Tora Tora Interview
Out of Memphis, Tennessee comes a powerhouse quartet known as Tora Tora. They've
only been around a few years, but already they've made their mark with rock
fans, opening shows for The Cult, Boaham, L.A. Guns, and Dangerous Toys, around
Tora Tora's latest release is called "Wild America" (A and M Records) and we spoke with guitarist Keith Douglas about the band.
Q. Keith, it's been three years between albums. Isn't that
a little long to wait, and weren't you afraid people would forget about you?
A. We didn't do it by choice. I think about two years is probably tops, that I would want to go. After like the second year, we started freaking out. But, it wasn't supposed to have taken that long. We had some problems. We wrote 75 songs. We had a hard time picking the songs. The first year was all writing. The second year was trying to get into the studio. We finally did, and finished the record, and they delayed us for another nine months, because at that time Bryan Adams was coming out. They said either you can wait or come out now, but we're not really gonna be concentrating on you, 'cause we got Bryan Adams. So, we just took the choice of waiting. And they were very sincere saying if you wait, we'll do it right. It does hurt being away that long. It's kind of like starting all over again really.
Q. How does a band survive financially between albums, and
the set of circumstances you found yourself?
A. Well, we ate up a lot of our record budget, living. For, the last, long delay, A and M paid us to wait, money that did not have to be paid back. So, that was another sign that they were really in for the long haul.
Q. Prior to 1989, what was this band doing?
A. Well, actually when we started out we just threw our band together. We started writing and doing it for fun. Eventually we moved into this big, giant warehouse we had, and started throwing big parties. The whole time we were writing more songs. We never planned on getting signed. That was just a plus. We built a pretty big following, around Memphis. At that time there was nothing for under age kids to do, except to go to our parties. You know what I mean? We'd have about 400-500 kids in there. Word just got around, and we started working pretty tight with a studio here where we've done both our records, Ardent Studios, and they were bringing in record people, to our parties. We just thought it was pretty much of a joke, and the next thing we knew, we were signed and making a record. We're still doing it, for the fun of it.
Q. How has the recession cut into your touring plans?
A. It hasn't really. We're still getting tour support. The only place where I see it really makes a difference is kids buying records, and paying for tickets to go see a show. I'm sure that's definitely hurting it a lot.
Q. What separates Tora Tora from all the other bands out there?
A. The only thing I've been told by people at shows and stuff that
you guys are just like normal people. We're just having fun. We're not trying to be anything we're not. We're just doing what we love to do. To me, our music sounds honest, and it's got soul. So if it's anything, that would be it.