How does a band that is unsigned and unheard on mainstream radio get heard in this time of format changes, painfully pricey concerts and watered down pop music flooding the scene? The answer is quite simple.
“We are promo whores.”
There you have it. There’s the key to getting your funky, head-bopping band known throughout the country.. or the world if your band’s name is Last Week. And I mean the world considering they recently finished a summer southeast Asia tour stopping in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines.
But let’s take this world domination train back a little bit. Back to Lawrence, New York where Michael Sherman, Ido Zmishlany, Neal Saini, Matthew Reich formed up to make this band and get the ball rolling.
Throughout grade school the future band mates would practice their instruments of choice: Clarinet, drums, sax, or trumpet and also listen to the albums that pushed them toward music in the first place. A full range of music like Counting Crows’ “August and Everything After,” Green Day’s “Dookie,” and the Beatles’ “Seargent Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” to name a few.
In 1998 the band came together and after a few trial band names (Great Scott, Apple Shampoo, 8-ball) the band settled on Last Week. Why? “Because we changed our band name so often that everybody would ask us, “What was your band’s name last week?’” said Reich, lead guitar.
After many years and many venues, the band has faced some challenges that come with being an independent band. “The most difficult challenges the band says to face are 1) giving up a lot of other things to do this and 2), not weighing other people’s opinions and rejections too heavily.”
But, being unsigned did not stop Last Week from getting heard on Z100 in New York, which is more then most bands can say. So, here is some sound advice from one DIY band to the eager readers out there.
“First of all, make sure your product is killer. If it’s not, keep on working hard on it till it is.”
“Second, make sure you know what kind of band you want to be- musical style, attitude, clothing, etc. “
“Third, find something that can make your band stand out from the millions of bands out there.”
This band’s got the musical talent and those heart wrenching words that make you say “I know what you’re talking about, man!” while having a big cry and a beer. Unless you’re not a sappy girl like me. Then you would notice that the band’s energy is matched by the cool riffs and catchy lyrics.
“Fourth, give up your life and play music and promote it yourself ’cause no one does it for you.” (Except when you have a good street team to help hang out stickers and fliers to promote the band everywhere they go like Last Week’s team called “The Criminals.”)
The band also tries to stay close to the fan base to get a real feel for who they are. “When kids get to meet us and hang out, it’s more fun for them and for us, and we get to see what our fans are all about and they get to see what we’re like,” says Reich.
And “busy” seems to be the word for what they’re like these days. Along with their Asia tour the band also spent the summer with the Warped Tour.
Practicing what they preach Last Week is currently working on their full length album as well as helping put some new blood into The Cars’ new album coming out next year.
You can find out more about Last Week by visiting the band’s web site at www.LastWeekRock.com.