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EXCLUSIVE: Tobias Reveals The Stories Behind ‘Alive’


It’s been a while coming, but Sunshine Coast singer-songwriter Tobias has finally unleashed ‘Alive’, a follow-up to his debut album ‘Toby Robinson’. The album comprises memories of a joyful childhood – fishing on the river, sitting by the fire with his brothers, his mother’s warm smile – alongside the challenges of his youth, including his mother’s cancer diagnosis and death, and every experience between then and now.

To celebrate the release of ‘Alive’, Tobias gave us the lowdown on the place of each track in his life and on his new album.

Everything Always Works Out

I came up with this song waking up on a Sunday morning where I was house (cat) sitting for my friends from Milk records. It’s pretty easy to be inspired when surrounded by a house oozing rock ‘n’ roll history and art. The song itself was like a breath of fresh air; [it] says that whatever is going on in your life there comes a time when it passes, and in the end, everything always works out.

Live Your Life

I had coffee with a good friend a while ago on a cold night in Melbourne.  He’d been on the road playing his own music for over 10 years with great success. He told me I needed to “take the drop”,  so I did. I left my city job where I was miserable and decided to get on the road and tour my music, which I have been doing now for a few years. “Live Your Life” tells the story of this situation – so far I have not regretted a single second of it.

I Won’t Fight

Sometimes we can get pretty caught up in life, holding onto things when they’re not right and trying to mould life the way we think it should be, but it never works! So this song is really about just letting go of outcomes, and unnecessary worry.

Just A Boy

Living through Melbourne’s winters can be arduous at the best of times, so when the sun comes out around Spring, the feeling can be quite cathartic. Feeling the warmth of the sun again reminded me of growing up in the country on the Sunshine Coast at a time when life was very happy for me. My brothers and I would play around in vast paddocks on motorbikes, and go fishing and surfing. My mother passed away when I was 14 so this memory became something I held on to as a very special time in my life.

Hold Me Close

I went out to the high county in Victoria to do some songwriting after a bit of a rough relationship break up. I’d been playing around with this song and had also been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan’s album ‘Oh Mercy’ at the time. The song is about really just taking a deep breath while going through an emotional time.

Made My Decision

I met a traveller many years ago.   She was only 19, from Hawaii, and had run away from home and the troubled childhood she had lived.  She came out to Australia to find herself, and a better life to lead.  It got me thinking about those big decisions one sometimes has to make for themselves in life and the power of that decision.

When The Sun Comes Up Again

It’s a driving song! While recording this album I was aware that one way or another, I was going to be on the road,  touring it around Australia, so I was inspired by that. It’s a song about getting out of the city, getting on the road and experiencing this beautiful country of ours, meeting new people and waking up in amazing places – something I still do and will keep doing.  I also wanted the sax to feature because it reminded me of all the great surf songs I used to listen to in the 90s.

City Walk

I lived in Brisbane for a few years and used to spend a lot of time listening to bands like The Cure, The Smiths and The Go Betweens. I also used to play in quite a variety of bands who played grunge, rock and psychedelic funk stuff. I was in Brisbane again on tour last year, and during the nights after the gigs I spent a couple of hours just riding on the City Cats. Remembering what life used to be like for me in Brisbane awoke those old feelings and I wanted to write a song that encapsulated that time of living in the Brisbane heat, being confused and at the same time excited about life.

Sit By The Water

Last year I played at quite a strange house concert in Bellingen NSW, where half of my audience seemed to be experimenting with local hallucinogenics so they weren’t really focused on my performance, to say the least! Once I had finished the gig I got out of there and found a quiet place to camp. I couldn’t really see where I was, but when I woke up I was in paradise, on the Never Never Creek – a place so beautiful I couldn’t believe it. I grabbed my guitar and sat by that creek and strummed out this song.

Tobias’ album ‘Alive’ is out now, so get a taste of Just A Boy below and then go grab yourself a copy!


Written by Jess Martyn