Every week we ask a creative, artisan, or musician to share what music gets them going from dawn to dusk. This week, Australian indie rockers Last Dinosaurs blast a selection of anthemic tunes that rock their day.
Last Dinosaurs are anything but prehistoric. The Brisbane indie rockers are constantly in search of ways to develop their buoyant sound further. After the release of their acclaimed sophomore Wellness in 2015, Last Dinosaurs took a hiatus and packed the bare essentials (including a mini-studio—one mic, one interface, speakers, a computer and a few instruments) and travelled to the isolated town of Arita, Japan. Did you know: Sean and Lachlan Caskey, are of Japanese heritage, so in some ways, this was a pilgrimage to find their roots.
There, Yumeno Garden blossomed and spawned the infectious 'Eleven'. The single possessed the irresistibility of the swirling guitars, boom-boom-bap drumming, and Caskey’s dynamic vocal performance recalling Discovery-era Daft Punk.
We had a quick chat with Sean Caskey on performing in Singapore again and why Last Dinosaurs love being on the road.
ESQ: Tell us how Yumeno Garden came about.
Last Dinosaurs: After our second album Wellness we took a bit of time off to relax and holiday and find inspiration for the next bunch of songs we were to write. Lach travelled through the US and Mexico and connected with the culture there. I went back to Japan and spent time in the countryside where we ended up recording a portion of this album.
Funnily though most of the album was written in our own studios back in Brisbane. Japan recording was like a big lesson for us. We came home and suddenly realised how the album was going to sound and how it was going to be recorded. DIY was the ethos we discovered was going to work the best of us. So we went ahead and completely crafted the album ourselves which was something we had never dared to try before.
ESQ: What got you guys started in music and who are your musical heroes/inspiration?
Last Dinosaurs: When I was in grade 9 I was walking past the lounge room and 12:51 by The Strokes was on the TV. It took me by surprise, and I stood in the middle of the room in shock at how amazingly cool this music and video was. It’s like I had spent my whole life looking for something to show me what the coolest thing was, and it’d just been put right in front of me.
The next year I started playing the guitar and my teachers were The Strokes. I learnt all of the songs from the first two albums which taught me an interesting style of playing. Today my guitar playing still employs techniques that those guys used, and I think helps to give us a more unique sound.
ESQ: Touring can be exhausting but fulfilling. Tell us something unique or memorable when performing live.
Last Dinosaurs: I always remember the faces of our fans when they are all dancing and having a good time. I also love stage diving if the gap between the crowd isn’t too far. Haha. That’s the best thing about playing in clubs.
ESQ: Why do a music stopover in Singapore again and what do you guys look forward to the most being back here?
Last Dinosaurs: First of all, I must say it’s the fans. Our loyal fans have always been good to us so we are looking forward to playing to them and hopefully some new ones too! Of course, food is high on the agenda too so I’m keen to explore some of the good restaurants in town.
ESQ: What's next for Last Dinosaurs after this tour?
Last Dinosaurs: Album four should be in the works by the time touring has finished so we can get back on the road again ASAP. Cause that’s what we love doing most. Travelling the world and playing to our awesome fans.
“It's no secret amongst my friends that I'm not a morning person. Maybe I was a nocturnal creature in my past life. I need everything I can get to wake me up and chill me out. Give me some nice dream pop please and I'll be on my way.”
1. ‘Sleep Apnea'—Beach Fossils
"First thing that hits my ears in the morning has to be kind and gentle. Beach Fossils gently caress the thin membrane of my eardrums as I slowly sip on my coffee. It took me a while to get to like Beach Fossils but this song got me hooked. The way the drummer plays his snare in this makes me wanna start moving."
2. ‘Never Comin' Back’—Golden Daze
"This song has a great summery vibe that never fails to make me feel happy. When I want to listen to music at any time of day this is usually the first track I'll put on. It reminds me of a puppy running through a grassy field or something. Just the imagery I need to distract myself from the nightmares of my reality."
3. 'After The Moment'—Craft Spells
"So I'm on my last couple of sips to my coffee. It's about time to put my shoes on and get out there. This song not on makes me want to move but now I'm marching with my knees up high. Craft Spells has a lot of great songs but this one is his grooviest. I love ultra happy-sounding music, most of the time I barely listen to lyrics but if they are melancholic then I'll feel it automatically. I'm ready for the day to come."
“During the day I like to be challenged by the music I'm listening to, so I span genres. I approach day time listening like going to a museum and looking at things I don't quite understand but enjoy the sight. There is still a connection and I like to explore and reveal the meanings of these connections. Sometimes you can find the music you love that you never thought you could get your ears around. I'll have two punk songs and a curveball please.”
1. 'Call The Dogs Out'—The Garden
"I love the video for this song too, it's one of those songs where the video makes no sense at all but makes the band and the music as a whole make more sense. It's just bass and drums but it feels so complete. Always sparks a bit of a fire in my heart every time I hear this song."
"One of the greatest punk bands from the UK of all time without a doubt. A highly influential band who have created so many albums. This song is one of their poppiest songs, just has a great vibe to it. Good for going head first through the day."
3. 'Running Naked'—Mike Cooper
"This is your curveball. Curveballs make me think. I like music that confuses me. I want to try to get in the mind frame to understand it. In the Tropical Gothic album, this song springs out of the droney dark soundtrack/avant-garde music like a bright coloured jack in the box! It's a strange album to listen to but this song really took me by surprise. Makes me think of a virtual island paradise in a tropical apocalypse."
“I like to party but this next section is going to be curated on three phases of a night in. It's not a normal night in though, it's like a chilled gathering at your house and it's like a mini club in there. We get the groove going, then we skip forward in time and you're back in bed at the end of the night and we get some nice synth drench Debussy."
1. 'Grind'—Les Sins
“This is actually Toro Y Moi. The genius has so much content he has side projects too, I don't know how he does it. Anyway, the day is done and it's time to get in the zone. This will get you in the mood guaranteed. It's not too intense, but it has enough energy to get you grooving. ”
2. 'Use Ya Mind'—MNDSGN
“It's about 1 or 2 am and things are still popping but it's time to wind down a little. This song is awesome for keeping the vibe but injecting you with a bit of jazz piano like being dipped into a warm chocolate fondant.”
3. 'Suite Bergamasque: Clair de Lune, No. 3'—Isao Tomita
“I found this record in a junk area of a shop essentially. The title 'Snowflakes Are Dancing' caught my eye. The back of the record sleeve also just listed all the gear used to create the album which comprised of very vintage 70's synth gear. I found this intriguing and took it home. It's a beautiful synth album comprising versions of Debussy's tone paintings. Listening to it is like falling into a dream that you've been waiting for your whole life.”
Enjoyed the tracks? Check out our other ‘Dawn to Dusk’ playlists curated by guest artists each week and follow our Apple Music profile to access our playlist first when it's out.