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Interview: Sean Caskey From Last Dinosaurs

Brisbane indie synth/pop four-piece Last Dinosaurs have been blowing up all over the world, with massive tours across Asia and a recent stellar performance at Splendour in the Grass. The boys are back in town on their ‘Wellness’ tour, celebrating the release of the new album. We spoke to lead singer/guitarist Sean Caskey ahead of their Brisbane show this Friday, 25 September at The Triffid.

Congratulations on ‘Wellness’. Did you feel more or less pressure recording a second album?

I reckon less, the production approach was very different. The first album was a bit more – deconstruct every song and then rebuild. On this one, Scott Horscroft (producer) was very respectful of what we’d done and how hard we’d worked. Everyone keeps asking about that second album pressure, but I didn’t really feel it in the making of.

Who do you take inspiration from as a band?

One of the major ones was Twin Sister, but really just chill wave in general. I’ve always really liked the synthetic element of it. The chill/happiness really fits mine and the bands vibe.

Tracks on ‘Wellness’ have been described as “summer anthems” with “tropical soundscapes”, do you think that’s accurate? And do you think it’s due to growing up in Queensland?

I can’t really step back and look at the music, they’re all so over-listened and old to me now. I don’t know if I’d call them summer anthems. The tropical thing was a joke at the start, we joked about be a surf-rock band, but none of us go to the beach. I’ve never really thought a location can impact your music.

So do you get sick of revisiting old songs?

Yeah totally. Recording you get excited about them again, but when it comes to mixing time, you’ve heard them enough times. Afterwards with things like masters, you think “yeah I’ve definitely heard this enough times”.

Do you get more critical?

I guess so. You find the little things and they stick out more. I’ve learnt from the process that you’ve just gotta let them go.

You’re kicking off the tour for ‘Wellness’ this week, are there any tour rituals you have as a band?

The above hand, high-five handshake. The one where you come from the side…I don’t know [laughs]. Always before the gig. Maybe after, depending on whether we played well or not. We don’t really warm up, we just go on stage and have as much fun as we possibly can.

Do you have a favourite or least favourite song to play live?

My least favourite is Evie, but Wellness is my favourite because the whole song is my demo that I did at home. Scott opened up the track and didn’t have anything to say, he was like yeah, this is perfect. Coming from Scott, that was a huge honour. Like being given a Nobel Peace Prize.

Where has been your favourite country to play?

Well, we were expecting the worst but got the best in Manila. We were doing a South-East Asian tour and everyone said Manila was dirty and dangerous. But we got the venue and it was super cool and the crowd was mental. We’ve never had such an insane reaction from a crowd. It was like we’d been reincarnated as The Beatles of something.

How do you feel returning to Brisbane after your success internationally?

It’s always good coming home and seeing my friends and family. Having a washing machine is good. It’s strange going to all these crazy Asian countries and then coming back to the simplicity of Brisbane. It’s always humbling.

You’ve played some big festivals, like Splendour recently, is there a festival you would love to play?

Fuji Rock and Coachella. They’d be so sick. I’d also love to get on a Laneway tour. One of the greatest festivals we’ve ever done was Groovin’ The Moo. They look after the artists so well, they took us to Magnetic Island after Townsville and we had jet skis, sailing boats, all that kinda stuff.

What will you do as soon as you finish the tour?

By the end you’re so wrecked; you’re a shell of a human being. Just chill. Get in my bed and lie down, watch Netflix. Go to my local café. That’s what I’ll do.

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