Artist Interview: No big deal or anything, but The Last Internationale is on tour with Robert Plant
What’s better than sultry folk with a punk edge to it? Sultry folk having a punk edge and soaked with a political agenda, says we.
Co-founders of The Last Internationale Edgey Pires and Delila Paz met one quaint and cozy evening over a cup of coffee and a chat about how much society blows. Armed with the rage of a million student loan debts and voices that could easily initiate a revolt while simultaneously coo a child to sleep, they formed the band, and have looked toward social revolution via melodic protest and thought-provoking lyrical choice since.
In its few short years of existence, the band has been fortunate enough to tour with legends such as Neil Young and Robert Plant, lead singer and songwriter of the classic rock nobility Led Zeppelin. This Saturday, Oct 4, at The Fillmore The Last Internationale will line up with Plant on his headlining tour as main support for his Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters band.
Get your clipboards and neighborhood petitions ready because it will be a politically fueled evening full of societal disgust and great music that will make you want to get up and do something … like write an inspirational Facebook status.
Baby steps, people.
We’ve noticed a lot of socially conscious lyrics in your songs; at what age did you realize that you wanted to make a change?
Delila Paz: Very early in my life, I think grade school. I started getting involved with Green Peace and environmental causes around 3rd grade. I knew that we weren’t living in a very natural way. I use to get little kid books that were about indigenous cultures and felt that we should live as nomads.
Is Edgey your god-given name?
Edgey Pires: I guess you can say it was god-given; he’d probably have named me Edgey. But, it was a nickname I was given at birth.
What do you hope happens when people hear your music?
Paz: We hope that it both, raises awareness and makes people want to take action. A lot of our fans are just so active already and really politically conscious. It’s our fans; I really have to give it up to them. One of them was at the Climate March and he put a picture up of his child holding an environmental sign and sent it to us. That was really amazing.
If you were to choose one thing to revolt against currently, what would it be?
Pires: Oppression because it pretty much covers everything that this band is fighting against. It takes many forms. We’re about to start a campaign trying to encourage students not to pay their student loans because education is a basic right. Education should be free; it is an innate right. We want students to follow in Delila’s direction and not pay them back.
You have one hour before you go on stage-what do you do?
Paz: I always have to have some moments alone to center myself. I noticed I do a lot of bouncing, like getting my blood flowing. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of gospel music, like Mahalia Jackson.
Pires: It depends on what kind of show. We like to keep things different every time. Before a show there’s reflection time, each band member pumps themselves up, and each other. We sometimes do the group huddle thing even though it sounds cheesy. We also do this, like, gladiator thing. We just want to give it our best.
If you could each only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Paz: ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ by Bob Dylan
Pires: Shit, I don’t want to be on this planet or deserted by myself with just one record. I’d rather commit suicide. We are good friends with this American Indian, and he can’t understand how white people have a hierarchy for things, because in his language they don’t have a word for better or greater. Things shouldn’t be compared as better or worse because there’s a lot of shitty fucking music out there and it gets hard. I’m trying to keep the band in check. But, I like anything pretty much from the blues or folk idiom. I would probably go to Robert Johnson.
Name some things that contributed to your latest album ”We Will Reign.”
Paz: The Road, conflict, most of our songs are written with a different formula. Current events and the amazing people we’ve met on the journey so far. Woody Guthrie, he’s influenced me in so many ways. Our interactions with fans, friends and enemies. A whole lot of oppression, conflict and the war that’s going on.
Pires: History, social movements and people that came before us. We believe that music should be empowering and that nobody should ever feel left alone. Charlie Chaplin and the 1968 revolution in France influenced the last song on the record. Yearning, the struggle and fight for a better world. We want a different society where people don’t have to feel like they’re no good.
What has been your favorite city to play in?
Pires: I personally don’t have a favorite city – each city is different – I feel guilty if I choose a city over another. We always give 100 percent, and we always try and give the best show possible. Of course in some cities the crowds may be a little rowdier and then some cities they want to take in the lyrics more. We’ve gotten the most feedback from Liverpool. People are still talking about the show when we opened up for Neil Young.
Who would be your favorite artist to go on tour with?
Pires: Robert Plant is definitely someone on our list; it’s a dream touring with Robert Plant, and it was also a dream touring with Neil Young.
Any parting words for Denver?
Paz: We never want to part with Denver! We look forward to seeing you. After the show we always love to talk with our fans and sign autographs and answer any questions you may have.