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Band goes on Tour May 22nd 2019

If you love heavier music and strong lyrics during your MMA/BJJ sessions then you have to check these guys out.


  • Triple j unearthed finalists 2015

  • About to start fourth national tour

  • Supported bands such as Parway Drive, Thy Art is Murder, Polaris

Strike MMA members Shaun Cox (Vocalist) and Sam Warren (Drummer) are making waves in the Australian Music Industry and the Heavy Rock Scene.


If you were to meet Shaun you could be forgiven for assuming he could not command such a powerful voice. He is of slender build but is packing alot of strength. He has long hair, fantastic for head banging and the rockstar look. He has a quiet and calm demeanour but confident. He is a third year Electrical Apprentice and has been extremely busy writing three new songs in the lead-up to the bands forth upcoming tour around Australia. As well as training MMA and BJJ here at Strike MMA.

I sat down with Shaun and wanted to know how he blends the demands of preparing for Daybreak's upcoming Tour, his day job and his love for Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Q: You have a tour coming up on the East Coast of Oz, just announced an EP and featured on triple j.. how do you feel about it all and how has the prep been with your BJJ and MMA training leading up to the tour with such a busy schedule?

Shaun: I’m super keen to get back over east and to start playing shows again. All the hard work in getting this release together is done, so now we get to enjoy the fruits of our labour and tour across the country. In preparation for the tour I haven’t been able to train as much as I’d like too, which threw my balance off a little bit.

Q: Your in your third year of your electrical apprenticeship, writing lyrics for the band Daybreak, lead vocalist and train many times a week in Brazilian Jiu jitsu and Mixed Martial arts. Why do you commit to so much and what do you feel focusing on all these things helps you with?

Shaun: Honestly it’s not really a choice to

commit to so much, it’s more of a need.

My two passions in life are MMA/BJJ and

Music, they control my thoughts and emotions, most of the time it’s all I think about. I didn’t go on the hunt to find a hobby to commit to, they both found me and I just got stuck in their orbit so to speak. Both MMA and music are hobbies where you can clearly see progression in small increments, so constantly achieving little goals is definitely healthy for my mental well-being. If there's anything I struggle with, it's stress, the band gets really stressful sometimes but going into the gym and rolling/sparring gets rid of all of that. It's like a reset button, when someones trying to strangle you or kick you in the head, all your focus is centred on not letting that happen, and afterwards you pretty much forget what you were stressing about before you walked in, so they aid each other in a way.

Like you say, I'm also in my third year of an electrical apprenticeship. This isn't really a passion of mine, i'm only invested in the trade for the financial security, it gives me the ability to fund my hobbies and will always be there as a safety net if all else fails.

Q: What big future plans and aspirations do you have for the band?

Shaun: I want to create our own style of heavy music, I want to be a band where the fans never know what to expect other than that the new music will be good. I'd love to travel the world presenting our music along the way, being able to make a living off of music and things associated (managing, booking shows ect) is the main goal.

Q: Do you have future plans and aspirations with your MMA?

Shaun: I definitely want to fight in the future, at the moment this isn't really possible between balancing training, work, music, maintaining a social life and having time to myself. For now I just like to keep consistent, continue learning and crafting my skills so when the time comes where I have a gap after my apprenticeship, I can book a fight and be ready.

Q: Do you have a message for other bands or fans out there that might want to try BJJ or MMA?

Shaun: Take the step and just do it. The hardest part is getting yourself through the door. I read a quote from Jocko Willink the other day, ''Jiu Jitsu is probably the No.1 activity I could recommend to someone to improve their lives overall''. I'm sure every BJJ practitioner unanimously agrees on that. If you're struggling with confidence, anxiety, finding purpose or even if you just want to stay fit, BJJ/MMA WILL change all of that.


Sam comes across quit shy, quietly confident with a strong slender build.

He's studying Occupational Therapy and tells me how he enjoys learning how to deal with the needs and rehabilitation of recovering patients. He's most interested in the psychology of recovering patients towards their individual needs in finding purpose and meaning.

Sam also works part time in a local bottle shop and can be spotted helping out selecting a good bottle of wine every now and then. He has found a real passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training and is quite naturally good at it.

I sat down with Sam and asked him about his upcoming Tour with the band and a life busy of University, work, band practice and training BJJ.

Q: Big tour coming up Sam. You just announced a new EP and featured on triple j, how do you feel about it all and how has your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training helped?

Sam: I’m very happy with how the new Daybreak song has been received so far. Although it has been a stressful process, I’m stoked with the end product we’ve produced and I’m keen to take it on the road with the boys. There were lots of deadlines to meet and lots of things were going wrong. BJJ definitely helped manage this stress as I’d leave the gym with a clear head. I think it has also helped me stay calm and maintain a positive, focused mindset during some of the stressful situations that arose. It also serves as a different creative outlet and gives me some needed space away from music for a short period of time. Training in BJJ has been a very humbling experience so far. Being submitted or controlled by another person regardless of their age, size or gender has really shown me not only the effectiveness of the art but also the importance of growth and learning, both physically and mentally. It has given me more motivation to improve musically and to keep improving as a band as we take things to a higher level.

Q: How do you feel about the balanced of being a rockstar and living a healthy lifestyle and being a part of a positive community like Strike MMA?

Sam: Far from a rockstar haha. It can be difficult to manage at times but I think having a balanced and healthy lifestyle is important to success in various areas of my life. Eating fairly healthy and staying physically active with BJJ has really helped with my mood and energy levels during the day. It’s pretty common to see other muso’s not caring about their own health but it is something that I think is important. I think not doing these things would give me less motivation to succeed in the other areas of my life. It gives me the mental clarity necessary to be a student and teaches me valuable lessons that are applicable to my life. The community at Strike is very positive and being surrounded by this environment reinforces these healthy behaviours.

Sam Warren assisting in helping film BJJ instructional Video

Q: What big future plans and aspirations do you have with the band?

Sam: The ultimate goal is to play all around the world and be able to make a living out of it. It’s not an easy feat but we are taking it one step at a time.

Q: Do you have future plans and aspirations with your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training?

Sam: My plan is to keep training consistently and improving for as long as possible. I would like to get some competition experience this year.

Q: Do you have a message for other bands or fans out there that might want to try BJJ or MMA?

Sam: It can be a pretty confronting experience trying out a martial art for the first time but it is very worth it. If doing exercises at the gym isn’t stimulating enough I’d highly recommend BJJ or MMA. It gives you a killer workout whilst teaching you how to defend yourself which can come in handy.

Sam Warren smashing on the drums


Wrapping it up

So whether you enjoy heavy music, the aggressive sounds cranked out by this Death Metal band's Vocals with heavy guitar riffs and drums. Or you prefer softer tunes. This band looks to have a balanced lifestyle of positive outlets, using music to be creative and a way to express themselves then utilising Brazilian Jiu jitsu and Mixed Martial arts as their daily therapy.

In Speaking with Sam and Shaun it was clear that they want to have a positive influence in their industry. To roll model a healthy balanced lifestyle, promoting mental health. This is something other bands will look to emulate and fans take notice of as the rockstar lifestyle of sex, drugs, alchohol, money, women and fame can be Intoxicating and leave some feeling empty.

Have these young men found the antidote in Martial Arts...??

- Dave Johnson


Daybreak Links Tour Dates FAN pages & Tickets


Lady LP Pic/ The Godfather EP; including "Therapy" and "Bad Boy". Out May 22.

Youtube link to Godfather

Acid Green website

big cartel website home

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