Listology: Nava of The Last Place You Look's Favorite Vocalists
This weekend Thee Armada gets a proper send-off at the band's supposed final show ever at Warehouse Live Saturday night. Armada singer Josh Caddy is moving on to another band, and his bandmates are calling it a day. Some of Houston's best alt-rock bands are opening, including The Last Place You Look, Mechanical Boy and American Fangs, to send Thee Armada out on a heady wave of love. Justin Nava is the lead singer of The Last Place You Look, and with his burly baritone he has brought a level of soul to a genre that is sadly known for screechy highs and boyish yelps. It's safe to say if the sweetly bald and bearded former "Houston Music Fight Club" contender ever walked away from rock and roll, we could give that Robin Thicke asshat a fun for his sleazy money, just saying. We asked the barrel-voiced Nava what some of his favorite musical voices were and how they influenced him, and his choices were actually rather startling. Well the last one at least. We didn't realize he was in Six West back in the day. Rocks Off is pretty sure they played a Battle Of The Bands he promoted back in the day. This Nava character has been following us for a decade. Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing)
"I heard a line in a song on rice radio 'Where you grip her love like a drivers license' and was hooked. I had no clue who the band was. Years later went to buy the CD that had 'Super Bon Bon' on it, Irresistible Bliss, and got the wrong one and rediscovered the mystery song was actually 'True Dreams Of Wichita.' His lyricism has always really seemed really left field but super insightful, and his solo stuff is badass too. I met him once in my singer-songwriter days, and he was nice enough to have a beer with me."
Mike Patton (Faith No More)
"There are a lot of mid- to late-'90s bands who influenced me, and it seems that all those singers were heavily influenced by him. People like Daryl Palumbo from Glassjaw and Brandon Boyd of Incubus mostly. I looked back and saw they were all derivative of him. Especially love his work with Dillinger Escape Plan and the Lovage project. He's one of those guys who can pull off everything and really characterizes his vocals. I've always dabbled in many styles, and there's always something of his that I can look to no matter what it is."
Raine Maeda (Our Lady Peace)
"I have always loved this band. Raine's ability to write great radio-rock choruses with reality-tinged and hopeful themes has always been in line with my own views. With The Last Place You Look going for bigger choruses, I often find myself looking back towards their albums. His ability to work low vocals into high falsettos has been really helpful in helping me execute some of the things I write, but can't normally pull off with my low-ass voice."
"The first band I was in, Six West, was a funk-rock fusion band. Kids in their punk rock phase would be rocking Screeching Weasel and I would retort by blaring the Commodores or Parliament at the age of 13. So the king of soul, if not all frontmen, to me will always be James Brown. He is one the coolest cats in all of history, and I've always studied his live performances. Also, screaming in pop music before hardcore has never successfully pulled off, and that makes me love him even more. Essential viewing for anyone is the interview directly after he got out of jail when he was still trashed and he exclaimed 'I feel good, papa's got a brand new bag, and it's a man's world!'"
"She has always been raw and honest to me. She was more of an influence on the singer-songwriter stuff I don't really do anymore, but from her early stuff to her more jazz stuff she's always been intense. I started out playing trombone before I became a singer, so I'm a little partial to the jazz stuff but the early stuff like 'Grey' really hits home."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.