With recent reviews of Prince, Queen and Deftones, I thought it was only right we take a step away from mainstream media and, instead, take a step towards supporting local music. Showcasing and supporting local talent is very important to me, so, check out what I thought of a local band!
This past month, I had the honor of supporting local talent and came across a band named Last Bullet. A straight rock ‘n’ roll band from Toronto, Last Bullet is a band you do not want to miss!
They’ve been together with their current five members for about a year now, but it wasn’t always like that. Drummer Leo Defina and guitarists Brenden Anthony and Mike Silva met in school, forming a friendship I’m sure they didn’t expect to reach such heights! A while later, when forming their band, they were in search of a talented bass player. Responding to a Craigslist advertisement, Will Shannon was introduced to Last Bullet. But something was missing. So, about a year ago, Brian Fontes, their lead vocalist, auditioned and was added to form the five member family that exists today.
When I found out the members of Last Bullet were inspired by the likes of Motley Crue, Lenny Kravitz, Sound Garden, Metallica, Led Zeppelin and Guns N Roses, I was not surprised. These are some talented members! Vocalist Brian Fontes, 24, has been singing for about half his life. It’s no big shock Mike Silva, 23, is so great at playing his Gibson SG rhythm guitar – he has been playing since age 13. What does surprise me however, is that Leo Defina, 23, has been perfecting his skill on the drums for about four years now, while bassist Will Shannon, 24, has only five years under his belt with his gorgeous Ernie Ball Stingray. And the amazing skill Brenden Anthony, 23, demonstrates on his Gibson Les Paul has been honed in just three short years!
When I sat down in a small bar in my hometown, Last Bullet looked like any other struggling small town band. But the moment their first track began, a smile appeared on my face and my heart starting racing. There are very few bands out there who make you forget where you are when you’re listening to their music, and Last Bullet were able to accomplish that within the first three minutes of their set!
Sound is the base of all bands, and Last Bullet has a sound like no other! The lyrics of their songs are about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll but their tracks and lyrics are all but cliche and boring. They often convey stories of distrust, adultery, living life to the fullest, and love. And their look is just as exhilarating as the music they produce. Each with their own style, Last Bullet comes together to form the perfect rock ‘n’ roll image.
Last Bullet’s active performance radiated energy and excitement. With guitar and drum solos, audience interaction, and exciting facial expressions and body movement, their performance has all their fans with smiles on their faces and feet tapping on the floor. So, with so much excitement on stage, what takes place just beforehand to hype them up? Well, according to Last Bullet, simple relaxation and good ol’ guy time helps them get prepared for a show. Then, to top it all off – they toast the end of every set with 5 fresh shots of Jack Daniel’s. Not too bad of a routine, if I do say so myself!
With a farfetch’d goal of “total world domination” and a much more realistic goal of becoming “the biggest band in the world”, Last Bullet’s members are surprisingly humble. When asked who they would thank if they won a Grammy tomorrow, I was shocked by some of their answers! Some thanked parents, fans, and music teachers for giving them the passion they have for music today. Meanwhile, Leo Defina would take the time to thank all those who said he wouldn’t make it. Will Shannon, however, gave me the most surprising answer. “Myself”, he said. The band and I all looked at him in unison, laughed and thought he was joking. Then, he went on to explain he would thank himself for having the strength and determination to persevere through all the difficult times. The band agreed and wanted to pass that same advice on to any up and coming bands: “Keep playing, no matter what” they said. Being a band, trying to make it, is a difficult goal, and you need to be ready to “go big or go home”, they warned.
To demonstrate their perseverance and determination, the band shared a unique story with me. Last Bullet was performing at a venue that, to put it lightly, didn’t have their shit together. Halfway through a song, the organisers shut off the power to the vocals. While most bands would just give up and leave the stage, they, instead, remained on stage and finished the song for their fans – even having the fans join in!
Although determination and skill are required, it also takes an objective mind to be great at music. After every set, the members of Last Bullet retreat to their respective homes. But the thoughts of that performance, and future performances do not quickly fade. While some take a close look at what could be improved upon, others take a moment to just enjoy their success. Then, they go right back at it – jamming out for their next big show!
Although success is what Last Bullet is after, they quickly acknowledge their fans are “everything” to them. “Thank you for all the support so far” they said when asked what was the one message Last Bullet wanted to convey to their fans.
Last Bullet is a big time band stuck in a small town, waiting to be discovered. If you’d like to see what all the raving is about, check out their Facebook page, their MySpace or follow them on Twitter! They are some of the nicest guys I know, so drop them a line and show your support – and don’t forget to get a copy of their EP as it drops in early December!