We were invited into Letlive’s dressing room for a quick chat with Ryan and Jeff before they head on stage to support the almighty Deftones. They’ve been hard at work touring intensively and writing their highly anticipated follow up to Fake History and although we didn’t get much gossip on the new record they have been working on it for a long time and are very excited about its release!
So you’re touring with Deftones which must be pretty awesome, hows it been going so far?
Ryan- Its pretty awful…
Ryan- No, I’m kidding! Its great, its absolutely wonderful.
Have you been hanging out with them?
Ryan- Yeah. They’re really sweet guys.
Jeff- I didn’t expect that at all, they are just so welcoming. The very first night we met everyone and today we were all hanging out like we’ve been friends for years.
Ryan- We actually found out that they live very near us, or a few of them do or one of them specifically, its pretty cool.
Letlive are well known for your explosive live performances, have there been any that have stood out as being particularly crazy?
Jeff- We’ve only had one show on this tour.
Ryan- Last night was very fun, most recently the most fun I’ve had in a little while was the last day of the Underoath tour.
Jeff- That’s one of the best shows I think I’ve ever played in my life.
Ryan- It was the last day of that last tour and it was an outdoor venue and it was amazing. It was a really, really beautiful night, it was really fun. I ended up accidentally smashing the neck of my bass which was kind of awful.
Jeff- It was so emotional, so energetic, so much adrenaline, it was perfect. That was a perfect night.
I saw you support Enter Shikari a couple of years ago in Birmingham and Jason was climbing onto the balcony, have there been any close calls or moments when you though ‘Shit, I probably shouldn’t have done that’?
Ryan- He’s been all right, usually we get a slap on the wrist more often than not.
Jeff- Was that the day he climbed up the balcony with all the warning signs?
Ryan- There’s one we he climbed up a balcony that was like 150 years old and it was about to fall through and they were pissed, that was not a good day but yeah he does that occasionally.
2011 saw the re-release of your critically acclaimed album Fake History, what do you think it was about that album that made people stand up and take notice of your band?
Ryan- Hopefully the music? I don’t want to be presumptuous and say that we created something that made people identify with but it would be nice to believe that. I mean we’ve been touring so much and hopefully that’s been helping that music that we created, that we felt something for out there. I think the main purpose for us writing in general is to share the sentiment.
Jeff- Fake History almost came with a package deal, you sit home and you listen to this record and then you go watch it live and its like a whole different experience. Its 2 great treats for everybody.
Ryan- The previous stuff no one was really involved with it except for Jason, he was in high school and it was a long time prior to it, literally half a decade, 5 years. In that Jason actually convened from a different area in our city, everybody slowly came in and then we created the album that’s where this group started. The prior albums we nod to them, they’re part of it but to a degree Fake History was kind of the début.
So does 2013 mean new music from you guys?
Do you have a release date at all?
Ryan- Hopefully the beginning of summer.
Ryan- Not announce-able yet.
Have you sorted all the artwork out?
Ryan- Yeah, its coming together now. We’ll have as much as we can as soon as we can.
Jeff- We’re trying to get things done based around our intense tour schedule, it gets kind of crazy sometimes.
The last couple of years have seen a real resurgence in vinyl, is that something you’re into and are you planning on releasing the new record on vinyl?
Ryan- We actually have a lot of concepts we being going over for releasing physical, tangible pieces for people to have for keepsakes. Vinyl we absolutely love, I think its a great piece of art to be honest. Its nice having a larger format and being able to convey any art you’d like to go along with it. Its more so a keepsake, I think a lot of people do enjoy listening to it but on top of that its nice having that nice piece of art. Its whatever conventional nowadays which is usually mp3s which is unfortunate to a degree as far as the art is concerned, at least the music is speaking for itself.
You’ve toured the UK a few times, any places you particularly love to tour?
Ryan- We do love London. Actually we really like this venue to be honest, a lot of the UK in general. I love touring over here, I think we all do, its kind of like a home away from home. We are used to doing everything on our own at home, driving ourselves around so when we come over here its kind of nice for someone to do that for us.
Jeff- We’ve had some great shows and memories at the venue.
Ryan- Some really good ones.
Jeff- Great vibe, there’s always a good vibe.
So when you’re not touring or writing what do you like to do to relax?
Ryan- Me personally, I love to just veg out, I used to be so against doing nothing when I was younger nowadays we move so much and there’s so much going on when I get home I just want to sit and do absolutely nothing a lot of the time.
Jeff- We’ve been working on this next record over a year now and every time we’re not touring we’re working on that. I honestly don’t even remember what I used to do or what I used to like to do. If I have one day off I’m stuck in the studio, if I have a weekend off, stuck in the studio. Oh, I’m going to plan this nice romantic date with my girlfriend walk on the beach, watch the sunset; in the studio! To make up for it I go on this website called You tube and I’m like ‘Look we’re at the beach, there’s the sunset, oh, I’ve got to track this now!’
Ryan- I’ve had 2 days to myself over the last month or so that I didn’t have to think about anything, that’s how intense the whole process has been.
Looking back to 2012 any particular records that stood out for you?
Ryan- Alt-J, that album they released called An Awesome Wave, I listened to that a lot last year.
Any local bands back in California that we should check out?
Jeff- Night Verses
Ryan- Night Verses are friends of ours, we are actually going to be touring with them when we get home.
Jeff- We’re in the middle of a headliner actually, we’ve finished episode one of two I guess in the States and there’s this new band on tour called Harvard. They’re not necessarily a local band, they tour a lot but we just started listening to their music and they’re really nice people, they’re great all around.
Ryan- They’re an awesome band, I’d love to be able to bring them here, they’re really, really good.
Jeff- Yeah, they’re awesome.
Ryan- Nothing like us, so don’t expect us!
So what are your plans for the rest of 2013?
Ryan- Tour and release, we’re booking more up till the end of the year. We have one month off then we go back on tour with these guys in Australia. Its just constant, we’re just constantly going. Its what we’re used to I guess.
Jeff- I’m sure once the record comes out its going to be like 2 more years after that, maybe 3.
Ryan- You tour in order to complete another cycle then you tour more, it just never stops.
Do you actually get to see any of the places you play in?
Ryan- When I’ve been in a city a few times then I feel like I’m exploring more and it definitely depends on the tour. If we’re opening a tour there’s less time, if your playing later in the day you have more time to yourself and you can go out. It sucks when you end your set too late though because the city’s closed and you can’t see much.
Jeff- It’s definitely when we first started coming out here, the excitement, you wanted to go out. Even if you got 10 minutes you’d run out on the street just to look at something. I know around here there’s an awesome castle, ‘screw lunch, screw dinner, I’m going right to this place!’
So you’re pretty busy with Letlive, any chance of any side projects?
Ryan- There’s really no time for that.
Jeff- Even if you did, I think about that sometimes, being a song writer. ‘ Yeah I’m going to do that just for fun’ but I think its going to be my personal relief because what the hells the point? We spent 6 months recording this record we’re really excited. I think everyone’s focus is this new album 100%.
Many thanks to Ryan and Jeff for taking the time out of their busy schedule to sit down with Birmingham Live. Top notch guys and I for one can’t wait for the new record.
Hannah Sebestjanowicz - February 2013