Tortured Soul Up Close & Personal
Last month, Tortured Soul came to Chicago for a house-lovin’, dance-vibin’ kinda night. The room was FILLED with House Heads and the excitement only rose and rose at it got closer to their set time. I sat down with the boys (John-Christian, Jordan and Isamu) before their show to get their thoughts on the history of Tortured Soul, the loss of Ethan (RIP) and what’s next.
Lauren Ignited: How did you come up with the name Tortured Soul?
John-Christian: It was a lyric in the first song that was released, I might do something wrong. It was a description of the mood of the song. I was kinda hard pressed to put a name to the project quickly, and I thought that would be a good name.
LI: You’ve collaborated with a lot of really stellar artists and played some incredible lineups around the world. Who do you hang out with most in the industry?
JC: (Laughs) Uh, these two. (Pointing to band members Jordan Scannella and Isamu Mcgregor) We hung out with Louie Vega in Naples a few weeks ago. It was kind of a rare occurrence. We’ve crossed paths a lot over the past few years, but he’s never actually been able to check us out. So, it was nice.
LI: What has the transition been like playing the same catalogue of music but with two new band members?
Jordan Scannella: I joined almost six years ago, so I think at the time I was just trying to fill the large shoes of JKriv and just getting into the vibe of what the band was and what they represented and what the fans expected of the band in a live show. For awhile it was like fitting the already fantastic mold that is Tortured Soul and over the years it’s been kinda finding my own personal voice in the music. It’s been super fun.
LI: What is the relationship with JKriv like now?
JC: We are on good terms. He’s doing his own thing in terms of production, remixes and DJing now. And he wanted to do a remix off of the current album, but I haven’t had a chance to get him the vocals yet. (chuckles)
LI: What has been something that has happened recently that you couldn’t have imagined the feeling of, 10 years ago.
JC: When we played South Africa and having our songs supported on major radio, it was a really positive thing for our careers. When we played at a festival there were a few thousand people singing back the lyrics to our songs and that was a huge validation that this could work. That it is possible to write music and then have it become popular and then have people singing it back to you by the thousands. And that’s happened in many countries and many places–not always thousands of people of course, but even if it’s just a few hundred it’s a nice experience and you feel connected. It feels like you’re making a difference. On top of just being fun!
LI: How has it been for you as the newest member of the band, Isamu?
Isamu Mcgregor: My experience has been really great. I started playing with the guys about two years ago. Jordan and I had known each other in New York from the music scene there. He contacted me just to fill in on a couple of shows that Ethan had some commitments that he just couldn’t shake. After Ethan passed and the shows continued, I kinda stepped in. I think obviously, everyone wishes that it had been under different circumstances. But, needless to say, it has been really fun to play this music and travel and meet the fans. It’s really cool to see the environment that the band has created. At all the shows there are such good vibes and so much warmth coming from the crowd. And it’s consistent from country to country. So, it feels like you’re involved in a good thing when you see consistency like that.
LI: So, you guys started a record label, TSTC Records. What’s the latest or what’s coming up with the label?
JC: The label has somewhat been in a holding pattern. It’s hard not to get too in depth, but another big part of what Ethan did was do a lot of the business stuff. He helped maintain the relationships with the distributors. Since he passed, there’s been a period of how to progress and continue playing shows and getting our bearings straight, emotionally and as a band. And I feel like we are further along than we were a year ago. But, we will have some stuff coming out in the coming months.
LI: Any closing words for the fans that are coming out tonight?
JC: Chicago, we can’t wait to play, we’re happy to be back. We hope everyone has a nice evening. Thanks for being here. Collectively: Thanks, guys. We love you.
Connect with Tortured Soul on Facebook. All images property of Lauren Ignited.