Last Sleep are the latest in the talented rust-belt conveyor of heavy talent to emerge onto the scene.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Logan Stephenson - Guitar
Ethan Laymon - Vocals
Jared Hollister - Vocals
Bert Junior Saldana - Bass
Derek McIntyre - Drums
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Last Sleep? How long has the band been around?
Bert was the bassist and vocalist of Oceans Beneath Us, who are still very close friends of ours. Ethan was the vocalist and founding member of The Broken Scene, another metalcore band from Kalamazoo. TBS disbanded in 2016, and Bert reached out to Ethan in November of 2017 when Bert and Logan were looking for a clean vocalist for Last Sleep. We played our first show a month later. Derek joined the band almost a year later after our former drummer stepped down, and he had been in a couple area bands (Counting Flaws and Violent Vessel) prior to joining us.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Last Sleep is named after the 2014 Silent Planet EP “lastsleep (1944-1946).” We have never changed the name because it has stuck very well with us.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Logan writes all of the instrumentals, and if he really feels the emotion of a song he also writes the lyrics. Otherwise, Ethan handles lyric duties. Derek does handle a lot of reworking of the drum parts to fit his playing style and make them sound and feel more natural. Our upcoming release was completed before Jared was a member of the band, so we’re excited to see what he can add to the core sound in the future.
Almost all of our music is introspective to different facets of our lives. From religion to the loss of a family member. There’s songs about dealing with social anxiety too. I don’t think the topics we write about will ever change, but as we all grow and learn from these experiences I think how we write about them will.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
It’s hard to really pinpoint a set list of bands/artists that inspire us. We all have a very diverse taste in music that could be seen as inspiration in one way or another. Example, despite us not being in the same subgenre as them, Chelsea Grin has been a very important part of this band. Most of us have traveled out of state together to see them. While we may not write the same kind of music as them, they very much inspire us a lot. Other bands that we can all agree are a big inspiration for us are Ice Nine Kills, Like Moths to Flames, and The Plot In You.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
For Ethan, music has been a crucial part of his life since 2nd grade. But it wasn’t until the Alternative Press Spring 2012 Tour with Black Veil Brides, I See Stars, D.R.U.G.S., VersaEmerge, and Conditions that sparked his interest to start a band. Jared’s inspiration to start a band has always been A Day To Remember, specifically the “For Those Who Have Heart” era. Derek’s inspiration is Asking Alexandria. He even has one of the jean vests they used to wear on stage in the “Stand Up and Scream” days. Bert was inspired after seeing Lamb of God open for Metallica at his first concert. Logan was inspired to start a band after hearing Volumes, Veil of Maya, and Parkway Drive.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
Logan has a set of guitar warm-ups to do before each show while we set up. Bert has some similar ones for bass. Ethan has a lot of classical vocal warm-ups. Jared likes to scream along to some of his favorite bands in the car. Derek does a lot of leg stretching, which a lot of us join in on when we see him doing it. Other than that, the best way we prepare for a show is practice, practice, practice. If there’s a chance to do it the day of a show, we will run through our entire set and work out some small details to give the best performance we can.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
So far the biggest highlight for our band’s career has been getting a spot on Michigan Metal Fest this year. Getting the chance to play the same festival as Chelsea Grin was a huge step for us.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Blessthefall, The Word Alive, Crystal Lake, and Like Moths to Flames are 4 bands we’d all really like to tour with. All of those bands were crucial in getting all of us into liking this genre of music so getting the chance to share a stage with any of them would be a really great experience.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Our new EP “Hate All // Feel None” is out on September 27th. A lot of bands always say this, but this is the most excited we have been about anything we’ve written. A lot was put into this album to make it what it is, and writing it also brought out a sense of brotherhood in this band that every band should have.