Hardcore punk band Trophy Eyes are set to release their massive second album Chemical Miracle on Oct 14 via Hopeless Records. The Upside News had a chat with vocalist John Floreani while Trophy Eyes are on tour in America and Canada with The Amity Affliction, Being As An Ocean and Hundredth.
With Chemical Miracle being released in less than a week vocalist John is oddly calm.
“Surprisingly, I’m not scared or nervous. I mean we’ve had this two or three months. We kept it a big secret, writing and recording. We kept it totally quiet from everybody. We just came home with this album that I couldn’t show anybody. It’s been that way for months now, but now that everybody knows about it and it’s time to come out I’ve kind of lost my nerves, and I’m totally at peace with releasing this album. I’m excited. I’m totally excited to show people and have the world hear it, and people who aren’t my mum who I’ve shown like 300 times because I can’t show anybody else” John laughs.
John’s mum has been an influential part of his musical career introducing him to the music that would shape Trophy Eyes in the years to come.
“I think mum gets it. Mum showed me all the music I listen to. She showed me Queen, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, The Doors, The Who, all that kind of stuff. Growing up at such a young age I had a pretty good idea what good music was. I owe that all to my mother. When I was a kid I was looking for something, I remember listening to Blink 182 and the novelty of swearing and talking about dicks kind of wore off, I was looking for something more aggressive that would self medicate that teenage angst that you go through in puberty.”
“I was looking for something angrier and Mum suggested that I listen to Short.Fast.Loud on Triple J, because they have people jumping around and screaming on at night. So I sat up at night and I got listening to it on my radio and I got a notebook and pen writing down the names of all the songs I liked. I remember my particular favourite of that night was…. I can’t remember the exact song but it was by The Getaway Plan. I loved it, all the screaming and that kind of stuff. I finally found the thing I was looking for. So I totally owe my mum, she totally understands, I show her these things and she gets it, even if she doesn’t like it she understands” John praises.
“Some days it’s ‘Rain On Me’ because some days I need that heavy blasty metal fix I guess. I think my absolute favourite song is ‘Day Dreamer’. Sometimes if I’m by myself and no one is looking I’ll listen to ‘Day Dreamer’ myself, I know it’s weird listening to your own songs but I don’t know I just really love that song. It’s one of my favourite things I’ve ever written. It’s just aesthetically and musically interesting and pleasing, the lyrics mean a lot to me as well, I’m just in love with that song. I think it’s my favourite and definitely that bridge towards the end is my favourite part of the album. I can’t wait for people to listen to that bit.”
Apparently even lead singer’s experience the cringe that the general public gets when they listen to their own voice on the phone. With Chemical Miracle John is oddly satisfied with his own performance.
“I found all of my other stuff very hard to listen to, always. I can’t even listen to my own voice on the phone it gives me the willies. Its kind of strange for me to listen to something I’ve written. I guess, I’m pretty hard on myself when it comes to anything that I create. Which is a good sign! If I like this album maybe it’s all right” John jokes.
“It’s fantastic we wouldn’t be doing what we do without their support. They’ve grown us from a small 5-piece that has just come out of our drummer’s house practicing our shitty little songs and not really recording or touring much at all. To now, where we’ve been touring for I don’t know how long, we’ve been recording, writing, playing shows. We wouldn’t have played Vans Warped Tour without Hopeless, we wouldn’t be flying over every now and then to Thailand to record an album at a resort, we’re very lucky. Hopeless looks after us like family.”
Trophy Eyes recorded Chemical Miracle in the same studio that Australian hardcore band Hellions recorded their ARIA nominated success Opera Oblivia. Australian hardcore music seems to be peaking at the moment especially with UNFD‘s lineup.
“I think if you look back at musical history it fluctuates, sometimes the scene is heavily saturated with generic sounds. For example, pop punk, as unconventional as that may have sounded 10 years ago in the last few years it flooded, every band in the whole world is a pop punk band! I think that when people get tired of that or when it’s not cool to be scene any more people go back to the radio or something like that. The music scene is constantly fluctuating, there used to be a Nirvana, a rock bands were the biggest bands in the world, now there’s like Britney Spears and stuff” John explains.
“The Australian heavy music scene is just exploding right now, you’ve got bands like Hellions, The Amity Affliction, Parkway Drive who are just off conquering the world right now, you’ve got Void Of Vision, Ocean Grove, Our Past Days, Columbus and Luca Brasi. These heavy bands, rock and roll bands, alternative are all exploding out of the scene right now. I think that a large part of that is to do with Triple J and what they play to the general public at what times, and people are just accepting it now instead of being like ‘turn that fucking rah rah shit off’, which is normally what you hear in Australia. Or ‘that’s not music, Jimmy Barnes is real music’. But you know it seems to be exploding right now, people are just accepting it and people love it. The funny thing is over here in America I’d be stopped every now and then with people being like ‘Oh you’re from Australia, I love Void Of Vision or I love Hellions’. This is crazy, the whole world is listening to Australia right now and it’s a good thing.”
“Well yesterday we played a club show with Hundredth in Buffalo. It was a small venue and it seemed to be in the middle of nowhere nearly. I must have talked to about 3 or 4 people who said they all listen to Australian heavy bands. One band in particular was Vices, a Sydney melodic hardcore band that’s been around. They’re a fantastic band, super energetic, super tight and all these guys are saying Vices is my favourite band. And it’s like you’re from Buffalo, New York how do you know about them!? It’s crazy!” John exclaims.
Trophy Eyes will be back home in Australia for UNIFY Gathering 2017, this will be the second year in a row for the band who played UNIFY Gathering 2016.
“Man UNIFY the first time was just a giant two-day party, it was super fun, we had a ball. I don’t even remember there being any police or much security, and never once did I feel unsafe or uneasy or did I feel like anybody had any kind of wrong intention. It felt like everyone had traveled from all over Australia to come and see some alternative music. It was fantastic, everybody was out partying all day and all night and then everybody woke up at lunch time to see the bands the next day. I don’t remember an awful lot of it because I was unbelievably drunk the whole time, and I got a lot of sun as well so I was quite ill.”
“I had an interview with Lindsay McDougall from Frenzal Rhomb and instead of being nervous like I should have I got really really drunk and had my shirt soaked in beer. I was trying to be sober and it was kind of embarrassing, I watched back on the interview and said ‘oh dear, what I have done’. That was a whole two days and we managed to squeeze a set in between all that partying. We got to hang with Hellions and Neck Deep came down we saw them, they’re good friends of ours. Hands Like Houses, Park Way Drive was unbelievable the energy for that was crazy.”
John’s song of choice to end the interview:
Chemical Miracle out October 14, 2016 on Hopeless Records!
Catch them at UNIFY Gathering 2017