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Photo Gallery: In The Studio with Tired Lion

Perth punk-rock quartet take us behind the scenes as they record their debut LP with Violent Soho’s Luke Boerdam.

In late-March, Perth punk quartet Tired Lion revealed “Cinderella Dracula”, the thunderous first taste from their as-yet-untitled debut LP, which is due later this year.

Penned by vocalist Sophie Hopes while she was “waiting for this guy to leave [her home]”, the track documents the “contradiction” of emotions associated with a one-night stand, Hope explaining that she was “young and single, ready to experience the world with a kind of ‘youthful embrace’. What was meant to make me feel content just left me angry and frustrated at myself. I guess you could call it young naivety.”

Innocence far removed from the single’s confident sound, that transfers from calming, controlled clarity to an erupting, uncontrolled rage. A contrasting shift attributable, at least in part, to the record’s producer, Luke Boerdam, best known as vocalist and guitarist for Violent Soho — a band that have made their name adapting a similar dynamic shift from quiet confessionals and mosh-pit frenzies.

The band credits “Psychologist Luke” — as Tired Lion have affectionally nicknamed Boerdam — for “pushing us to our limits without stepping on our toes” during the recording sessions at Perth’s Blackbird Sound Studios in early 2017.

“I’d definitely say working with Luke has influenced our songwriting for the better,” says Hope. “I really can’t imagine recording this album without him now.”

Tired Lion have been kind enough to take us behind the scenes during the recording sessions, with an exclusive in-studio gallery above. All photos courtesy of Kane Hibberd, with all captions provided by Tired Lion (Sophie Hopes, Ethan Darnell, Nick Varsey and Matt Tanner), as attributed.

Tired Lion take “Cinderella Dracula” on the road later this week, performing shows in their hometown as a well as a selection of east coast dates later this month.

Tired Lion ‘Cinderella Dracula’ Tour
Friday, May 5th: Badlands, Perth
Thursday, May 11th: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Friday, May 12th: Brightside, Brisbane
Saturday, May 13th: Hudson Ballroom, Sydney

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“I found this little groove between the couch and the studio floor insanely comfortable. Sometimes writing lyrics is a lot easier when you stick to the basic pen and paper method. I think I used about 80 pages just jotting down ideas for our song ‘Camp’.” [S.H.]

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“I call this one ‘Who needs a real job’. When mornings still feel like evenings and days are filled with paroxysms of laughter and uncertainty. I think I’m home? At the very least I feel I have a purpose for the very first time. I’d cut the romanticised chit-chat but it’s something that seems impossible for me at the moment.” [S.H.]

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“We have spent a bit of time chilling on these couches chatting about music, life and bursting into hysterics over funny stories or even classic YouTube videos. It’s always good to pull away from the songs sometimes and just chill with each other and talk shit.” [E.D.]

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“‘Boerdam the psychologist.’ I’ve always found it pretty hard to talk about the lyrical content on songs as usually it’s from a personal experience. Luke made it pretty damn easy to talk about the deep dark scary underlying issues which really helped get to the core of the song and expand/improve the lyrics for the better.” [S.H.]

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“This is a rare picture of a Tired Lion in their natural habitat, the studio.” [E.D.]

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“This is Dave Parkin, one of the biggest legends in the world. I always knew Dave was tops but when I glanced over half way through a take and Dave had his eyes closed bopping up and down, with his left hand rolling a cigarette and with his right pushing faders I knew it was legit! Its the sickest feeling when you do a rad take and you glance over and Dave has a smile on his face and is just nodding and then he says over the talk back ‘come on in’.” [E.D.]

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“I’m calling this one ‘Scooter Comfort Zone’. In short – The most comfortable Dave Parkin has every felt in his life is when he crashed his scooter and was laying on top of it…” [S.H.]

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“The beauty of tracking in such a popular local Perth studio is that some great bands leave their shit there. I had the pleasure of ‘borrowing’ (probably doesn’t know) Jon from Karnivool’s custom bass pedal which shaped and set the bass tone for the whole record.” [N.V.]

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“I call this one ‘The Bar’. To the left you’ll see my ‘singing station’ or as I like to call it ‘The bar.’ For each vocal take I usually roll with two types of whisky – straight sips every now and then, plus a mug of English breakfast tea or Japanese green sencha for when I’m feeling like I have nothing left to give. I also sip on a mug of rooibos and vanilla tea throughout whole takes. It’s super important I don’t peak too early before a vocal take. I usually hound Luke and ask him to give me an ETA on when I’m singing next. I’m pretty OCD with these methods. I find vocal takes mentally exhausting but also therapeutic. Think about it, you’re pretty much digging up ‘old dirt/ emotions’ and giving all you’ve got to give, over and over again.” [S.H.]

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“Matt being a legend during bass tracking, he was basically my personal tech. Swapping guitars and switching pedals in and out for me and bringing general good vibes. This is an example of what we all do for each other at some point in the studio to help each other get the perfect sound or take.” [N.V.]

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“The master Dave and Ethan clearly feeling the full force of my tasty bass riffs!” [N.V.]

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“I’ve gained a lot more maturity in coming up with some of the guitar sounds for the record. A lot of what people will hear is my Fender Telecaster which seems to just nail what I’m looking for most of the time. I’ve been like a kid in a candy store with pedals and sometimes it’s hard to dial back on some really cool shit you can make with ten pedals hit on at once, although trust me you’ll hear it feature at some points.” [M.T.]

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“I think Luke has grown to understand my sarcastic humour but it was a long journey in getting there. To defeat studio ‘Boerdam’ [like what I did there!] I’d often fuck with Luke’s head by pretending to hear a mistake in a perfectly good part or making up lies such as ‘Hey man, I know you were keen to grab KFC on the way home, but Perth has really shit trading hours and it closed like 15 minutes ago…’. It’s worth it for the reaction!” [M.T.]

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“This is a shot of our newly adopted studio technique dubbed ‘Air-Band’, which is much more effective in keeping you in time as opposed to say… a click track.” [M.T.]