India and Alex from Brisbane’s Tragic Me sat down and had a chat about their latest single Dance’s Alone and how their new sound came to be.
I was listening to your old EP Young Hearts the other day. It is a different sound to where you are at now.
Alex: Gee that was a while ago now. Yeah, basically we were doing a bit of a pop-punk thing and then we had a couple of line up changes. Nothing was really working for us and we were considering calling it quits. Ben and I were talking to our producer Josh and he suggested the two of us do something different. We thought we would give it a go. We recorded a few demos which eventually became the songs that are out now. We didn’t really want to be a two piece because we didn’t want most of the song to be on a backing track . India had been coming in and playing bass with us for a while, I was always asking her to join the band. She’s a busy girl but one day I messaged her again and she was keen to have a jam and see what happens.
India: Something just switched and I was like yeah lets jam. I think especially after Covid and everything. Something just changes inside of you and you know it’s the time. It’s all about timing and this was the right time to join for me. I was filling in on bass for quite a few shows, rehearsed with them and knew all the songs.
Alex: Then away we went as a four piece again. I would say this is the strongest the line-up has ever been. We are just trying to take it to a higher level, it was more a hobby previously but now we are trying to take it further.
I think being in lockdown has changed a lot of bands perceptions around what they want out of the band. Taking their music and pushing it as far as they can.
India: It made everyone realise how important 1. Live music is and 2. being out there and playing shows, networking and being with friends. I reckon there will be a big surge in albums any time now.
Every week lately there have been large release numbers on Fridays. Its so good.
India: That’s awesome. It is good to see.
Dance’s Alone is your latest single.
Alex: I wrote the basics of Dance’s Alone on my couch with my acoustic guitar. I was thinking about a friend I had a while ago, who every time I saw her out she had a different boy but she was unhappy. I thought that was the state of love with a lot of young people, there are a lot of quick relationships because often times one person wants more than the other. They are searching for someone to complete them when they should be looking to complete themselves. That is the inspiration for this song.
On from that I guess is who influences you?
Alex: We have quite a variety but with these three songs we were really looking into the band Camino, The 1975 and a band called ARIZONA. Introducing synth was a big part of it and stripping back layers as well. Up until this point we had been all about the guitars so we have tried to increase the dynamic variation in the songs.
Do you guys have anything else in the works?
Alex: Yeah. We have three songs that are going to be an EP which is called ‘Overthought’. We have released two of the songs, Dance Alone and For The Night, we will release the third one as a single in June and then call it an EP. It just keeps content flowing with people’s attention spans being so short these days. I am about to get back into writing again and try and get some more demos together. I’ve gone through a bit of a faze of not being able to write, I’ve had massive writers block, but I am back to feeling like myself again so I am keen to get back into it.
Have you guys started playing gigs since restrictions have eased?
Alex: We played a really good show in December, it was almost a last minute thing because we weren’t actually going to play until we had released new music. India and Joseph had joined the band at this stage and we got offered a show at Greaser, we have played there a few times and have a really good relationship with them. I was like let’s just do it. Covid screwed us over, it screwed over everything, lets just go play and have some fun. I’m glad we did it because it was a really good show. It was sold out, there were no tickets but it was at capacity. Everyone was loving it; you could see people where so happy to see live music again.
Who did you play that one with?
Alex: Nightspring. They were really cool. We have a couple of shows coming up in June and July. We have a headliner at Tom Cat to celebrate the release of ‘Overthought’ which I think is the 25th June. Then we are supporting The Joy In Motion with In Eyes and Deadnerve on the 8th July at The Brightside (Tickets Here) At this stage we are just trying to get on shows with other artists. We want to open for bigger bands and become a part of the community and grow from playing alongside other bands.
There are so many great bands coming out of Brisbane.
Alex: It’s pretty good. There are a lot of heavier bands, we don’t really slot in with them. There are a couple that we kind of could overlap with on a show that would work.
India: So many. Brisbane seems to be either super heavy or its very Indie/rock and we are very much in that middle ground. Maybe we can start a new thing!!
Mixed bills seem to be making a come back too.
India: Yeah everyone wants the variety these days. Especially with attention spans, a four band line-up of the same genre can sometimes get a bit same same. But having say an acoustic act, an indie band, a rock band and then a heavy band – most people listen to a few different genres so why not.
I loved a section in your bio that says, “Tragic Me loves to create music that is both catchy and diverse., focusing on each song individually, avoiding genre boundaries”.
Alex: Expanding on that genre boundaries thing, we say that because we come from that pop punk background. But even then I remember when we were recording our older stuff, Josh our producer said that he loves pop punk but even then our stuff was quite unique because we blended genres even back then. Going forward we are still going to have that energy, because that is inherently what is within the band, that energy of pop punk, but we want to explore it so we can have songs that you can dance too, some slow songs, groovy songs and if we want to we can come back and write a heavy song. Just for that energy that we had at the start.
It’s funny you say that because when I listened to Young Hearts I had actually written pop punk with a touch of My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy!!
Alex: That’s exactly who the influences were back then. So yeah, we got it!!
India: I think this EP is a perfect mix of the three songs. They are very much in the same genre but they are so different to each other. It really shows where we could go next and not just release an EP that sounds exactly like Young Hearts. Just mixing different sounds and saying hey here is what you can expect.
I am a huge supporter of letting a band be able to grow, which means growing their sound. I know a lot of fans get snarky about that. Don’t bad a band that is taking that risk to better themselves.
Alex: I think a lot of people who are passionate about music, this is my theory anyway, they identify with bands and it is part of their identity. ‘Oh I listen to Neck Deep’ – they want to be associated with that pop punk edgy stuff and then they release a happy, bubble gum pop song out and the persons identity is suddenly challenged.
That’s actually really insightful, I never actually thought of it like that.
Alex: That’s just how I see it.
India: That is so true.
People seem to forget that music is art and as such it is up for interpretation.
India: Very much so.
Alex: I think it is authenticity, as long as there is authenticity in the music you can’t really go wrong. It’s when something is forced that it becomes that little bit not so great.
That is 100% correct. At the end of the day you can’t compare songs because everyone is an individual piece of work.