We had the opportunity to sit and discuss with Our Last Night earlier this year, during their european tour and here is the result. We had to cut most of the rest of the video recording because there was a lot of background noises/loud people around us and we eventually decided it wouldn’t be enjoyable enough to watch. However, we saved two excerpts for you to watch and illustrate the written version of this interview and here is the final result, in which we’ve been able to discuss the past year with the band, which marked a turning point in Our Last Night‘s career. Hope you enjoy!
– Can you describe a regular day on tour with OLN?
Trevor: Sure, you sleep, and then you wake up, you’re at the venue. You eat some food that they got you.
Matt: Wake up at the venue? That sounds nice. Because usually we have to drive. Today we drove five hours, I think, from Germany.
Trevor: And then you just kind of just hang out.
Matt: I’d say everyday is a new adventure.
Trevor: Sometimes we find a cool city and we walk around, take pictures, and be tourists. The classic stuff. Then sound check, and wait to play, talk to fans after the show, and go to sleep. Oh, try to find wi-fi. It’s like up there in the list of the things to do. We’re a pretty boring band, as you can tell.
Matt: We, always when we’re in a cool city, try to see the cool sides and stuff.
– Did you get the chance to do that today?
Trevor: We’ve been to Paris a few times, we saw the Louvre the last time we were here.
Matt: We’ve been to the Eiffel Tower the time before that. We’ve seen almost everything. We didn’t have time today so didn’t.
– What is something that you find odd or annoying about each other?
Trevor: Everyone is perfect, so nothing. Sometimes he (pointing Matt) sleeps with his mouth open and that kind of pisses me off. I don’t know why.
Matt: Sometimes I sneeze 3 times in a row, just to piss him off.
Trevor: Oh you sneeze way more than 3 times, like 6 and I don’t get it, it just makes no sense.
Woody: It’s just bad attitude.
Trevor: We’re brothers, so just everything is just that odd.
Matt: Sometimes Trevor wakes up pissed off, and then it just pisses me off.
Trevor: It’s just that big circle, it’s me and him, it goes back and forth.
Matt: We get along pretty good, honestly.
– You’ve gone independent as a band recently, that might have been scary and exciting at the same time for you, was it a hard decision to make?
Trevor: No, it’s something that we wanted to happen for a while, so it’s just that our contract ended with our label. It wasn’t like we left them or they dropped us. So, we were excited to do things on our own and have the freedom to do whatever we wanted.
Matt: Slowly leading up to the end, we saw more and more artists being able to do it independently. Like at the very end, the biggest example is like Macklemore, completely independent, biggest artist in the world. So if he can do it, we can definitely do our thing independently. And it works out, you have more control, you can give your fans more of what they want because it’s up to you, you can just do whatever you want whenever you want. If you want to release a new song, you release a new song. If you want, like in our case, do a cover and release two days after you recorded it, sure it doesn’t matter. We just don’t care, because it’s cool to give people stuff to listen to and to watch. I think the fans like that.
– Speaking about this, what does it take to be handling everything from A to Z about your band?
Trevor: It’s a lot more work, I guess. Luckily, our manager does a lot of stuff for us. We have to thank him for that.
Matt: It’s Curran Blevins (@curranblevins on twitter, he wants followers (laughs)).
Trevor: He does a lot of stuff, behind the scenes, that you don’t even realize that you have to do.
Matt: He’s almost kind of having our label, I guess. He’s like he’s own label. And he constantly thinking of ideas behind the scenes, for us to do and he bring it up to us and we decide what we want to follow through with. The covers were actually his ideas; we have to give him credit for it.
– You’ve recently released ‘Oak Island’, which is an EP. Was the timing for that release a way for you to make a transition and turn a page between what was Our Last Night until then and what is yet to come?
Matt: The timing specifically is because we knew we were going on tour with Sleeping With Sirens in the US, so we planned to release it the day before we went on tour, so we had new material to play. So we worked really hard to get songs together. We’ve been working on some of those songs for a while, so they were almost ready anyway. We got them on full gear and got something together in time for that tour I guess. So it was good timing. We also released 4 or 5 covers so far.
Trevor: The covers were kind of in the style that we wanting to write in. So that was kind of the transition into the EP, I guess, which worked for us.
– Talking about the EP, it was crowd founded, how did you feel about the amazing response you got for it?
Trevor: Yeah, it was pretty crazy. We didn’t want really to set super high goals, it is kind of weird to ask for just too much money. But it went over just even better that we thought it would, I think we pretty much tripled our goal. It is pretty cool to work so closely with the fans and have them be part of all of it. They really enjoyed doing it. It’s an all-new experience for us.
Matt: It’s all good, it gave you a little more motivation to work harder. It proves that people wanted to hear more Our Last Night.
– Talking about your work as a band, do you follow a specific recording pattern or how do you handle your writing/creative process?
Trevor: I mean it could be different on every song. It depends. We can have chords that he’s working on, just on his acoustic guitar and then you write a chorus first or you can have a lyric that you wrote a while ago, you start with it and you figure out the chorus. It really depends.
Matt: Like, for Sunrise, we sat down as a group, me, Trevor and actually one of our roommates that we live with, he plays piano for us sometimes, his name is Joey. He helped us arrange the song.
Trevor: We kind of knew what we wanted to write about, so we kind of knew the lyrics of the song and what kind of vibe we wanted the music to be.
Matt: I feel like we don’t do that a lot, but we did a group writing session. We watched a documentary called ‘Bully’ which inspired the lyrics. I knew Trevor wanted to write something about that, so I made him watching it, because I’ve already seen it.
Trevor: It kind of all came together. You could tell instantly that it was gonna be a song that we all will really happy with.
– What is your proudest achievement as a band so far?
Trevor: Probably this release of ‘Oak Island’, this tour, just this past last year has been definitely the best year of our career. We’ve got to see new places, headline like Russia and come here and do this.
Matt: Like Skyfall, the cover we did, got 2.5 millions plays, we never had a video getting that many views. We’ve never headlined a show, like in London, in Prague, and had over 4000 people. ….. in the US get quite many people, but to be able to do it all the way over here is pretty crazy. There has been a lot of achievements and evolvement in the last year. It’s pretty awesome.
– What keeps you going? How do you manage to stick together and make it how it is now?
Tim: We like what we do.
Trevor: And we like all of us as people, we’re such close friends, which makes it really easy to keep going. It’s kind of something that we’re used to at this point. We don’t really know anything else.
Matt: Really, it gets easy when people are coming to the shows and are really excited. Like having a line this big in Paris. Anything could happen in this day, and you can’t really get mad about it, just because you’re playing a sold out show in Paris.
– You’re an inspiration to a lot of people. But, who inspires you?
Trevor: Music wise, there are so many…
Matt: We listen to some many different kinds of music.
Trevor: Like now, I listen to bands like One Republic, Coldplay…
Matt: We covered Katy Perry, and I actually love Katy Perry. We listen to rap too like Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz. It’s all across the board, I’d say. But the style of music we play might be the least thing that we listen to, which is fine. We love playing this kind of music but I think we drive from so many different kinds.
Trevor: Pretty much all I listen to is Lana Del Rey or bands like The 1975. People always find that funny to hear say something like that.
Matt: And I hope that makes our sound different from other bands that listen to the same style that they play. I hope those weird influences come together to make our sound different.
-Music is always a way to deliver a message and in your case it can be used to support a cause like bullying. How important is it to you to use your popularity to do so?
Trevor: Very important. I don’t think people realize how big of an issue that is. Especially now, kids get bullied at school and then they go home and check the Internet, facebook and twitter, where it’s even worse. So it’s almost impossible for them to get away from all of that. So we wanted to write the song Sunrise for them to have something to listen when they’re having bad days. For them, to be able to escape all of that and know that there are better places.
Matt: I don’t think that we necessarily feel inclined to be preaching people about something all the time. But if you do feel strongly about something, I think we also want to share our opinion with people, I guess through our music sometimes that is the best way to do it.
– What’s a song of yours that you play live that you feel makes the crowd go even wilder than the other songs?
Matt: Actually, it changes, every crowd has its favourite.
Trevor: I would say a crowd favourite is Sunrise though. It gets people singing and people are emotionally attached to that song.
Matt: Fate gets the energy up most of the time. The intro gets people jumping around.
– How would like to be remembered later? As individuals, and as a band?
Trevor: Just a band how tried to pass a good message.
Matt: And a band that works hard and doesn’t get everything handed to them.
Trevor: Which like a lot of bands do (no offense to those bands). But they can just start a band and then throw a song three months later and be really big out of nowhere. But then, four months, after that, they are nowhere.
Matt: I think, without having a label and do everything that we do, it shows that we do work hard.
– So what is next for Our Last Night?
Trevor: Staying home all summer, probably writing for new Our Last Night, probably recording some more covers.
– Is there anything else you would like to add?
Matt: Say thank you to our fans. If you’re reading this and you haven’t checked out our newest EP ‘Oak Island’, please do so. Also follow us (@olnband on twitter) and subscribe to us on Youtube (youtube.com/ourlastnightband) , that’s where all our content goes when we release it!
Special thanks to Curran Blevins,
Rich Dyke and of course OUR LAST NIGHT.