eGigs interview with The Last Republic ahead of their tour next month

talking festivals, Bon Jovi, record deals, debut album, inspiration, and more on Friday 1 October 2010

With a Uk tour fast approaching and their debut album 'Parade' being released on 1st November, We decided to catch up with The Last Republic for a short discussion...

If you are The Last Republic, who were the first republic?
Probably the Romans. The band name though has no historical reference. We wanted a name that would create imagery, a name that we could mess about with visually. We thought it sounded like a movement, which is what every band are attempting to create and fits in nicely with our lyrical and musical direction conceptually.

How was the Beautiful Days Festival?
Beautiful Days festival was fantastic. If you haven't already been, do add it to your festival calendar in 2011. After going to Glastonbury for many years, I started to find the size of the site overwhelming and at times rather tiring (not to say that I didn't have an ace time). At BD's you get top quality music on a very reasonably sized site which also offers great food and ales at dirt cheap prices. The festival has a very close knit sort of atmosphere.

The gig was excellent, we played on the main stage with British Sea Power and James on the Saturday and had a wonderful crowd who got well in to it and gave us a very warm reception. The weather stayed clear for us, too, so everyone was in good spirits - and I even got in the crowd for the last song.

Describe your sound in five words?
Epic, Catchy, Moody, Different, Provoking

Why should people choose to buy your material?
We are not following any fad and we are not trying to be a part of any fad. We are creating music that we believe in and also believe that we create music with a longevity, unlike a lot of the tripe we are being fed from day to day. Oh did I mention it's really good too......?

Because you come from Wales, Do you think you are going to get name checked alongside the Stereophonics? If so, what are the similarities and differences between you and them in terms of sound?
I think the only similarity is that we are both from Wales, although as a young sprog I must admit a couple of us were influenced by their earlier material, but mainly because they proved that a band from a small community in the middle of nowhere could go out there and do it...... I suppose they've led the way for loads of us. I don't think we sound anything like them though.

We caught Bon Jovi at their o2 Arena shows, which you were lucky enough to support them for one those shows. How did that feel? Did Bon Jovi and the band make you feel welcome? Did they have any words of wisdom/advice for you?
Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to meet them. The gig itself was tremendous, the crowd got well in to it from the minute we stepped on stage.

It was really nerve racking walking on stage to perform to 24,000 people but as soon as we stepped on stage I felt at home. We even got the crowd to sing along to our final song of the set 'The Fear' and to hear 24,000 people sing back your words is a feeling I know we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We were well looked after by their management, which involved top quality catering and also a VIP balcony to watch Bon Jovi do their thing.

Jon Bon himself even gave a speech of how much he loved us whilst on stage, something about how we took the stage really gripped his attention and his respect, as we are much younger than them and not used to that sort of scale show but took to the stage as if we did it every day.........which is a rather nice thing to say, but we still didn't get to meet them.

Supporting Bon Jovi must have been an incredible experience for a fairly new band like The Last Republic. But are there any other established bands that you would really like to support?
Where do I no particular order: Radiohead, And you will know us by the trail of dead, The Cure, New Order, R.E.M, PJ Harvey, Muse, The Smashing Pumpkins, Foals, Echo & the Bunnymen, Ultrasound (remember them?).......I could go on all day (how big is this article?)

What do you hope to achieve in the next year?
We are due to release our second single and debut album in October and November and, to be honest, it would be great to get our music out to as many people as possible through constant gigging and promotion. We are just really looking forward to be out on the road promoting a record that we are so proud of. Live is where our love of music lies and we are hoping to see as much of the world and meet as many interesting people along the way through performing our songs.

Are there any venues that you would still like to play at?
We are a very new band so there are so many in Britain alone without the rest of the world........I've always loved Brixton Academy, seen some great bands there. I've grown very fond of festivals, so basically any major festival that we haven't already done. Glastonbury is a magical place and on our hit list for 2011 so watch this space.

On a small scale I love Thekla social club in Bristol, a gig in any hull of a ship is cool in my mind, such a great vibe in there too.

Do you have any advice for bands looking to get a record deal?
This is a very tricky question as every band go for a different route. We have decided, with the help of funding from an investment company, to start our own label, as the DIY route is so attractive at this moment in time. We have had quite a few offers since winning Road to V Competition in 2009 but none of the offers were as attractive as doing it ourselves, but this is not to say that we won't sign a deal in the future, we just haven't been offered the right deal as of yet.

We quickly formed a team of people around us who loved and wanted to work our music. The best advice I could give any band is find a good manager, or in our case managers, as they are worth their weight in gold, I really can't stress that enough. And I don't mean your mate's dad who used to look after the local brass band in the 80s. You need a serious person/s who understand the ins and outs of this very cut throat industry. But get the right people behind you and you won't have to deal with too much trouble.

If you could resurrect one of the following musicians, who would you pick and why?
A) Michael Jackson
B) Freddie Mercury
C) Kurt Cobain

Definitely B) Freddie Mercury, my parents brought me up watching the legend (amongst others) do his stadium antics and he was just an astonishing showman, singer and songwriter that had a very sad ending to such a great life. I would resurrect him on the condition that he would have to be more careful in his private life this time round.

If you were told by your record company that you have to collaborate with one of the following or you will be dropped from the label, which one would you choose and why?
A) Justin Bieber
C) Cheeky Girls

I think this is easy, it has to be the Cheeky Girls, as long as I was oiled up in between the two of them. It could be a lot of fun. This could also make our live shows more interesting (although would have to be labelled 18+). I think I may have found a niche here????

Are there any songs that you would like to do a cover version of?
So many but I'll keep it to short:
1.The Cutter - Echo & the Bunnymen
2.Lovesong/Pictures of you - The Cure
3.Big Exit - PJ Harvey
4.Try, Try, Try - The Smashing Pumpkins
5.Stay young - Ultrasound

Which musicians inspire you? And if you could be any musician in the world (dead or alive) who would you most like to be?
Musicians that inspire me in no particular order: Neil Young, Thom Yorke, Jeff Buckley, Neil Diamond, Ian Mc Cullock, Morrissey, early Bono (which was good Bono), Mark Chadwick, Michael Stipe, Nick Drake, Sam Herlihy, Roger Waters, Polly Jean Harvey, Bjork.....there's so many more.
The musician I would most like to be (dead or alive) has to be Jim Morrison.

When can the good people of Britain expect to see you on tour?
We start our tour in October and we will carry on through until December, short break over Xmas then carry on next year!

What is the name of your forthcoming album and date of release?
The album title is 'Parade' and it's released on the 1st November

Do you enjoy doing the promotional side of an album release? (I imagine that there must be certain questions that you get asked all of the time which must be a pain in the arse to keep answering like it's the first time you have heard it).
I've always enjoyed doing the promotional side of band stuff and as we are doing it DIY style I'm very involved, the whole band are. Yes, you're right, you do get asked the same questions a lot but I never try to give the exact same answer or I might as well just keep saved drafts and copy and paste but that would just be very boring and unimaginative. I'm told I talk a lot (which is probably very true) so I can always find time and the energy to make an effort to give as good an answer to any question as possible.

eGigs would like to thank The Last Republic and Chris at La Digit for making this interview possible.

The Last Republic's tour dates as as follows:
13 Oct 2010 - The Crauford Arms – Milton Keynes
15 Oct 2010 - Sin City, Swansea
16 Oct 2010 - The Hermit – Brentwood
18 Oct 2010 - O2 Academy 2 Islington, London
20 Oct 2010 – Play - Reading
21 Oct 2010 - Talking Heads – Southampton
22 Oct 2010 - SWN Festival – Cardiff
23 Oct 2010 - The Cavern Club – Exeter
25 Oct 2010 - The Star Inn – Newcastle
26 Oct 2010 - Classic Grand – Glasgow
27 Oct 2010 - The Dry Bar – Manchester
28 Oct 2010 - The Rainbow – Birmingham
29 Oct 2010 - Le Pub – Newport
30 Oct 2010 - The Louisiana – Bristol
3 Nov 2010 - The Portland Arms, Cambridge
4 Nov 2010 - The Soundhouse, Leicester
5 Nov 2010 - Gatecrasher, Nottingham
6 Nov 2010 - Esquires Club, Bedford
7 Nov 2010 - The Cellars, Portsmouth
10 Nov 2010 - Moles, Bath
11 Nov 2010 - The Alehouse, Salisbury
13 Nov 2010 - The Forum, Tunbridge Wells
20 Nov 2010 - Hobos, Bridgend, Wales

To buy Last Republic tour tickets online (where available), click here.

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article by: Luke Seagrave

published: 01/10/2010 09:05

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