Check out the song: “Level 7”
I’m a sucker for metal bands that can add great melodic overlays to their music. Last Call Chernobyl do just that with all 7 tracks on their D5R debut album, Drowning Beneath the Sound of Change. I recently got the chance to email some questions off to LCC’s bassist Jason Szeto, and ask about the album, the “Burden Of Dreams” music video and to find out what the future holds for these boys. Here’s what he said.
Your album Drowning Beneath the Sound of Change has been out for a year now. How has the reception been so far and more importantly, are you satisfied with the final product?
Jason: Drowning Beneath the Sound of Change has been relatively well received by our fans and critics. However looking back, the timeline we had when we made the album, certain aspects were rushed. We had to punch out the album in support of our first major tour which just happened to be Warped Tour. So yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s perfect, but like all records it captured where our band was at in that moment in time, and there is always room for improvement.
What made you decide to name the album Drowning Beneath the Sound of Change?
Jason: We had a number of names for it when we were making the album and it was really hard as a group to decide on a name for our debut. But I think this name just really suited our situation at the time. We just got the dates on Warped tour and we got signed to Diminished Fifth records and so much had to be done. At times the learning curve was really steep and we felt like we were in over our heads. We literally went from four dudes in a basement to “band with a brand”. [laughs]
Your album art was created by Janette Rawding. How did you decide to go with her and is there any meaning behind the art?
Jason: Ms. Rawding is a fabulous artist, super-easy to work with and more importantly gets results. We went with her on account of our label as we saw some of her artwork she did for other bands, we knew she could get us something really cool. We just wanted to be different and escape the normal color pallet most metal bands seem to restrict themselves to.
How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Jason: Moulton (guitarist) is a riff machine, that guy constantly writes and is definitely the dude who comes up with the most music. Then Me and Pellerine (drummer) usually add a riff/change the beat here and there and/or change the arraignment till we’re satisfied as a group then Mahar (vocals) comes in and does his thing with the vocal melodies.
Is it hard translating your songs to a live performance?
Jason: Not at all. I think the music we write is really organic, what you get on the album won’t be far from what you get at the live show. The sonic pallet of this band is at its roots a four piece jam band (drums, guitar, bass, vocals) so you won’t be seeing us with a ton of samples, having electronic tracks etc. anytime soon.
How did the name Last Call Chernobyl come about?
Jason: We get asked this a lot. [laughs] Well the band name was my idea. At the time when I was trying to think up a name I was taking little snippets of words everywhere trying to get symbols or anything. Anyways on my paper I had Last Call and Chernobyl right next to each other and one day I just caught it and the imagery it gave me was really cool. It was really cool cause to me Last Call symbolized “the last chance for something” and Chernobyl symbolized “human error and technology colliding on a grand scale” so when I fused the words together not only did it have a cool ring to it, but taking it on a symbolical perspective meant “the last chance for human error”.
Check out the song: “Burden Of Dreams”
I recently watched your music video for “Burden Of Dreams”; who shot that video?
Jason: Our good pal Matthew Ingraham of MI Productions is actually the man behind that video. I knew him for a long long time i.e. riding tricycles together back in the day. [laughs] So when he found out I had a band he was on board immediately to help out if we ever needed a video. In addition to this, the guy is a prodigy at what he does so I had a lot of faith and trust in him to produce and get the results we needed.
Do you guys usually practice in a barn like the video suggests?
Jason: Well actually our jam space is more luxurious than a barn or a dank seedy basement of some decrepit building. We jam in our vocalist’s parents’ basement [laughs]; they don’t mind, are kind enough to help and are super supportive of the band, most of our folks are. Free jam space and food. We couldn’t have asked for much more.
Have any plans to tour across Canada?
Jason: Not at the moment. However we are trying to hit up the Maritime Provinces and Quebec a little more in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled!
What’s next for Last Call Chernobyl?
Jason: Well we got a new EP in the works set to be released sometime this year and we’re getting a video done up for “Beneath The Veil” with Matthew Ingraham at MI productions again. So keep an eye out for release dates and shows to support! Other than that for all the people in Halifax catch our show on September 24th @ Gus’s Pub for our label’s 5th year anniversary.