Hey Mr Brown, what are you building in there?
Welcome to the world of Last Chance To Escape, an energetic 2-piece band from Brighton. Featuring Sim on drums and Steve on 8-string guitar and vocals, Last Chance To Escape make inventive use of their small setup, creating exciting and wildly original music based on unconventional rhythms, catchy melodies and confrontational lyrics.
“We like making music that gets our hearts racing”, elaborates singer and 8-string guitarist Steve. “Well? is a very physical record and we are a very physical band. I hate standing still when we play. My guitar and microphone are wireless so I can spend as much time in the crowd as I do on stage, and I think the album captures that. We like to get up in people’s faces and challenge them, because when you come to see us perform you are part of that performance, whether you like it or not. Yes, it’s entertainment and yes, it’s fun, but we’re not there to play the same perfect set of songs every time. We feed off the crowd’s energy and we make sure that people can’t take their eyes off us.”
Formed in 2008, Last Chance To Escape have always been different. Sim (drums) and Steve met at a gathering of musicians and hit it off immediately, linked by a shared love for The Mars Volta. “There were a few of us jamming together on a variety of cover songs, with me on bass and Sim on drums”, says Steve. “Sim started playing some weird rhythm, which I locked on to, and we ended up grooving on this really unconventional idea while everyone else was trying to stick to a standard 4/4 tempo and getting frustrated that we wouldn't play the songs the right way. I guess it just went from there”.
Sim is a highly prolific drummer, most notably with acclaimed Brighton post-rockers Them The Sky. Steve has written and released several solo albums, together with a handful of albums and EPs with his previous band Inertia Reel. But one thing that sets Last Chance To Escape apart from anything else they have created is the way in which their songs emerge.
“I hardly ever write music by myself any more”, explains Steve. “All our songs come from jams and aren't planned out in advance. We constantly want to come up with new ideas, throwing things away if they don’t truly inspire and move us. When we first started meeting in Sim’s basement, we would simply turn everything on, Sim would start playing something interesting and we would just play whatever came into our heads. Lyrics, melodies, guitar parts - it all came through lengthy jams and hardly any of it was brought in from outside. Over time, some of these jams started taking the approximate form of a song, and over the years we have played and played and played and refined them down, trying to get to the root of a common theme that is Last Chance To Escape”.
So what does Last Chance To Escape stand for? After all, it is a provocative name; and Well? is a provocative album title.
“We like to question things”, Steve and Sim continue. "It is so easy to just accept the world around you, the life you have and the things you have been told. What is harder, but far more rewarding, is to realise that you have a choice. Tear down the things you have been told your whole life. Question everything and choose your own path. That's our message"