August 3rd saw the release of Trophy Eyesthird full-length release ‘The American Dream’ and they left fans in awe at the lack of creative boundaries the band had presented to themselves. We sat down with lead singer JohnFloreaniafter the world premier release to discuss the old, the new and what really is The American Dream.
“what better way to start this next chapter of the new story than to close the book on the old story”
The album begins with a huge track titled ‘Autumn’which features the line ‘don’t let these sad songs rot your brain’ which further signifying the bands’ growth on this new record. John told us, “Each record is kind of a story. In the beginning, it was quite angsty and now if you listen, it is quite relaxed, optimistic, and you know – what better way to start this next chapter of the new story than to close the book on the old story? I guess that was more the idea behind it, was to move forward in the story.” The two intimate shows they did recently in Sydney and Melbourne showed not the band abandoning their roots, but closing the book on that part of their musical history. Although the growth is evident in this new release, there are still distinct Trophy Eyes elements scattered throughout the record.
‘The American Dream’ became exactly that, as singer John has been the majority of the writing process living in Texas in America. It was after the first round of demos were recorded that John realised“I wanted to make the record sound like the time and space I was in … and that was Texas”which is definitely visible in tracks such as ‘Cotton Candy Sky’ “so you know, hot summers nights, fireflies, classic rock, Honkey Tonk bars – all those kind of things” John continued. Authenticity has always been crucial in the musical process for the band too, “I wanted to incorporate all those different sounds and put them into music. Like I said [at the premier] and like I always do, I wanted to make it sound genuine and from an honest place.”
The album vibes this massive cinematic feel especially on tracks such as ‘Something Bigger Than This’ and ‘I Can Feel It Calling’, which makes the band decision to release it to the world in a cinematic premier so fitting. However, the band had been planning a release like this since the creation of Chemical Miracle. “We weren’t big enough with the release of Chemical Miracle, or at least successful enough to put an event like that together. So, this time we grew a little bit from the last record and decided okay it’s time to share the record to the world like that” John said, “I just kind of just wanted to put everyone together in a space and the whole record store thing is so overdone so I wanted to do something fresh, something new, so ‘let’s put everyone in a cinema and if we are in a cinema let’s make some visuals to go with it’.”
“it was time to make music my life – make it my goal”
Despite the overarching theme of John’s time in America, the album also features a track named after Sydney’s own Lavender Bay. The song is an epic sing-a-long with a chorus chant that goes ‘I won’t sleep until Sydney knows my name / I just wanna see my name light up the streets / Or it was all for nothing, all for nothing.’ Knowing Trophy Eyes are technically classed as a Newcastle band, I asked John about the sentimental value behind Sydney’s own Lavender Bay.“As I joined a band and started playing music I grew apart from my old friends as it was a bad space to be creative. Those people were the kinda of people to be like ‘oh John’s in a band’ you know what I mean? So I ended up leaving Newcastle as I felt nothing was there for me anymore” explained John. “I decided if I was to not speak to these people because of music it was time to make music my life – make it my goal. I moved to Milsons Point, Bianca, my girlfriend and I would always walk past Lavender Bay and be like ‘one day I’m going to move there.’ I wanted to one day get there and achieve that thing.” Epitomising Lavender Bay – the song and the place – as not only an absolute banger of a song, but almost an optimistic anthem about pursuing your dreams. I think it really won’t be longer after this release until Sydney definitely knows Trophy Eyes’ name.
“as you get older you grow”
Leading on from the cinematic release and overall huge vibe from the album it’s no wonder that Trophy Eyes are about to embark on one of the biggest headliner tours to date. This change of sound was natural for the band John stated, “There was no like, ‘ooo let’s sit down and write something that sounds different’ it was just what happened no.” After multiple laps around the country and tours through the UK and the USA the band has attributed the growth of this record also to personal experience. “We are all older, we have all travelled the world a bit, we have seen more, we have learned more, we have experienced more things and with more subjects and different kinds of music and as you get older you grow.”
“We were never gonna write a pop punk record or something so pigeon holed and overly policed – that just sounded so boring to me”
Bands often fear a sound change and the reception the audience will have to it, but Trophy Eyes felt that the whole process of creating ‘The American Dream’ was free and liberating. “I [John] sat down in my room in Texas, and started writing songs and that’s how they came out. The thought process was never to be, or to write to, a specific genre. We were never gonna write a pop punk record or something so pigeon holed and overly policed – that just sounded so boring to me. So, we sat down and created our own.” ‘The American Dream’ also highlights vocalist John Floreani’svocal range – traditionally only seen in his side project Little Brother. Questioning whether the success of his solo work had inspired the inclusion of more clean singing John noted, “When I’m writing something I am wanting to hear the best version of that. So you know, back in the day when wrote our first songs, they were fast and they were heavy and if I was singing cleanly over that it would have sounded quite funny.” John also teased the release of new Little Brother music saying “I’ve recorded it and it’s been mixed/mastered already and it’s a strange collection of songs. It’s gonna be out by the end of this year or maybe early next year and I’m sure some single will pop out before then. It’s nothing like the last single either I don’t think. Maybe one or two songs like that but yeah, I think it will be quite different and quite a surprise for everybody.”
John teased that the upcoming tour will be like nothing before, stating “we are aiming to make this more of an experience than a concert. So hopefully there’s gonna be some new production, some lights and we will overall submerse the audience in the record.” Along with the burning question of who will supports be, which has now been announced to be Dear Seattle,Maddy Janeand Stumps. We also had to address the elephant in the room, will the iconic outfit that Floreani fronted in the ‘Friday Forever’ video be making a comeback on tour? John could only give us this response “hahaha, maybe who knows. Maybe we’ll make it some merch, maybe I’ll wear it on stage, who knows. I guess you’ll just have to come and see to find out.”
‘The American Dream’favourite tracks: Friday Forever, You Can Count On Me, Tip Toe, I Can Feel It Calling
Want more tunes? Check Out the Supports! – Not Human At All – Maddy Jane, The Meadows – Dear Seattle & Piggyback – Stumps