On the eve of the release of their fourth studio album, Zoran Trivic from Perth alternative rockers Gyroscope takes time off from the band’s ‘Some of the Places I Know’ national tour to chat with Killyourstereo.
To get things rolling, what’s your name and role in the band?
My name is Zoran, but my mates know me as Zok. I’m the lead guitarist in Gyroscope. I also play a bit of piano on Gyro records and do a lot of the songwriting.
You have a new album entitled ‘Cohesion’ coming out April 9th, which is not too far away at all. What can you tell us about this release and the musical direction of the album?
‘Cohesion’ stemmed from the idea that we found ‘Breed Obsession’ to be a lit schizophrenic in terms of different sounds and songs on the one album. In turn ‘Cohesion’ was about cohesiveness between the songs of this record- and between the band and our lives in a bigger picture. We wanted to make a rock record this time round from start to finish so it really felt like the listener was listening to one story and not a few throughout the duration of the album. This album also best reflects what we do live on stage- as playing live is what we live to do.
Being your fourth album, has your approach to song writing changed in contrast to when you started?
It has developed a little over the years, but in Gyroscope we still all write the songs. Sometimes a song will pop up from the four of us jamming in our studio together, and other times I may write the music for a complete song and hand it over to Dan for vocal duties. Sometimes Dan will write the most part of a track and we’ll chop and change a few bits- and sometimes we’ll write riffs to suit a drum and bass backbone that Rob and Brad have put together. I think it’s good to open your mind and ears to differing ways of songwriting to help push yourself a little more each time.
What were the musical or outside influences that went into the writing of this album?
I guess for one we thought a lot about some of our favourite and most complete and cohesive records that we knew. From the Foo’s ‘Colour and the Shape’ to Weezer’s ‘Blue Album’ to At The Drive In’s ‘Relationship Of Command’ to Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of The Moon’- they all told a great story from start to finish. Every song on each album had a purpose of being on that record and helping build a complete album on each record. They all had a theme that they followed throughout but still pushed and pulled within the boundaries of the album. If that makes any sense.
Your previous album ‘Breed Obsession’ actually debuted at number 1 on the Australian ARIA charts upon its release. That’s a fantastic achievement for you guys but did it add any pressure when it came to writing this album?
Nah, not really. We’re at this stage where Gyroscope has done things beyond our wildest teenage dreams. We’ve all been together as the same four kids since 17 years of age or so, and we’ve reached a lot of goals that we’ve set out to do. We never wanted to take over the world and be rich and famous- for us it was always about (and still is) about making music we wanna make with our closest bros and being able to do some great things and meet some great people along the way. We were never an overnight success so for us things have moved forward gradually over time. Hopefully we continue to improve and move forward, and if we do I think we’ll be around for some time still!
You have managed to get a very impressive producer on board for this album in the form of Gil Norton. Why did you choose to work with Gil and was he your first choice in terms of producers?
Yeh man, Gil was an absolute legend and amazing to work with. He WAS our first choice of producer since day dot and growing up with Foo Fighters and The Pixies on the brain. We sent him a bunch of new demos for the record hoping just to get some positive feedback- then he got back in touch with us and told us that he loved the demos and really wanted to make this record with us. So it really was a win/win situation.
With a career including producing albums for the Pixies and the Foo Fighters, what was working with Gil Norton like?
Gil was a dead set legend. He became the fifth member of Gyroscope pretty quickly actually. He has experience beyond his years, has a great sense of humour and really does have a lot of kindness in his heart for his bands. I couldn’t recommend him any better than as one of the world’s greatest producers!
In a recent jmag, you said while working on the album the band was “making a conscious effort to get Gil drunk as hell so that he might spill the beans on all things Pixies, Nirvana and the Foos”. Did he end up “spilling the beans” after all?
Yeh man he sure did. As we topped up his wine glasses he told us about how he was in line to produce In-Utero after Nirvana had approached Gil to work with them (Kurt and Dave being massive Pixies fans and all) and obviously the amount of stories he had about Dave Grohl and the Foos and Frank Black and the Pixies was awesome to hear over dinner every night in the studio. Good times.
You guys posted a lot of videos online while you were working in the studio. Therefore, was there a greater desire to document the writing of this album in contrast to previous albums?
I guess we have the technology these days, so it does seem to come in handy. With Myspace/ Facebook/ Twitter etc we are able to document shit and have it out there for fans to check out within 5mins or so. I guess on our previous albums we didn’t have the technology as much to do so. I think it’s great that bands can have a bit more of a one-on-one relationship with their fans these days. It keeps us on our feet and on the same level as our fans these days, rather than a lot of bands of excess etc through the 70’s and 80’s who’s egos seemed to blow up as the bands got bigger.
You guys are currently on the road for the ‘Some of the Places I Know’ national tour, having played a few shows earlier this month, then taking what appears to be a short break in your touring schedule, before hitting up the live circuit again in Adelaide on the 24th of March. So, how is life on the road treating you guys and is it difficult touring while dealing with all the duties that come with releasing a new album?
Life on the road is great to us. Especially after being cooped up in our writing space for so long, then holed up in a recording studio for another long period of time. As I mentioned, we really do live to play live, so it is a great feeling to have what we feel is our strongest album under our belt- ready to tour it death.
How are new songs like "Some of the Places I Know” and “Live Without You” being received live?
These new tracks have had possibly the best responses we’ve seen to new Gyroscope stuff. It’s always an anxious time for us when we have an album ready to go and we’re waiting to see how people are going to react to it. But at the end of the day, we know we can’t please everybody with our songs- so we really do just write for ourselves- and make the kind of music that we wanna hear personally. The fact that other folks like what we do is unreal and amazing- and we definitely don’t take it for granted
Do you have any parting words or advice for Killyourstereo readers?
Thanks for hearing me crap on about stuff – and if you’re a fan of what we do- then thanks so much for the support.
Thanks for the interview Zok