In 2016, change reverberated throughout Australia’s heavy music scene. Longtime heroes assumed the position of seasoned legends, uncharted musical territory was explored and those who’d spent years carving hard yards caused hysterics.

Sweeping up the year in a flurry of circle pit-inducing catharsis and finger, Trophy Eyes captured the imagination of a scene ravenous for bleary-eyed heartache dressed in warm yet dissonant guitars and arm-swinging choruses. 2016’s Chemical Miracle chronicled a band who have come of age travelling the world in search of recognition, milestones and glory, only to realise that growing up occurs in the midst of everyday realities.

After spending years gathering legions of fans in Australia’s hardcore scene, Trophy Eyes were catapulted to a new level of impact. Once a favourite of local clubs and hardcore venues, the band made their way to the stages of the country’s biggest festivals and global audiences who revelled in their confident glory.

To say their most recent effort The American Dream, released last month, was highly anticipated is a sore understatement. Upon the release of lead single ‘You Can Count On Me’, fans were thrown an anthemic curveball – a symphonic cacophony of gang vocals, mellow verses and shredding lead guitars.

It was fan’s first introduction into something truly ambitious and triumphant.


“Going into the recording of The American Dream was easier for us, because with Chemical Miracle we took a bit of a risk sound wise with not writing conventional “pop punk” or “hardcore” record. After taking a chance writing a record like that I think we went into recording thinking, “Oh now we can do whatever we like”. I didn’t feel any pressure, we wanted to push it even further,” said bassist Jeremy Winchester pondering the recording process of The American Dream.

The American Dream is a mission statement – a doctrine for those navigating the trials and tribulations of growing up; grieving, loss, depression, peppered with hopeful sentiments that promise the eventual joys of love and finding home.

Each lyric is ready to be tattooed on the limbs of angsty 20-something fans accompanied by equally symbolic imagery, whilst every guitar line and vocal hook is tailor-made to sung in amongst crowds of thousands.

Heavy bands can often find themselves at a Catch-22 when it comes to changing their sound – rely on formula and run the risk of falling victim to being “generic”, expand and “sell-out” gets a throw around.

“We have grown up and that’s the way our music came out naturally so it was definitely good to get some closure on those past experiences.”

“People are always passionate about their favourite bands but, your favourite bands write music they want because they want to. I think when people kind of understand that, it will be easier to take in that regard but we have noticed it’s been mostly positive. Obviously, some little bits of negativity have occurred here and there from some people, but it’s welcomed like you’re entitled to your own opinion,” says frontman John Floreani.

It’s what makes us all different and special and unique, we celebrate it we don’t take bad criticism badly it’s all a part of the job”

Anthemic lead single and album opener ‘Autumn’ is a monumental event. It’s lyrical content, saccharine-leaning vocals and delayed guitars satiate the pallets of Aussie scene kids who’ve grown up amongst the glory of local legends like Break Even as much as they have U2. Tracks like ‘Something Bigger Than This’ and ‘I Can Feel It Calling’ are odes rock anthems of yesteryear.

Lyrically, Trophy Eyes’ discography plays out like a narrative of growing up – for frontman John Floreani, The American Dream is the next sequence.

“The best thing about music is that you can play whatever you want, it can be as expressive or as creative as you want and Trophy Eyes in a lyrical sense is a large story, you can kind of follow this timeline of myself and all of us I guess.

Lyrically you can see where we were and how we felt you can kind of follow those lyrics and look at a light that’s been made kind of like a story, and now that this new music’s out and it sounds new the but it’s a different part of the story now, it’s like a sequel to when we closed the old book and started this new story.”

“For now we aren’t going to play the old stuff but in the future who knows? We might get angry again.”

If you’ve seen a Trophy Eyes show recently, you’d have noticed the absence of double-kick drum beats and mosh calls, found on their debut Mend, Move On and early EPs, traded for huge singalongs and

“It felt like it wasn’t portraying us as people anymore, like that sort of music we were writing we aren’t angry kids anymore, we have all matured, we have grown up and that’s the way our music came out naturally so it was definitely good to get some closure on those past experiences.”

“For now we aren’t going to play the old stuff but in the future who knows? We might get angry again.”

With Trophy Eyes, and contemporaries like Hellions, Ocean Grove and Polaris assuming headliner status, it truly feels like a new era of the scene has been ushered in.

“After Soundwave, playing festivals like Unify Gathering, bands have been bought together, like us, Hellions and Ocean Grove. We’re playing side by the side with older bands like Amity and Parkway – Hellions played just before them at Unify this year and brought the same energy,” said guitarist Kevin Cross.


Fans involved can vouch for the idea that the Australian hardcore scene is one of the world’s most vocal, tightly bound and dynamic music scenes in the world. There’s a sense of comradery that comes with involvement – however, that often come with a sense of confine and a pressure to fit in.

“We have always been this way of wear whatever you want, dress how you like and dance how you like, everybody is welcome at our shows and I think the whole thing of being too cool and being in a band makes you cool is a shitty thing.”

“The reason there is a golden era is because that band was shared around and so many people came that’s what I think its like going to a gym and finding somebody that doesn’t know how to use the equipment, help that person and try to make a positive change, people who like heavy music want to see their favourite bands flourish and more bands like that to come into the scene instead of belittling people and hurting their feelings because they don’t dance right or weren’t there on the right day that’s stupid, if you want your band to have more golden era’s invite everybody.

“When experimentation is met with a positive attitude and gets kinda pushed that’s when you see that kind of change.”

When experimentation is met with a positive attitude and gets kinda pushed that’s when you see that kind of change.”

With a number 8 debut on the ARIA Charts, their biggest headline tour to date lined up and a headlining slot at Unify Gathering on the way, Trophy Eyes have clearly carved a path like no other for themselves. The American Dream is the perfect culmination of familiarity and pushed boundaries – it’s an unabashedly confident statement that will inspire a generation to come.

“Take whatever they want from The American Dream, music is subjective whatever they feel is exactly what we want them to take from it, like if they think its that then, by all means, that’s what it should be.

Personally I think I’d like some people to leave with just something they know is real, if they get a real experience from this then that’s all I want, it comes from real things and moment in my life, all the thing in the record are real things that affect me it’s just a real experience that was felt and that they’ll remember.”


Trophy Eyes’ The American Dream Album Tour

Thursday 11th October – The Tivoli, Brisbane
Friday 12th October – The Enmore, Sydney
Thursday 18th October – The Gov, Adelaide
Saturday 20th October – The Forum, Melbourne

Tickets on sale now

For complete ticketing information, visit:

Unify Gathering 2019

Friday, January 11th – Monday, January 13th, 2019
Tarwin Meadows, Gippsland, VIC
Tickets: UNIFY Gathering