Los Angeles outfit letlive. are out here touring on Soundwave in support of their ‘Fake History‘ album which was last year re-released via Epitaph Records. They’re also teaming up in Melbourne and Sydney with Enter Shikari and Your Demise for Sidewaves this week. Before they flew over, Deborah Konopnicki recently caught up with Jason from the band to chat about all things letlive. at the moment. Click below to expand this post and take a read.
Hey Jase! How are you doing?
I’m doing well thanks.
What are you guys up to at the moment?
Well right now I’m in the House Of Blues in Texas; in the bathroom because it’s the quietist place in the venue! I’m just waiting for the band to come for sound-check for our Silverstein tour. It’s been great so far. I guess this facet in the ‘scene’ isn’t something that people would think that we’d be involved with but it turns out that everyone on this tour are just phenomenal people and the band Silverstein are doing some cover songs of my favourite hardcore bands so I’ve been enjoying them every night. It’s been pretty cool.
I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to be able to say this but Australian fans will finally get a chance to see you guys live! How are you feeling about playing shows in Australia for the first time?
We are elated. We are so excited to come down there for so many reasons. The foremost reason being the excitement that we’re being shown by the Australian people but also I’ve got a handful of Australian fans that I just adore. I’m so excited to see the environment and culture that nurtured them and because every single Australian – and I’m not just saying this – but every Australian that I know are my favourite people. I’m really excited for the shows and just being able to show Australia the essence of letlive. It’s just so exciting. I don’t even know how to put it.
Speaking of Australians that you know, I remember that when I interviewed you last year when “Fake History” was released down-under that you spoke about an Aussie father and son that came all the way over to the states to a record release show and that it’s something that you’ll never forget. Have you had any other encounters like that in your travels?
Yeah! There was a couple on this tour that came out of Brisbane! It blows my mind. I assume that they were there for something other than the show but the family routed their trip around the show. They were fans of the band and it’s so hard for me to comprehend. It’s so heart-warming and inspiring to say the least.
What is it that you’re most looking forward to about playing the actual Soundwave festival?
We’ve been told that the accommodation is spectacular so that’s something that we’re not used to – being the band we are at home and around the world – so such accommodation is almost unreal to us! We’ll be beyond appreciative and we’ll be able to enjoy ourselves on another level outside of playing the festivals, but mostly I’m looking forward to meeting people that have wanted to see us or people that have questions about letlive or people that have no idea about letlive. I’m really excited to be able to communicate this idea that letlive is while we’re in Australia. I feel that the culture itself is very open to this idea that we are propagating as a band that is a much larger concept of self and community. I know that sounds fucking hippy of me but it’s not as flower power as it sounds. I swear!
Oh no, I totally agree with you. You’ve stirred something pretty passionate inside me as well. I think that the thing I’m looking forward to the most is heading along to your sideshow with Enter Shikari. It’s going to be one hell of an explosive introduction with two bands that are just so passionate about their music!
I’m so excited for those shows. Being with Enter Shikari is great because they’re such an incredible band but you’re right, it’s just going to be so potent when it’s concentrated like that! We love it. It’s how we grew up and we try to indulge ourselves in playing the smaller shows with friends when we can and just have the most intimate moments when we can.
It seemed that Australia fell in love with you guys when Epitaph released “Fake History” last year. The record was released overseas even earlier than that so over a year down the track how are you feeling about that record? Do you still have the same passions when you play those songs live?
Certainly. I feel like we have more excitement and reason to go out because we’ve seen the effects that it’s had on one or 100 people. We get it returned to us tenfold by people so now it’s more of a nudge for us to continue doing what we’re doing. Honestly, we have to say thank you to the people that want to understand letlive and moreover, be a part of what we’re doing. The thank you has to go to everyone other than letlive in my eyes. I want to thank people for that.
You’ve actually touched on my next questions pretty perfectly. The album has created this sense of community. It’s put words in front of people that might not have been able to express themselves previously. Have you felt that the initial seed has just continued to grow? And how do you feel about creating something that like you said before; is bigger than the band?
You know, I had this conversation with a woman at a venue that we played last week. We discussed how I felt our role was in all of this and honestly I think that our role is simple. It’s not even about us anymore. We’re lucky enough to be afforded these forums and these opportunities and sometimes the words or the composition of a song. If we made it a self-serving method or something to only benefit ourselves then in short; it would be fucked! I think that it’s not even – and I might start to sound a little crazy when I say this – but it’s not about me and it’s not about the band, it’s literally about every single person and thing and situation and emotion that amalgamates and it becomes this beautiful beast. It’s crazy to even think that putting a face on that beast; if letlive is that face on that beast then even function and every breath of that beast is everybody else. We’re just a face. What’s that worth in the end? Nothing. Everybody else is the action.
I think that it’s still pretty special to be able to ignite something like that in people, so a lot of credit and thanks are deserved for the band for sure. Speaking about continuing to ‘do what you do’, you’re in the process of writing for a new record I hear? Is it going to flow on from “Fake History”?
I think essentially and attitude wise will remain. The whole embodiment of letlive or what we’re dressed in as a feeling will continue. That will flow intrinsically through everything that we do, so I can promise everyone that. Sonically, it will be an evolution and show that we’ve grown as people, musicians, writers, lovers… whatever you want to call it! It’s definitely going to show our evolution as a band. I really want to touch upon a more personal level if I can. If I’m able to as a writer and performer, I’d like to see how far I can take it before I lose my mind!
What do you think is going to be on the record at the moment that is as passionate and as close to you and some of the stirring numbers from “Fake History”?
My biggest issue that’s been most steadfast in my writing career is my idea of my faith and people. Whether that’s the idea of a god or spirituality or inter-dimensional things. It’s coming to a head I suppose. I’m seeing it now and trying to understand that I’ll actually never understand any of it! For me to live not for myself, but to live in more of a universal idea would be cool. There are a lot of other things but I think that’s the most pressing one at the moment, that and my issues that stem from all of that. It goes from god to girlfriends. The way that I act with human beings and what I think is more than a human being.
Do you have any plans in terms of release date or completion of songs at the moment?
We will weigh everything out. We’ll definitely enter the studio in the summer time and release a record in the fall. We wrote for the two weeks that we were home over our little holiday break and we’ll continue to do so while we’re on the road. We’re lucky to have an engineer in our band so we’ll be able to do that on the road. While we’re doing that I’m constantly writing lyrics and melodies and guitar parts and this and that. We’re all sharing in the writing process as best as we can. We would like to have something new ready for Soundwave. We’ve been talking about it so we’ll see how we go. We just want to present it in the best and most equip manner that we can. Maybe on the sidewaves shows! That’ll work!
letlive. - ‘Fake History‘
Out now on Epitaph Records.
Available now on CD & 2LP online [Here]
Catch letlive. playing Soundwave Festival nationally. [See Timetables]
2nd – Showgrounds, Melbourne [AA] SOLD OUT
3rd – Bonython Park, Adelaide [AA]
5th – Claremont Showgrounds, Perth [AA]
—> Full details at www.soundwavefestival.com
Also playing Sidewaves with ENTER SHIKARI and YOUR DEMISE
28th – Billboard The Venue, Sydney [18+]
29th – Metro Theatre, Sydney [Lic/AA]