Tired Lion’s music wasted no time working its way into the hearts and minds of fans throughout the world. I mean, what hope did we have of stopping them? 2017’s Dumb Days was as charming as it was cheeky. Walking the line of ‘devil may care’, Tired Lion were collected – not necessarily calm, but entirely cool.
This was a band with an intimidating handle on the human condition, and an innate ability to alloy lyrical wisdom with a songbed that rattles the bones. The result was a powerful reminder of why music is…rad, basically.
So, it’s easy to understand the excitement surrounding their upcoming record, Breakfast For Pathetics, out next Friday. Ahead of the release, Blunt Magazine spoke with Tired Lion’s Sophie Hopes.
Breakfast For Pathetics isn’t an album about breakfast…In saying that, it’s not an album not about breakfast either. This is an anthology about life; a critique of existence; a relatable story of everything. Naturally, the first meal of the day falls within that purview.
“When I was younger, sitting around the breakfast table, this morning ceremony and this sort of ritual that you would go through, it was nice. It was this really nurturing, safe, solid feeling of being around the breakfast table.”
Sophie recalls the halcyon days of childhood to contrast them with the turbulent days of early adulthood, when Tired Lion first reared its head.
She continues: “I left home and I was in share houses and trying to make it in the band. There was all this neglect. I would just find that I would avoid breakfast altogether.”
Sophie can catalogue her life by recalling what she would eat – or didn’t eat – during a specific era. From the blissful childhood breakfast table to the bleakest of stages where Sophie would begin her day with “fucking Lexapro and misery.”
Right through to now. “It’s the total opposite,” she explains. “I actually give a shit about what I’m putting into my body, which is probably really good at my age.”
With this epiphany, that life moments could be defined by how those days were started, Sophie found the through line for the album.
“It’s a collection of songs that I’ve written over a period of time. Some of those times where when I was majorly depressed and I didn’t care about myself and I wouldn’t eat breakfast.”
Having said that, Breakfast For Pathetics wasn’t merely a willing participant in the ebb and flow of Sophie’s life. Before long, the album would take the reins, specifically when Sophie moved from Perth to Brisbane. That was a huge life disruption that on paper seemed simple, but in reality Sophie recalls it wasn’t quite that straightforward.
“It was really hard. It was actually a pretty big deal. I was trying to get that sense of home and the feeling of stability. I didn’t have any friends here. I was becoming more of an introvert and just sitting inside and working on the album. So that’s where it was good for the writing phase of things.”
After recouping emotionally and spiritually from the move, and emerging from her isolated writing phase with a newly achieved sense of stability, Sophie was able to step back from the record and identify what she created.
“Breakfast For Pathetics was designed to just be everything that I was holding on to for a long time.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is about as far as Breakfast For Pathetics will allow itself to be defined, at least in the eyes of its creator. The first singles ‘~Cya Later~’ and ‘Lie To Me’ bring forth a strong ‘fuck you’ energy, but it avoids being defined as a ‘fuck you’ album still. “Music has always been a way of working through things to me. It’s not directly a fuck you album, but I wish it was,” Sophie says of the potential descriptor.
Sophie seems quite happy to allow the listener to apply whatever labels they feel appropriate. She has no interest in metaphorically holding any one’s hand – “It’s a collection of stories,” Sophie surmises. “I write because I don’t know how to talk about [them].”
“I tried to go to therapy. It was really hard. It made me just feel so violated. I tried to talk about the other people, I’d try to draw it out or whatever. The only thing that works for me is just writing a song, which sucks because sometimes it can just take over my whole day and my life, but that’s what I do.”
Instead of labels and definitions, Sophie is more concerned with the overarching message of Breakfast For Pathetics. The take away, the album’s protein, is its clearly defined message: “It’s okay to feel like shit”
“Honour the sadness, take note of it, study it, analyse it; the sadness, the sick feeling, and then move on from it. Don’t try and act like you’re fucking bigger than it or that you can outrun it ‘cos you can’t.
“I think that’s what I figured out. I need to work through all these problems and these scenarios, come out the other end and be like, ‘Okay, this all makes sense.'”