THEY’RE five Newcastle lads who play punk rock, and the first band from their hometown since Silverchair to release a top-10 album.
Trophy Eyes, the Newcastle five-piece whose members hail from the Dungog shire and Sydney, occupy the no.8 rung on the ARIA albums chart following the release of their second record, Chemical Miracle.
The album’s success stamps Trophy Eyes as the third Newcastle band after Silverchair and the Screaming Jets to scale the ARIA top 10.
“We were driving back to our accommodation after a pretty successful show in LA, so we were already on a bit of a high,” drummer Callum Cramp said.
“Then our manager filled us in with the news that we got number eight. We were all pretty ecstatic.”
The band had felt a weight of artistic and popular expectation on the album, Cramp said, and can’t quite believe how it has been received.
“We didn’t go in to this album thinking ‘let’s crack the charts’, but someone told me we’re the third band from Newcastle to ever get in the top 10 and that’s a pretty great feeling.”
The appeal of Trophy Eyes’ 2014 debut Mend, Move On catapulted them from playing Newcastle all-age shows at The Loft to a place on the Warped Tour – an alternative rock touring juggernaut in the US – as well as performing at London’s Electric Ballroom.
Their sophomore album, with its lyrics of paranoia, loss and near death-experience, cements them as one of the most successful current acts from the Hunter.
Chlorine, the lead single from Chemical Miracle, has had more than half a million plays on the music streaming service Spotify.
Among chart-climbing Newcastle bands, Trophy Eyes is now in the company of Silverchair (which has had five albums in the ARIA top 10, all at number one) and the Screaming Jets (three albums in the top 10).
The port city has had an influence on them, they say, even if only subtly.
“A bunch of bands from Newcastle that we looked up to when we first started learning to play our instruments helped shape our sound a little,” Cramp said.
“I think the biggest part that shines through is the mindset that such a blue collar town instilled on us.
We all work or have worked trade jobs and I think that gave us all a pretty good work ethic. We were never afraid of the hard work that being a band requires.”
Next year looms as “the big one”, says Cramp, and the band will tour frenetically with the wind of the album’s popularity in its sails.
They will start 2017 at the UNIFY Festival in Victoria and play a run of shows to support Chemical Miracle, starting with a hometown gig at the Cambridge Hotel.