Up and coming Brisbane four-piece Tired Eyes have just put out their debut EP In Denial, Force a Smile. Tomatrax caught up with Joey Keating, the band’s lead singer to ask a few questions

How did the band form?
We’ll, the band actually started by Jesse and I meeting through a mutual friend. We identified that we both had similar musical tastes and influences, and that was about enough to solidify our close friendship. From there, I met Sam through his sister Claudia – the two of us did two years of college together. I came around to her place to study and heard Sam out in his home studio. I joined Sam in playing through some Underøath tracks and the chemistry in the room alone was enough for me to pursue him as a member. Judah, being Jesse’s brother, was close to home and the perfect element to add to the band – without his musical dynamic in the mix I think we would just be another run of the mill rock band. All members bring their own flare and flavour to the band, and without those elements we wouldn’t be the same.

Where did the name ‘TIRED EYES’ come from?
The name ‘TIRED EYES’ really has it’s own meaning for each of us. For me personally, I decided to pitch the name because a lot of my bedroom writing happened late at night when I couldn’t sleep. I was exhausted and hurting in myself and searching for solace in writing – kind of like David in the Book of Psalms. I saw the name to be appropriate as most of our members have experienced an element of the same kind of searching – the name resonated and stuck with the boys.

What made you pick “Outta sight” as your latest single?
We thought ‘A Place, A Space, A Symphony’ would be a good first single because it’s hook chorus and the shock value of the spoken word verses. The overall risk of that track made it a good first candidate. We found it would only be fitting that once we made a bit of an entrance into the public eye with a track that was a bit more ‘out there’ to then bring out our most palatable, pop influenced track to appease the wider audience. ‘Outta Sight’ has been the most common favourite track amongst close friends and family who have reviewed the EP, so we thought it would be a smart move.

You have your debut EP coming out soon, how will the rest of the EP compare with your first two singles?
I think each track really stands alone and has it’s own place within the ‘TIRE EYES’ finger print – showcasing elements of the band, and alluding to fans what our sound is capable of. Each track is it’s own narrative and has a different expression making the EP as a whole unified but very much so individually exclusive from track to track.

Where did the title ‘In Denial, Force a Smile’ come from?
In Denial, Force A Smile‘ really embodies the narrative of the EP. The concept is wrapped up in the idea of being in denial in the midst of serious issues and conflicts and forcing a smile to bring the people around you to believe that everything is fine. I think all people can related with this feeling, or have had this experience at least once within their lifetime. From this place there are some real experiences and stories that I wanted to share and communicate with people, and from that place the EP was born.

You draw on elements of post-hardcore as well as cinematic classical scoring and pop sounds, is it hard to get the different elements to work together?
To me personally, I think all elements of musical influence are subconscious unless deliberately drawn from. While writing, I don’t think any one of us is actively thinking about ‘how we’re going to make the cinematic element work in this track’ or ‘how we’re going to squeeze the pop chorus influence into this interlude’. The whole thing develops organically and in the midst of it all working together you can recognise the elements as they appear naturally.

When writing what comes first, the words or the music?
It can really go either way. Sometimes, I’ll just have a lyrical hook that sticks in my head during the day and I build a song around it. Other times, I sit down with a guitar and feel out shapes and sounds and after a few minutes a song there. I find that if the writing process feels like a drag or like a chore then I’m just better off walking away and letting it come naturally later down the track. Some of the greatest hooks and songs I’ve ever written haven’t been slaved over for months and months but have come in a moment and been finalised within an hour.

Do you ever listen to your own music?
Yeah, heaps! I listen to my own songs daily. Haha.
I think I definitely write to appeal to an audience, but I also want to write music that I want to listen to. The elements that we bring together as a band are ultimately what I want to hear in music, so I love listening to our tracks – especially listening to their evolution as they go from an idea and develop into a final mix.

What other music do you listen to?
All sorts! I manage a specialty coffee bar, so I actually spend a lot of time listening to low-fi and 00’s rap but in my personal time my musical taste heavily varies on my mood and the day. It can go from fun, easy listening like John Mayer or The 1975, all the way to deep feels with Jeff Buckley or Bob Dylan. I do listen to heaps of music within our sub-genre of music too, but there would just be too many to list them all. A few stand outs would be…
From Indian Lakes, mewithoutYou, As Cities Burn, Movements, Underøath, Nothing But Thieves, Levi The Poet, La Dispute, Balance and Composure

What do you have planned once the EP is out?
As a band, I think we still have so much music burning on our hearts that we want to share with the public. So, I think after the EP is released, we’ll play some fun shows and hopefully build a solid fanbase and then prioritise getting back into the studio to produce some more music to share with you all.

Check out Tired Eyes’ Facebook page to find out more!