The Last Act

Let me tell you what the foursome out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada (twin brothers guitarist Jeff and bassist Paul Larsen, lead singer Jason Turnbull and drummer Taylor Sanderson) have: BALLS. The metal rockers aren’t afraid to recognize when they’ve muffed something up… and they know how to rectify a situation in a hardcore fashion. Here’s the story: in March 2010, the brothers Larsen took some bad advice from some industry “pro’s”, releasing “Still Standing” on the fast track before the band truly blessed its release. Move up to November 2010, and boom – The Last Act re-releases “Still Standing”, recognizing that the initial copy’s guitars, drums and bass just didn’t live up to their high expectations. The same record released twice in the same year? Without a doubt, these guys have guts – and they’re pretty damn smart about it.

The Last Act now have a record they can stand behind, a collection that Jeff describes best: “People can expect to be rocked, start to finish with non-stop intensity, until you get to the last song, where it comes along and says ‘you still got your marbles?’ and walks you out. Hard and heavy, lots of feeling – something you would love to listen to on your stereo while flying down the highway. As Paul said, every song will make you go ‘F*** YEAH!’ and if it doesn’t, then hard rock/metal is probably not your kind of music.” These guys have been drawing comparisons to some of the legends of metal, from Iron Maiden to Metallica, with a sound that Paul says focuses heavy on “melody and intensity. Be it emotional intensity or musically heavy intensity or both. A raw “open air” flow that has the ability to connect through melodious aggression with deep feeling emotion. Our sound is unique, as I don't think there has been another band that has put together these separate sounding instruments that have such a unique resonance as the guys who are playing them”. The Last Act is primed for a 2011 release, so keep an eye out and look into their North American Defiance Tour. There’s more you gotta get into, so keep going for the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: The Last Act

PensEyeView.com (PEV): With styling similar to that of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, 3 Days Grace, how would you describe your sound?

Paul Larsen (PL) - Bass:  Heavy focus on melody and intensity (hard). Be it emotional intensity or musically heavy intensity or both. A raw, “open air” flow that has the ability to connect through melodious aggression with deep feeling emotion. Our sound is unique, as I don't think there has been another band that has put together these separate sounding instruments that have such a unique resonance as the guys who are playing them (especially vocals).

Jason Turnbull (JT) - Vocals:  What Paul said It’s Good, Betta, Best!

Jeff Larsen (JL) - Guitars: I think with all of the “new and wonderful” sounds coming out these days, people and bands have really lost focus on the true spirit and sound of rock. And there is also a lot of crap. Don’t get m wrong, there is good stuff too. We are focusing on finding the spirit of heavier rock. Not to do what’s been done, but to keep it “old Skool” while coming up with killer melodies and something new, which I think we have achieved.  And what Paul said.

PEV: What kind of music were the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

 

PL: For me it was Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Led Zepplin, Rush, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, and The Who. First concert was Scorpions Blackout tour with Iron Maiden (Number of the Beast tour) and Girlschool opening for them. It was an unreal show.

JT: Alice Cooper - Feed my Frankenstein at age 6, Oasis, Nirvana, Metallica, Soundgarden, Audioslave, Megadeth, Pantera, System of a Down, Wu-Tang Clan, All Reggae All da’ time brudda, Snoop Dog, Necro, “The Metallicas Blew My Doors Off”!!!!

Taylor Sanderson (TS) - Drums: I have always been a metal head! I grew up listening to the likes of Maiden, Metallica, and Pantera. I still love these bands but my tastes have gotten a bit harder and more brutal, I blame this to the direction of my drumming. These days I listen to bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Devil Driver, The Agonist, Chimera, and others of a super heavy sound. My first concert was actually when I was in grade six. I saw Def Lepard when they were on the X tour, long ass time ago!!

JL:  Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Rush, Mike Oldfield, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Crosby Still Nash and Young, lots of other 60’s rock, and the Beatles. Even listened to a lot of Tangerine Dream and Jean Michelle Jarre (which I still listen to once in a while). Pretty eclectic, or at least I like to think so.

PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live The Last Act show?

JT: I will jump off the stage at some point and smash all the a$$****s that have been moshing over ALL the fine ladies known to come to our shows!

TS: What the fans can expect from a TLA show is huge amounts of energy, awesome hard rocking music, and powerful sound that will knock you over and blow your mind. You will leave a TLA show craving more, needing to stay in that moment of ultimate HARD ROCK METAL!!!!

JL: Taylor got it pretty accurate. Typically we get the crowd wound up into a frenzy of feeling awesome and partying, and by the middle of the second set people are having a great time.  Mostly people can’t believe what they are seeing (and hearing) being pulled off by a live band!  We tell everyone it’s going to be like this, but no one believes it until they are there and actually seeing it for themselves.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

PL: That I am on stage to give it my all, no matter the anxiety or fear. I think about "feeling" the music instead of just playing it. That feeling translates into energy that the band and the crowd pick up on and makes for a great show.

JT: Do you think you guys could turn me up in my monitor please??? F**K!!!! Oh well I guess here goes this train wreck…f****n sound guy stop talkin’ to my girlfriend!

JL:  I tell myself “The nerves and sick will go away.  Maybe I can sneak out the back and no one will notice…”

PEV: Hard and heavy with killer melodies, what was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

PL: Life lessons. Living. Pain is a great teacher. The best stuff comes out when going through something emotionally difficult in life, and it needs to "get out" or go somewhere. I channel this directly into melodies or riffs. This is how I come up with some of my best stuff. It is all deep rooted in emotional transference.

JT:  Lyrically: When I can’t sleep I write my thoughts down and then go back to them and twist them however you need to make a good melody with the riff! Musically: Jamming on the Guitar 1-3 Hrs a day on average.  When I get bored of writing riffs I put the satellite radio on and play over other bands!   

TS: I find when things are not going well or I am stressed out is when I play the best and come up with cool little drum fills and find it easy to channel anger to sweet drum shots.

JL:  When I get the ‘inspirations’ I record them into my phone or something similar and pull them out later when needed. When I write lyrics, I always write about something close to my heart, something I can really sink my teeth into – otherwise it just turns out as fluff.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of The Last Act?

PL: We have a published author in the band. At least half of us are computer geeks. One of us is perpetually single, we just won't say which one.

JT:  That we’re potentially dangerous and have an unquenchable appetite for the booty!!!

TS: The drummers balls just dropped and he has a secret drag queen life that he uses his natural hair for… you’re just not supposed to know...

JL: One guy (you can guess) actually does a lot of creating, including artwork, T-shirt designs, posters, etc. That stuff doesn’t get farmed out. Same guy also handles the business side of the music. An odd mix.

PEV: Tell us about your latest release.  What can fans expect from this? How is this different from past works?

PL: This CD is completely different than what was done in the past. We have not "settled" on this album, and everything that is on it had to make us go "F*** YEAH!!" or it wasn't on there. High energy and high intensity from start to finish. It grabs the listener by the throat and doesn't let up. Our previous stuff was good, but just not up to this "new" standard we have defined for ourselves.

JT: No bullsh**! The riffs will grab you and won’t let go!

JL:  People can expect to be rocked, start to finish with non-stop intensity, until you get to the last song, where it comes along and says “you still got your marbles?” and walks you out. Hard and heavy, lots of feeling – something you would love to listen to on your stereo while flying down the highway. As Paul said, every song will make you go “F*** YEAH!” and if it doesn’t, then hard rock/metal is probably not your kind of music. Or maybe you just need to hear it again.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

PL: Eastern Canada and the Southern United States would be great. It would appear we have a lot of fans in Nashville, Tennessee that are "demanding" we come down there and play. And we would really love to... really! We just have to get the tour organized to go that far.

JT: Europe.

TS: I personally would love to go to the Southwest United States, love the music scene down there and it’s a totally new place for us to build a fan base in a huge realm of celebrity...or something cool like that

JL: Europe would be a blast. They would dig what we got.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

JT: The Last Act

JL:  Ditto, that band TLA is gonna go places! And ‘Tribal Soul’. Those guys rock, especially the song “Free Your Soul”. I can’t seem to find any more info on these guys though.

PEV: So, what is next for The Last Act?

PL: A new CD release within the next year or so that will show that with "Still Standing" we were just getting warmed up. An upcoming tour this summer, with a scope that is yet to be determined, but will include Western Canada for sure.

JT:  North American Defiance Tour and drop the new album when it’s too hot to hold onto anymore!  

JL:  We will start releasing the new CD songs as they become finished. First to the fan club and then to the Facebook page, and then to the rest of the world.  The Facebook fans will be privy to helping us write the album as we will be soliciting thoughts and ideas from them as we go along, keeping the fans totally in the loop. A new “backstage” series will be coming out within the year, mainly just footage of us doing things we shouldn’t be (but not enough to get us busted!). So keeping busy.

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