Interview by Tracey Moyle – The Music Maven
Brisbane rock sweethearts Torizon are back stronger, louder and wiser with their new single Find My Way Out due for release on June 13th.
Embracing these unprecedented times the band didn’t waste a second complaining about life. With their eye on the future, they grabbed to opportunity to broaden their skillsets amongst the members, completed their new single in house, sending it to mentor/friend Robb Torres (Robbery Inc, Trapt) in L.A. for production. His unwavering faith in the band is evident with Torres joining in as guest guitarist on the track.
Our local rock loving MUSIC MAVEN, Tracey Moyle caught up with dynamic front woman Mish to discuss the new single, working with Torres, how the band have powered forward with their post-covid planning in a positive way plus so much more.
How have things been for the band over the last few months?
“As soon as Covid hit we had kind of put the final piece of the band together which was adding Damian our bass player. And he actually got sick with Coronavirus. He was really sick for weeks. What we ended up doing was, we cancelled all the shows because it was the responsible thing to do and we just focused on creating new music. Because we invested so heavily in the front end; we own our own rehearsal space and our own recording studios, and our guitarist Sarah is a film editor and a photographer and graphic designer and Damien is a sound engineer, between all of us have enough knowledge and know how to cut our own music and record ourselves to a decent quality. It’s not like, just a home demo we’ve actually invested a lot of money on it. So what we did was we just went song writing crazy. So now we’ve got almost an albums worth of music written and a quarter of that is actually finished with vocals and lyrics.”
What a brilliant achievement over this down time.
“Thank you. It was kind of the only thing we could control. So we were like ‘OK let’s Face Time each other, let’s do this’. And Damien, when he was quarantined, what he did was he just rewired the whole studio because he was going stir crazy. Which was great because at the time he needed to upgrade everything and he got that done when he was sick. That allowed us to record everything, send it to him and then he did the majority of the putting together of the song and then we sent it to America to Robb (Torres) who is also featured as a guest guitarist – dream come true.
Robb’s a producer, he’s from Robbery Inc and was in Trapt.”
I know that you guys have had a good relationship with Robb?
“Yes he’s amazing. And Ian Seschick from Capitol Records has done our mastering. So once we finish kind of writing our songs, they’re going to Robb and Ian for the final production. Robb is involved from the song writing stage because we catch up with him monthly or more, when we write something, we send it to him when 90% of the song is completed and say, ‘what do you think?’ And then we’ll start pre-producing it from the inception, so it’s like you’re not getting tied to any ideas, you’re open minded and fluid at that point. So I feel like it works for us the best if we do it at the inception of the song and then Robb’s along for the journey. It allows him to sort of do what he exactly needs to, for the production. And the other thing we did, we’ve all just been studying hard core. We’ve all done every sort of course that you can imagine under the sun. Like all of us have formal music education and education with our instruments so we were all just really building up that. There’s a lot of free resources around so we were really took advantage of that.
Then there’s a lot that goes into an operating band, so creativity is a good part of it you’ve got to write your stuff because that’s your product but you have to be able to market your product and we do all of the EPK and all of that in house because we’ve been studying and building up on that, and for somebody who may not be “as lucky” I guess, this is our job as well. The skills that we have between the bands members, we can do all of this in house. And we do that in our day jobs so we were lucky that we could implement that. There’re a lot of bands that don’t have that.”
You are so lucky that you have that skill set within the band. It would make things so much easier I imagine?
“It does make it easy, honestly I just found that all of us are so on the same page and either way, the band is like a coping mechanism for me with anxiety. It may be healthy or unhealthy, I don’t know that but it seems to work for us. As long as we’re doing something productive with the band everyday it’s a good day. It just gives you a little bit of a feeling of accomplishment. Sarah does all of our videos. We actually had some big plans for this film clip because I love the song and I love the message behind it. We had all these big ideas and then Covid hit. So then we were like ‘OK what can we do’. We ended up, all of us, filming ourselves individually and there was one day where we actually got clearance from Queensland health to be in the same space for three hours maximum. We had to follow a whole bunch of regulations obviously, just to make sure, so that we could do the band portion for it. That was the only time we were together and that was the last time we were together until a couple of weeks ago when we were allowed to legally.”
You’ve done a really good job to get as much done as you can with the lock down and everything being so isolated. It’s brilliant that we have the technology to do that.
Yeah I think so too. I don’t want to brag but I’m really proud of us. How we’ve managed it and also how we streamlined everything. It’s like kind of like, we’ve built another strong foundation for us. There was a foundation there before but now it’s even stronger and we know exactly what we’re doing, up skilling ourselves and our marketing and all of that. The courses helped so much. There were paid ones, there were free ones, anyone who offered anything I was like ‘yep I want to learn, tell me.’ So it worked really well, especially it forces you to open up another dimension of creativity. Poor Sarah had all these plans for the video and then suddenly we couldn’t do it. All she could shoot was certain things with us and use what we did online, what we did ourselves and sent it to her. So she did a great job of trying to make a beautiful abstract clip and again because she’s put in a position where her original plans weren’t working we had to adapt to it and she did a great job. You really have to open your third eye and go in to another dimension of creativity to access that kind of creative force. I feel like if you are not forced that way you probably won’t access that. There are other things that are a lot easier, you know what I mean? You kind of have to be put in that position. So that kind of concept worked in every single way, in music, in the new songs we’re writing, it’s how we are marketing the band and how we are running it as a business and how we are creating content.”
It sounds like you’ve done a great job getting yourselves ready for what comes next. You have a new single released on 13th June. Can you give us some insight into the meaning behind Find My Way Out?
“The song for me; I wanted people who were in the position of where they’re being manipulated by anyone, by society, by politics, by their family, by their friends, by people they put their trust in you know, they’re giving all of themselves to these people, but they’re not getting anything back in return, it’s written for that. Because, if you find yourself in that position the first thing you do is you blame yourself. Don’t do that find a way out. But particularly, I really wanted to amplify, and the second verse is that “You paint me as a difficult bitch”, and that’s because the minute you stand up for yourself to a person of that personality type and that predatorial behaviour you’re a bitch, you’re overreacting. And that’s your perception of that. And I’ve dealt with that in my previous job, my day job, that was awful. So it was written about that particular personality and yes I’ve had that in musical relationships and this was kinda my little breakout you know, enough is enough. My self worth and my self-esteem is worth more than being subjected to that.”
So just going back a bit to your working relationship with Robb Torres, how did that relationship come about?
“I got affiliated with Robb through a friend of mine. Robb liked the music and I said ‘hey I need help with my writing’, because you know you always have to be open-minded, you always have to be creative. You can think you’re it, you think you’re amazing but you’re probably not (laughs) you know, you’re really stunting your growth and your potential if you go with that mindset. So I needed some song writing guidelines and some song writing tips and it just started from there a couple of years ago and now we just catch up monthly now like ‘Hey what’s up? How’s your new rental going?’ (laughs)”
It’s obviously turned into a great partnership, the new song is amazing.
“He’s absolutely wonderful and we’re so lucky because I feel that with Robb involved and being in our team it’s exempted us from doing something for five years and then finding out what you were doing wrong musically. With Robb, because he’s there with his experience and his producers hat on, and he’s a songwriter and guitarist and a vocalist, he can sort of give us that insight, you know what I mean, like now rather than five years down the track thinking I probably should have tried that. I guess we have to work harder and we have to be open minded because we’re pretty much inviting criticism by saying come on tell us what’s wrong with this, right. To me once you learn how to deal with that it’s the best. I’ve learnt that really early on in my music life and it really opened a lot of doors. The more we listen the more we learn from him. The more we apply the next time around when we take a song to him, we’ve already applied all that stuff and then we learn a little bit more and then a little bit more and now we’re at a point where we’re in a writing collaborative partnership and he’s a good friend, absolutely lovely you know.”
And it’s great that he actually appears on the single as guest guitarist.
“Yeah it was really lovely and I’ve gotta give him credit. He left L.A. as soon as Covid hit, to go to his second home, where he wanted to stay with his family because it was less populated. And to finish the single, he did a lot of the mixing there, then drove to L.A., finished and recorded his part, mixed it, then actually spent two or three days away from his family just to do that for us.”
It sounds like he has a lot of faith in you, that must feel so wonderful?
“I think so. I think that’s what it is. He has sort of said to me in the past that, what did he call it?…… He said “I’m really inspired by the way you get things done and your tenacity”. And I was like thank you.”
Are you releasing an album going forward or an EP?
“What we’re going to do is, we’re almost four singles ahead, so we’re going to be releasing singles. It just gives us a chance to develop our craft a little bit more and a little bit more and every time the next piece of music comes out it’ll be a little bit better, a little more different. But we are actually four singles ahead of Find My Way Out. So this is just a single and then the film clip comes out on the 27th of June.”
So I imagine you have Sarah working on the video?
“Sarah did all the artwork, everything you see is Sarah.”
I love the shot promoting the single I love the look of it it looks very 80s to me.
“Exactly, that was the plan. I wanted it to go with the 80’s sort of vampire VHS kind of look.”
That’s exactly what you’ve got!
“Thank you, she did a phenomenal job. Honestly she’s incredible what she does. I think you have to have a certain type of creative brain to create something out of pretty much nothing. That picture is actually a part of the film clip so when we were allowed to have two people at 1.5 m we ended up filming under a garage and that’s actually from there, all my parts were shot under her garage and it’s amazing.”
It’s great when you get inventive with something and it works out perfectly.
“Yeah and that’s all Sarah. They’re her ideas and I was like ‘girl just go crazy with it do what you want because I trust you’.”
I bet you can’t wait to start touring again? With the current climate, Australia’s going to be in its own little music bubble and I think it’s going to open up such an amazing window for people to discover all that brilliant Australian music that’s just been flying under-the-radar.
“Exactly, and I mean a good example of that is what Triple J did with ‘Requestable’. It was just a great platform for bands that haven’t been noticed. And actually we were just about to announce our first international tour, which has been postponed now, as soon as we have new dates we will announce them. Our promoters are amazing they let us put all of our money towards reschedule dates so we weren’t out of pocket, thank god. So as soon as we’re allowed to travel internationally we will be announcing that. So we’re in the process of do doing two special tours; one’s called ‘Covid Carnival’ can’t say too much about it but it’ll be a run of 20 shows nationally. That will be targeted towards the music community and giving back to the community and the second one that we are working towards is that international tour. And there’s a couple of special shows that we want to do and one is, as soon as we can do it safely, we actually have an arrangement to do a VIP party, like customised Torizon merchandise, I won’t tell you exactly what it is but it’s limited edition for that night only. And we’re going to host two of those a year. But then again that’s when we are actually allowed to do that. There’s a lot of in planning at the moment we’re already ahead six months, planning wise, and things are just ever-changing at the moment.”
Marketing is so important to a band it’s finding something that really stands out that sticks in people’s minds.
“We were really lucky with the marketing. We had to sit down and figure out our values, our brandings, like we want the branding to represent our values and our mission statement for the band, we did do a business plan and all that. The mission statement is ‘to create a place for everyone to feel at home, it doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are, we’re not going to judge, we just want you to have a place where you can come in and enjoy music and have a good night without any worries and you can really be yourself’. And that’s what my musical writing is anyway. A lot of times I’m writing stuff for myself but I want to be stronger and I want to be telling these things to myself but if you can help somebody else then that’s great, it’s all about empowerment. We sat down and picked out our values and our representation and exactly what kind of content we were going to post. I did a whole bunch of consult calls with a couple of international key people, one in Melbourne that does this for a living, and they were like ‘people love behind the scenes, they love their the nerdy side of music, you should post that. Everything you told me about your band you should talk about that.’ And I was like ‘I could do that I suppose.’ It started off as just ‘Covid Diaries’, the series on our Facebook. But one of the videos got a lot of traction and it’s just stuff I was trying, just trial and error. I was just recording from my phone and editing and I was like ‘well let’s just see what happens’ and then one of the posts got a lot of traction which is the one on our individual strengths, what we all bring to the table, and that kind of got the whole thing started where we ended up securing international marketing, bringing in endorsement and a whole heap of other things. It was like “what?” and we got into it from there. I want to post things for people that are going through stuff, like I have chronic pain and complex PTSD so that’s like why I did a post I did recently. Just like if you’ve gone through this type of anxiety it’s like, you’re not alone, just things like that because, you know, I don’t want people to feel alone. Music did a lot for me and I kind of want to give that back.”
And this is a great time to reach out. There are so many people online, artists and their fans being able to reach out and connect, and when you find somebody who does understand what you’re going through it really does change your life.
“Yeah, well it definitely did that for me. When I was 15 I was like, ready to commit suicide and then a particular album came out and for me the whole musical thing started from there.”
Music definitely has a very strong power, it’s like magic. All the more reason why everyone is looking forward to getting into the venues and playing to crowds again.
“Yeah, I can’t wait for that and in the meantime I’m not really hating the whole not playing live as well. Like I miss it a lot, don’t get me wrong, but it I think we did this time off justice and I think I want to continue doing that. Not let this time go by and then realise ‘well I should have done that when I had time’. It’s really imperative for us to keep building momentum, keep writing and releasing because we can do that in isolation, being safe, all of that and film clips and all that can be done, then keep releasing every three or four months until we get together and play Live properly. It’ll just give us a bit more of a catalogue you know, I’m not hating this time, I mean there are times I hate it, don’t get me wrong, but overall all four of us are taking it as an opportunity to really get even more serious, yeah.”
It’s been a good time for people to take time out to think about what they want to do and where they want to be.
“Yeah, you kind of re-value your priorities. I didn’t realise how much I was running around burning the candles at both end and I was just not taking care of myself, as self aware as I am inside about how much I should take care of myself, I still wasn’t doing enough of that. So this has sort of completely given me a new perspective on life, which is; I really cherish the people that I do and you have to take care of yourself.”
The new single from Torizon, Find My Way Out is out for streaming/download on all major streaming sites on 13th June. Pre-order/Pre-save HERE