Smile And Pretend: Torre Cioffi

The year is 2016. The location, Boston, MA. We are finally having to put the lyric “I’m getting good at saying goodbye” into play. It’s the last show Transit will ever play and we definitely have to accept that nothing lasts forever. Was this the last we’d see of Transit? Yes. Its members? Not a chance. Today we head to Massachusetts, where we find former Transit guitarist, Torre Cioffi. And it seems he had no intention of saying Goodbye Forever.  Since Transit disbanded Torre has definitely been keeping busy musically. He seems to be a man of many talents and that shows with the music he’s created both with new bands and through his solo project.  

The first new band he formed with fellow friends/musicians is a band called bloom. And with their melancholic melodies and lyrics, there’s no doubt this band’s future will blossom into something amazing. Since 2017 they have given us a handful of singles, 2 EP’s and we even got their newest track, ‘Mean…”, despite the chaos of 2020. Their 2019 EP “Withered” is definitely one for the books though. With this EP we hear tracks like “Better Way” and my personal favorite, “Emotion”. Though the EP is indeed a roller coaster of emotions, we hear the band really solidify their sound and with its groovy riffs and brutally honest lyrics, this is one EP you’ll want to keep on repeat. We then come around to Torre’s solo work, Torre James. The first-ever track I heard from this project was one called “Asphalt” and it was one that stayed on repeat for a few days. His lyrical honesty, which he gives us with all his solo tracks, are comforting and it is something to be appreciated.  

Now we fast forward to the present tense, to the dog days so to speak. With the newest project, he’s a part of, Dog Hotel, it seems there’s no musical outlet Torre can’t conquer. He and his long-time friends that makeup Dog Hotel released their first single “One Way Ticket” in February of this year. They also recently visited The Gradwell House in NJ, where they were sure to create something amazing with the man himself, Nik Bruzzese.  And if that still wasn’t enough for this Jack of all trades, he also currently has another EP release from the project Roller Derby Pool Party. That will be out on April 19th! Make sure to give it a listen! 

Now I was lucky enough to catch up with Torre, virtually of course, and he was awesome enough to answer a few questions I had! 

  • Now obviously we all know you from your time in Transit, but let’s talk about before you became a part of any band. Was music always a big part of your life growing up? And was playing and being in a band something you knew you wanted to do from an early age?

Music was always a big part of my life growing up. I come from a very musical family, music is in my blood. My dad started playing drums when he was 3 years old, my brothers started playing at a young age, and then I started playing the drums at around age 8 or so. For as long as I can remember I wanted to play music and travel/tour. I played my first show at 12 years old so it’s safe to say that music has consumed my life!

  • It seems after Transit disbanded that you wasted no time keeping the creative process going as your band bloom. emerged. How did bloom. come to be? Will we be getting some new music from you guys this year?

Once transit ended I was pretty depressed. The only thing that I really knew just came to a halt and I didn’t really know what to do. Once we disbanded I started working at harpoon brewery and that’s where I met Matt DiPietro (bloom.). I only played guitar in bands so when Matt and I discussed writing music together I was stoked because I wanted to play drums in a band for so long. We have a couple new songs that we’re sitting on right now that will be released soon, so you will be getting some more bloom. songs this year! They’re probably my favorite songs that we have written and really excited to share them.

  • You also have released multiple singles under your solo project, Torre James. Which let me just say, “Smile and Pretend”, is amazing! “Asphalt” was the first-ever track I heard from your solo project and I was instantly hooked. Any plans in the near future for another EP?

Thank you so much I appreciate that! Being in multiple projects there are just some songs that don’t fit in with the other music and that’s why I started my solo project. I’m sitting on about 5 songs that aren’t released right now, so I’ll either release them as singles or an EP…still deciding!

  • Dog Hotel is the newest project you’re a part of and I think it’s safe to say after your first single “One Way Ticket” the future is bright for you dudes. How was working with Nik at the Gradwell House? And will we be hearing the new music you recorded there this year?

I’m very excited about Dog Hotel! Working with Nik is always amazing. We recorded a bunch of bloom. tracks with Nik, I did a handful of TorreJames songs with Nik, and then went back to him for a 5 song EP for Dog Hotel. You will most definitely be hearing that EP this year. Nothing set in stone but hoping for a summer release date.

  • And now for the most important question, if you were only allowed to listen to one Third Eye Blind album for the rest of your life what album would it be and why?

Hmmmmm very tough question. But I’m going to have to go with self-titled. That record is just timeless, jam after jam after jam. And that record just screams nostalgia and gives me a sense of hope.

We forget the work and time that goes into creating the music we listen to. And it seems that this talented gentleman has been working overtime to help create these lyrical gems we all have been enjoying. Keep your eye on Torre Cioffi, it seems he definitely is not wanting us to ever be good at saying goodbye, to him anyways. Give this talented gents music a listen, give him a follow and most importantly share his content! 

Article by Kristen Hernandez

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