Introducing Indie Pop Band The Tryouts

The Tryouts
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

The Tryouts have an origin story that would make most television executives hyperventilate in pure joy.

Australian Chelsea Reed met Canadian David Macmichael when both were based in Toronto. They knew each other a little bit, but when Chelsea needed a hired hand for a tour through French Canada in 2017 they ended up on the road together.

During this adventure, romance began to blossom and by the end of the tour their feelings for each other had grown so intense Chelsea asked David to marry her or never see her again – as her visa was running out.

David happily and ridiculously agreed. Awwww, so cute. When the pandemic arrived they decided to uproot their world and move to Australia to wait out the mayhem and start their new life.

Some three-plus years later Chelsea and David are still living down under producing indie gems you can find on their 2022 debut EP 'Nothing Bad Is Ever Going To Happen', which was produced by Jack Moffitt (The Preatures, I Know Leopard, Johnny Hunter). Last year they released the double single 'Wolf At The Door / Grocery Store', which continued their run of fuzzy, gleaming indie pop.

With a resume that includes supports with Ben Lee, Sloan Peterson and '90s indie legends Smudge, The Tryouts are about to embark on a north-coast tour – their first run of Australian shows aside from standalone gigs – as they continue work on their debut album (scroll down for the live dates).

Who are The Tryouts... We are a two-piece band that got together over a shared loved of songwriting and burning your own life down. Our songs are generally sad and funny with a bit of whimsy for good measure.

We sound like... A guitarist and drummer banging as hard as we can in our own conventionally incorrect ways. A little Ben Folds, Pavement, Weezer and a healthy dose of '60s pop, lots of mixed boy-girl vocals.

Our first gig was... In Canada, doing a tour with Chelsea on piano and David playing guitar. A lot has changed since.

When did you settle on the group's name, and was it a unanimous decision... We were Bee Sting Ghost Roll into the Ocean for a year, but the name was dividing our 'fanbase'.

Finally we decided to switch it up to something snappier and I had The Tryouts reserved as a name waiting for a band; seemed perfect given the self-deprecating nature of our approach.

In the studio we usually... Mostly wear pyjamas. We like to record live off the floor as a two piece and then explore layers afterwards. We are planning on being less minimal for our upcoming debut, full length which is exciting.

If we could tour with anyone... Ween.

Social media is... A never ending anxiety machine for me. I am grateful Chel handles it mostly these days.

My favourite app at the moment is... Voice Memos. It's so handy to be able to pop an idea into the device that is always on me no matter what I'm doing. If I'm out and get an idea I might just sing it in there.

I probably have about 1,000 memos. I will generally go into songwriting hibernation after a record is done and not use it much, but right now it's everything.

To date, our most embarrassing moment was the time... Not winning the MTV Teen Choice Awards last year was pretty embarrassing.

Life on the road can be... So unhealthy. No matter what your best intentions are, you will wind up eating out three meals a day, usually fast food, often drinking too much and not sleeping great. We did a tour to Brisbane once where I brought my bike and rode up Mount Coot-Tha and it was one of my fondest touring memories of all times.

If you'll have us on your bill, all we ask is that our rider contains... We ask for nothing and are grateful for anything we get. We have toured through the worst circumstances and they teach you to be thankful.

The most scary scenario we've found ourselves in, was... In another life I've been threatened with violence to play another song after announcing the show was over.

One time on a Tryouts tour through Canada during a particularly harsh winter, the temperature in Ottawa was said to be 'colder than Mars' (which sounds kind of poetic actually). Various trips on the road through snowstorms are far worse than anything I've seen here in Australia.

What celebrity/ famous person would you love to be spokesperson of the band... Doja Cat.

If you had to live in a city abroad, where would you choose and why? I know for Chel it's going to be LA, so for me it's also LA, because I would miss Chel if I went anywhere else. Also LA is rad.

Three people you'd like to invite around for a dinner party... Can fictional people count? If so, the three main cast of 'Black Books' (Chelsea's answer).

If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us? I'm handy with a box of cereal. I can make cereal with milk or cereal with almond milk for vegans.

When it comes to pets are you a lover or hater of our furry friends? WHO DOESN'T LOVE A KITTY?! Has anybody ever said hater?! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT! CAT!

No matter the expense, send me a case of... Non-alcoholic beer.

The last time I saw the inside of a gym was... Oooof. 2012? I ride 300km a week on my bike, but have not been to a gym for over a decade.

What's the one chore you dislike the most? Washing the dishes.

Do you have any phobias... Spiders (that's Chels answer, I love them).

Would you ever partake in a reality show? No, I love my privacy. Even answering these questions is triggering.

If you could prank any of your friends, who's your target, and how are you bringing them down? I would tell my friend Josh I don't like him anymore and then I'd say 'surprise, I do!' Ahahah he'd really get a kick out of that.

Best local takeaway joint for a midnight feed that will leave you with a food coma? Can't go past McDonalds (or Maccas as you Aussies call it).

Which fictional character best describes your personality? Chel: Bart Simpson. Dave: I guess that makes me Milhouse.

Last show you binge-watched (and what kept you glued to the screen)? Chel: I have been binging 'Gilmore Girls'; it's my ultimate comfort show. We have also both been watching 'Baby Reindeer', which is so good but oh BOY it's tough to get through.

The Tryouts 2024 Tour Dates

Sat 18 May - Hoey Moey (Coffs Harbour)
Sun 19 May - Flow Bar (Old Bar)
Thu 23 May - Junk Bar (Brisbane)
Fri 24 May - Solbar (Sunhshine Coast)
Sat 1 Jun - Church Street (Northern Rivers)

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