The Vans Warped Tour Interviews: Trophy Eyes
The Vans Warped Tour made its way deep into the heart of Las Vegas, performing inside, poolside, and beyond at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. This edition has truly been an international affair, with bands from all over the world converging upon North America on this, the 23rd year of the iconic, long running festival. This is the second year Trophy Eyes has appeared on the Vans Warped Tour, bringing their own raging brand of pop punk to the States. Based out of the vast and epic confines of Australia, Trophy Eyes recently issued Chemical Miracle, their latest sonic manifesto via Hopeless Records.
Highwire Daze Online caught up with Callum, the drummer of Trophy Eyes, in the press area to find out more about their participation on the Vans Warped Tour, their Chemical Miracle magnum opus, misadventures with kangaroos, and a whole lot more. Read on…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Trophy Eyes.
My name is Callum, I play drums in Trophy Eyes.
How has the first week of The Warped Tour been going, and what have been some of the highlights?
First week’s been good, I feel like I’ve been playing a few smaller cities on tour right now. So it’s been a little slow, but it’s been good. It’s been a good day to like warm into it. But a couple days ago we had a three days off already and we went to a lake with the boys in Boston Manor, that was sick. We spent a night in Vegas already, that was good and bad at the same time. And now we’re back here.
What do you think of the heat so far?
The heat is intense man, it’s hot as hell right now. Yeah, it’s been alright. I feel like, being from Australia, we can kind of deal with it alright, but I couldn’t imagine being a band from England or something right now. They’d be dying, they’d be melting out there. But yeah, it’s hot. It’s hot.
How do you deal playing in the heat? What goes through your mind?
Just breath. Just take the deepest breaths you can and drink water between every song. Yeah, it’s hot.
Is it any easier now that this is your second year on Warped Tour?
It is yeah. We did it back in 2015. This time’s a lot easier because we just know what to do. And like, you know, we just know what to expect. So, yeah, it’s a lot easier this time around. We were a little baby band when we came here last time. We didn’t know what we were doing at all in the whole scheme of things. So yeah, this time around is a lot easier.
Compare a tour like this to a tour that you’ve done with Moose Blood or Boston Manor?
They’re real different man. For instance, like, playing outside everyday is such a different vibe and a different energy than playing in, like, pop venues, you know. It’s a completely different vibe, there’s so many people here. There’s a crew of like 1000 on Warped Tour. A normal club tour there’s what, maybe like 5 people in each band and like 5 crew between them. So it’s like a whole lot more people on Warped Tour. I don’t know which one I like more. I probably – yeah, they’re both totally different monsters. I can’t, like compare them exactly.
Is there any story or concept behind Chemical Miracle, the title?
Kind of, yes, there is. How we got to it was I was sitting in the studio towards the end of the recording process and we realized we didn’t have a name yet. And we had a couple of ideas, but none of them were really clicking. So, I can’t remember who thought of it, but someone remembered Metallica, for their last album just got two random words and jammed them together and came up with Death Magnetic, is what it was called. So we started just writing down, in two columns, we just started writing down one word and then another word. Two cool words that sounded nice next to each other. And we ended up coming up with Chemical Miracle and, but it does work as like an umbrella term for sort of everything. You know what I mean? It’s just an umbrella term for life, I guess. So it’s a bit of everything. We’re a bit of a chemical miracle that all of this is happening. None of the songs are really like meant to explain that or anything. It was just a nice broad term and two words that sounded cool next to each other so we rolled with it.
This album is such a huge jump from the first one, more varied, including a few ballad type songs. Do you like playing more ballads? You’re doing a few of them today.
Yeah, they’re fun. I guess we wrote “Daydream,” which is what the album ends on, that’s a big, like, empathetic 5 minute song. That one’s always fun to play, it’s nice and chill especially for me as a drummer. Like, I just get to sit back a little on that one. Just play nice and lightly. Yeah, there’s definitely – you nailed it with, like, variety. There’s more variety.
What do you think of the popular American restaurants here such as Waffle House and In and Out Burger?
I love American food, man. I try to eat as healthy as I can all of the time. But like, well, that’s a lie, not all of the time. But when I’m back home I’ll just take notice of what I eat and stuff. Just because I feel better when I eat healthy. But then you come to America and there’s just so many options. You’re just whatever shitty food you want to eat. It’s kind of like Christmas time, coming to America and there’s just like a stretch of road and there’ll be Taco Bell, In and Out, McDonald’s, and on this side there’s Denny’s and Waffle House. I love it.
Have you ever hit or pet a Kangaroo?
Ah, I have. Both. I’ve hit one in my car when I was driving. I grew up in the country just outside of sort of a little bit north of Sydney. I hit one in a car once. I’ve been in a car with my mum when she’s hit one, once and then I’ve pet them before too. I’ve done both. They’re around, there’s a lot of them.
What was the Slam Dunk Festival like, what was that experience like playing it?
Slam Dunk was sick. Slam Dunk was one of the best festivals I’ve ever played by far. It was just so well run. A lot of it was indoors, a lot of it kind of felt like today a little bit, especially with that big stage there indoors. Probably the most pleasant festival I’ve ever played.
What’s up next?
After Warped we’re gonna go home and do a headline tour in August and September and then we’re gonna stay in Australia and play random radio festivals over the weekends for maybe like a month’s worth of them. Then we’re gonna look at coming back to America. We’re gonna try and be back over here on a headline run by the end of the year. Nothing is locked in yet, but that’s the plan.
Trophy Eyes is:
John – Vocals
Pokket – Guitar
Jeremy – Bass
Kevin – Guitar
Callum – Drums
(Interview and Candid Photo by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Jack Lue)
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