The next wave of Perth rock is coming, and grunge four-piece Tired Lion may just be at the forefront.
With their debut EP Figurine set to drop in July and headline shows selling fast, the band are already creating some pretty cool buzz.
Their first single ‘I Don’t Think You Like Me’ dominated Australian radio (getting as high as 10th most played song on Triple J), as well as mass attention online and taking out the WAMI (Western Australian Music Award) for best rock song.
The band lapped Australia three times with shows supporting the likes of Gyroscope, The 1975, KINGSWOOD and British India, as well as a slot at this year’s Groovin’ The Moo.
I asked lead guitarist Matt Tanner a few questions about the band’s rise, supporting great Aussie bands, recording the EP and what to expect from their upcoming launch shows…
You guys are from Perth too, what is it about great musicians coming from The West?
I think The Perth music scene is just nurturing to bands giving it a crack. There’s a tonne of people out there be it venue owners, other bands, WAM (WA Music Organisation) or booking agents who give new bands a go and an opportunity to hone their craft and take it to the rest of Australia. It’s like one tight knit family who all know each other really well; we all sometimes fight but in the end help each other out where possible.
How did you all meet?
Ethan (Drums), Sophie (Vocals, Guitar) and I (Matt – Lead Guitar) all went to high school together. Towards the end of year 12 Sophie and I started busking around Fremantle, after sensing a strong songwriting connection we decided to give a band a go. I already played in another band with Ethan so we decided to merge the two and make an early version of TL. We struggled with bass players for quite a while until Nick (Bass) came along to complete our little family. I remember Sophie and I seeing Nick play bass in another band a few months before he joined and thinking we need that dude!
Where did the band name Tired Lion come from?
We did some demos with a high school friend just after we started jamming together so we could enter a little band comp over in Perth. In order to enter we needed a band name (obviously) and I remember our previous bass player suggesting the name ’cause it wasn’t to dude-y or girly. We decided to write that on top of the demo CD, then once the ball started rolling it kind of stuck with us.
You recently played Like A Version for Triple J, choosing to cover/blend Violent Soho’s ‘Saramona Said’ and a bit of The Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘1979’. What drew you to those two songs?
Violent Soho are probably our favourite Australian band at the moment, we’ve been fans since their first album a few years back. Their latest album really inspired us too, I think it’s been played from start to finish on most road trips, who can’t say yelling “Hell Fuck Yeah!” isn’t fun haha. When we got asked it wasn’t hard to agree on and decide who we wanted to cover. Smashing Pumpkins we wanted to slip in there as they hold a special place in our influences. When we started writing together as TL we had all kind of gotten into the pumpkins album Siamese Dream at the same time. Listening to their songs was what cemented the idea that we wanted to create music and really brought us all together to go in the musical direction we have.
You’ve supported The 1975, Gyroscope and KINGSWOOD. What’s it like to perform alongside such great Aussie bands?
It’s been great, all of them are top people and we’ve made a lot of friends amongst the bands and their crew. It sounds lame but we truly have learnt a lot from them when it comes to touring and just being a band. I guess seeing these guys also helps push us to up our game at live shows. Shout outs also to British India, The Delta Riggs, The Sinking Teeth and Grenadiers who’ve made the last twelve months rad!
Most recently you toured with British India. How was that?
It’s been awesome playing a sold out tour to a bunch of music lovers. Both British India and Grenadiers (other touring band) have been legends. The shows have been really energetic and it’s great to see the audiences singing along and crowd surfing to all the bands. We’re all a little sick now and exhausted from hitting it pretty hard so it’ll be good to sleep for a couple of days, but really we are just counting down the days to our next tour.
You also just played Groovin The Moo. What was that like?
Groovin’ The Moo was our first little insight into playing a festival. They treat you really well and the bands are from all over the country/the world so it was like we were all on holidays together. It was good playing to an under 18 crowd as well, we barely ever get to do that so it feels good to perform to some people that’ve been hanging to see us.
‘I Don’t Think You Like Me’ is the new single. The accompanying clip was a bit of a tour diary video. What was the concept behind both the song and the video?
The song is pretty straight up and is what the title suggests. Hopefully people can connect it to and recall the feeling in their own lives at some stage. The video clip was just us mucking around on tour being us (losers), I guess the concept was to give people an idea of what we do offstage.
You’ve been recording with Dave Parkin. What does he bring to Tired Lion?
Dave is straight up and honest with us, which is what we want from a producer/engineer. He’s taken the time to get to know us and has an idea of what we want out of our music; I think that’s why our partnership works so well. We often call Parko asking his opinion on heaps of different things even personal life; he’s basically like our really young Dad.
Sophie Hopes – has anyone told you you sound a lot like Gwen Stefani? haha
I yelled this one out to Sophie who’s sick in bed with a chest infection – “Not really haha”.
On the back of your second EP Figurine you’re heading out on your first national tour. Excited? What can audiences expect from your live shows?
We are very excited; tickets are selling which means we get to play to a room full of people there who dig the music. That’s flattering and a massive confidence booster so it’ll add to our energy on stage. We’re jumping back into the jam room shortly to hone our set and maybe chuck in a few new songs. We always give it our all in our live show so expect sweat, swearing and hopefully a raucous audience.
Tired Lion will be taking Figurine on the road throughout July.
TIRED LION ‘FIGURINE’ EP LAUNCH TOUR:
Friday 12 June
June Prince Of Wales, Bunbury WA (FREE)
Friday 19 June
White Star Hotel, Albany WA (FREE)
Saturday 20 June
Settler’s Tavern, Margaret River WA (FREE)
Saturday 27 June
RTRFM Winter Music Festival, Perth WA
Thursday 23 July
Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD
Friday 24 July
Goodgod, Sydney NSW
Saturday 25 July
Shebeen, Melbourne VIC
Sunday 26 July
Crown & Anchor, Adelaide SA
Saturday 8 August
Amplifier, Perth WA
Saturday 5 September
Poison City Weekender, Melbourne VIC
Sunday 13 September
King’s Park Festival, Perth WA
Tickets for the tour are available now here.
Also, have a listen to Tired Lion’s brand new single ‘Suck’ below: