Newcastle’s Trophy Eyes are edging closer to the October 31st release of their debut full-length ‘Mend, Move On‘, which will be put out via Hopeless Records / Unified. The band will tour the country in November to launch the album. This week in The Hotseat we catch up with John from the band to answer our questions. Expand this post to take a read of his answers and remind yourself of the tour dates and details. Pre-Order the album on CD & Vinyl [Here], Digital also available [Here].
Name : John Floreani
Band : Trophy Eyes
Job In Band : Singer
Website Address : www.facebook.com/trophyeyesmusic
Hometown : Newcastle.
Hometown is best known for : Silverchair and meth addicts.
Best venue in your hometown : Hamo Station.
Favourite show you’ve seen in your hometown : I missed Pianos Become The Teeth and La Dispute because I was too broke. I sat outside the venue and listened to a few songs and cried.
Favourite show you’ve played in your hometown : I don’t know who it was with, but my mum came along and I got her up onstage to say thanks. Was pretty cute.
How did the band first come to exist? The boys were already all mates and played in small local bands. I was new in town and had found Callum through social media. I was aware of his band and messaged him to ask if they needed a singer. Chances were they did, and I got the part.
How long has the band been going? Trophy Eyes has been going since late 2012.
Any particular story behind the name? Cal found it scrolling through songs in his iTunes. We came up with millions after that but they were all lame, so we decided to go with the original idea.
What’s your most recent release? Tell us a little about it… ‘In Return’ would be the most recent release. It’s a single from our debut album ‘Mend, Move On’. ‘In Return’ is about my mother and the events following her divorce when I was about 13 years old. We moved house and began our lives again – or so mum tried. Even though my mother had never let it show, I know now that it must have been a very lonely and hard time for her. Supporting three children through school and working three jobs and still making sure we never went without. When It finally came time for mum to love again, I was totally against it and made it very hard for her and her new love (they’re happily married now and have been for many years) to be together. Not long after that, mum received the news that she was suffering with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and we were told that she could be reduced to a wheelchair for the rest of her life – so the degenerative properties of her disease. I wrote ‘In Return’ to apologize to her. Not for her forgiveness, but to let her know that I remember and I am sorry.
Got a personal stand out achievement of your band to date? Probably playing Soundwave. I was shitting my pants before we went on. Pacing backstage and drinking millions of litres of water. When we finally went on stage there were so many people there and they were going nuts. The nerves left and we just nailed it. That and Thailand. Thailand was amazing.
OFF THE STAGE
What was your first introduction to music that made you think seriously about playing it? Probably Blink-182. I remember hearing it in the early years of high school and instantly wanting to be them. Before that, I’d been subject to a lot of beach boys, Simon and Garfunkel, Queen, Metallica from my brother and parents. It was always blaring in the house and I loved it. Blink was the first band that I thought I’d found a sound that I really liked, and they were kind of my gateway to all the other music I listen to now.
Any particular band / album or song that you personally credit as a major influence? Blink’s Self Titled, Enema of the Sate, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket and probably Worthwhile’s Carry On Kid are the most influential records for me. Blink’s albums always seemed to be the perfect soundtrack to where I was in my life. They got me through girls, parents divorce, teen angst and depression and could just make you laugh at any given time. Worthwhile showed me a new raw and intense way of writing and expressing yourself in what I think is the best melodic hardcore / post hardcore album of all time, Carry On Kid.
Your first band name, and what style did you play? My first real band was Trophy Eyes. I’d tried out for a band a long time before that went nowhere. They played A Day To Remember style shit. At that time, I wanted to be ADTR so I tried out by writing lyrics to a demo they had. I think they took those lyrics and went with another vocalist in the end, haha!
Most prized music related item you own? I don’t have a lot of stuff like that. I sold my guitar a while ago to see Defeater live, so I don’t even have my own guitar, and usually borrow someone’s when writing. I think it might be my Blink- 182 ticket. I saw them with Brooks instead of Travis in Sydney when they came over for Soundwave at both shows – their Sidewave and Soundwave show. I never thought I’d ever get to see them. They played Reckless Abandoned acoustically which was THE song for me and my friends growing up and I burst in to tears. One of the happiest moments of my life.
When you’re not doing band related stuff, what are you usually found doing? Working, watching cartoons, video games, trying to see live shows, hanging with friends and my beautiful girlfriend Chloe. It sounds like I don’t get up to a lot, but I think that’s because most of my life now is band related. Travelling, drinking in car parks, playing shows, seeing friends shows, writing and organizing band related things like art and promo shit. It just takes up my entire life now, and it’s awesome.
The thing you most look forward to just before a tour is… Tour food, even though I hate it after a week and the friends and partying. I don’t know if it’s just us, but all the band buddies we have party so hard. When I get home the sight of a beer makes my physically ill and I sleep for like a whole day. I swear I’ll be dead by the time I’m 30.
The thing you least look forward to before a tour is… Sleeping arrangements. We are so unorganised and we always end up with nowhere to stay so we have a go at driving through the night and always end up in the middle of the pitch black desert sleeping in the car or on the ground. But, even that is pretty fun. There’s not a whole lot about touring that I don’t like.
ON THE STAGE
When on offer, what’s your one must have item on the rider? We hardly get riders, so when someone says “you have a few free beers” we lose it and celebrate hard.
Favourite place you’ve toured… and why? Well, up until now we’ve only really toured Australia. Perth was pretty cool, ‘cause I’d never been there before. We made a whole bunch of new friends that I’d never have known if not for Trophy Eyes and we had a really awesome time. The last show was brutal. It was a house show at someone’s birthday party that I think didn’t even like us. He interrupted our set to tell everyone the party bus was here and to get going but everyone started chanting “fuck the bus, fuck the bus” and we kept playing. Punk rock!
Most memorable show you’ve played? and why? I’d say it was Soundwave but the closest contender would be Shorefest. We were playing and then all of a sudden some guy was waving his arms and saying stop. I remember thinking “hey, fuck you man.” but then I realized there was a girl on the ground and he was telling us to stop playing ‘cause she was in trouble. We stopped and the ambulance came in and took her away and we continued our set after clapping her off. Turns out she had a seizure but she was ok and in hospital. I think we sent her friend home with some free merch and sent her some get wells. I freaked out pretty hard though.
Got a favourite song to play live? I enjoy playing May 24 the most live. The reaction is always crazy and it’s just so fun to lose your shit to.
Any embarrassing on stage moments come to mind? I’ve forgotten the words a couple of times and stumbled and fell over a couple of times. I think the worst was when we played Wasted Years in Sydney and we were so drunk we could barely play. Bandaid started and I sung early. The whole crowd sang with me and we had to stop and start again. We laughed it off though and enjoyed the rest of the set.
Any pre-show rituals? Our manager Eddie Deal and I have a handshake that’s pretty outrageous. It goes for ages and keeps having parts added to it over time. It ends with us both bowing to each other with preying hands and saying “punk ‘til I die” and happens at every show right before we play. It’s the best.
What do you find is the hardest aspect of touring in a band today? Working and being in a band is so hard. Living on your own, relying on work to pay your rent and help you eat and even pay for your band to do things like first runs of merch, recording and fuel for touring is a tricky balance. I wish every day that I could move back in with my mum and have a new pair of shoes. But then I realize I’m on tour and I’ve got a whole packet of cigarettes left and we’re on our way to a show with our friends and all of that just doesn’t seem to matter. If there’s anything too hard about being in a band then go back to your day job and make some space in the already flooded market of Australian local bands for someone who wants to do it.
Last song you listened to? ‘Slow Burn’ by Code Orange.
Last album you picked up? ‘Born to Die’ by Lana Del Rey.
Which band or album is currently on high rotation? Gnarwolves, Code Orange and The Front Bottoms.
Tell us an up and coming band or artist you think we should go and listen to right now? Listen to Hellions. They have a new record coming out soon and it’s going to be some serious next level shit.
What’s on the cards for the next few months for the band? We’re touring our album with Endless Heights, Landscapes (UK) and Columbus in a couple of months, and then we’re off to the UK in February. We’re going to be very busy for the rest of 2015 too.
You can pick any one album for your band to cover in full, what would it be and why? Blink’s Self Titled. It’s been such a massive inspiration to us regarding our sound and writing and I think it’d be something I’d love to play and genuinely love to hear with our spin on it.
You can pick any one band / artist to cover one of your albums in full, what would it be, and why? This is a hard one. I think I would pick Coldplay, ‘cause they’ve never released a shitty song, and they would just give it this massive ambience and liveliness and somehow take it from being fast punk and turn it to moderately paced feel good rock. I’d love to hear it as different from the original they could get it without making the songs unrecognizable. They could do it.
One band you wish you were able to see live but never had the chance? Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson and Queen. They would have been some acts to watch. I watch so much youtube footage of them playing live and just dream. Hopefully in the future they can clone them from some kind of left behind DNA and make them write new albums and make them tour. I’d better start saving. Oh, and The Chariot. Long Live The Chariot.
One venue you have yet to play that you would love to? I don’t know much about venues. I know before we started playing shows I had always dreamt of playing the Annandale Hotel. Now I guess after the boxes I’ve ticked over the last year it would be any stage at Vans Warped Tour. That’d be the dream.
The chance comes up to fill in for a member of a band for one tour, which band would it be, and why? Kerry King from Slayer. Just so I could saddle in for that fucking riff towards the end of Raining Blood, pull my dirtiest metal face and just bang my fucking head while playing the most satanic thing you can play on a guitar in front of a billion people. Ooooofff.
A headline tour overseas comes up, tell us two bands you’d take along to support your band. Gnarwolves and Such Gold. That would be the dream tour for me.
Got any final words? ‘Mend, Move On.’ comes out October 31st Australia wide and November 4th worldwide via Hopeless Records. Pre-orders are available now through 24Hundred and iTunes.
TROPHY EYES – ‘Mend, Move On‘
Available October 31st on Hopeless Records / Unified.
Pre-Order Physical [Here], Digital [Here].