GYROSCOPE – Warner Music/ Festival Mushroom Music

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Gyroscope

Gyroscope are an Australian rock band from Perth, which formed in 1997 as Gyroscope Sunday. The members are former Vox Singing Academy students Daniel Sanders as lead vocalist and on guitar, Zoran Trivic on guitar and backing vocals, Brad Campbell on bass guitar and backing vocals and Rob Nassif on drums. As of 2014 the group has released four studio albums on major labels.

Gyroscope’s first major label album, Sound Shattering Sound, was released in June 2004 – seven years after formation. It peaked at No. 37 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Their second such album, Are You Involved?, was issued in September 2005, which debuted at No. 20. It was followed by a double A-sided single, “Fast Girl / Beware Wolf”, both tracks polled on the national radio station Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2005. The band’s rise in popularity continued with their third album, Breed Obsession, which appeared in March 2008 and peaked at No. 1. It was nominated for ‘Best Rock Album’ at the ARIA Music Awards of 2008. It was released through Warner Music Australasia and provided four singles, including “Snakeskin” (No. 30 on the ARIA Singles Chart and listed at No. 16 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 2007) and the anthem, “Australia”. The band’s fourth album, Cohesion, was released in April 2010, which reached No. three and included the singles, “Some of the Places I Know” and “Baby I’m Getting Better”, which charted at No. 32 and No. 34, respectively.

Early years

Gyroscope are an Australian rock group which started as Gyroscope Sunday in Beechboro a suburb in Perth, Western Australia in 1997, with Rob Nassif on drums, Carl Maiorana and then Kim Pengilly on bass guitar, Daniel Sanders on guitar and lead vocals, and Zoran Trivic on guitar and backing vocals. Trivic and Nassif had started jamming together and found Sanders through mutual friends. Gyroscope Sunday issued a five-track cassette, First…, in 1998.

By May 1998 Pengilly was replaced by Brad Campbell on bass guitar and backing vocals. Trivic and Campbell had attended the same secondary school. At that time they had formed a garage band and performed covers of Nirvana and Foo Fighters. Trivic later recalled “this was a way of learning our individual instruments as we were always about starting our own band – it was just gunna take some time.”

In late 1998 as Gyroscope, with the line-up of Campbell, Nassif, Sanders and Trivic, recorded eight tracks which were released on a compact cassette, Gyroscope Demo, in June 1999, with only 500 copies made. While performing on the Perth live circuit the members also had work or school commitments. The band provided support slots for Reel Big Fish (October 1999), Toe to Toe and 28 Days (December), Millencolin (February 2000), The Living End, Unwritten Law.

Two independent extended plays, Scalectrix (April 2000) and Means to an End were recorded and issued on cassette in 2000, where the former also appeared on CD. From December 2000 the band went on a six-month hiatus when Nassif travelled to Canada to study. Both EPs were combined on cassette, in April 2001 (originally available in four different covers), as Injuring Yourself Whilst Making Music.

Upon Nassif’s return in June 2001, the group signed with Redline Records, owned by fellow Perth rockers, Jebediah, and they supported that band on an Australian tour. Gyroscope’s first release for Redline was another EP, Take Time (May 2002). In October that year Juice Magazine named them as one of the next big things along with The Vines, Jet and The Datsuns. At the end of 2002 Gyroscope won a WAMi Award for “Most Popular Local Original Punk Act”.

Gyroscope signed with Festival Mushroom Records at the beginning of 2003. On 3 February that year, with Jedediah, they supported a gig by international headliners Jimmy Eat World at The Globe, Prahran East. Gyroscope issued two more EPs in that year: Midnight Express in May – which contained the live favourite “Fire Away”. Driving for the Storm / Doctor Doctor followed in September, and received airplay on Triple J radio across Australia. “Doctor Doctor” was listed at No. 92 on the station’s Hottest 100 for that year.

Album number 1, Sound Shattering Sound

2004 was Gyroscope’s breakthrough year. They supported international visitors including Blink-182, Brand New, Thursday, Dashboard Confessional (their lead singer, Chris Carrabba, insisted that they open for his group upon hearing Gyroscope’s EP), Sparta, Saves the Day and The Get Up Kids. A new single, “Safe Forever”, came out in March 2004 and earned Gyroscope more mainstream exposure, it peaked in the top 100 of the ARIA Singles Chart.

Their first studio album for Festival Mushroom Records, Sound Shattering Sound, was released on 14 June 2004. It debuted at No. 37 on the ARIA Albums Chart in the following week —a culmination of seven years’ work while consolidating their live following. It combined newer material with tracks from their previous two EPs and “Safe Forever”.

Andrew Murfett of The Age felt it was “an assured release full of crunchy riffs and emotive lyrics.” FasterLouder’s Josie9 felt that older tracks “like ‘Doctor Doctor’, ‘Driving for the Storm’ and newie ‘Confidence in Confidentiality’ are excellent indicators of the bands live sound, with contrasting heavy/soft guitars thanks to guitarist Zoran Trivic, trade off vocals/screams courtesy of singer/guitarist Dan Sanders and Brad Campbell (Bass/vox) and thumping drums from Rob Nassif”. In support of its release Gyroscope commenced their first headlining tour of Australia. Sanders described difficulties while touring and trying to maintain relationships, but noted an advantage: “I could be away for seven weeks and write some of my better lyrics because I’m missing a girl or mates.”

Album number 2, Are You Involved?

In May 2005, Gyroscope recorded their second album, Are You Involved?, in Los Angeles with Mark Trombino (Jimmy Eat World, Drive Like Jehu, Finch, The Living End, Blink-182) as producer and engineer. During the sessions, they filmed a music video for one side of the album’s first single, “Fast Girl” (March 2006), in Death Valley. Trivic described their sound “I hope people get chills when they listen to it! … It has the same core elements [as on] the last record, yet this record pushes our musical boundaries a lil further.” Sanders felt one should not “focus on lyrics or the ins and outs of our songwriting but just enjoy.

Are You Involved? was released on 25 September 2005, which peaked at No. 20 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Initial copies had a bonus DVD featuring ‘making of’ documentaries for both the album and the “Fast Girl” video. FasterLouder’s Kellanator opined that their “lyrics cut you when you least expect it. Their whirling sounds take you on a journey. This isn’t just music… the band have grown and shifted a little since their last release… [they] have the knack of writing a good meaningful song with delicious pop hooks. Best combination ever.” Bemused on Punknews.orgwebsite noted that Trombino had “[helped] achieve a fuller, more realized sound than on previous recordings” and the album “has the ability to gradually work its way into your mindset with a lyric or vocal delivery here and a guitar line there.”

During 2005 it was nominated for the inaugural J Award – Triple J’s Australian Album of the Year. Two tracks, “Fast Girl” and “Beware Wolf”, were listed, at No. 29 and No. 62 respectively, on that year’s Hottest 100. “Fast Girl” was nominated at the ARIA Music Awards of 2006 for Breakthrough Artist – Single; and the band also received two WAMi Awards in 2006 for “Best Rock Act” and “Best Punk Act”. “Beware Wolf” has been used on the Australian soap opera, Home and Away.

Album number 3, Breed Obsession

Following a successful tour of South Africa, Gyroscope recorded their third major label studio album, Breed Obsession, in Liverpool during mid-2007. Dave Eringa (Idlewild, Manic Street Preachers) produced the material while mixing occurred in London.] In September that year Gyroscope toured Australia supporting Fall Out Boy on that group’s Australian leg of their Friends or Enemies Tour.

The first single from Breed Obsession, “Snakeskin”, appeared in October 2007, which debuted at No. 30 on the ARIA singles chart. It was the number-one most voted video on JTV, number-one most requested track on Triple J’s Super Request, and was ranked No. 16 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 for 2007. The music video for “Snakeskin” was shot in Wiltshire, near Stonehenge, south of London. It has the band playing in a 200-metre crop circle – made specifically for the video. This was the same farm where Led Zeppelin’s crop circle was made, which features on the cover of that group’s Remasters compilation album (October 1990).

Gyroscope performed at the Big Day Out festival, which toured Australia and New Zealand in late January and early February 2008. Rhythmelody at FasterLouder caught their performance at the Claremont Showgrounds on 3 February, “they let loose a fantastic set filled with old tracks from Gyroscope’s younger years, tracks which long time supporters and new fans alike soaked up.”Later that month the band released the second single from the album, “1981”, which peaked in the top 100.

Breed Obsession was issued on 8 March 2008, which debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart, the highest debut in the band’s history and the first Australian artists’ number-one album or single for fifteen weeks. AllMusic’s Stewart Mason found that they “shake off their always tenuous connection to punk and reveal themselves to be a mainstream pop/rock band with few musical aspirations further than a handful of FM radio hits” and summarised that it was “generically tasty, but full of meaningless empty calories.”] By August that year the album was certified gold by ARIA for shipment of 35,000 units.

In May 2008 Gyroscope released a music video for “Australia”. It was filmed in Sydney and directed by Tom Sparks. “Australia” appeared as the next single in the following month, which peaked at No. 52. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2008 Breed Obsession was nominated for Best Rock Album. The fourth single, “These Days”, appeared in November that year.

Album number 4, Cohesion and Best of Gyroscope
Following a national tour supporting The Living End, Gyroscope began writing for their fourth studio album, Cohesion. The band had 25 songs prior to sorting out the final track list. They signed with Island Records Australia and from September 2009 Gil Norton (Pixies, Maximo Park, Foo Fighters) produced their sessions at Rockfield Studios, in Monmouth, Wales. On 16 October 2009 in an interview with Triple J, Sanders announced that the record would be completed by mid-November. He also said that they were considering a self-titled album.

In December 2009 the group revealed a track from the album, “Live Without You”, for radio spots and as an album teaser, on their MySpace page. The first single from the album, “Some of the Places I Know”, was released in March 2010, which peaked at No. 32 The music video had appeared in February. Cohesion followed on 9 April 2010, which debuted at No. 3. Mike Allen at SputnikMusic described it as “straightforward rock… it is keen on its utilization of blistering riffs, incongruent dynamics, and Daniel Sanders’ soaring clean vocals, all of which play an intricate role in creating the melting pot. Monstrous choruses and infectious hooks are strewn throughout.” In June they started their national tour to promoted the album.

On 22 April 2010 the band blogged on their official MySpace page that Warner Music were due to release a compilation album, Best of Gyroscope, on 7 May via iTunes, without the band’s permission. They only found out about the compilation through their fans on Facebook. The band issued a joint statement through their management, criticising Warner for not consulting them. They declared, “The song selection, artwork and everything about this release has been done without consultation with the band. Gyroscope are a band who have always put our fans first. In our opinion, the release of this album without consultation with the band, and without including any material from our new album Cohesion, does not represent good value for our fans.” The album was released anyway. The album has since been removed from iTunes and recalled from stores.

In May 2011 they performed at the annual Groovin’ the Moo festival at regional centres in Australia In May 2012 Trivic broke both legs when he was struck by a car whilst riding his motorcycle. Initially it was anticipated that his recovery would only take three to four months however his rehabilitation took longer. As a result, the band went into an enforced hiatus until December 2014 when they recommenced live performances with a national tour to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the release of their debut album, Sound Shattering Sound.

In May 2015 Gyroscope played a secret show at The Hen House studios to celebrate the Hen House’s 5th birthday. In February 2016 the band announced a one off show at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Bunbury over the Easter weekend. On 3 March 2016 the band posted a photo of reheasals on Facebook announcing that they are working on some new songs.
2017 plans to be a big here with the rekindling of the band and the release of the new album. Look out for them on their Australian National tour and world tour in 2017.