story / LOGAN BRENDT
photos / EVAN LANE
“I enjoy doing art as a form of competition,” says Alex Lilly, of Los Angeles-based band Touché. Trippy and enigmatic, Touché is the genius of Lilly and her bandmate Bram Inscore who are both multi-instrumentalists and vocalists, sharing the tasks somewhat evenly in the band. With a history together that dates back to their childhood, Lilly was also part of Obi Best, and The Bird and the Bee, while Inscore has played with Beck, Thurston Moore, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Joining forces together, their experimental ideas and techniques have made for remarkably interesting music and videos. “We’ll be inspired by an idea, like holding all these notes down on a keyboard, see what happens and try to make sense out of it,” Lilly adds later, about songwriting.
As for their videos, including their newest, “I’m A Man Not A Machine” which recalls early 90s MTV with edge and modernism, Inscore remarks, “We’re both big fans of the golden age of MTV, [for example] the early Nirvana videos and ‘Black Hole Sun’ by Soundgarden.”
Lilly mentions, “You could get away with more non sequiturs like in the Spookey Ruben video, ‘These Days Are Old'”.
The video for “I’m A Man Not A Machine” was directed by newcomers Igigi Studios, and was also influenced by the 1960s Danish short film, The Perfect Human. Inscore says, “Since the content of the song is about how modern technology is replacing a lot of human aspects in life, we wanted to portray really mundane tasks that people do, also related to just being human, including sexuality and intimacy.”
Working with a modern twist, they wanted to collide the modern world with a more traditional look at humanity. “The paint slapping was the original excitement behind the video,” Lilly adds with a laugh.
Since they’re such a visual band, Touché finds beauty everywhere in their Los Angeles surroundings. “I think the inspiring part is the bizarre, shitty part of it,” Inscore says. “There’s these huge concrete structures and manmade industrial landscapes [east of downtown Los Angeles] that’s kind of inspiring in a weird Terminator style way,” he includes.
While writing the songs that will hopefully be released as an album soon, they also got creatively inspired by taking trips together to remote locations. “It was kind of like sensory deprivation— being in a little cabin by ourselves,” Inscore reflects about their trip to the Redwoods.
“Also stimulation,” Lilly interjects. “When we stayed in New Mexico, there were all these terrifying masks and Bram thought it was funny to scare me with them while I was trying to take a shower,” she laughs.
When writing songs, Inscore believes it’s important to set guidelines beforehand, something he once learned from a Quincy Jones interview. “He was talking about how, the more rules he gives himself before he writes something, the easier it is, because if you start from complete scratch, there’s an insane amount of possibilities,” Inscore says. “I like having creativity within certain guidelines because there’s so much you can do.”
Those that have seen Touché live, rave about what standouts they are among the local live show circuit. So who would Touché (who’s quickly becoming one of my favorite bands) like to play a show with in the future? While Lilly is a fan of Yacht and Inscore is a big fan of Ariel Pink, Lilly instead remarks, “If Yes ever had a reunion tour, that would be pretty cool.”
Inscore interjects, “It would be cool to open up for a rapper.”
“Any rapper will do,” Lilly quips. “Beyonce could be cool.”
“Or Metric, or Robyn. I like Robyn a lot,” Inscore additionally mentions.
But, are any of these music artists truly compatible with what they’re all about?
Lilly concludes, “It would make sense for us to open for someone that totally didn’t fit. It’s always about being contrary with whatever’s happening.”
Touché has a show at The Standard in Hollywood on October 24th.
Their single for “I’m A Man Not A Machine” will be released on iTunes on October 30th.
For now, watch their video below!