Interview: Grizzlyshark talk new EP, bad parents and video games

Credit: Andrew Vaughan

Brisbane easycore quartet Grizzlyshark have been bubbling away at the surface these past few years, but today they boil over with their sizzling debut EP MOSAIC. Featuring the singles “TMS”, “What’s the Plan Gogglehead?” and “There’s No ‘I’ in Quaranteam”, the five-track project is a platter of fervent emo with pop punk hooks to satiate heavy fans from all walks of the genre.

Produced and mixed by Troy Brady (The Amity Affliction, In Hearts Wake) with “TMS” co-written by Alan Day of Four Year Strong, MOSAIC is Grizzlyshark at their most refined and explosive. Discussing the struggles of growing up with an absentee parent, living with ADHD and other personal problems, the EP is honest and relatable without being derivative or taken too seriously.

We caught up with the boys talk all things about the release and get an insight into their plans.

Congratulations on the new EP! How keen were you to drop the long-awaited project?

Thank you! We are incredibly keen to finally have this out. Been a while coming and is definitely overdue at this point.

What was it like to collaborate with Alan Day and Troy Brady?

Working with Alan was a little bit of a fanboy moment, having admired his work for a fair few years now. This is our fourth time working with Troy. We absolutely love it! Troy understands our sound and pushes us to be better. We could not recommend him enough!

“There’s No ‘I’ in Quaranteam” is an absolute banger. Given the title, was this an isolation baby?

It absolutely was! Nothing to do with isolation outside of the title though! In classic Grizzly fashion, the name has nothing to do with the song. You can tell Andrew likes Fall Out Boy through that alone.

The song discusses absent parents who still expect to be treated with respect despite being, to be blunt, awful. The lyrics have been floating around in part since 2013. A friend of mine broke down on a train ride home about his dad. It was his 18th, his dad rang that day (the only call in a year) to talk about himself. I’ve seen similar circumstances since and it breaks my heart.

I have the highest degree of respect for those that persevere through this and the parents that make it work despite not being with the other parent.

The lyrics make pop culture references with a tongue-in-cheek writing style. Has this always been the case?

We have had pop culture occasionally pop up but it is becoming more prominent in our writing. Our first releases had strong video game references (Sonic and Game Over). I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. We had a music video that was our own version of Cheeze TV. GrizzTV never made it to air but we did get a coffee mug out of it!

The new EP has Digimon references in “What’s the Plan Gogglehead?”, Bloodborne references in “Paleblood” and Spider-man references in “I’m Something of a Scientist Myself”. I personally love “Paleblood” for this. A tad on the nose the whole way through but I think I pulled it off.

Trying to work on a song about Alien and then The Thing, two of my (Andrew) absolute favourite movies of all time. Maybe one about Dr Phil, unsure on that one.

Can you give us a brief history of how Grizzlyshark came to be?

Three of us were in another (nameless) band a few years ago. When that band died, we decided we wanted to keep working together. Joey (bass) had jumped in on the odd gig so we contacted him to be a part of Grizzlyshark. We still struggle to decide on an exact style of music to write!

Highlight would be playing the Gold Coast with Hands Like Houses. Having 200 or more people cheering for us is a sound I won’t soon forget. We played in Sydney with Mountain Wizard Death Cult in 2019. Mostly metal fans attending our pop punk/emo set. Something about a 40 year old in a Slayer shirt saying “You lads go alright” that hits home. Like the time Dad said he was proud.

Our best memory of being in a band is cramming five of us into a tiny motel room and blasting The Simpsons until our set in Port Macquarie. After a day of driving that just hit different.

Will there be any surprises once MOSAIC is out in the world?

…maybe 😉

MOSAIC is available now on all streaming platforms. Follow Grizzlyshark on Facebook and Instagram to keep updated on the latest, Gogglehead.