Lush garage rock sound, propulsive beats and distinctive vocals: Last Dinosaurs is one of those alternative rock bands that will get you obsessed with just one listen.
For those of you who fancy alternative guitar noise and indie rock bands such as Wolf Alice and Snail Mail, Australian indie rock band Last Dinosaurs should be on your headphones. Almost 10 years in, vocalist and guitarist Sean Caskey from the band shares with us the highs and lows of crafting three albums, the funniest moments from the band’s early gigs (one minor detail almost got the band kicked out of bars?!), and more.
An interview with Sean Caskey from Last Dinosaurs
Established in 2009, Last Dinosaurs are a Brisbane-based indie rock band that brings together Lachlan Caskey (lead guitar), Michael Sloane (bass) and Sean Caskey (vocals, rhythm guitar). Best known for its lush and adrenaline-pumping garage rock sound, the band has just delivered a dynamic third album Yumeno Garden – with hit singles like Eleven, influenced by the likes of The Strokes. The band has quickly gained a dedicated following thanks to its distinct sound and toured with bands like Foster the People and Two Door Cinema Club.
What is the concept of your album Yumeno Garden?
It’s an introspective reflection on life and relationships based on an imaginary place stuck between two worlds.
Which song is your favourite to perform live?
Forget About has an intro that swells in and pauses for a moment before kicking in. I love playing that song because that intro just feels awesome.
The artwork for the album and the music video of Eleven is super rad. Are there defining characteristics that you felt compelled to express with the artwork?
It just had to be us. We had to make it ourselves with Michael’s camera. That way we could just express ourselves without feeling the staring eyes of the crew standing around you. It was a lot of fun going out and just making scenes on the fly. Also having the Ferrari was great. I miss driving that thing. I was terrified while I was driving it but afterwards I felt a strong connection with the Ferrari brand. Thanks Ferrari and thanks Punk Juice.
I read that you guys started playing in bands in high school, and Last Dinosaurs formed soon after that. How did it all fall into place?
We had a super strong music scene in Brisbane at the time. We wanted to be a part of it and play at all these great little venues which were all in the one suburb – it’s madness. When it came to being post-high school teenagers, there was nothing more appealing that getting free drinks and playing on stage, so we jammed and hung out while I was making some of my first songs. Eventually the big radio station in Australia – Triple J – took notice of the song Honolulu and played us a few times, which was the spark for the whole Dinos flame.
In hindsight, what could’ve gone wrong?
Well, Lach was under age for a while in the early years – the first 3-4 years in fact. We could’ve been kicked out of a lot of gigs (laughs). We did get canned a couple of times which was extremely disappointing. But we look back and think wow that was lucky they didn’t ask for ID!
What do you do if you feel creatively blocked?
I don’t know what to do, please send help.
Some musicians will hit a slump after releasing their debut. How did you feel when you were making your sophomore and third album?
The second album felt like a rough time. There were heavy restrictions from our label, who weren’t very supportive on the creative side of things. We had a really hard time with that one trying to satisfy other people who controlled our progress. The third album was a very liberating experience. DIY and free. It was the ultimate response to such a terrible second album-making experience. My advice to any bands who are creating music is to fight for what you believe in. Trust yourself.
Which artists or albums have you been really into lately?
The Garden and both of its side projects Enjoy and Puzzle. Twin brothers from California signed to a full-on punk label who make really strange stuff. Very DIY, very much in their own world and killing it.
Keep up-to-date with Last Dinosaurs.