THE LAST VEGAS; JUST EAT ME INTERVIEW
THE LAST VEGAS hail from Chicago, IL play music like they come from the streets of sin city and destroy speakers with the gritty rock sounds that come out of albums they have created. The band is influenced by; glam rock, heavy metal and punk rock and have been able to play the world since 2003.
The latest effort by these guys is an album called EAT ME and has everyone in the ROMPER camp excited. It is bringing everyone back to the fun times of the 80’s with a party vibe and a shakey shake of your booty. Thanks to Adam Arling-guitar, Bryan Wilkinson (guitar) and Danny Smash (bass) for letting me into the bands busy life to answer some questions about the new album, the band and the style they play.
EARLY INCEPTION OF THE BAND MOTLEY CRUE WAS A TRADE MARK IN THE BANDS ACHIEVEMENTS WITH WINNING A CONTEST TO OPEN FOR THE CRUE, THEN TOURING WITH THE CRUE AND HAVING NIKKI SIX PRODUCED AN ALBUM. HOW HAS THAT BEEN THAT THOSE GUYS WERE AROUND YOU TOALMOST GUIDE YOU IN YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS?
(ADAM ARLING) - The Motley-era TLV time was fast, furious, and everything it should be for a young rock band. TLV busted our asses for 5 years putting out 4 records and touring relentlessly between US and Europe, so when the Motley opportunity reared its head, TLV was a well-oiled machine, ready and willing for the opportunity. Nikki was/is awesome, we learned a lot from him, and that era of arenas and tour buses undoubtedly shaped TLV forever. Frankly, we then got kind of sick of piles of cash, fortune and fame and decided to go back to the van and dive bars. No one likes a sell-out, especially in Chicago.
YOU GUYS BRING BACK THAT GLAM, ROCK AND SLEAZY-NESS OF ROCK MUSIC? WHAT GOT YOU GUYS INTO PLAYING THIS TYPE OF MUSIC?
(ADAM ARLING) - TLV increasing it’s or other’s “Sleaze quotient” was never that high a priority I guess. Growing up on MTV, when you’re in, um first grade and see Axl in an electric chair, you’re musical direction is kind of determined if you want to rock. What really shaped TLV’s sound was taking what a lot of those ‘glam’, ‘sleaze’ whatever bands were doing, and discovering all the bands which influenced them. TLV has, had and always will have 100 times more in common with say, Rocks-era Aerosmith than something like Faster Pussycat. All we’ve ever really tried to do as a band was write the best songs we could, make albums we'd want to listen to, and rock the hell out of ‘em live.
AS MEMBERS OF THE BAND ARE YOU STAGE PERSONAS DIFFERENT THEN YOUR AVERAGE EVERY DAY PERSONAS?
(BRYAN WILKINSON) We are an honest band. No egos, or alter-egos; and I think that’s what sets us apart from a lot of music out there trying really hard to be cool or something it’s not. Write what you feel, and be who you are.
FOR ME IT SEEMS LIKE WRITING THE MUSIC YOU WRITE WOULD BE JUST FUN ALL THE TIME. HOW IS THE PROCESS OF WRITING REALITY WISE?
(BRYAN WILKINSON) The majority of the band writes songs in their own time, and then brings into rehearsals. There’s also the exception of some tunes coming out of some of us living together and kickin’ it with acoustics or whatever. There are song ideas in the vaults that haven’t been used; where there’s simply not enough space on each album for all these crazy ideas! We congregate around iPhone voice memos, demos, or memory; and filter through the ideas and pick out which ones we’re diggin'. Sometimes we jam until something we like plays out, and other times the song is written front to back already and we lock in rhythms and melodies and such. It very much is a group effort to write for this band, which is really cool and democratic.
WAS IT HARD COMING OUT OF CHICAGO BACK IN THE DAY PLAYING THE MUSIC YOU DID AND DID YOU RELOCATE TO SIN CITY AT ANY POINT?
(ADAM ARLING) Chicago is a hard-ass city that doesn’t put up with fluff from its artists, politicians or sports stars. That hometown treatment kind of helped/hurt TLV throughout the years, but I've personally found it trims the fat and if a band can cut the mustard in Chicago, they’re probably worth catching on tour cause they’ll have an edge. We just about sold out the Double Door on the EAT ME CD release, and I think that was about one of my most proud moments in this band, cause that’s on our shoulders. That’s Chicago, that’s TLV, and that’s actually real. Sin City relocation? For 24-48 hours, you bet…anytime.
TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM EAT ME? WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT?
(BRYAN WILKINSON) “EAT ME” had a bit of a “don’t think, just create” vibe, as we were on a tight timeline to pull it off. The songs we used and the album that came to be was a result of first instincts, as we didn’t have much time to debate over anything. I would say our proudest moment, is that, that approach worked perfectly for this album, and we achieved something we all would listen to if we weren’t in this band. If you’re not creating music you would listen to, then what’s the point, right?! I can’t get enough of EAT ME, especially after playing the tunes live.
CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THE WRITING OF THE TRACK HOT FUDGE?
(DANNY SMASH ) I’ve always been a big fan of disco rock songs like Miss You and Emotional Rescue (Stones), Jeopardy (Greg Kihn), Do You Think I’m Sexy(Rod Stewart). Songs with that straight strutting "Staying Alive" beat. I used to work as a server and was literally making a hot fudge sundae for a customer when the idea popped in my head. The whole thing was very sophomoric, but it stuck. I kept humming the melody in my head throughout the entire shift til i got home and was able to demo it. The verse melodies are based off the Rod Stewart song Infatuation. It’s a basically Donny Osmond meets Pam Grier. Disco Sleaze! You Dig!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STAGE CLOTHING?
(DANNY SMASH) I’m into denim and a cool T. Popping my collar and strutting in my chucks. Keeping it rock n roll with a silver belt and a Chad Cherry trucker hat!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE A LIVE THE LAST VEGAS SHOW?
(BRYAN WILKINSON) THE LAST VEGAS live is a high energy, authentic rock show. We’re players who focus on the music, following the groove and letting the song do the talking. Our shows are a bridge of the band’s catalog, using dynamics that naturally seep from the cracks of our songs. From an idling engine, to a wide open roar, our live sound swaggers from tune to tune in an attempt to create something honest and sincere for the listener.
YOU DID A VIDEO FOR BLOODTHIRSTY, TELL ME ABOUT THE VIDEO AND WHY YOU RELEASED THAT
TRACK FOR ONE OF THE SINGLES ON THE ALBUM?
(BRYAN WILKINSON) “BLOODTHIRSTY” was chosen collectively by our label and the band. We thought it was a well-placed representation of where the band was at; blending a bit of an updated sound with the band’s history. The video was done in Los Angeles, with no real concept or master plan in place behind it. The director, Whitewall Jones, followed the spirit of the song with shots and camera angles, which proved to be effective.
WHEN YOU THINK PUNK WHAT BAND INFLEUNCES YOU? WHEN YOU THINK GLAM WHAT BAND
INFLUENCES YOU AND WHEN YOU THINK SLEAZE ROCK WHO MARKED THE WAY FOR YOU GUYS TO BE
THE ROCKSTARS YOU ARE?
(BRYAN WILKINSON)) For Me: Punk-THE CLASH, Glam-T-REX, Sleaze-THE NEW YORK DOLLS
TOUR PLANS FOR THE SUMMER?
(BRYAN WILKINSON) Our major tour plans this year are Europe November/December. We’ve just done gigs in the Midwest, Canada, and the West Coast, with a few more Midwest gigs/Festivals this summer.
ANY LAST COMMENTS?
JUST A GIRL WHO LOVES MUSIC BEING CREATIVE AND WRITING, THAT IS HOW THE EAST COAST ROMPER BECAME WHAT IT IS FOR THE MODERN ROCK WORLD