05 September 2011

Fresh Meat Monday - The Last September

Would you care to introduce yourself?

We're called The Last September and are based in Edinburgh. We're currently reformed following a seven year gap from our debut album Vagrant Song. We were only together for a few years in the first place, so we like to think of ourselves as some sort of special flower which only blooms every few years!

How would you describe the music you make?

It's basically Indie music. But I think that term is so sprawling and varied it's just really a handy starting point for us from the point of view of classification and also how we feel about ourselves. We bring our own little ideas and influences which can end up sounding a little folky, or Americana-esque. It all boils down to the songs really however. You can dress up a good song in whichever clothes you like.

How did you start out making music?

Personally, I was in bands at school an ended up having a go at the full-time band thing with a group called Suburbia when I left school instead of going to uni. I grew up in the Borders and there wasn't much happening musically. If you didn't play rugby you were a bit odd! I think that made me feel even more determined to do it. It was the stereotypical five guys together taking on the world situation within which, I was the guitarist. When that band broke up I felt a strong urge to write my own songs and to me, that meant singing them also. From here The Last September began.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

It varies from song to song really. I like to keep a little list of different ways to begin songs. So many people get bogged down in one way of writing (myself included - one of the reasons for our seven year absence). It can be sitting with an acoustic guitar, but I also like to set myself little challenges like starting with a sample for inspiration or perhaps just thinking of an exciting rhythm. If I think I've done too much of one method then I'll change and try a different way of getting that initial idea. It's an exciting way to work. An idea can come from anywhere, no matter how absurd it seems at the time.

What can people expect from your live shows?

I think people enjoy the songs first and foremost. They're not exactly out and out pop songs, but I think there's some lovely hooks which people become attached to. As a band however, I feel that we're getting more and more exciting with every gig. I think there's a warmth and an honestly to our sound whether it's from the delicate glockenspiel parts to me getting carried away with the high notes!

What are you all listening to at the moment?

I can't stop listening to July Flame by Laura Veirs. I love that there's a really authentic production around her beautiful songs. I can't remember off hand, but I could believe it was recorded somewhere traditional and dusty like Nashville or something like that. I fall back on perennial favourites like Lambchop and David Bowie regularly too. Oh, and only recently got into Exile on Main St by the Stones. Wish I'd heard that earlier.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2011?

We have the album "As The Crow Flies" out in September (purely coincidence!), which we're launching in the Wee Red bar on Saturday 10th. I think we may release another single from the album towards the end of the year also. Other than that, I think we're just focussed on playing as much as we can both as a full band and acoustically which we enjoy doing from time to time.


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