Interview and Story by Tomi Uysingco. Photos by Karl Porio.
I have to admit that I haven’t heard of Last Dinosaurs before covering their show, and man, to say that I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.
We met up with the guys just after their early soundcheck at Black Market for a little chat before their show that night. The guys and I ducked out to one of the most chill, not so secret spots in Makati – behind a black door near the entrance of Black Market, aptly named Finders Keepers. The only thing illuminating us is the red neon light that spells out the bar’s name, setting the mood for our interview. I soon found out that the dudes in Last Dinosaurs are as cool as the place we were at.
Comprised of the brothers Sean & Lachlan Caskey, Dan Koyama and their newest touring member Michael Sloane, Last Dinosaurs make upbeat, indie dance music with – gasp! – real instruments instead of drum machines and midi controllers. They’re all young and dead set in making it big, which they would get to really soon, considering the energy they bring on record and their live shows.
But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
Indeed their live show is a burst of hip shaking indie jams, but what got to me was how down to earth these kids are. I talked to Sean and Michael about their upcoming, yet to be titled, second album they’re working on, whose music are inspiring them lately, and their views on downloading music “illegally” off the internet – just like what you’ll normally talk about with your friends in bands (because lets face it, we all have friends in bands nowadays).
When in Manila: How do you find Manila so far?
Last Dinosaurs: “Its kinda weird because of all the Asian places we’ve been to before its always been crazy and we didn’t know what to expect in Manila, like we don’t have any idea of Manila at all, and the Philippines for that matter. But yeah, this place is so cool, it has a very good vibe. Its been really awesome, like we’ve been staying in the strippers district…”
Around Burgos street? The night life there is awesome.
“Yeah yeah!” (laughter)
So, how’s the tour going?
“It’s pretty good. We only had three shows in the three weeks and lots of holiday time. We stay in one city and get to really know it. We had a chance, like, we usually stay a week or at least a couple of days to explore and see the people and the city properly. But unlike now, after our show tonight, we’ll fly straight to Japan for another show, which is sort of unfortunate for us.”
I saw you announce the 2nd album on Twitter…
“Yeah, we’re still making the songs. That’s what we’ve been doing on this tour. At the end of this tour, we finish in Japan, and then its two weeks in the studio writing more stuff. And then as soon as we get back to Australia we could start seeing the producer and recording on the studio and stuff.”
Is there anything different this time around? Doing anything different from the last album?
“Yeah, its a bit more deeper. Just sonically it sounds more… cooler. Yeah, just cooler. I feel like, we just get all the better ideas that’s cool and just try really hard to top the previous song. And all the new songs are really fun to play, and we’ve been testing new songs out live…”
So you’re planning to play new material tonight?
“Yeah. Just three though.”
Are there any new influences for this new album? What have you guys been listening to lately?
“Yeah, like, smallish bands, like lo-fi or dream pop that we really, really like. Not that our stuff is like that, but it definitely opened the doors to… because our old stuff is kind of poppy and its sort of quite confined to a style, whereas the music we listen to now feels like its giving us different ideas of sounds and their boundaries, you know what I mean? We like to draw from them quite a little bit. So there’s like these small bands, one is called Twin Sisters, one of our favorites. Destroyer is also pretty cool, and he’s been going on for ages. Panda Bear, we listen to all the time. As well as Tame Impala. The new Washed Out album is actually awesome too.”
Oh, I haven’t heard the new Washed Out album yet.
“Haven’t you? Its really good.”
Yeah, I should steal that off the internet. (laughter) What are your views about that by the way?
“Everyone does it. The thing is like, the truth is, these days CD money never goes anywhere, the whole system is like, fucked. I dunno. I really don’t care if they download it. I just want them to listen to it and enjoy it, and hopefully they’ll go to one of our shows and see us play it live. The way we see it is, they go download, you go on tour and then they go to see your shows. We just want to share our music in general.”
Zooming to the Future with the Last Dinosaurs