Born Ruffians, Casters
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Arita, Japan, is an otherworldly place.
An ancient village that last experienced an economic and cultural
boom 300-400 years ago, Arita is now almost a ghost town, littered
with old abandoned houses and overgrown with peace blossoms and
Japanese maple trees. It’s a quiet, tranquil and contemplative place to
be. It’s also the place where Last Dinosaurs decided to escape to
record their first new material in the aftermath of the release of their
acclaimed 2015 Wellness LP.
It was early 2017, and the band had just spent more than 12 months
on the road playing shows in support of Wellness, all the while filing
away inspirations and ideas that would fill their next chapter as a band.
It was a time for them to search for new inspiration, and so they
packed what was essentially a mini studio (one mic, one interface,
speakers, a computer and a few instruments) and travelled to the
isolated town of Arita. The band’s principal songwriters, Sean and
Lachlan Caskey, are of Japanese heritage, so in some ways this was a
pilgrimage to find their roots, and yet once there, it dawned on them
quickly that the place itself was completely foreign.
“We went there to seek isolation,” explains Sean. “Somewhere very
regional, very quiet. We wanted to feel like real outsiders in a place for
some reason. Often, we don’t feel like we really belong in Brisbane or
Australia musically (even though we love being a Brisbane band), but
wanted to record somewhere where that isolation could be felt
everywhere, all the time, so we could properly capture it.”
It was here they penned a string of songs that would go on to form
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their third album, and included in that bunch was their huge new
single, ‘Eleven’. ‘Eleven’ has already been earmarked as a future
classic of the band, thanks to the irresistibility of the swirling guitars,
boom-boom-bap drumming, and Caskey’s dynamic vocal performance
recalling Discovery era Daft Punk one moment, before diving to his
lower register and delivering a vintage Julian Casablancas. It’s subtly
emotional, slightly jagged, and slathered in a beautifully distorted
It’s initial inspiration though, came from a much more raucous
environment than the serenity of Arita within which it was recorded.
“We were at Splendour In The Grass a few years ago, watching The
Strokes play and I was immediately inspired,” says Sean. “I went home
and wrote this song on my brand-new Rickenbacker guitar, even
writing my first proper guitar solo for the track, and it ended up being
one of the first of a new batch of songs that informed our upcoming
‘Eleven,’ stands in many ways as the perfect counterpart to the wallop
that was the band’s comeback single ‘Dominos,’ which has been
dominating the airwaves since the start of the year. Both songs
combine to give a nod to Dino’s earlier, guitar driven sound, while
reinforcing the impeccable pop song structure they’ve developed
through their last six years in the spotlight. ‘Eleven,’ most notably, is a
marriage of all that’s come before it – the driving guitars of In A Million
Years and the assured pop dynamics of Wellness – presented with a
revitalised, effervescent energy they drew from Arita.
“This album has been a lot about revisiting our roots in every way,”
says Sean. After hearing ‘Eleven,’ you’d be hard pressed to argue with
December 2018 found the release of their third single from Yumeno
Garden, 'Bass God'. Sean explains, “The song is lyrically about looking
within for direction and guidance instead of to a higher power, but it
originated by a strange day dream I had about the bass god, a tall,
long haired, colourful faced-painted bass rock god playing all the epic
bass lines that united everyone in a euphoric trance.”
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To finish off the year Last Dinosaurs will be playing Beach Life Festival
in Adelaide headlined by The Kooks on December 28. They will then be
spending New Years Eve in Melbourne performing at NYE on the Hill.
2019 is kick started with Last Dinosaurs appearing at the Australian
Open Janurary 24 playing alongside Birds of Tokyo.
Following the release of Yumeno Garden, Last Dinosaurs will be touring
Australia in March 2019 hitting Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane with
multiple sold out shows, as well as shows in Adelaide and Perth.
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