Writer: Rhett Perez
With the expansive music scene so culminated and flooded with blossoming talent, some may think that the trek to achieve stardom is a lot more daunting than ever before. However, some individuals rise above and train their skills to oppose the doubt that the industry throws that them. I got a chance to interview a growing death-groove band known as The Last Ten Seconds of Life, who, since their first release in 2011, have been very busy touring, along with a new album. After a few lineup changes, including their frontman, what has changed from their breakthrough album Soulless Hymns 2015 to The Violent Sound released in 2016?
The band as a whole has answered my questions, however, I do thank John (Vocalist) and Wyatt (Guitarist) for returning the answers and their cooperation throughout this interview, as I am personally a big fan of their works for about two years now.
According to the band, the formation itself happened as quote “Just our life I guess….We were just a bunch of college dudes who wanted to play heavy jams together while in school.” This anecdote is, of course, talking about every member besides John Robert from This Bitter End, who was recruited in 2016 from the departure of Storm Strope, the previous vocalist. Some fans have seen this change as welcome, due to more harmonic vocals being used along with better sampling than before, however, some condemn this, claiming Strope’s vocals were more guttural and intense. This split has caused a discussion between the fans, and the reason until now has been unknown why Strope left so suddenly.
For the name itself, “The Last Ten Seconds of Life”, the name stemmed from Wyatt, who is a big Smiths fan, and it happened to a lyric off of the song entitled “Stop Me if You Think You’ve Heard This One Before.” The music is a pretty big contrast however, as the band has hard riffs with lots of chugging and solos, while the sampling is very prevalent for atmospheric effect. This mash of complex sampling, solos, and hard riffs gives the band it’s death metal feeling, but the introduction of harmonic vocals and atmospheric reverb gives them the advantages of a groove metal spotlight.
The differences between the bands two monumental albums Soulless Hymns and The Violent Sound has been a topic of discussion between the small but loyal community the band has brought along, and some didn’t know what to think of the sound. I got to ask about this change, and to answer the debate of how the writing has changed since then. “We really didn’t necessarily prepare in a sound sort of sense…We like different things at different times I guess.”
Along with this has been the present debate between the vocalist change, so they also added onto this by, quote, “…we wrote The Violent Sound with the intention of showing the highlights in John’s voice. Which led the band’s sound to things that we never really got to do before. It was fun.”
The big question on everyone’s mind between the fanbase is the vocalist change, and we finally have an answer to the departure of the former vocalist Storm Strope. Of course, much thanks to the band for actually answering this question, as this has been a big change for them and I’m sure they know the criticism has been high. The reason for the departure isn’t a huge feud, or even a climactic brawl, but is instead a subtle and agreeable reasoning. I will not simplify this quote, as it is information to be interpreted different ways, and is the first mention of a reasoning between Strope and the band. “There’s a lot of personal family/band business surrounding this question, that’s why we don’t talk about it but in short: On multiple levels he cause a few large and nearly fatal issues within the band. He was let go due to a lack of effort and trust. We could not, in good conscience of business, continue to work with him. He will not return.”
At the events I have been to, I had the chance to talk to the band in person, and they have mentioned “The new album” as a running joke, so I decided to ask if this did exist, and luckily enough, yes it does. “It’s being written when we get home from this run with 36crazyfists. We are stoked.”
With the conclusion of the interview, I asked if there is anything the fans should know before getting back into the fray of touring, and the band had this to say: “We love you guys. All of you. We hope to see you all in our next run. We’re not going anywhere. Much love and respect.”
The Last Ten Seconds of Life are a modern example of bending genres, and creating atmosphere from tracks themselves. You can check out their works on Itunes and Spotify, in which I recommend the tracks “Pain is Pleasure”from Soulless Hymns, and “Little Black Line” from The Violent Sound to compare and contrast the musical talent from the previous era. You can also follow their endeavors on Instagram @tltol as well as on Facebook as “The Last Ten Seconds of Life,” where John even talks about his vocal techniques. With each album, more gets revealed on their interests in experimentation, and hopefully soon, we will all see what their members have for us next.