The Last Element thrives on delivering emotive, heart on sleeve rock; searing melodic injections, riveting instrumentals and epic breakdowns, displaying an unequivocally accomplished delivery of their expansive and atmospheric sound.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Jasper Roelofsen – Vocals
Noah Grim – Guitars
Nick Polman – Guitars
Jan Bijlsma – Bass guitar
Robert Spaninks - Drums
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to The Last Element? How long has the band been around?
Bands that we have been involved in individually are Vengeance, Up The Irons, Symphony of Dreams, Consortium Project, Fixur and Serious. It involved international touring, major festivals and club shows. From cover in the early days to big band, rock, prog and metal.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Before The Last Element Nick, Robert and Jan played in the band ‘SeriouS’ for a couple of years. After the lead singer and guitarist left the band, we did some auditions for a new lead singer and guitarist. Everything really came together when we started TLE, the band has been around since late 2016 so almost 3 years now. When we started TLE it took some time before we could really come to the final line-up, but in this present one we’re stronger and writing better songs than ever!
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?
The writing process is different for each song, sometimes the instrumental parts are written in whole by one of the members and later vocals and lyrics will be added and in the recent months Noah, Jasper and Jan have really been working together to give songs their final touch. So we all write songs for TLE. In most cases Jan or Noah make a complete instrumental demo of an idea, which they will then bounce off to each other to refine. Jan will add synthesizers, ambient sounds and bass guitar.
The demos are then sent to Jasper to write kickass vocal lines that always come straight from his heart. Finally, they’re sent to Robert, so he can refine and track the final drums. We all agreed that lyrics should be written by Jasper. We do this to ensure that everything he sings really is heartfelt and is something he can relate to.
Call it therapy, using music to vent the current emotions that helps one to get through hardship. We don’t think the themes and topics will be the same, mostly Jasper writes about things that closely relate to his personal life at that time and hopefully that will change from period to period, central themes/topics are addiction, abuse, fear, loneliness but also hope, strength, love and perseverance.
On the other hand we really relate to important societal and generational issues that can really shape the themes of songs as well. In that way we believe that we as a society have too much segregation and the ‘Us vs Them’-mentality, which is something we really have to change if we want to achieve a better quality of living and ensure a good future. There are a lot of ways to translate that message into songs. We are not afraid to touch different topics as long as it fits within TLE boundaries.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Still some old school bands, Linkin Park, Alter Bridge, Drowning Pool, 30 Seconds to Mars, Spineshank, Shinedown and Nickelback but also the new sound of Bring Me The Horizon, Red, Breaking Benjamin, Volumes, I Prevail, Normandie and Too Close To Touch. Bands like Of Mice & Men, Asking Alexandria and Nothing More are definitely also benchmarks when it comes to song quality, energy and their modern sound.
Actually there are so many bands on our list that it’s hard to say, but we’ve also been inspired by Three Days Grace, Nirvana, Seether, Bullet For My Valentine, Hoobastank (Jasper), TesseracT, Periphery, Northlane and Architects for some of my heavier riffs (Noah) Everything that is done , sounds inspiring or challenging. From classic to classic rock and jazz to metal (Robert). Linkin Park and Nickelback inspired me to pick up my guitar and play some heavy riffs (Nick). It has always been about the song first for me and many good songs have been written, performed by some very talented performers, so hard to single out any of them, but if I have to, any song played by Phil Lynott (Jan).
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Jasper: No I knew I wanted to be a Rockstar at the age of 6, didn’t even play an instrument or listen to rock that much… I just knew apparently cause I wrote it down in my dreams and aspirations book I had back then.
Noah: For me, no. I just loved music and playing guitar. However, I was very dedicated to start my first real band (not The Last Element), which I did, after getting kicked out of the band of my local music school. So that was probably my main inspiration, haha!
Robert: No, 27 years ago after I filled in for a workshop the phone rang and the lead singer of a local famous rock cover band told me he saw me perform and despite I was 16 and the rest of the band 26, they were adamant that I was going to be their new drummer. After 10 days I played the first gig of 40 songs. We never lost touch!
Jan: I started out as a drummer but there were too many good drummers available in my hometown and there were hardly any bass players, so I swopped to bass instead. When I saw Phil Lynott perform on the Live and Dangerous concert video, I was sold to the bass. Then I discovered how inventive Paul McCartney was with bass parts on all the Beatles and Wings songs, it got me looking at the functionality of the bass in a song in a whole different perspective.
Nick: When I was young I listened to Linkin Park (Album Hybrid Theory) and Nickelback (Album Silver Side Up) a lot and these bands inspired me to pick up my guitar and play some heavy riffs.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
Jasper: Always flexing a lot in front of the mirror…. Nah not really. Mostly just chilling making sure my head is in the game. Vocal exercises I sometimes forget, then always regret… So yeah vocal exercises should be mandatory making sure that my vocal chords are nice and warm and I can reach all those high notes.
Noah: Basic warm-up routine, not eating any spicy food and all-round trying to feel good. Having the right energy on stage is everything!
Robert: Trying to completely shut-down 10 minutes before showtime, some warm up rudiments and fills to loosen up.
Jan: Trying to figure out what the hell Lenny Susskind got the inspiration from to come up with his Snare Theory J …oh well, not really. Wait, yes, that’s it actually!
Nick: Just being myself and relax a bit so I can focus on the show.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Our latest song Forgot About The Sun was selected for new metal tracks alongside artists like Slipknot, Korn and all the greats, which was pretty epic! We are also still in the New Blood list which is a thrill 😊 ! Our artist profile is growing and growing on Spotify and more and more people are joining the bandwagon which is really cool to see, we are already very humbled and glad to have really nice and loyal fans out there! We’ve had a really cool support act for Skillet in a sold out Tivoli, which was epic! The best part, however, was the response from the crowd afterwards.
There were so many people who had never heard of us coming to our merch stand to buy a t-shirt, wanting a picture or an autograph or just striking up a friendly conversation. Nothing beats that! We played with these guys before in 013 Tilburg, but we think we will go for the show in Tivoli. The amount of streams of the released singles is another thing! If those were physical copies like in de 90s we would now have owned a big ass boat. We’re about to release a new banger… which is not yet a highlight… but we got so many cool songs ready to be released that we believe there will be many more highlights soon !!
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Damn, we would love touring with all the bands we listen to, could not really pick which ones.
But if we could pick an all-star dream team: Linkin Park with Chester mean total inspiration shaped so much of what we think and feel in music. Bring Me The Horizon, would be such an epic fit especially if they would do a lot of the That’s the spirit album! Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, Seether Would be cool to have a package deal with all 6 of us 😉 For Robert it would definitely be Toto with Jeff Porcaro, he would love to sit beside the stage and look at that craftsmanship.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Of course… CHECK US OUT!! We want to really get out our message, which lies in feeling left out, having scars and feeling like there is no place you really belong. Being afraid of hardship and the people closest to you. Don’t be afraid, wear your scars with pride, don’t forget the sun. Have faith in yourself and that there is so much more out there.
We as a band and our individual members have gone through a lot of shit, but use it as fuel to ignite your flame. Go check us out, join us and unite! We are just starting and would love to have you with us on this journey and don’t forget to drop us a line!
We’d like to thank Kill The Music for showing interest in The Last Element and wanting to do an interview. Thanks guys!