Our Last Night is an American post-hardcore band, formed in 2004 signed to Epitaph Records.Their new release Age Of Ignorance, the third album by the New Hampshire-based band was released on August 21. As the name suggests the album marks a move into more politically inspired songwriting, we caught up with guitarist Matt Wentworth about the bands progress, rise to fame and new found inspiration.
Hey, how’s things?
Pretty good man.
That’s the way, so what’s your name and what do you play in the band?
My name’s Matt and I play guitar and sing.
Nice, so what’s new for Our Last Night?
Well, we’re currently on our CD release headline tour, that’s almost over, and then after this we are heading to Japan for 14 shows and then right after that we have a big full US tour with Woe Is Me and Chunk! No Captain Chunk!, I think that starts in November.
So are you guys going to head to Australia sometime?
We’re hoping to, we don’t have any definite plans for it right now but that’s definitely a goal for us in 2013.
Cool, so you guys have a new album out ‘Age Of Ignorance’?
Yeah we recorded in New Jersey in a studio called House Of Loud and the producer was David Bendeth, he’s worked with Paramore, Breaking Benjamin, Papa Roach a lot of really big artists. It was awesome, he was really insightful, really across the board with song writing and the business aspect of it, he’s worked in the music industry for probably 30 years so he knows a lot of people and he’s very inspirational for all of us, it was a really good experience.
How did you guys come to be on Epitaph?
Back in 2006 our first manager had heard of us on PureVolume and he really liked our songs, he started working with us and managing us full time and he’s gotten other bands signed as well, one being Play Radio Play and the other being Sky Eats Airplane, so he got a couple offers and one of them was Epitaph and their offer was the one that made the most sense to us, so we chose Epitaph and we’ve been with them ever since.
So what’s different about the new album compared to records you’ve done in the past?
We made some pretty big changes, our vocalist Trevor who does all the screaming in the band, he still does scream a little bit but he switched most of his vocals to a more melodic thing. Musically and instrumentally we kept a lot of the same aspects as the previous stuff, we may have dropped a little bit of the spazzy metal aspect but it’s still very intense, energetic music there’s just a lot more singing because, I do a lot of the singing as well, I do the same amount and most of Trevor’s screaming vocals are now melodic vocals. It’s definitely a more rock inspired record, a little less metal inspired.
What are some of the influences you brought to the new stuff?
I think for the new album that we did take a more rock approach, I think we took a lot influences from like Brand New, Circa Survive, Thrice, that kind of stuff, and I listen to a lot of more pop stuff as well like Coldplay, The Frey. I didn’t really incorporate direct specific sounds from them but I took a lot of inspiration from the song writing, the ideas and song structures of more poppy stuff like that.
Is there some new inspiration behind the lyrics on the album?
For the new album there are a few more political themes than we’ve normally done, we’ve never been into politics before writing this album. I did a lot of research and watched a lot of movies and documentaries and read a lot of articles about certain things about how the world really works and who has the power in our country specifically and even how the whole world works. It’s all based around money and greed and I think that’s just a dangerous concept, it’s almost inevitable but it’s really not the most logical way for all of us to live and most people in the world don’t have billions of dollars and to get what you want, people who have millions and billions of dollars can just pay to get certain decisions made in politics and the government and it kind of sucks that that’s the way it is. So we wrote a lot of the stuff revolving around those subjects. The name Age Of Ignorance, well, a lot of people don’t really realise or choose to ignore that that stuff goes on but I think if we all just exposed it a little more it might be able to change and there’s a lot of organisations that do try to change things like getting the money out of politics getting the power to the people.
Yeah it’s a big problem, especially in the States. Seems like you guys have come a long way to get where you are, how did you first start out?
Well Trevor, the singer, is my brother, he’s five years younger than me so when I started playing guitar we started jamming and we started playing shows just with our friends and when we needed an official name for a high school talent show we chose Our Last Night and it just happened to stick. When we were young we started playing local shows, maybe three or four a month, trying to play every weekend and slowly it just got more serious and then like I said our first manager hit us up in 2006 and that was the first time we were really like ‘wow we could really do this for a living, we have a chance’ so that’s when it all really turned around and got really serious for us.
So what did you change about your approach when you got your manager?
Well, two of us decided not to do it, they were younger and my brother is younger too, but it was kind of his main focus but they weren’t really looking to make It their lives, we were so we kind of split ways with our old drummer and guitar player and then our current drummer Tim joined and our previous guitar player Colin joined at that same time as well. So we definitely switched gears with our new members and we were ready to take it to a more professional level but there’s still so much for you to learn to go to that next level and even on our first tour there was a lot for us to learn, we were definitely new at it so you slowly get more professional as you go and you learn along the way.
Anything you’d say would be a highlight of your career as a band?
Definitely going overseas to Europe and to Japan, I think for all of us in the band that would have been a top highlight for us, it’s just crazy going overseas across the world and having people know the lyrics to your songs especially Japan ‘cos it’s so far away it’s crazy. It’s funny hearing Japanese people singing along to your lyrics over you and you can hear the Japanese accents. So it’s pretty surreal to see that, people knowing your songs you wrote while sitting in New Hampshire and people are familiar with the lyrics half way across the world, it’s pretty crazy.
Are there any bands around that you’re psyched on right now?
Yeah we just toured with this band called Set It Off, they were really great guys, we made really good friends with them and they have a new album coming out in September. It’s a really cool style, it kind of reminds of The Used almost. They’re really awesome guys so we’re all really excited for them, it seems like they’re doing really well, they’re signed to Equal Vision Records.
So what does the future hold for you guys?
I think we’re just going to go wherever things take us really, the music industry is such a crazy world you never know where you’ll be even three weeks from now but we’ll just try to do our best, spread the word and keep in close touch with our fans on Twitter and Facebook and all that and then we just hope that the record catches on and we can keep touring for a long time.
Awesome man. Well we might wrap it up, thanks so much for your time.
Thank you, hopefully we can get down to Australia sometime soon.