Musicscan: What's your self-understanding of Last Chance To Reason? What does your band stand for? Introduce yourself, the other members and Last Chance To Reason with only a few sentences, please.
Last Chance To Reason: Evan: We’re a progressive metal band that pushes the envelop, while acknowledging and paying to respect to our roots. My name is Evan, I play drums. The other members are Brian Palmer on keys, Chris Corey on bass, Mike Lessard on vocals and AJ Harvey and Tom Waterhouse on guitar.
Musicscan: What´s the main idea behind the band, the certain vision? What should the people connect with the name Last Chance To Reason and the sound you guys are playing?
Last Chance To Reason: Chris: The vision of the band has always been a relatively clear and ambitious, to create the music that we want to hear, to take from all of our influences and add what we believe is our chapter in progressive music. I think a lot of people probably associate the band name as a Punk rock or Hardcore band name, which is very inaccurate. We want people to just hear the name and understand what we do musically, that we aren't what people may initially think, and hopefully be surprised by the difference, in a good way.
Musicscan: I personally think it`s hard to put you into a certain music genre. But if I`d had to, I`d put you into the prog rock genre. Would you agree with that? Or would you name another genre?
Last Chance To Reason: Chris: I agree that stamping us as "prog rock" could be a good title for us. Progressive music has such a broad spectrum, and that is the music that we truly all take the most influence from, along with Jazz/Fusion. The only criticism I would have for the specific label as "prog rock" would be that we are hardly "rock". I would say that we are more on the scale of progressive metal. We sort of throw prog rock in with the legends such as Rush, Kansas, Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant etc, I could go on for awhile. While we love those bands, we wouldn't necessarily say we were in the exact same genre.
Musicscan: The band does exist for some years now. How does the music we can hear on Level 2 differ from the early days? Where did you start, where are you now?
Last Chance To Reason: Chris: The band has been together as LCTR for about 7 Years now, and our first album was significantly different from the latest. In the early years our approach to writing music was a much more spastic way of writing songs. They were on average quite a bit shorter, more abrasive, and just more difficult to digest as a listener. We weren't as skilled musically back then, and it reflects upon the riffs we wrote, and our execution of the songs on the record. We tried to write more chuggy, breakdown like stuff back then, sort of because of the interest we had from past members, and our own general interest. We strayed away from that approach quite a bit on the next record, Lvl.1. This album was the first real musical experiment we had to make music based on the 12-tone row. A lot of Lvl.1 was based around that theme, and it produced a much different outcome than what was being done by other bands/groups etc. It was far less spastic, more Jazzy, but less melodic in some ways, since we had a new singer for that record, that did not do any melodic singing. The album did have some more diatonic parts throughout, it was not fully 12-tone, and those 2 concepts and the contradictions between them laid the musical foundation for what would become "Level 2".
Musicscan: When you were writing the songs for your new record Level 2 - did you have certain issues you specifically wanted to address? How did you go about writing your songs in general?
Last Chance To Reason: Chris: For the writing process on Level.2, we had a new singer, a new guitar player and it would be our keyboardist Brian's first album writing with us. We felt far more inspired, had far more ideas to bring to the table. We wanted to continue where we left off on Lvl.1, but take the basic 12-tone/diatonic concept a step further. We built more upon musical themes, as you can hear some progressions come back and develop throughout the record. This approach laid the musical foundation for the concept behind the album, which we'll explain in more detail later. Most of the material that we wrote for Level.2 was also far more difficult to play, so the challenge was also very fun and rewarding.
Musicscan: What about the relationship between music and the lyrics? What´s more important or are they of equal importance? As Level 2 is a concept work lyrics have to be important i guess…?
Last Chance To Reason: Evan: The goal is really for the music and the lyrics to be inseparable. The lyrics have to be one with the music and vice versa. If one is to dominate the other it’d probably be the music though. I find it easier to write lyrics or fit them to music, rather than try to write the music around concrete lyrics.
Musicscan: How do you handle such a concept? Have you had a concrete idea and realised it to the end or did it come up spontaneously?
Last Chance To Reason: Evan: We started with very general ideas and developed them as we saw fit as we progressed with the album. Plenty of ideas were thrown out or became barely recognizable by the end of the process, while others were left almost entirely in their original form. Eventually the whole album took on a life of it’s own and it was about serving the piece as a whole rather than allowing egos to hold onto specific ideas.
Musicscan: What do you personally like best about the new record?
Last Chance To Reason: Chris: The things that stick out in my mind about the material on Level 2, is it is far more vast sounding than our previous records. The sound that we were specifically seeking is much closer on this record as well. I really believe that it was a mature logical step forward for where we wanted to go musically. All of the songs just seem to be more beefy, and have more hair on them. I also really specifically enjoy the more "epic" songs and sections, such as in "The Linear". That song is probably my favorite track on the record. It is good and long, which is a big plus for me. But of course I like all the other tracks as well!
Last Chance To Reason: Evan: A lot of people have told me that they can’t just listen to one song on the album. They start listening and are compelled to listen to the entire album. We worked really hard to make everything flow as one piece of music, but never drag on too long or get boring. So it feels really great to have that kind of feed back.
Musicscan: What music do you listen to in your spare time and are there certain bands that influence the music you do?
Last Chance To Reason: Chris: We listen to a lot of different music and bands/groups etc. We are really a big melting pot when it comes to our influences. I personally listen to probably more Dream Theater and Rush than is good for me. I need a healthy daily dose of both those bands to stay sane. I also listen to other progressive bands, all sorts of different types of metal,some jazz/fusion and that's really about it. I take influence from most anything that captures my attention musically. Everything is up for nomination there.
Musicscan: What role does music play in your lives - on the one hand side as music consumers and on the other hand side as musicians?
Last Chance To Reason: Chris: Music was the first thing that i became passionate about. I would spend allowance money on any CD's that I enjoyed since I was 10, and listen to them over and over, until I knew every song, every part. I'm pretty sure that's when I started "air-drumming". I was mostly content to listen to music in my room than go out and enjoy the outdoors, or anything like that. I was hooked from a pretty young age on listening to music. Not to long after that I became interested in the players specifically, and wanted to sort of be like them in a way, so I just decided to start playing bass, and started learning songs. From my early days playing, my influences and "idols" have changed, but I still do learn songs for fun, and bass is still as exciting and joyous to play as it was when I started.
Musicscan: How did you get into touch with the people from Prosthetic, and how did this relationship develop so far?
Last Chance To Reason: Evan: Jamie King produced both of our full lengths. He’s also worked with groups like The Human Abstract, and Between the Buried and Me. He sent our material to the people at Prosthetic and they were really stoked on it. We were talking to other labels at the time too, but Prosthetic’s track record with original sounding artists and the fact that they are very selective with the bands they sign made them feel like the right home. So far they’ve been awesome. They’re a forward thinking label and they know that the industry is quickly changing.
Musicscan: Lastly: For people who don´t know Last Chance To Reason yet: What have these people to expect?
Last Chance To Reason: Chris: My hopes for the people who haven't heard us yet is that we defy expectations. If you’ve heard the record we want you to expect a good live show, an accurate representation of what we created on record live. Expect something new, and enjoyable for all sorts of people.
Last Chance To Reason: Evan: Expect challenging music that keeps you on your toes, but will always reel you back in with melody, harmony and groove. Don’t expect background music, this stuff demands your full attention.