Music

Terraform Travelers

hardcore band finds its strength in touring country

Eric Christenson |

TERRIFIC FORM. Hardcore band Terraform has two EPs and two singles under their belt, and they’re taking to the interstates of America on some seriously big tours. Their latest has a stop at the House of Rock on May 20.
TERRIFIC FORM. Hardcore band Terraform has two EPs and two singles under their belt, and they’re taking to the interstates of America on some seriously big tours. Their latest has a stop at the House of Rock on May 20.

For all their togetherness, their blistering energy, and their high-octane hardcore tunes, Terraform is made up of members who rarely live in the same place. With two members in Memphis, another in Des Moines, and vocalist Jake Olson here in Eau Claire, Terraform comes together as often as they can to record, hang out, and plan their specialty: Touring.

Since his old band Our Judgement (made up of all Chippewa Valleyans) hung up the hat, Olson said Terraform has been a thing, making raucous, punchy metal with different members for the last three years or so. They’ve got a couple singles – “Ascending Steps” and “Shallow Grave” – to their name as well two EPs – 2014’s Dream|Construct and Zenith, which came out in December.

Surrounding all their recorded work, the band always makes sure to book strings of dates all over the country to bring their huge live show to fans and strangers alike. Touring is a significant part of what Terraform can do, and Olson said it’s the best way to get their stuff out there into new ears, as well some of the most fun you can have as a band. When Our Judgment called it quits, they were just starting to book tours, so Olson wanted that to be a central part of Terraform’s ethos.

“When I became a part of this I wanted to make sure I wasn’t taking any steps backward. I mean, nobody’s getting any younger,” Olson said. “As much as Facebook and being active on social media is important, I’m from that old school mentality where you go out and put up flyers and you try to tour to every little area. We played in Merrill, Wisconsin. It’s those smaller areas where they’re not as spoiled where you get some of the best crowds.”

Terraform’s newest EP Zenith is a stunning five-track effort punctuated by crashing drums, fiercely chugging guitars, and deliciously ambient soundscapes, all anchored by Olson’s no-holds-barred vocals raging through each track. Standou t track “Traveler’s Hymn” finds the band at its best, thrashing through bars and bars of relentless, syncopated instrumentation.

The video for “Traveler’s Hymn,” which dropped a couple weeks ago, was shot in Alaska and Minnesota, and it’s like – in Olson’s words – a savvy cross between the TV show LOST, and Oscar-winning 2015 film The Revenant. Gorgeous winter scenes, jagged cuts, treacherous woods, paranormal activity, and hikers on the brink of survival provide an apt visual for the powerful song.

Now that Terraform has all this work behind them, they look forward to more songs, more work, and most importantly, more shows. The band kicks off a nine-day tour with their friends By The Thousands and Narrow Hearts on May 14, with an upcoming House of Rock date in Eau Claire on May 20 (where the three bands will be joined by Upon Open Arms and At Morning’s End). To see their live show is to truly get a good feel for this band, as they aim to bring their gutsy sounds to anywhere and everywhere.

“As far as I know, I’m only here for so long. I would rather spend it traveling, seeing cool stuff, playing music, and eating different food,” Olson said with a laugh. “Even at the scale that we’re doing this now, the number of people we’ve been able to meet has been pretty crazy. I can almost go anywhere now, and have a pretty good friend there.”

For more on Terraform, visit them on Facebook or at www.terraformus.com.

Journey Ahead

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