Project Description

Interview with Jonathan Kärn of Like Torches

It is a rare occasion when a band like Yellowcard, currently playing the last of their Final Tour shows in the US, brings a relatively unknown Sweden rock band on their recent Australian tour. That band is Like Torches, fun-loving, grateful and passionate musicians that made a huge and lasting impression on Australian crowds. AMNplify readers are in luck, Like Torches’ vocalist Jonathan Kärn had a chat recently about the tour, the music and more. Check it out below!

How and when did the band form?

Daniel (Kärn) and Zak (Faleij) started playing together back in 2005 / 2006. They just wanted to write their own songs and see what they could do with it. So they started playing some small shows in our hometown. Right away people were really in to it, so they started playing shows all over Sweden and that’s when things started to snowball. Later on Jonathan, Jimmy (Brunkvist) and Eric (Thyr) joined the band and we also changed the name to Like Torches, releasing our first album (Keep Your Head High, 2013) with our new band name.

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

Growing up my brother (Daniel) introduced me to bands like Blink 182, Green Day, Yellowcard, Finch etc. I knew when I started my first band when I was 13-14 years old that I wanted to tour and play music. That’s what’s great about Like Torches. Everyone in the band has had dreams of playing music and touring all over the world since we were kids.

Who are your main musical influences?

Blink 182, Paramore, Linking Park, Yellowcard and Thrice.

What is the inspiration behind Skeletons?

Everyone knows that person that keeps letting you down. Skeletons is basically about letting that person know that you’ve had it. ”Take your skeletons, you can live with them. I am leaving now”.

What are the themes explored on the Shelter LP?

Shelter is the most personal record that we’ve written together. Everyone in the band contributed with difficult experiences we had during 2014/2015. It is all about getting through break ups/ friends letting you down and how the music business is changing. Also the weather in Sweden is crap (cold and dark) and we kind of had to let our feelings out somehow.

What makes Like Torches different to similar sounding bands?

We often fit in with happier pop punk bands; I think our darkness makes us different.

What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in music?

Zak is a massage therapist, Jimmy runs his father’s truck driving company, Eric works with ventilations for companies and Daniel owns his own sales company, where I also work. I think it would be hard for anyone in the band not to do music though. Our passion for music is what brought us together.

What has been your most memorable career highlight to date?

This is a hard question. There are so many highlights… but I do think supporting Yellowcard on their last world tour is the greatest thing we’ve done so far. We had never toured in the US or Australia before.

What is something you would like to achieve career-wise that you haven’t done yet?

Warped Tour USA.

If you could play any venue in the world, where would it be and why? 

Recently we’ve had the pleasure to play so many big venues all over the world. Playing the PlayStation Theatre in New York, House of Blues in big cities all like Chicago and Boston. It has all been pretty unreal. I think that the next thing would be arenas. 02 Arena in London would be insane.

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