After a huge 2016 that saw them dominate the local airwaves with the breakout single ‘Not My Friends,’ triumphantly tour Europe playing the likes of Latitude and Glastonbury festivals, return home for one of the most barnstorming sets of this year’s Splendour In The Grass festival, and sign with US booking agency AGI (whose roster includes the likes of The Strokes and Metallica) – no-one would blame Tired Lion if they took a step back for a second to let it all sink in. However, the Perth four-piece aren’t about to lift their foot off the accelerator any time soon and today release the new single ‘Agoraphobia’ – one of the most powerful and personal songs you’ll hear this year.
The song, which premiered on Triple J’s Good Nights with Linda program last night, takes inspiration from the panic disorder that results in an extreme fear of open or public places. The song writing process for ‘Agoraphobia’ was a collective cathartic experience for all four members – Sophie Hopes, Matt Tanner, Ethan Darnell and Nick Vasey – who each have their own, unique experiences with mental illness.
“It’s something that people do experience and whether they talk about it or not is actually quite normal,” explains the band’s front woman Hopes. “I remember when I was going through it I really thought there was something wrong with me and you really try and be something that you’re not at the time and the only way to fix the problem is to go, “Okay cool, so that’s a thing that I’ve got and I just need to work with it in my own way” and realise how to tackle it rather than just giving up on yourself.”
To coincide with the single, the band has also released a new video for the track, once again pushing themselves to represent the pressures of mental illness – this time with scenes of out of control fans invading a “house party” gig, the pressures of the outside world flooding into the confines of home. According to Hopes, the pandemonium on screen wasn’t all play either. “There were a couple of times where people chipped their teeth, got elbowed in the eye, I got my hair pulled out pretty hard and I was left with a couple of bruises, but it was all to make a good video,” she laughs. “I think we’ve also realised now Ethan has an allergy to duck feathers.”
The release of ‘Agoraphobia’ couldn’t have been timed more perfectly, with the band set to embark on a national tour supporting Brisbane rock heavy weights Violent Soho at the end of the month, alongside Tasmanian punks Luca Brasi and California heroes The Bronx.
‘Agoraphobia’ is available to stream and buy now via Dew Process / UMA here.
Pre-order the limited edition signed Agoraphobia / Not My Friends 7″ Vinyl here.