Sydney’s Breakaway embraced the tumbleweeds and went deadly quiet over the past 12 to 18 months, but now they’re back and they have a new album to show for it. But instead of blowing it all in one big load, this new album is a while off yet, and so the pop-rock band released the record’s first single, ‘Restart’, earlier this year and are now touring the single. As Breakaway is getting re-acquainted with the live touring circuit, we got in touch to ask them a few questions and you can find their answers below. It would a pretty fucking short interview otherwise, wouldn’t it?
I know that the meaning behind ‘Restart’ is a very personal one to Sam [vocals], but were those issues, among any other problems for the remaining members, what resulted in the time-off that the band had? Or was it simply that you wanted to lock yourselves away and work on your debut?
One of the main issues that resulted in time off from touring was the fraud scandal when I had all my savings and more stolen from me leaving me financially ruined and thousands of dollars of debt. We simply couldn’t afford to tour. Everyone in the band knew the guy who stole the money and I think that affected everyone in their own way and it definitely created a distrust with people we don’t know. A lot happened to everyone personally that year and I don’t think we would have made the same record if we didn’t go through it all.
Well, the best art usually comes from real struggle. Now, ‘Restart’ is a very poppy song for you guys, not only in the melody but also in the production and in the mix. I’ve been told that the next single sees a return to your previous, more pop-punk sound. So do the album’s remaining songs of the album fit either of those vibes or sounds? Or are they more a diverse palate of sounds – whether they are heavier or softer?
The album is a diverse palate of sounds in the fact that no song sounds the same, but we haven’t taken it so far that you won’t recognise our band anymore. We are still Breakaway. There are definitely songs that are the natural evolution from our EP and also songs that have allowed us to draw from all the different genres that inspire us. We feel like this album is more true to us as people than our EP was.
Right on! You mentioned to Neverspheres that ‘Restart’ sounded completely different from its final version 24 hours prior. In what way was it different? Was it just a matter of you guys thinking that the song wasn’t “there” yet, or was it that there were better parts written or more suitable elements added to the song last minute?
For me as the lyricist, it just didn’t feel right, the original wasn’t as uplifting lyrically or melodically. When we first wrote the song it was months earlier when I was in a negative place still but when we came to record the song I had found myself in the most positive and inspirational place I had ever been. That’s the story that felt more natural to tell, that you can go through dark times and struggles in life but we all have the strength to get through and when you let go of the past you can move forward and find happiness.
Glad to hear that you could move on. Likewise, who engineered and mixed the record? Because I know that Rich works at Electric Sun, where you recorded the album, so was Stevie Knight involved in this at all? Because if ‘Restart’ is anything to go by this album is going to sound really mint!
Thank you! Stevie Knight was involved in the pre-production of the record and the record was produced, mixed and engineered by Dave Petrovic. Rich did the programming for the record and assistant engineered a lot of it. He composes the majority of the music side of things for our band where as I write the melodies and lyrics.
Now, with the new tour it goes without saying that you’ll be playing other songs from the album. But with the EP & ‘Invincible’, is this maybe the start of you putting those songs to rest as you enter this new chapter?
We are definitely excited to play new songs, and each tour I expect we will add more new songs and play less of the old as that’s the natural progression. However. just because we don’t play certain songs one tour doesn’t mean we won’t the next as the songs from the EP still mean so much to us. After all, without those songs, we wouldn’t have come as far as we have.
Oh, of course! My next question is much more of a statement. As far as touring goes, I distinctly remember seeing you guys on the Taking Back Sunday/The Used tour. But the drums and some of the other gear shat themselves & Sam just grabbed a guitar and continued the set solo. I think that those moments can really make or break a band in the eyes of the crowd at a live show, as it shows initiative and showmanship.
[Laughs] we remember that well, too! To us, that is a good memory now, of how everything that could go wrong did go wrong but together we pulled through. Looking back on the experience I think it’s one of our favourite shows.
For sure. Also, one thing I quite like about the band is that you seem to take the time to reply to a lot of people through Facebook, even if it’s just to say thank you to the people digging the song or for showing interest in the tours. I think that creates a better connection with the fan base. Is that how you guys see it, too? What’s your take on using social media to reach out to fans?
Yeah for sure, it creates a better connection, and we are genuinely grateful to anyone who listens to our music or comes to a show because without the fans we would not be able to do what we do and I think a lot of bands forget that or undervalue it. One of my favourite parts about touring is meeting fans and hearing their stories about what a song means to them and how they relate to it. I’m always stoked to hang out with people around the show and chat.
Finally, I’ve always wondered…was the band’s name really chosen because of that Kelly Clarkson song?
[Laughs] I feel like I’m disappointing you by saying it’s not. But we really wanted a one-word name for the band and it came from the chorus of the first single we ever released “Here I Am”. It was a word that really stuck out to me and everyone seemed to agree on.
[Laughs] damn it! But that answer is still fine, I guess.With that, we’ll leave it there, thanks for your time guys!
Breakaway are currently in the midst of playing around the country. Check out the dates below!