After playing covers in notorious Perth nightspots such as Paramount and the Mustang Bar for the past two years, local five-piece TSTY are finding their transition into the original music scene an absolute breeze.
Last month, the emo-pop outfit sold out a launch show for debut EP Stuck in a Photograph at the Rosemount Hotel — an impressive feat for a new band, even with the venue’s reduced capacity.
“It was awesome,” lead singer Chezni Watson told the West Australian.
“I think adrenaline and nerves took over completely … I’m still trying to comprehend the fact that happened.”
Known as Kaskayde when they belted out everything from Dua Lipa and Bruno Mars to Wolfmother and Led Zeppelin to boozy crowds, TSTY have added a second “debut” show on September 11.
While four-fifths of the group went to the same primary and high schools, they didn’t become friends until six years ago when they were thrust together as a band at West End Music Academy in Osborne Park.
After bashing out Led Zep classic Rock and Roll, they wrote an original song on the spot.
“We were on the same wavelength,” Watson said. “We wanted the same thing and we wanted music to be our career.”
Inspired as much by Paramore and No Doubt as her hero Christina Aguilera, TSTY began focusing on their own music last year.
During a rehearsal at the Hen House Studios in Osborne Park, they asked owner Rob Nassif who they should collaborate with for their debut recording.
The former drummer for local rockers Gyroscope and current manager of The Faim suggested Jon Lundin, the LA-based frontman of pop punks Point North whose burgeoning resume includes albums from Good Charlotte, Sleeping with Sirens and Atreyu. He also worked on The Faim’s debut album State of Mind, released last year.
After Nassif did the introductions via email, the young quintet found themselves flying to LA last September to record Stuck in a Photograph.
“(Lundin) didn’t know us and we really didn’t know him,” Watson explains. “We didn’t know what we were walking into, but as soon as we got there, it was great.
“We just clicked from day one and we wrote some magic over there.”
Their EP Stuck in a Photograph, which features lead single Broken, refers to how the band felt during the early stages of the pandemic.
However releasing the EP, planning the debut gigs and recording new music with The Faim guitarist Michael Bono has kept TSTY on their toes.
“I feel like we’ve been the busiest we’ve ever been during these times,” Watson laughed. “Releasing the EP was crazy hectic. The prep work is more intense than writing and recording the songs.
“All of our live shows got cancelled and that was pretty gutting, but we got to do a lot of stuff on social media, like isolation covers and collaborations, so that was really cool.”
“I think social media is absolutely awesome during these times because it connects you to a bunch of different people around the world and you see all the amazing things people are doing.”
That said, TSTY were “ecstatic” when restrictions were eased and they could plan their big debut bashes at the Rosemount.
“We’re very, very lucky and blessed to be living in WA right now,” Watson said.