Posted by Aphra Magazine on 27/7/15.
Tired Lion is a garage/indie-punk band from Perth, Australia, who’ve been busy firing up Australia’s grunge rock scene through their national tours, along with supporting bands such as Gyroscope, The 1975, and Kingswood. They have been voted most popular live act at the 2014 WAM Awards, are playing main stage at Splendour In The Grass and were featured on Triple J’s ‘Like a Version’ where they added their own personal touch from the Smashing Pumpkins’ song ‘1979’.
Sophie talks about how Ethan the drummer and Matt the guitarist had formed a two piece band when they were around 14 years old: ‘They used to play songs about girls they met at the cinema, or people they had crushes on at school.’ She discusses how they had played together for a while. Eventually, they became more serious about their music and had begun to ask around for a singer. Sophie mentions that her sister happened to be in the same year level as them in school: ‘We all basically went to the same school, except for Nick the bass player, and my sister mentioned me saying… and they were like “no way, we don’t like girls” and I was like “oh no!”‘
‘We started writing together and we had a really strong musical connection. He introduced me to the Smashing Pumpkins and from there, I was like “Oh my God I want my band to be like this”. It was a long journey for us and we’ve been playing together – Ethan, Matt and I – since we were pretty young, like seventeen.’ Nick then joined the band after they had semi-established themselves.
When deciding on a name, the band decided they didn’t want a name that sounded like it was too female or male dominated. ‘You know when you hear a name for a band, you’re like yeah you can tell they’re all dudes or girls? This is sort of in between it, it doesn’t really give too much away,’ Sophie says. ‘I come across as very confident and fierce onstage and the whole band does really, but we’re all a bunch of sooks. I think this different side of me only comes out when I’m writing’.
‘It’s crazy: I tried to write with other people, I tried sitting down jamming out with different bands, but Matt is definitely my musical soulmate,’ she continues. ‘I guess our little sooky side comes out when we’re writing together.’ She laughs.
In addition to Smashing Pumpkins, Sophie also loves Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Hole. She mentions how musicians have an emotional connection to their work. ‘Musicians are always aware of how they feel or are even emotionally connected to people that really love music. We’re always thinking about “why do I feel like this today?” or “I’m so down about that” or “that made me feel like this”.’ In listening to her favourite records, Sophie gets an instant pick-me-up, and she would like people to form their own personal connection to her music: ‘I’ve always wanted someone to put on our music; if they’re in a bad mood, they come home and they can chuck on our EP or whatever and it lifts them up. It’s sort of like you’re helping people out via your experiences.’
The most exciting moment that Tired Lion has had is the day they were told to come in to do their cover for Like a Version. ‘It’s one of our childhood dreams to do it because all of our favourite artists have done their rendition of the song,’ Sophie says. ‘To be put onto that sort of level was really awesome for all of us, and sort of surreal in a way’ She continues. She also thinks getting chosen to perform on the main stage for Splendour in the Grass was a pretty cool moment for the band.
Sophie’s favourite song that she’s recorded is ‘Figurine’. ‘I feel like that sort of sums us up as a band [in terms of] how far we’ve come and from then on,’ she says. ‘It’s not our best work to date but there’s something about that song and that’s why we named the EP Figurine.’
Sophie would love to tour America next, since she’s been there on a holiday once and she just loves all their fast food chains. ‘I know the guys are really keen to hit up the UK; I just want to get out of Australia again,’ she says. Apparently the band has only been to Singapore once for a small conference and they then played a few shows. ‘We definitely want to get out of Australia, do some touring in the big wide world and see what happens.’ Sophie says.
Sophie’s future goals for Tired Lion is to release their debut album and then all remain friends after it: ‘Like any band, you have your ups and downs, but at the end of the day we all trust each other a lot. I certainly feel as though as a unit, we’re really tight; we’re sort of like a family dynamic. You’ve got the responsible older brother, you’ve got the annoying little brother, then you’ve got your favourite – and I’m just going to leave it at that,’ she laughs.
Tired Lion have been making a name for themselves with their various national tours, and Sophie says that the reason why they’re doing a lot at the moment is because they enjoy it. ‘That’s the reason why you start doing music, not so that you can get played on the radio or you can play festivals. Obviously that does come along with it when you enjoy yourself though. We’re grateful that has actually come about as a result from just hanging out in my parents’ garage to playing big shows. It’s pretty awesome.’
The beauty of Tired Lion lies in their strong friendship, and none of them are money hungry in any way. ‘We’re totally cool just hanging out and being friends,’ Sophie says. She continues: ‘It’s a good excuse, like going away on tour for me is like reliving sleepovers we used to have when we were younger; it’s a chance to be silly. We all watch movies, like it’s not what everyone thinks, people on tour getting drunk and this and that. We might have an early night and then go back to the hotel and all watch a Pokemon movie together or something’.
Sophie elaborates on how being in a band requires a lot more work than anybody expects. ‘Most people think that you just rock up to the show and you just play and get drunk, but there’s a lot of stuff that goes behind the scenes. You have to stay focused on the big goal and not be wrapped up in a little bit of success at the moment.’
Sophie tells me that she and Matt have also set the groundwork for the new album coming up. ‘It’s a pretty important thing, since it’s a debut album that we’ve all dreamed of releasing since we were kids, I’m sure. It’s like we want to make it our absolute best we can.’
Sophie’s words of inspiration to her fans are to ‘live life like somebody has left the gate open. I saw a little meme on Facebook that was like a little dog just running for it out the door, and I guess just go for it and if it scares you, that’s awesome. Then you think of another dream and go with it.’
Want to know a random fact about Sophie? She has recently found a love for vintage lamps, and they’ve even been featured in her film clip. ‘I’ve been collecting them and I have eleven so far. I’m hoping that when I’m old and grey, if I ever make to that age, I will have a room full of lamps. And I want to have different lightbulbs that are all dimmed with different colours,’ she says enthusiastically. Also, when asked about what her ultimate superpower would be, she said she would like to fly ‘because it would get you out of so many situations’.
Be sure to witness Tired Lion rock it onstage throughout their upcoming tour:
Wednesday 22nd July – Goodgod, Sydney
Thursday 23rd July – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Friday 24th of July – Splendour in the Grass, Byron Bay
Saturday 25th of July – Shebeen, Melbourne
Sunday 26th of July – Crown & Anchor, Adelaide
Saturday 8th of August – Amplifier, Perth