Light the Torch’s Howard Jones – When I Make Music ‘I Tend to Deny Everything Else’
Light the Torch's Howard Jones was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. The singer discussed the band's latest album, You Will Be the Death of Me, which is their second since changing their name from Devil You Know after issuing a pair of records under the moniker.
The record was made under a myriad of intense situations, the pandemic being one of the primary ones. For Jones, he suggested that albums are like a snapshot of time and although things may change after, that music will always offer the perspective of when it was recorded.
The singer also mentioned that there's a love/hate relationship with the writing and recording process and while he's making new music, he tends to shut out other elements of his life and maintain complete focus in that moment.
Read the full interview below.
The timeline of the new album coincides with (guitarist) Francesco Artusato recovering from an accident, the pandemic and your own turmoil as well. When listening to You Will Be the Death of Me, what aspects sound like healing to you?
That's a good question. I don't know if any of it is that... it's just kind of a piece of time. At that time, everything was just kind of in disarray. Life definitely evolves and things change over time, but for what the album was, at that time, things just weren't great.
Collaboration comes with an intimidating level of openness. How does that vulnerability benefit you both musically and personally?
That's just part of the process. I don't know if it's supposed to be that way, but writing and recording at times is some of the most exhausting stuff because you're pulling out emotion that's not good. A lot of times I'm drawing from my own stuff. It's such a process, but at the same time it's one of my absolute favorite things in the world to do. So there's a love/hate thing.
Light the Torch, "Wilting in the Light" Music Video
Writing music tends to become obsessive. What's your overall process once the compulsion of that creative fuse has been lit?
I don't know if there's an actual process. I tend to deny everything else. I'm not listening to other music, I'm not really watching anything. [Music is] all I'm thinking about it and I can't help it, so that obsessive part of me... I'm hearing demo music, get my sleep, I'm waking up, I'm hearing that stuff and it just overtakes me. That's why I have to separate my life at times because I get way too obsessed with music.
On the new album, there's a cover of a Terence Trent D'Arby's '80s pop hit "Sign Your Name." Why is metal such a good conduit for other styles of music?
I'm not really sure. The interpretation comes out a little differently with different instruments. It was one I didn't expect to do. Francesco and I were just listening to some music and he was making dinner for his wife and we were listening to a playlist. This song came up, we both liked it, he mentioned covering it and boom, he had the music pretty fast and she's like, "This is great."
It's just a different way of thinking about the song. I think hard rock and metal musicians just approach stuff differently.
Light the Torch, "Sign Your Name"
Between your bands and guest performances, you've recorded an extensive catalog of music. What challenges and invigorates you every single time you're behind the mic?
I still love it. I still love trying to figure out what's supposed to plug into a song. I like walking in with nothing into a studio and then walking out with something. I still get this weird rush when a song is put together and it didn't make sense. I still get giddy. To still have that kind of joy this long into it... I don't know, that's all it is. I still love it.