Brand new Edinburgh 5-piece Last Wild Lion have released a debut double A-Side
Last Wild Lion blend the earnest, heart-on-sleeve approach to music from the late 90s emo scene (Jimmy Eat World, Cross My Heart) with the magical choruses of the 80s (The Cure, The Police).
Fronted by the emotive vocals of Sarah Monteath, Last Wild Lion create a sound that ranges from delicate minimalism to an aural riot delivered with passionate conviction. Last Wild Lion is music for anyone who has known love, loss, loneliness and the glorious moments of feeling content. They’re the sound of daydream escapism.
We caught up with Jamie to talk about the release and future plans.
A&A – Last Wild Lion are new band from Edinburgh, tell us a bit about the band?
Last Wild Lion – We’re a 5-piece alternative rock band from Edinburgh doing our best Jimmy Eat World impression. If you’re into air drumming and don’t mind a chorus or two then you might like us.
A&A – There is a husband & wife in the band. How did the rest of you meet?
LWL – Neil and I went to high school together and have played in various guises since we were 15. Neil was that kid who could bust out Dream Theatre and Steve Vai licks with ease while the rest of us were content with bashing out a haphazard attempt of an Offspring song on the acoustics from the music cupboard. We met our drummer Andrew whilst Neil and I were working a summer job in St Andrews in 2008. He was a kindred spirit with his hilarious sense of humour and mutual love for exceptionally heavy music. Again, Andrew was the guy who was smashing out spot on Dillinger Escape Plan covers whilst we stood in awe. I met Lewis when we played in temporary country band for local legend, Al Shields. Things just clicked and alongside a mutual love for retro gaming, it just works! He’s also an incredible guitar player and singer. His solo stuff is ace. And yeah, along this journey, I met my wonderful wife.
A&A – What are your influences?
LWL – Band wise, the influences come from all over. For myself, sometimes they’re music based and other times it comes from the most unexpected places like maybe a line in a conversation I had that day. It can spur off a lyric or a vibe and I work with that to create an atmosphere. Musically, it can range from 80s pop to some modern metal. It really is all about the feel of a song that I buy into. Right now, a band that I’m so glad is making a bigger name for themselves is The Xcerts. They were around when I was in high school, I think we’re about the same age, and the songs they’ve just released combined with the last album are awesome. I’d be lying if I didn’t say they had influenced my approach to a few of our songs. Overall though, while we sound nothing like them, I’m still influenced by the sound of my youth like the great bands on Deep Elm Records (Cross My Heart/Brandtson) to Counting Crows and Coheed and Cambria.
A&A – What is the songwriting process?
LWL – The beginning of the process generally varies from either a groove, a riff, a lyric, a melody or idea sung into my phone, a certain theme or vibe and then letting it grow from there. I’m envious of musicians who say that songs that just fall out of them. 9 times of out 10, our songs will be butchered and put back together over months. I like to hear the ideas back to me to see how I react to them. It’s a very different experience listening to music to playing it as something that might be great fun to play might sound terrible to the listener. I generally try to record everything and listen back to see what gets a reaction from me, either physically or emotionally. Once I think I have something worth exploring, I’ll record the tune using our extremely modest home studio and send it to the guys. We’ll learn the songs, get into a rehearsal room and then the real writing/learning begins.
A&A – Tell us about the new double a-side?
LWL – ‘This Is Everything’ explores the struggle of someone you love going through a troubled time mentally and the impact of that on the relationship. ‘This Is Everything’ was written from the perspective of someone offering their support as best they can. Seasons is a homage to friends, past and present, and family. It recalls the experiences of growing up on the east coast of Scotland, admittedly through romantic nostalgia glasses. Lyrically, it focuses on the memories of times spent on the beach in the wee hours. It’s a bit like a love letter to our respective childhood homes and a thank you to our parents and the people we grew up with. The logic behind releasing 2 songs as our debut was to show the contrast and dynamics the band has. This Is Everything is definitely a rock song while Seasons is way more mellow. Last Wild Lion has quite a broad spectrum of sounds (as our favourite bands tend to do) so we thought it would be best to introduce ourselves with 2 tunes. If people are keen on them then they’re likely to enjoy the rest of what we have to offer. Hopefully.
A&A – You recorded the singles with Rod Jones from Idlewild. How did you find that experience?
LWL – It was awesome. Rod has an exceptional ear and everyone at Post Electric Studio knows their stuff. Rod really understood the kind of vibe and sound we were going for. As a musician, the main experience I took away from the first sessions was learning how to craft songs so they can be translated to a good recording. He was really clear with explaining how to achieve the moments we wanted to create. I think that comes with experience and understanding the songs. Massive kudos as well to Kris Pohl for making sense of noise we made.
A&A – You are planning to release an album in 2018. Give us more details on that?
LWL – Yeah, we’re recording an album at Post Electric Studio in Edinburgh. We’re 4 songs in and recording the rest in early 2018. We’re aiming to release the album in April so we’ll be drip feeding details about that as we go.
A&A – What are your other plans for the rest of 2017 and the start of 2018?
LWL – The rest of 2017 will consist of a few things. We’ll be finishing up the demos and rehearsing for the studio as well as creating cool stuff for the social channels, like alternative versions of songs and playthroughs. 2018 will be more exciting as we record the rest of the tracks, release a couple more songs in February and then eventually the album in April. In between that, we’ll be organising our first live shows and some other material like music videos. That’s what bands do, right?