Speaking of the latter, one you should not miss this season is Summer Noise 2019. Happening on May 18 at Circuit Makati, Summer Noise will feature the music of Last Dinosaurs, Japanese Breakfast, Turnover, Shiela and the Insects, and Up Dharma Down, among many other local and international acts.
Mynila is fortunate to speak with Sean Caskey, guitarist and vocalist of Last Dinosaurs months before they visit the Philippines. Check out our interview with him as we talk about ditching traditional formats, The Strokes, and the spirit of the bass god.
Hi, Sean! Listening to Yumeno Garden is such a treat. We personally love Happy. How was it working on the album after three years from the last release?
It was a quite a different experience compared to the previous two albums. We decided to produce this one ourselves and used a studio in rural Japan to put it together. It was a bit of a risk to ditch the traditional format of having a big producer and a big studio but I’m so glad we did it. It felt really liberating to release something that came directly from our hearts and hands and straight to the listeners ears.
Yumeno Garden, 2018 – Album Cover
What were you listening to while working on the new record?
A lot of Soundcloud stuff from playlists we made. I think most of the artists were small time bedroom bands from the USA. We are big fans of the way these bands make lo-fi music because you can tell they are just creating what’s in their own heads and releasing it. That kind of authenticity can’t be faked. That’s the spirit we wanted encapsulate in our album.
Any artist or album that inspired you?
We went to Japan seeking total isolation so that we could avoid any external influence and focus on our roots. For me, I went back to The Strokes. As a band I think Radio Dept always has stayed strong in our hearts. Despite broadening my musical horizons from old school African disco to British art punk I found true purpose in honing in on what initially inspired me to play guitar. The Strokes taught me how to create chords and melodies with bitter sweet melancholy.
The video for Bass God is insanely creative—forests, speakers, and samurais. What was the main message you wanted to convey while shooting the video?
The video is about us failing to recruit members in to our cult which worships the bass god and his powerful healing frequencies. It was based on a little day dream I had a while ago the night before I created the song. I was out with my friends at a club and I sort of stepped back mentally for a second and contemplated the gathering of all these people on the dance floor. So many different people of different races, culture, religion and style that were all united by the funky disco music that was making them boogie. I imagined it was the spirit of a bass god playing all the groovy bass lines that was secretly pulling everyone together. I woke up the next morning with a tremendous hangover and started making a song about worshipping the bass god haha.
We love the photos on your website. Who’s the artist behind the camera?
Most of them we take on our phones. Sometimes we get friends to take photos. We like to use film as much as possible and we have some talented photographer mates that do a great job. Photos with friends are great because it’s easy to be comfortable.
What is your idea of a perfect Last Dinosaurs show?
Number one – stage dive. Number two – full rider including frisbee and tequila. Number three – everybody having the best time ever.
Tell us one artist you would like to collaborate with?
Panda Bear from Animal Collective. I’ve always thought he’s the most genius artist. I say artist because his album ‘Person Pitch’ barely features any instrumentation from him. It’s a collage of sounds and music from everywhere. I’m talking dirt trickling down a hill, lions roaring, racing cars zooming past, trains on a track. It’s totally bizarre and really inspiring to me because something so random and bizarre can still be so catchy and satisfying. I don’t know how he does it but I’d love to see how he works.
The Philippines is rich in both mountains and beaches. If you have just one day to stay in the country, would you rather climb a mountain or chill at a beach?
Absolutely would be down to climb a mountain. I like beaches and sun but I love trees and plants. That’s usually the thing I’m observing the most when we travel. I like looking at the trees and how they’re different to the trees around my home. It’s funny because they all grow the same, they just have different shaped leaves.
If we were to go to Australia with you, where would you bring us first?
If you’re beach people I’d take to the Byron Bay Area. The surrounding area is lush forest and the beaches are amazing. Then I’d take you to my favourite restaurants in Brisbane. One in particular we like to go is an Italian restaurant that serves truffle gnocchi.
There are tons of shows lined up for the band. What’s the plan after touring?
Album 4! Definitely keen to get back in to my studio and start on the next album.
If you had the chance to bring back dinosaurs, would you? Why?
Hell no! They would eat us all. But it would be interesting to know if they did have feathers.
Last Dinosaurs takes over our Mynila:SOUNDS playlist with their personal favs, guilty pleasures and everything in-between:
Catch Last Dinosaurs perform songs from Yumeno Garden at Summer Noise 2019. For more details, visit Summer Noise’s official event page.
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