The Last Exposure are a four piece alternative rock band from Sydney who believe in equality and making things bigger and louder. Members Chelsea Barnes, Hayley Curran, Nathan McCulloch and Jake Doran met and formed whilst studying their music degrees at JMC Academy in Sydney. They are currently trying to find themselves a pedestal, through working on their music and message to connect with their audience. Wanting to shock audiences with their big sound and their even bigger personality, they aim to inspire people with their passion. Believing in their hard work, with a whole lot of heart and dedication, The Last Exposure know the dream can become reality. We caught up with group member Chelsea Barnes for a chat to see how the group are travelling.
How would you describe your music in just 3 words? Dramatic grunge pop.
Tell us a little about yourselves, and how you came about as a band? The band describes me as our pop rock princess, Hayley is our alternative rock chick, Nathan’s the heavy metal guy and Jakes our niche music guru. The combination brings what we like to call our hemisphere. We girls made the decision to form the band as a uni project whilst studying, which lead us to take it more seriously and become a band. So saw our first show at the Valve in January this year.
How would you describe your sound? Deep, complex, powerful and strong. We draw from many genres to develop a sound that hits you and won’t make you turn away. It’s been stated to us that we don’t limit ourselves to specific venues because we are too light or too heavy. Drawing from so many genres while keeping that pop aspect is very important, so the songs that aren’t “fun to play” or “easy to listen to” will go out of rotation quickly.
You say in your bio that you aim to inspire people, what artists do you draw inspiration from? Each band member has inspiration from their own sets of artists, which influence us individually bringing together The Last Exposure. We draw from big acts known for their amazing, energetic and dramatic live shows and large personalities such as lady Gaga, Muse, Queen and Led Zeppelin. We also take from festival bands and smaller or even unknown acts which shows our versatility; like Manchester Orchestra, System of a Down, Violent Soho or The Jezabels. We understand that everyone is individual and has different taste, being able to use many inspirations gives us the ability to slip into many people’s hearts.
What is your proudest moment so far as a band? Recently we organised a private cruise gig on Sydney Harbour, this was a new and exciting experience for us and the day finished with us as proud as ever with what we had accomplished. This was the moment that we realised we can achieve whatever we are aiming for. Besides this big moment, every milestone, set back or small accomplishment we had together are proud moments for us.
Did you find your music degrees from JMC helpful towards your music career? If so, in what ways? We all learnt a wide variety of topics at JMC. Each of us took a shine to different subjects. I took a shine to performance and songwriting, whereas Hayley would be much better at the business and the technology subjects. Nathan and Jake are both performance based musicians, when at JMC were in several bands. At one point, Jake was shared across five bands in total. If tomorrow we split up, we would know what to do because of what we learnt there.
When will you be putting out an official release and what can we expect from it? We are holding off on an official release until we have a larger audience to pass it onto. For now, there will be a few unofficial releases to put out for free. When we put out an official release, there will be a lot of planning involved, such as music videos, promo photoshoot, merchandise, support acts, venue hire, advertisements, sponsorship and the EP/LP will be a high production quality. When this happens, it will be a big deal that many people will know about. And yes, we have started setting the groundwork.
What advice do you have to other young musicians trying to break into the music industry? Make friends! Our first opportunities were through people we met at a gig, which lead to another gig, and it’s been snowballing from there. Don’t be afraid to contact anyone and everyone. The worst case scenario: “mark as read”. We have done 16 gigs this year and only one we hosted, so gigs aren’t hard to find, you just need to ask politely. Be nice, people may think of you when they are organising a gig. We remember the names of the bands that the members were good people, this is not an industry you make enemies in.
If you could collaborate with any Sydney based artist or band, who would it be? The Jezabels are a band that we would be interesting in collaborating with. They are a band to look up to, being such a strong live act. The live performance is very important to us and we want to follow in their footsteps. They’re a dynamic four piece, which we are drawn to, and many concepts of instrument experimentation we have thought up they have already covered just from their basic songwriting. We believe they are the band we could learn the most from and aim for where they are today.
What can we expect to see from you guys for the rest of 2015? We are playing our first UBERfest show in August, we are excited to play at Convoy For Kids in September and another charity show that’s still in the planning stage in the same month. We are also planning studio time at the moment in preparation for our future release. Our YouTube is a little dusty at the moment, so we are working with some visual concepts to start adding to that.
Where we can we find more about you? Coming to our shows would be the best way to find out anything and everything. If not that, our Facebook and Instagram are good ways to discover us. Our SoundCloud is the best way to find out what we sound like and Triple J Unearthed is the best way to find out about upcoming shows.