The Latest Fallout are a New Zealand pop rock band formed in May 2012. The band currently consists of Vocalist Brendan Pyper, lead guitarist Axel Plummer, bass guitarist Dan Gordon and newly welcomed drummer, Ethan Clerk.
I sat down with the boys after a lunchtime performance at Fairfield College for a casual interview to talk about the band and their experiences. Read the transcribed interview below.
How would you describe your sound?
Axel: It’s a sort of alt pop rock sound I guess, we add a touch of synth in there too.
Brendan: Yeah, we’ve had people call us punk too but that’s more our old work really.
How did the band start out? Where did you meet Jared?
Brendan: It started as an assignment actually at tech, we had a songwriting assignment. I met Jared and thought ‘wow he’s a sick guitarist’ and so I teamed up with him and we did the assignment together and wrote loads of songs together. Fun Fact, We weren’t really a band until our first performance.
When did you guys decide to start recording professionally?
Brendan: After the assignment we ended up going down to New Plymouth to record what we wrote every other weekend
Axel: That was your August Sky EP wasn’t it?
Brendan: Yeah, and we had six songs on that, we kept going down to New Plymouth to mix it and yeah. After that we kept writing more and more songs and thought ‘oh wow let’s make an album out of this’
We wrote the EP just the two of us, me and Jared, and the moment the EP came out we thought ‘damn we need to find a band’.
How would describe the fan base that’s come from that EP and the singles released since?
Brendan: They’re amazing and we wouldn’t be where we are without them.
Axel: I really love the OG fans as well, the guys who have stuck through and are willing to take on the new sound everything like that.
Brendan: Yeah, they’re all so passionate and we’re so grateful for them.
How do you find school shows differ from shows like your music month performance at Biddy Mulligans?
Brendan: It’s definitely a wide variety, at the schools you have anyone and everyone that could be here. Like they could just be walking past and hear us whereas at a bar you’ve only got people over 18 and only people who are out at that time, which is a lot less than at a school where there could be a thousand people.
Axel: Fraser High has definitely been the best school so far, they were just really engaging and really respectful of the music.
When did you begin to notice the band gaining popularity?
Axel: Didn’t it seem to be when you guys were doing the old school shows, Brendan? I remember you saying that.
Brendan: Yeah it was, school shows are key, they’ve really helped us get out there.
Axel: I don’t want to say that we’re targeting them, but the age group at the schools do seem to be more likely to give us a listen when they hear us than people who are older
Axel, Dan, why did you two join TLF?
Axel: I wanted to try it out, they needed a new guitarist. A friend of mine said ‘Hey Brendan’s looking for a new guitarist” and I thought I’d really love to try it out, and here I still am nearly a year later. I think it’s a year in June.
I wanted to experiment musically as well, I’m typically a metal guitarist and it’s been wicked to jump into a different genre. We had our first writing session with me as a new member like two or three weeks ago and straight away it flowed so easily. Jared is super easy to write with, Brendan is easy to write with, Jeremy is easy to write with, and Dan too.
Dan: Well I was in a band previously but heard that TLF needed a new bass player so I tagged along and auditioned and here I am.
I wanted to try something new and The Latest Fallout was it.
What’s the story behind the name, The Latest Fallout? There’s always a story
Brendan: Well I was going out with a girl at the time and it didn’t end very well. I had a band name at the time ‘The Latest Chaos’, and Jared said ‘Well you’ve just had a falling out why don’t you mix that with your latest chaos name’ and I said ‘Well then it would be ‘The Latest Fallout”.
We went through a JB-HIFI one day and we spent like an hour and a half looking at DVD titles and album names to try to get some band name inspiration, and we came up with nothing so we just went with The Latest Fallout.
I really want to get across the meaning of the fallout, it is to fall out with someone, it’s not anything else. We have had people ask us if it’s about radiation before, but it’s not. It’s just…
Axel: It’s just the latest thing to turn to shit.
Brendan: Yeah pretty much, It’s the latest thing to go wrong.
That’s actually an awesome story, but speaking of the latest thing to go wrong, what can we expect from the new album?
Axel: I’m sorry but that was fuckin’ awesome
Dan: Oh my god
Brendan: Wow okay, it’s the best work we’ve ever done. The EP was very rushed but with this we’ve taken far too long. The first writing session we had for it is probably the best, we were free to just try everything and put out any ideas. Just all the little things and playing around with sounds has been awesome.
Axel: With the new songs that we wrote, of course they’re bare bones demos right now, but they’re a little more rock than some of the other stuff so it’s going to be interesting to figure out synth sounds and stuff to make them still fit the genre. We’re trying not to fall too far back into the roots of pop punk, of course the roots are still there, we still want ideas and trails of what The Latest Fallout was.
That sounds really awesome, you guys are clearly putting a lot of work into this. Where do you want to see the bad progress from here?
Axel: To break out of Hamilton would be great, having our album sell well so we can start touring it is the dream, to have music you’ve written received well and liked is the dream. With this album I really want to see a finished product and I’m excited to see where it goes from here especially with all the new songs.
Dan: Yeah hopefully getting more mainstream ’cause with the last album it was very punk/pop punk, and not radio friendly I guess. I feel like this stuff is more accessible to most people, like casual listeners.
Before we head off I have three fan questions lined up. Charlotte wants to know “what are your favourite colours?”
Brendan: I think mine would probably have to be blue and grey, like if I had blue eyes I would wear a grey tee-shirt all the time.
Axel: I’d say green is my favourite colour.
Dan: Damn those are the two I was going to say
Axel: You can say them
Dan: I can’t choose between the two. Probably green, I’ll go with green. It’s more natural of a colour.
Hayley wants to know “If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?”
Axel: Ooh I toss-up between the ability to fly
Dan: Planes man
Axel: But that’s so expensive
Dan: Imagine how tiring that would be though, how are you going to do that?
Axel: Like superman, I’m not gonna flap. But yeah either that or elasticity, I think that would be pretty cool.
Dan: I saw an awesome answer to this once and it was the power to refill things. No seriously think about it, literally anything, your bank account, just fill it up. Someone you don’t like, just fill up their bladder. Your phones dying, fill up your battery.
Axel: That’s actually really cool, I think I’ll stick to elasticity
Brendan: If I could be invisible I could hear what people were saying about me without them knowing
Dan: Ooh or my other one would be to control time, I could freeze time
Those are all really super. Liam wants to know “What are all of your favourite bands/artists?”
Axel: That’s a rough question. As of right now my favourite band is Polyphia.
Dan: My favourite band of all time would have to be My Chemical Romance, but lately I’ve been listening to Neck Deep and The Amity Affliction.
Axel: Brendan is it Paramore for you?
Brendan: Well they’re one of my inspirations but they’re not quite my favourite band. My favourite artist would easily have to be Chris Brown, oh and Ed Sheeran, and Panic! At The Disco, definitely Panic! At The Disco, more than Paramore actually.
Axel: There are just so many great bands. Got any more for us today?
No actually, that’s all I have for you guys today. Is there anything you would like to add?
Axel: Well I’d just like to thank Discourse NZ for interviewing us, and Lil Discourse for helping us out and hanging out today it’s been cool as. As well as a big thanks to Fairfield College for having us today and for letting us sit here for ages to do the interview.
Brendan: Just to encourage everyone to like our pages and follow us if they like our sound.
Follow us on everything, Facebook, Spotify, but not twitter ’cause we never use it.
Check out The Latest Fallout’s video for the single ‘Blue Neon’ below:
Follow and listen to The Latest Fallout on Spotify
Follow The Latest Fallout on Facebook
Featured photo: Hannah Rolfe Photography NZ