Last Dinosaurs, the indie rock act hailing from Australia is dropping its newest record today 5 October 2018 called “Yumeno Garden”. Reinventing their looks with each album era, we’re pretty delighted to watch their visuals for two previously released singles “Eleven” and “Dominos”. To coincide with their album release today, we decided to interview Sean Caskey, Last Dinosaurs’ frontman to dig deeper about “Yumeno Garden”, their plan for a world tour as well as the story behind their eccentric music videos. Hold on tight, we’re going in for a ride!
The Display (TDP): Hey Last Dinosaurs, your newest album is dropping next week. How are you feeling about it?
Sean Caskey (SC): I don’t think extremely excited is even enough to describe the way I feel. I’m also super proud of what we have done. I’m so eager to get this out and into everyone’s ears! We spent a good three years experimenting and learning to create this album and we really feel like we have crafted the most uniquely Last Dino’s sounding album.
TDP: We heard that you are busy making guitar pedals for a giveaway. Is that true? Of the many other things that could be given away, why did you choose guitar pedals and how was the process of making them?
SC: Yeah that’s true, I made 4 ‘Yumeno Garden’ pedals which are simple overdrive circuits based off my very first pedal design. It’s the trademark sound for my guitar set up so I thought it’d be a good pedal to represent the sound of the album. I wanted to make them because it’s a symbol of the hard work we put into the album and the fact that they are individual and handmade reflects how we created this album with our own bare hands so to speak.
TDP: Out of the two songs that you have released your upcoming album, “Dominos” and “Eleven”. Would you say that these two represent the overall sound from your upcoming album?
SC: Perhaps not the whole album but I guess the core. That’s the exciting thing for me, no one knows what to expect so it’s going be a bit of a surprise! Dominos and Eleven are very Stroke’sy at heart and suppose I am too. I wanted to reflect the influence this band had on my life by showing it off through these songs and a couple of others in the album. Lach has written the last 5 songs of the album and you can definitely hear the Strokes element in his sound at times too. We grew up together playing and listening to the same music so we work well as individual writers on one album. Overall there is so much more to hear. I feel like this album is going to be the most defining album for the Dinos’ sound.
TDP: We knew that “Eleven” was the result of Stranger Things withdrawal, but how about “Dominos”? Could you tell us more about it?
SC: Dominos was written during a fairly stressful time in my music life. A lot was going wrong when it all should have been going really well. I felt really helpless and it wasn’t a situation that gave me any inspiration to pour into music. At one point, I decided to make a song with no synths or any guitar effects other than distortion. It was a way to break myself out of feeling down and self-doubting by making a powerful song that wasn’t shy and didn’t need any glossy effects or synths. Just raw and honest guitars. This song lyrically is pretty honest, I try to make my songs cryptic but I don’t think this song is cryptic enough! Music for me is like my own therapy and then afterward I look back and really think about what I was saying. Dominos for me was like leaving all the bad times behind me and setting a new path to a more positive future.
TDP: Your visuals get better with each album and the infomercial themed video for “Eleven” is witty. Do you watch infomercial a lot in real life or was it made to mock the bad visual imagery of an infomercial? Your fans also noted that the video resembles Tim & Eric from Adult Swim. Is there any correlation between the video and that series?
SC: We are huge fans of ‘Tim & Eric’ and Sloane loves experimenting with the dodgy editing and imagery that goes with their style. It’s something we have always wanted to do but never figured out a place for it to fit in our videos until when we came up with this one for Punk Juice. To be honest that whole video was made up on the spot. We spent 3 days with just Sloane’s camera trying to come up with some random ideas. It was fun because we had a very basic storyline but we had the freedom and the time to be creative and think of how to use each space and take every shot we could think of. Luckily, we had that Ferrari too!
The infomercial was the hardest and the funniest part. We stood in front of the green screen and improvised a few phrases to talk about this mystery spray then eventually Lach suggested we call it Punk Juice. It was initially inspired by red-eye from Cowboy Bebop which is an old Japanese manga about a space-traveling bounty hunter. The spray gives you super energy for a little while so Punk Juice was supposed to make us feel all hyped up so we’d do things we wouldn’t do. Like sing in a Chinese restaurant and steal a Ferrari.
TDP: Last Dinosaurs never shy away from trying out new stuff in your visual, would you do the same with your music though?
SC: Always experimenting but a lot of that stuff never goes on to an album because it might be a bit confusing. I love bands that vary in style, especially if it’s on one album but there are certainly limits. I’ve made house tracks, a country song, funny disco songs about salt and vinegar chips with BC from Dune Rats but they are all like ways of venting creativity. All my songs are like that but not all of them are for people to hear you know? An album is like curating a bunch of songs from whatever you’ve got and made sure it flows and creates a vibe.
After being a big music lover from a young age and watching the progression of my favorite bands I’ve decided how I want Dinos to go. I don’t want to venture too far away from our own sound. If we do then we are going to make new sounds that are unique to us but originate from somewhere people can understand. Strong feelings are the most important thing in music and I just want to make songs that make people want to dance, punch the air, cry a little bit, smile, think about special times in their lives, and genuinely feel love for.
TDP: When we will see a world tour to promote ‘Yumeno Garden’? Would Last Dinosaurs visit Indonesia anytime soon?
SC: There’s talk about organizing a world tour early next year and Indonesia is high on the list! I really want to explore Indonesia a lot. We have only been to Jakarta but I know there is so much more out there. If anyone has any recommendations please let us know on Instagram! We have had a couple of great shows in Jakarta and you guys are the friendliest people in the world. I love it. I love the food, the people and of course exploring the place more. I’ve genuinely thought about living there for a few months because I want to understand the music culture and experience Indonesian life in general. So, if anyone wants a clean, friendly housemate – look no further. Or even better, if anyone wants Last Dinos as housemates?
I’ve genuinely thought about living there for a few months because I want to understand the music culture and experience Indonesian life in general.
TDP: If you were given a chance to describe ‘Yumeno Garden’ in 5 adjectives, what would it be?
SC: Overdriven, honest, dreamy, reflective, nostalgic.
TDP: Lastly, please promote your upcoming album and what the listeners can get from it!
SC: First of all, I want to say that we have put together some really special-pre-order bundles on our website. I designed all the merch because they are all things that I wanted myself haha. So, if you haven’t already I suggest you check them out because they are super exclusive! You will also be in the running to win one of the Yumeno guitar pedals that I made.
This album was made 100% by us and we hope it feels like we are directly handing it to you. We hope you enjoy it and we can’t wait to be back to play all these songs for you all. Terima Kasih! Sampai jumpa lagi!
Yumeno Garden’ Tracklist
- Bass God
- Forget About
- Italo Disco
- Everything Relative
- Shallow Boy
- Non Lo So