Interview: Last Dinosaurs

Interview with Last Dinosaurs

Last Dinosaurs


They’ve already shared stages with Foals and Ash, and now Brisbane’s Last Dinosaurs have unveiled their debut album. We spoke to frontman Sean Caskey to find out more about In A Million Years, and ended up discussing dodgy showers and “futuristic nostalgia”.

Questions and answers

Hey Sean, where are you today?

Today we are driving away from Rennes in France to get to Calais for our train to the UK. When we aren’t playing shows, a lot of our time is spent in the tour helicopter, flying across countries.

So how did Last Dinosaurs form? And what’s the story behind your name?

We have been together around four years now. Dan and I just started jamming after high school finished in 2007, then Lach joined in on guitar and eventually we met Sam on the streets and asked him to play bass.

The name was a suggestion from Dan, before we even had any members in the band. It’s the name of a song by a Japanese band called The Pillows. Funny thing is, when you combine the Japanese names of my brother and I, it spells dinosaur (Kyo-Ryu).

Do you all share similar musical tastes? And were there any specific musical reference points for the album?

We do share a lot of favourite bands, but they are all just great bands that everyone loves, like Foals, Tame Impala, Phoenix etc. Of course there are bands that we disagree on. For the album all of us were listening to Twin Shadow a lot. That album I see as a great piece of art; so cohesive and well produced. Our goal was to create something like that.

What can our customers expect from In A Million Years?

Customers should expect absolute euphoric satisfaction, or a significantly reduced portion of their money back guaranteed.

Where do you find lyrical inspiration?

The theme is generally of futuristic nostalgia. I’ve always tended to write about circumstances from a futuristic point of view, whether that’s current or fictional events. I like to think of things in the past as melancholic, regardless of whether they’re good or bad. And that’s a really strong emotion I think, I feel that with a lot of music. Some songs couple the happy melodies with sad stories to create that bittersweet feeling.

Do you have a favourite track on the album?

Maybe ‘Weekend’. For me, lyrically and melodically, it’s the best of those 10 songs.

You’ve been picking up comparisons to the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club and Friendly Fires. Do you feel an affiliation with British bands?

Yeah I’d say we are definitely more of a British-style band. It comes from our music influences, mainly. And our guitar sounds, I guess.

So, you’ve been touring the album most of this year. What’s been the weirdest thing that’s happened to you?

The nicest/weirdest thing that was given to us at a show, was a box of cupcakes with dinosaur sprinkles, and on the box she had drawn us individually as dinosaurs. (Laughs) We couldn’t believe it. We don’t even know who she was; she literally put the box in my hands and just turned around and disappeared. So whoever you are, thank you: they were delicious.

I can’t pinpoint one particular experience as a highlight, but touring with our good friends Millions and Gung Ho to great crowds was just incomprehensibly fun.

What’s on your rider? And what do you most miss about home when you’re touring?

Bundaberg Rum ‘cause we like to fight. And, depending on the hotel situation, a good shower is the most precious thing. Luckily, we have been staying in some nice hotels for a while now. This European trip has featured some devastatingly low pressure or just cold showers. First world problems.

How are you all getting on, sharing a confined space? Which band member’s proving the most annoying so far? And how do you usually settle disputes?

We do really well when we tour, actually. The fact that we are travelling around Europe has made things a lot easier too: there are a lot of beautiful sights to distract us.

We are all annoying in our own ways. Our tour manager would probably be best at answering that question but he would probably punch me if I spoke to him right now. Plus his descriptions would involve a lot of profanities. Disputes are usually settled over a bottle of rumbo and a good, old fashioned knife fight.

What can audiences expect from a typical Last Dinosaurs gig?

Punters can expect to see us getting down and dirty. As perfectionists, we like to perform every bit of music as best we can so people can appreciate the musicianship of our band.

What’s the plan for the remainder of 2012? And what’s the ultimate aim for Last Dinosaurs?

We have another Australian tour coming up when we get home. In the middle of that tour we go to Bali to play a show, which will be awesome! Then for the rest of it, I think we will be a on a bit of a break, at least until next year where we will hopefully go to the UK again, and maybe Japan and America. All fingers crossed.

Finally, what’s been your favourite album of the past 12 months?

For me Twin Sister’s In Heaven would have to be my favourite album for a long time. Sonically, it’s so surprising and pleasing. The songs vary in style and sound but it all works together.

The last time I felt like that was about an album would have to be Person Pitch by Panda Bear. That changed my life, listening to that. Apparently, a lot of chillwave bands refer to that album in particular as being the inspiration for that genre. Citation needed...