Australia’s pop punk and heavy music scene was born out of the sweaty walls of suburban youth centres and community halls and noisy garages. There’sand an inherent angst that breeds amongst our capital cities western suburbs. In the states, Warped Tour had reached its post-commercial peak, flaunting hair sprayed, skinny jeaned, neon-V neck t-shirt wearing metalcore bands that came a dime a dozen. Aussies have been, on the other hand, were developing a distinct identity that would eventually become a national phenomenon.

In 2008, the scene was truly coming into its own. Hardcore was making a statement fresh off the success of bands like Parkway Drive and I Killed The Prom Queen , an adjacent ultra-catchy pop punk juggernaut began to stir. Bands like Heroes For Hire, The Never Ever, For Our Hero carved dedicated fan bases across the country one ever quite rose through the ranks and shattered expectation quite like Tonight Alive.

Tonight Alive formed in the leafy green nestles of Sydney’s Castle Hill., they bridged a gap between two worlds – managing to fill a niche that saw every mosh-short wearing bro wear their hearts on their sleeves and sing along to ‘Breaking & Entering’, conjure up a tear during ‘Amelia’ and bask in the band’s illuminating message of positivity amidst a blanket of nihilism.

In the states, thanks to Warped Tour, the walls between pop punk and heavy have been blurred, Australia was yet to yield a band who managed to gain respect from both ends. Whether it was taking on the stage of Soundwave or now, UNIFY Gathering or touring with the world’s best in post-hardcore, Tonight Alive proved that fearlessness prevails – it’s what weaves the timeline of Tonight Alive’s career. Their ever-evolving sound and distinct message. These dual qualities helped them cut through the noise and land comfortably as leaders of a scene in need of a fresh voice.

Early introductions to the band’s sound in the form of tracks like  ‘Closer’ and ‘Wasting Away’ showcased the band’s proclivity for chuggy guitar riffs popularised at the time by pop-mosh icons like Hit The Lights and A Day To Remember – providing the perfect fertile ground to incite a new wave within the scene.

Deeply inspired by easycore and peppered with a classic post-hardcore aggression, their first full length album What Are You So Scared Of managed to nab them instant credibility.

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“It’s not a crime to wear a smile” – a lyric from What Are You So Scared Of’s title track that wholeheartedly encompasses the band’s resonant mantra. The band showed they unafraid to play with their demons until they cooperated, the essentialness of fighting through any darkness to embrace the eventual light. They’ve fought actively to promote the imperative nature of self-care and confidence.

Witnessing the band conquer the stages of festivals and tours was the actualisation of this message preached in every essence of their lyrics and sound.

Taking the stage of Soundwave in 2012 (Australia’s former premier showcase of international and local heavy business) felt like a natural fit for the band. In and amongst a lineup of Slipknot, System Of A Down and Limp Bizkit, the band were at home.

In 2011, the band headed out on the ‘Fearless Friends’ tour with blessthefall, Motionless In White and Black Veil Brides – the then champions of scene metalcore, and 2012’s ‘Suppy Nation’ tour with Man Overboard and The Story So Far., two pioneers of pop punk’s late 00s indie-leaning wave -and Tonight Alive found themselves embraced by crowds who relished their ability to exude confidence and flaunt a diverse sound.

In 2015, the band returned to the stage of Soundwave paying homage to all things heavy with a Rage Against The Machine medley, pulling it off with sheer aplomb.

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They’ve managed to find a comfortable place amongst changing scenes and admittedly fickle audiences without compromising their core message – one poignantly portrayed on their 2013 studio album The Other Side.

The Other Side was a blistering statement on overcoming doubt and finding hope. The tracks ranged from slow burner mid-00s post-hardcore to short and sharp punk and sheer pop balladry. Opening track ‘The Ocean’ features a thunderous riff that pummels into a feast of down-tuned power-chord worship. ‘The Fire’ is a pure punk burner with its breakdown eliciting mosh pits globally whilst title track ‘The Other Side’ is an ode to mid-00s pop balladry. On Limitless, the band tested the waters of psych-drenched pop, channelling their spiritual selves into mellow grooves and pulsating synths that signified total growth.

In 2018, ten years after their formation, the continue to develop as a result of a willingness to learn from their experiences.

Underworld is a showcase of growth and maturity in its finest form – it’s ferocity is elucidated in its subtleties as well as it’s dynamic peaks and shredding apexes. From The Killers evoking ‘Disappear’ to its throwdown punk inflicted ‘Temple’ its a multifaceted retrospective on ten years of shattering boundaries and fighting for what they believe in.

They debuted the album at UNIFY Gathering 2018 instalment, just before Architects and Parkway Drive took to the stage – the ultimate triumph.  

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Tonight Alive’s impact on Australian heavy music is currently reverberating with intensity. Since their explosion, Australia’s pop punk scene has flourished with bands like Eat Your Heart Out and Stand Atlantic finding international success and opened up room for labels like UNFD to sign acts like Columbus and Introvert. Above all, their influence lies in their enduring powerful message – a burning ray of hope amidst a deep underbelly of fear.

Catch Tonight Alive on their upcoming Australian tour

Tonight Alive 2018 ‘Underworld’ National Tour

Supported by Between You & Me and AViVA

Thursday, 3rd May
The Basement, Canberra
Tickets: Live Nation

Friday, 4th May
Metro Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Live Nation

Saturday, 5th May
The Zoo, Brisbane
Tickets: Live Nation

Thursday, 10th May
Arrow On Swanston, Melbourne
Tickets: Live Nation

Friday, 11th May
Max Watt’s, Melbourne
Tickets: Live Nation

Saturday, 12th May
The Gov, Adelaide
Tickets: Live Nation