As we continue getting to know Toronto’s Last Bullet and frontman Bryan Fontez, we touched on topics such as song writing, cover songs, keeping true to one’s artistic vision, selling out, their local music scene and the future plans for the band.
On the earlier EPs, I felt the lyrics were more fun and “young band” type of material. On the last EP and the new track, there is a definite change. What is changing about the band to push out new ideas?
It’s a combination of things. Ultimately the first EP was written before I had joined the band, when everyone was in fact much younger lol. Brenden had written most of the music and then Mike our rhythm guitarist had written all of the lyrics. So if the songs sound a little more party oriented it’s because Mike’s influences are more along the lines of Motley Crue, AC/DC and Bon Jovi.
The only lyrics I wrote were for the song “Can’t Move On” and ultimately that was the audition that landed me the gig as the frontman. At the time Mike had vague idea’s about the vocal melodies for his lyrics so I had him hum and sing them to me the way he envisioned them and then I moulded them to my style and personality to make it feel more genuine when I sang them live.
The Love.Lust.Illusion. EP was the first time I had an opportunity to write songs from scratch with the band. So in a way that’s the first time you’re hearing the real/full Last Bullet with all the members. Mike wrote the lyrics for the song “State of Confusion” and I wrote the rest. I have a lot of similar influences to Mike lyrically but I think I naturally gravitate towards themes that are darker, edgier and a little more aggressive, so that’s probably why you noticed a difference in the lyrics and melodies.
But like I said before, we are all growing as individuals so you can expect our lyrics, music and themes to change constantly based on the experiences we have through life. It’s just a natural progression for us and you’ll definitely be able to hear a lot of our personalities in our music.
Bands just don’t rock much anymore, free from gimmicks. It is tempting to jump on a bandwagon and join a scene in order to be more successful?
Never. I mean money is great because it helps you open opportunities and do things you wouldn’t be able to do without it. But I’ll never understand a band that jumps on a band wagon or a scene in order to find success. That’s disingenuous and pathetic. You’re lying to yourself as an artist and you know full-well that nothing that you’re creating is coming from the heart.
Money means nothing to me. If it did I most certainly wouldn’t be a musician I can tell you that much. There is no money in this, and if you’re getting into it or writing music because you want to make money, then you’ve completely missed the entire concept of being a musician. I make music because I enjoy it, it might sound harsh but I don’t write music for anyone but myself first. I mean I hope people like it, I really do, but I don’t write it for them, I write it for me. And my standards are so high for the music that I create that hopefully the average person will dig it as well.
I’m also a professional DJ on top of being a songwriter. I’ve seen a lot of my peers and fellow musicians abandon their bands and start a solo career making EDM. Why? Because it’s quick, cheap and easy to do. It’s also way more popular right now and extremely easy to make a name for yourself in quickly. And although I appreciate some of that music and the people who make it, but what sounds more exhilarating and interesting to you…
Sitting in a bedroom and pressing buttons to make synthetic sounds and then pressing play live and mixing songs together for a bunch of people on drugs that will make you love anyone and anything OR singing lyrics from the heart, screaming at the top of your lungs and developing a chemistry with your band on stage during a 40 minute live set where anything can go wrong at any point in time, on any given night, where we’re all fighting, sweating, losing our minds and are completely focused on giving people the best live show imaginable.
In my opinion, they don’t even compare. I love shit that rocks, and I’ll die to keep it alive.
I really dig your acoustic cover of ‘Feel Like Making Love’ from 2012. Any other songs you have covered or would like to in the future?
Wow you really dug deep into our SoundCloud eh? lol. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen to our music and do your research. It’s refreshing most, people barely listen to our single before they interview us lol.
That cover was a lot of fun to do. It really get’s to show our skills vocally and as dynamic musicians. We love going acoustic and a lot of our songs start off that way. As far as covers go, we have quite a few we’ve done that we draw on from time to time. We normally only do one in a set, MAYBE two. Recently we’ve been doing our own version of Vasoline live. But the list of covers we’re known for doing are as follows…
Slither (Velvet Revolver)
Jailhouse Rock (Elvis)
Show Me How To Live (Audioslave)
Mr. Brownstone (Guns N’ Roses)
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be (AC/DC)
Bounce (Danko Jones)
What is the Toronto music scene like right now and who are some other up and coming bands we ought to check out?
The Toronto music scene is pretty damn good. There’s a lot of great music coming out of here, and there’s a great community of musicians who are super supportive of each other and come out to all the shows, festivals and events. Toronto is very eclectic and probably the most multi-cultural city in the world, so you’ll hear a lot of different styles and genres of music as well as a lot of different sounding types of rock bands.
As far as some bands that we enjoy playing with and are similar to in sound and attitude, there’s a bunch that we are really good friends with and would suggest for you to listen to. Fallen Heirs, Diemonds, The Lad Classic, Glass Ampp, Head of the Heard, The Standstills, just to name a few.
Bands we love and have played with outside of Toronto? Our boys in The Wild are from Vancouver and are a GREAT band. Open Air from Calgary are awesome. Monster Truck from Hamilton, The Sheepdogs from Saskatoon, I could go on and on. There’s a lot of great Rock N’ Roll coming out of Canada right now.
What touring or gigs if any is lined up for the near future?
Right now we’re in the middle of planning an East Coast Canada tour in May and we have plans do another tour sometime in September. Right now we are booked to play April 2nd at The Bovine Sex Club in Toronto.