Brisbane boys Last Dinosaurs have been hurtling through 2018 kicking goal after goal, and it looks like they’ve got no plans to slow down. After releasing a DIY video for their new tune “Eleven”, they announced a national tour, kicking off this October and it’s already sold out!
If that’s not enough, the indie-rock aficionados new album Yumeno Garden will be released on Friday October 5 via Dew Process. Yumeno Garden, which translates to Dream Garden, is the band’s third album, and first release since Wellness in 2015. On top of their upcoming tour, the band have also landed slots at the new Loch Hart Music Festival in Victoria, and will close out the year at NYE on the HiIl in South Gippsland. Thanks to Sean Caskey, lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for taking the time to share his insider insight for this week’s Savvy Seven.
1) Who was your first musical inspiration? Why? Who inspires you now?
My life was turned around completely when I saw 12:51 by The Strokes on video hits one morning. I felt like I had no sense of direction in terms of what was ‘cool’ but this clip was like a cool slap in the face. The way they looked and sounded was like nothing else, and in the video, it’s kinda hard to make out their facial features so there was a bit of mystery involved which made me that much more curious. Nowadays I’m looking in every direction for inspiration musically. I work once a week in a record store so I’m blessed with a huge variety of music new and old in front of me. Right now, this week I’m back on the Dorothy Ashby train because I’m making lots of guitar pedals which can be a very time consuming and tedious task. Dorothy’s music gives me good feelings to carry on through the day with a spring in my step. Her songs also have some little sections in it that I can hear in lots of different music I have heard before from bands like Khruangbin to even Ghibli music is sounds like. I love picking out little things like that and wondering if they were listening to the same songs.
2) What advice do you have for someone who is about to set off on their first tour?
Gotta start racking up those velocity frequent flyer points!!! Once you get lounge access you’ll feel like you’re finally awake in a Walter White way. As for everything else you’re gonna have to figure it out for yourselves because there are too many lessons to learn.
3) What has been one of the most defining moments in your career?
Driving a fake Ferrari for a couple of days on the long traffic light riddled roads of Brisbane for our latest video clip. I really felt like a rock star especially when I had Sloane sitting in the passenger seat playing bass with the neck sticking out the window. I suddenly realised that was the definition of ‘living’. Also, getting that Punk Juice endorsement letter in the mail was another pinnacle of my life.
4) How has your music practice changed over time?
On the recent production of our new album I’ve realised that doing it yourself is one of the best ways to go. In a world where there is so much more ‘bedroom band’ music you don’t have to hit a huge studio and spend a huge budget to recreate something that already had a solid vibe. It can be argued that some vibes sometimes can’t even be recreated. So, our ethos lately has very much been about doing it ourselves and having fun because when you put that energy into it and it’s truly coming from you then people can feel it. It has to be authentic.
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
I’m not a business man at all (in fact I’ve made many terrible business decisions) so I would suggest consulting with someone with a very good business mind to help plan your attack. As a musician talking to another muso though, I would say just make the music you think is great and take nice pictures and try and be involved with your fans. Our last show was at the warehouse where our studios are and we spent the night partying with everyone instead of privately partying elsewhere. It was nice to be able to connect with them and say thanks and see you next time etc.
6) My biggest career mistake has been… What would you do differently now?
Probably being way too much of a perfectionist and self-doubting. We took a little hiatus because I was just going through a hectic writer’s block after a few things had happened. It really sucked and to be honest I don’t even know if it has finished yet. But if I could change anything I’d love to get rid of writers block. My critical over-analysing personality gets the best of me when it comes to showing my music. I suppose my music is a blurry lens into my deepest thoughts which I have blurred intentionally but I just hope people enjoy what they see so to speak.
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is… What do you think can change that?
The way people are consuming music has changed. We started out at a tipping point in music sales and streaming which was quite a challenge. It was like yeah there’s hardly any more money in music sales, then next it was like yep gone sorry seeya later. I’m always streaming music but when I love something I go and buy the biggest most expensive version of it to be like” I love you take my money!”. There’s no way to change the streaming culture but that’s OK. Streaming has brought us so many more fans and opportunities for touring which is what it’s all about. Getting on stage in front of your fans from around the world and making them dance. Making and selling music is one part of the show biz but sharing the space with your fans and having a good time is the most important thing.
Learn a little something? Find some more wise words from musicians in our Savvy Seven archives.
Check out the DIY video they made for “Eleven” below!