After starting off as a joke between the two of us, it’s already come to the point where we’re going on tour in March and we’re starting to get a lot of out-of-state shows. We’ve even had people asking us about merch, shirts, CDs. The progress we’ve made from starting in January of 2015 is fucking outstanding. It’s one of the fastest progressing bands I’ve ever been in.
GORECKI: Yeah, we started January of this year, and our first show was at Chicago’s Grandbar with—
SUKLEY: With 2×4.
BAUDINO: Yup! 2×4 and Drowning. Then, we played with Kublai Khan.
GORECKI: I’ve been playing music for ten years. This is the fastest progression I’ve ever seen. It’s funny because we started in the most least serious way.
How do you feel about your band as a whole?
GORECKI: We just do what we want to do. We don’t stick to the conventional, “Oh, we need five members, or six or twelve,” like some bands are doing nowadays. We’re in it to have fun.
BAUDINO: Yeah, we’re just in this to have some fun. I think the best thing someone’s ever said to me was, “Don’t get so invested in the product that you lose sight of the process.” Yeah, it would be cool to do this stuff for the rest of my life, but I’m just happy that we played a show tonight and people actually got into it and dug it. Everything else is a bonus from there. I just want to play some shows.
Following your music video release, where do you hope it takes you?
BAUDINO: Not here [The Midwest]. I feel like it’s a legitimate answer because I’d like to see places I haven’t seen. I don’t expect us to be financially stable or to have all these records sales, I just don’t want to live my whole life knowing I never got off the couch.
GORECKI: We’re going on our first tour in March and it’s really cool to get that ball rolling. We’re going to be able to see a lot of new places and meet a lot of new people and stuff like that. Clearly, being in a grindcore band, none of us are in this for the money or being famous or whatever. So we just want to be able to travel and play shows and watch people punch their friends.
BAUDINO: Yeah, we literally came into this as a total joke when we started. And to think it’s become anything is absurd.
How about your future? New songs, possible tours, dropping another EP or a full-length?
BAUDINO: We’re not doing big albums.
GORECKI: It’s going to be a lengthy process, but it’s going to be cool when it’s all said and done. We have plenty of stuff done, but we’ll probably play it first then go into recording. I’ve got about fifteen songs written already, just needing lyrics.
BAUDINO: It’s funny because when people ask about new music and what genre we are, I just say we’re grindcore that has sex with whatever it wants. I don’t want any barriers, I just want to make some angry ass music.
Whats one thing you love about the hardcore community?
GORECKI: I love the hardcore community. It’s just cool because all the bands we’ve played with, we’ve become friends with all of them. I’m really tight with the guys in Knocked Loose, Lionheart—
BAUDINO: If Lionheart hears this, take us to Europe! We’re fun in a bus!
SUKLEY: There’s only three of us!
I’ll make sure I tag Lionheart in this.
SUKLEY: Rob will be like, “Really Mike? Really?”
GORECKI: It’s just really flattering that bands I look up to are into us. It’s come to the point where a lot of bands are excited to see us and to play with us. Music has been my escape and that’s why it has such a special place in my heart. That’s why it’s such a big deal to me when people say they like our music. I’ve literally cried with gratitude before. BRP
Listen to Torso’s music here:
Like Torso on Facebook:
Check out Torso at one of their upcoming shows:
December 19 @ Big Shots: Best Of The Best – Gaming Convention & Music Festival
January 9 @ Big Shots: PITFEST 2016
January 29 @ Bada Brew: Lionheart’s “Love Don’t Live Here” CD Release Tour
Written by Kelsie Lunsford
Edited by Chelsea Renee Scofield
Photos by Kelsie Lunsford and Chuck Brueckmann