Surviving more than 10 years as a band is a feat to commend in an industry where artists fade away just a quickly as they appeared, and Our Last Night have proven they can stand the test of time. Breaking into the scene in 2004, the band—vocalist Trevor Wentworth, guitarist and vocalist Matt Wentworth, bassist Woody Woodrow, and drummer Timothy Molloy—just released their through their fifth studio album, Younger Dreams, further demonstrating their talent with its deep-rooted lyrics and appealing melodies that captivate you track after track.
As Our Last Night take their musical flair onto this summer’s Warped Tour, Woody takes a moment to discuss their newest release and what keeps the foursome pushing forward.
Your latest record, Younger Dreams, just released last month. How have fans been reacting so far?
It’s been only positive! A lot of people are very excited. We’ve been teasing a little bit here and there. People were getting a little antsy, a little amped up for it. I think we built them up a little bit to release something that we’re very proud of, and don’t feel like there is really a weak point on the album. Not just because we’re fond of the music, but because we think it has such flow when you listen to it front to back that’s captivating. So when you hear it, it kind of captures your attention from the start and it kind of keeps you going.
It’s fun for us to listen to because we’re, of course, proud of it but at the same time it has this ebb and flow through the CD in general where the vibes kind of pick up, and drop down, and move around. In our CDs in the past I don’t think it’s been as movement oriented—I’m a yogi so I’m talking in terms of movement and flow—but like there is a musical aspect that brings you up and brings you down.
It kind of takes you a little bit of a journey throughout the CD and we’ve never really had something of that realm as far as that goes in the past. So we’re really stoked with how that turned out because that really just happened. We wrote it and then the songs kind of fell into place like, “This needs to go here, this needs to go here,” and then we listened to it front to back and we were like, “Holy shit, that turned out even better than we thought!” It’s just a perfect representation of us right now at this point in our existence on the planet as musicians and as human beings, so it’s super exciting for us.
I’d imagine! Now, what was the band’s mindset going in to record the album?
As far as intentionally wanting to do something different we didn’t really set our sights on like, “It has to be this certain way.” Doing the covers over the past couple years has really helped us develop and hone in on Our Last Night’s sound as a whole. So that’s really helped out with the writing in general. I think you can see that with the song structure and melodies as well as just the guitar parts and music in general. Like you can strip it down and it’s kind of like a lot of pop songs you hear on the radio, and I think that translates because we’ve covered so many songs from Top 40 radio.
And Matt, whose sole rhetoric in most cases, he’s the one who lays out the structure and has the ideas and goes with them. So I think that’s directly influences how he’s able to see structure-wise and how he’s able to see how songs move, and how they work, and that whole dynamic that they have. And I think that’s a super important part of the CD as far as the vibes.
We kind of pride ourselves on how the songs are good the way they are but you can take them and strip them down to play on the piano and they would be just as awesome songs, which I feel like is kind of rare in our genre of music to be able to take music that you have, which is like intense, hardcore, heavy music at times and then translate it into something acoustic or a piano kind of ballad. Which is a little different, I think, than bands that we tour with from here and there; we love them all! But at the same time the music has this substance and a depth to not be some kind of fad but really have some longevity. I think it’s been proven that, we’ve been a band for 10 years, and we’ve been constantly learning, growing, working toward this moment that you just have to keep persevering and build a solid foundation that will keep you going for a long time, not just help you get big quick and then fall off.
Do you feel there have been changes in Our Last Night over the last 10 years?
Definitely! Especially because when we started we were adolescents, so we definitely changed in that regard as far as growing up a bit and I feel like the music reflects that. But yeah, it’s been so much of a change. It’s not like we’re talking like we were guys who started a band in our 30s and now we’re in our 40s and we’re talking about changes. We’re talking about major life changes. We’re talking moving out of our houses, growing up, in some cases straight-up puberty.
And I believe it reflects, not only in our music but kind of how we are with our fans, because we’re very in touch with our fan base, and they’ve been able to see us grow. A lot of new fans are coming in like, “Woah, this band has been a band for 10 years! It’s crazy they have all this other material too!” And then all our fans who knew us in the beginning or found us a few CDs ago, I think it’s cool for them to see us grow and mature, and I just think that reflects in the music and how we carry ourselves. I think the biggest thing is us playing live because it’s such a present moment kind of thing.
You can only do so much preparation for any kind of sport or anything, only so much to prepare yourself for the game time. But in order to have the experience you have to do it. So you can prepare all you want but in order to have the experience of playing live and being comfortable in front of people you have to have the interaction. You don’t really get that from just doing it a little bit and I think we’ve honed in on that and we’ve done it for so long that it feels so natural that we’re not trying to be something that we’re not. We’re just being our authentic selves that we’ve grown to be. We’ve grown up on tour and on the stage and I think it’s super cool because it just makes us more comfortable, more confident and brings a tightness amongst ourselves and reflects outward toward our fans.
Fans can get a taste of that seeing you on Warped Tour this summer.
Yeah, we played a week in 2010 on the West Coast but that was a while ago. This is the real deal, we’re on the whole thing and we’re stoked. The CD dropped intentionally right before and we’re really excited to have the experience. A lot of our friends have done the whole thing and we never had the opportunity, so we’re really excited to go in there. It’s going to be a grind but we’re mentally ready for it and it’s going to be really fun. I think we’re going to make a lot of friends and hopefully a lot of new fans and we’ll have a lot of awesome memories from the summer and just build that momentum into a fall headliner.
I’m most excited to hang out with our friends and make new ones. Also, I’m really excited to just experience Warped Tour. We’ve heard so much about it, we went to it as kids and played that week in 2010, so we’re excited to be a part of it this year; all the vibes from being on it the entire time and mostly the shows. I think the shows are going to be ridiculous and we’re feeling the buzz we helped to build. We like to do what we do so much and I think people will see that.
Our Last Night’s new record, Younger Dreams, is available now via iTunes. You can catch Our Last Night performing on Warped Tour on July 10 at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ, July 11 at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, NY, and July 19 at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. For more information, visit facebook.com/ourlastnightband and ourlastnight.com.