Houston Music

Artist of the Week: thelastplaceyoulook

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

We're fairly big fans of the unkempt, lo-fi, super-indie-rock band sound. (Giant Princess is one of our favorite bands around, and they're probably the super-indiest of all the super-indie local bands.) We even have a pair of red Vans, and whenever people ask us how we feel about certain bands we always say, "Well, their older stuff was really good, but we just can't get into the new stuff."

But sometimes you just need to hear some properly gigantic-sounding mega-rock. And for that, the roughly six-year-old powerhouse band thelastplaceyoulook is about as good as it gets. They're booming and thunderous and make us want to run really fast. So we hit them up and had them answer a few questions for us.

Rocks Off: Give us a brief rundown of y'all's history.

thelastplaceyoulook: We started out of my solo acoustic act. I [Nava,vocalist] was trying out Andy [drums] for a full-band version of my acoustic stuff and I accidentally stepped on a distortion pedal and we decided to change gears. Got our other three members and it's been the same five guys for the last six years.

Our current record is a big change from our previous sound, but we really wanted to expand our dynamic range and get our message to more people and we are super pleased with the results of this record.

Rocks Off: There's a part in "Don't Make It So Easy" where it feels somewhat messianic, right around when the background choir-ish vocals come in. Got that same feeling listening to "Band to Save Me" during the "sleep in the glory of all mankind" line. Is it y'all's intent to subtly imply that if Jesus and God put a rock band together, you would rock their shit in a Battle of the Bands contest?

tlpyl: I don't really know what to say. We don't feel that we can change or save people, but maybe more open them up to how they can facilitate that for themselves. We really want people to realize their own power to affect the change they want in their own lives themselves. Accountability isn't the most [rockish] theme, but it is something we feel can empower them to do great things for themselves and others.

RO: So just to be clear, you guys are not a Christian rock band, right?

tlpyl: No we are not a Christian rock band, but I hear He loves us anyway.

RO: Ha. If Jesus and God did start a band, what do you think they'd call it? Our guess: Apocalypse Now. It works on a bunch of different levels.

tlpyl: Big G and the Holy Rollers.

RO: Gotta ask: what's the story behind the name?

tlpyl: The name thelastplaceyoulook is actually a lyric from one of our first songs, but it's grown to mean something really important to all of us. It's the idea of finding the goal of your life and a place where everyone, no matter how far out there, feels we all belong together.

RO: Has anyone mentioned to you all that the cover to See the Light Inside You is very similar to My Morning Jacket's Evil Urges? Was that on purpose? "Highly Suspicious" was cool and all, but that seems a little weird.

tlpyl: The album work was a product of the album title and the work of Valentone Media. My Morning Jacket is a great band, but that was definitely not in our heads when we were working with them. Side note: the buildings are composited from the Houston skyline and Brooklyn, which is a city I'm in love with.

Check out thelastplaceyoulook online at www.myspace.com/thelastplaceyoulook. And see them live Saturday, July 11, at Warehouse Live.

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Shea Serrano