Up-and-coming teen punk/garage band The Last Round will be making their debut appearance at Rock U Fest at the Atomic Cowboy on September 24, 2011 on the outdoor stage. The Last Round is made up of vocalist and bassist Felix Knost, guitarist Josh Handler and drummer Chris Ricciotti. Read what they have to say about their songs, their sound, and their ideas about getting the band rolling at Rock U Fest:
Angie: So you guys are a new band. You’ve been rehearsing in basements for quite some time, and you’re ready to come above ground to play your first, your debut, show at Rock U Fest.
Felix: It’s kind of like Groundhog Day.
Angie: What are you most looking forward to about Rock U Fest?
Felix: There’s a lot of different things I’m looking forward to at Rock U Fest. I’m looking forward to the people, the babes in the audience [smiles], meeting new people, hearing new bands and playing our show.
Josh: I’m looking forward to going there and actually doing it. My main concern is choking; that’s the biggest thing I’m worried about. Nerves.
Chris: Me personally, I’m really just happy to be playing in front of more than just a wall.
[Laughter from all]
Angie: Yeah, the wall only works for so long.
Chris: It gives you NO LOVE!
Angie: You guys have a debut single that you just released, that’s on the Rock U compilation. Felix, can you tell us about that song?
Felix: It’s called “Three Ten Ten”. It’s like a punky-surf kinda dealy. “Three Ten Ten” is the date that I was at this party and I saw this girl, and I was like, “Ahh, yeah!”. I really wanted to talk to her. And you know, I was too chicken to say anything to her. I think everyone experiences that now and again, you know?
Angie: So it will be a relatable song?
Felix: Yeah, yeah, I hope so.
Angie: Josh, tell us about the song writing process…when you’re working down in the basement…is there like smoke and fireworks? How does the song writing process start?
Josh: First the bird says “Pyrotechnics!”, then it explodes…Naw, I wish. [Laughter from all]…Mainly, we just listen to Felix over here, “Do this! That! And that!”, and then we go home and eat hot dogs.
Angie: So is your band more kind of like a military exercise sometimes, with Felix acting as a General?
Josh: Depends on the day… Felix diva. [Laugher]
Angie: Chris, can you tell us your view of what the song writing process is like?
Chris: He pretty much got it down. Felix says what to do, we do it.
Angie: So that works? The machine runs smoothly?
Chris: Unless Felix had a bad day.
Angie: What is the fastest song that you’ve ever worked through, as far as writing time.
Chris: “Jenny …”
Angie: What’s a song that’s taken a lot longer, that you’ve had to work on a lot more?
Felix: Either the song “Two” or the song “Locker Room”.
Chris: “Two”, “Locker Room”, or “Be With Me”.
Felix: Those ones, they’re done, but we’re not on auto-pilot with them just yet. We’ve got all the parts, we just have to work through the transitions to put it all together.
Angie: Who are your musical influences; who are some bands you really like?
Chris: To me personally, drummer-wise, Lars Ulrich from Metallica is a favorite, but sound wise, we’re more maybe Ramones-y related.
Josh: Angus Young in AC/DC.
Angie: Ah, the shirt [Josh is wearing an AC/DC shirt].
Josh: Funny how things work out like that.
Angie: And Chris is wearing a Metallica shirt ! [more laughter]
Felix: Oh, I need to change shirts.
Angie: Oh, Felix is wearing a Pennywise shirt! Not a favorite?
Felix: They were in the seventh grade.
Angie: They were?
Josh: Just like Evanescence in fourth grade.
Angie: You liked Evanescence in the fourth grade?
Felix: Yeah! That “Bring Me to Life” song!
Josh: That’s the only song I know by them.
Angie: So you think all kids liked that song? [laughter] It’s a good song.
Josh: I want to listen to it now.
Chris: I didn’t [like it]. I’m the odd man out.
Felix: So…my influences? I’d say I get a lot from Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, that fast, downstroke guitar style.
Felix: Yeah. And I really like that. That’s pretty much how I play.
Angie: The three-chord, slam-bang, song’s-done kind of song?
Felix: Yeah. I can’t go for long songs much. Three or four minutes and you’re pushing a rock opera to me.
Angie: So I guess you guys aren’t into guitar solos?
Felix: They might. But not me. I like simple leads. I don’t dislike leads; I like simple ones, a three or four chord thing. Catchy. Catchy is what we’re going for.
Angie: From the time the band started it’s first practice, until the time where you’re about to play your first gig, how long has that been?
Felix: We started in November 2010. So nine or ten months.
Angie: It’s like you grew a little rock baby, and it’s time to push it out there now.
Chris: Get out!!
Josh: Get back in there!
Felix: Get in mah belly!
[laughter from all]
Angie: Where did you get your band name?
Felix: We were just watching boxing one time, and the announcer said something like, “We’re coming into the last round”. And Chris and I just looked at each other, and I said “That’s a tight band name”.
Josh: Was I there, too?
Chris: You were in the bathroom.
Josh: I was pooping.
Felix: Explosive diarrhea. Pyrotechnic diarrhea.
[more laughter from all]
Angie: One could guess that you guys aren’t too serious of a band. Is your music mostly fun? What are the songs mostly about?
Chris: Most of it is really upbeat.
Josh: I cut myself to it. [laughter from all]
Felix: Yeah, most of it’s pretty happy. We have some songs that start off sad and get happy, like overcoming bad times.
Chris: Like our song “Life’s A B-tch, But You’re Not”.
Felix: Yeah. And we got a new song called “Manic” that’s kind of about trying to escape your bad thoughts. Most of it’s about girls and skateboarding and whatnot. The fun things in life, but you know, with the good, there comes the bad, too. I just write about being a teenager.
Angie: Well, it seems like you guys are having a lot of fun being teenagers and plan to have a lot more fun at the Rock U Fest.
Chris: Yeaaaah! It’s a kegger!
Angie: Keg of Kool-Aid.
Josh: Um, yeaaaah…let’s go with that.
Chris: We’ll spray paint “Kool-Aid” on the side of the keg.
Felix: “Oh yeah.”
Josh: Beer flavored kool aid!
Chris: And I’ll be the one who bursts through the door, going “OH YEAH!”
[laughter from all]
Angie: With that said, we’ll let that conclude the interview. We’ll see you on the outdoor stage at Rock U Fest.
Find out more about The Last Round with this LINK: