The latest release from Last Race Home, ‘Gaea’, is a beautiful departure from some of their back catalogue. A pure and deep love song, it’s named after the ancient Goddess and tells the story of a man’s love for a woman and how there could be no other. This song really resonated with me and especially when I researched what the title of the song meant. Gaea is the Greek goddess of the earth and the special lady in my life is definitely the best thing in my world. You’d be mistaken to think that the track was taking the band in another direction musically but it’s just another opportunity for the band to show how diverse their sound is allowing them to fit into any genre. I was excited to find out more about Last Race Home and learn more about their latest release.
Can you give us a short history of the band from its formation to now?
Let’s say in short then that rum buggers like us lot have just gravitated towards each other. Some since school and some since being in some way a larger than life character on the Manchester music scene.
Your new single GAEA has been released. Can you explain the meaning of the title and the story behind the lyrics?
On the surface, It’s a love song from a man to a woman. But it’s also a deeper appreciation of what a woman is to a man. She inevitably becomes not just the girl that made your eyes light up and the electricity course through your veins, but the woman who wipes your child’s snotty nose and tells you not to worry about shit at work. It’s a declaration of love for life and how powerful an influence, saviour and protector a woman can be, hence she’s a goddess and as such Gaea seemed like a great title.
GAEA seems to move the band into a new direction musically, was this an intentional approach?
No sorry to disappoint anyone. But no directions have been turned as I don’t think we actually have one. We’re about making each song a work of art. Put this record next to Hasta Que Moramos which is a live favourite of ours, that sounds like a Mexican Tequila party and you’ll wonder what the hell is going on. You could be forgiven for thinking that we’ve changed direction every time we put a record out. For me that’s the most exciting thing. I don’t want two of our records to ever sound the same.
Tell us about some your influences as a band and songwriters that inspire your own creative songwriting process?
It’s got to be the back end of house music and 90’s Indie that made us all get involved and pick up an instrument. But then as an artist you want to move a distance away from you’re original inspiration and you delve into the gigantic goldmine of the 60s 70s and 80s. Ocean Colour Scene were a band that’s stayed with us from that time. They were a bit more mod and less gobby than their counterparts so infinitely more cool. Growing up in Manchester means you can’t ignore the city’s whole influence but throw in a huge love of Bob Dylan and Motown and I still don’t think you’ll get an idea of what we are like. We’ve been told that we are like Arcade Fire and The Pogues if the Pogues were from Manchester (work that one out) 😵💫
Can you explain the idea behind the music video for “Last Night On Earth” released during lockdown in 2019?
It was a case of making use of a strange time when the world was in lockdown and we had this single burning a hole in our pockets, ready to go.
How did it feel to have so many people contribute to the video by sending in clips of themselves singing along to the track?
So many artists and friends who we know are used to using their phones to film themselves and it was a moment to do something together (even though remotely) that we could all share in. We were so chuffed people got involved and dressed up and went a little crazy in their houses. It was fantastic and captures a really unusual historic moment in time. We’re immensely proud of it and grateful to all especially our good friend Tom Melrose for putting it all together. I imagine some great outtakes will surface in time.
You work alongside Sounds Of Manchester, tell us about what the relationship consists of?
Matt from Sounds of Manchester was a huge supporter of the band and his ambition, enthusiasm and spark to make things happen is so infectious. It would be hard not to want him to be involved. We say Matt is our manager but we’re the most unmanageable band of people. It must be incredibly frustrating for him. We’re like an unstoppable train constantly meandering and banging into walls. But we keep going and probably will do until the wheels fall off. I just hope he sticks with us so we actually get somewhere and all his handwork comes to fruition. We love him.
What is the bands proudest accomplishment?
This is quite hard. We’ve done a lot, we’ve done some incredible gigs and festivals and had support slots with our heroes like John Bramwell, we’ve played big stages supporting Cast and Feeder and we’ve had some tough times to get through. It might sound daft but the proudest thing for me is the fact that we’re all still at it. We’re still working together and producing songs we’re proud of. That means more to me than anything.
What can potential fans expect from a Last Race Home gig?
If recent gigs are anything to go by then you can expect to both dance and be in tears. I’m constantly astounded by people’s reaction to us. We’re at a point where we are really connecting with people’s emotions. That’s priceless for us.
Do you have any upcoming shows or tours?
I went to see From The Jam recently at Gorilla and it was fantastic. I’ve always been a massive fan of The Jam and Weller. Then a week later we got asked to support them at Holmfirth Picturedrome 9th Apr next year. I can’t wait for that.
Has lockdown had any positive or negative effects on the band?
Lockdown could have easily crushed us as I’ve seen a lot of bands crumble. The thing that kept us together was the fact we had just recorded three songs in a studio just before so everyone had a really intense period of analysis in the mixing and mastering stage so we had a reason to communicate and we managed to do a few lockdown collaborative videos. What happened over the period was we lost 50% of the band. Bass, backing and lead guitar all left. Circumstances changed for everyone. But in a strange twist of fate our old bass player Phil and old guitarist Tooley wanted to step back in and then to top it all off. The lead singer of The Plimpsouls (incredible 9 piece funk band) said she’d like to join as our backing singer. We must be doing something right as the band just bounces from triumph to disaster and back again.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
Controversially I’m going to say nothing. It is probably as difficult to make a living from music in the past as it is now. The oversaturated social media and the lack of A&R just means bands have to be really really good live to stand out and make any money. There’s a real authenticity in that. No label is telling us what to wear or how to sound. If it was easy then every half arsed guitar noodler would do it. I’d rather be here and now struggling with limitations and finding our own way in the modern world.
What’s next for the band and what can we look forward to in the future?
We’re in the studio over xmas to record our next single which is called ‘No Amount of Rain’. It’s an absolute beast of a track. Again, unlike anything we’ve done before. It was brand new and we snook it in to a set recently to gauge the reaction. The audience went off to it so it’s jumped to the top spot on the agenda.
Anything you’d like to say to your supporters and potential new fans?
To our supporters. Thanks so much you keep the fuel on the fire.
To new fans, welcome aboard, hold tight x