Chain D.L.K.: Hello, The Last Dance, please introduce yourself. Who is in the band?Who is going to talk to us today? All of you? That would be nice!
The Last Dance: Rick: Hiya! We are The Last Dance, who consist of Jeff Diehm, vocals, PeterGorritz, bass guitar, and myself, Rick Joyce, guitarist. We have twoperforming members as well, Tom Coyne and Stevyn Grey, both drummers andgreat friends.
Jeff: (raises hand) Present.
Chain D.L.K.: Tell us about the story of this band; it has been a while you have been[heard from] in the music world.
The Last Dance: Jeff: It’s been a long time of keeping steady. Funny, really, how doingsomething like music can just become such a part of how you define yourselfas a person. I’m sure the time will come, but I really can’t imagine doinganything else with my life.
Peter: I joined up with these guys in 1994. I had met Rick on tour a fewyears before while he and I were both playing with other bands. Ironically,I was playing guitar in a band called The Shroud, and he was playing bass inThe Prophetess. I kept in touch and when I moved closer to them, starteddoing sound for them until they needed a bass player. I was bored, hadn’tplayed in a band in a while and needed a challenge and something to get meout of the musical rut I was in, so I bought a bass, learned some of theirsongs and got together with them to see if it clicked. Been with TLD eversince, and we have done, seen, and been through a lot in that time.
Rick: Yeah, Jeff and myself started The Last Dance in 1990. It was a funthing to do, something without rules or expectations so we really hadfreedom to be creative and do what we felt like doing. At first we had noidea anything would come of our little project, but as time progressed, westarted doing more and more shows, writing more and more songs, Peter joinedus and the band continued to progress, releasing our first CD in 1995…. Wewent through some great ups and some low lows, Playing some great events inMexico and then in 1997 we played in Europe for the first time. We werefirst signed by Apollyon Records in Germany in 1995 as well, and were withthem till 2003 when we moved to Dancing Ferret Discs in Philadelphia. Wehave toured now many, many times both in the US and in Europe, have a musicvideo out, and just recently [did] a documentary film called AlmostBeautiful which is basically a year with TLD and what it’s like instudio, on the road, at home, etc….
Chain D.L.K.: What are your projects for the next future, new albums, tours?
The Last Dance: Peter: Sometime later this year, we will be starting work on a new album.Lots of stuff is going on in the early part of the year, like me gettingmarried and everyone just organizing their lives and then we will sit down,talk about what we want to do and then hopefully do it.
Rick: Yeah, normally this is the time of year that works best for us to bewriting and recording a new record…but as Peter said it’s a busy time foreveryone and the band this year. We are doing some touring in April inEurope which will likely be taking us all the way to Pristina, Kosovo, andworking out details and traveling for that is a huge amount of business workfor myself, along with every other business thing I try to take care of. Asa band, I think it may be summertime where instead of touring like weusually do, we will focus on a new record. I have many ideas in my head andcannot wait to get them out into song, really!
Jeff: There’s always a new album in the works. I think the thing I’m mostlooking forward to, about the album we’re writing now, is how we’ve totallygiven up caring what happens with an album. We’re going to go out there andwrite the album we want and care much less about what happens with it. I’mlooking forward to writing the best album of our careers.
Chain D.L.K.: What is the source of inspiration for you when you write and how does thewriting process happen? Do you write all together or it comes from one ofyou?
The Last Dance: Peter: There is no set writing process. In the past, we have written songstogether while jamming, we have traded ideas back and forth until we had asong and some songs were mostly just written by one or two of us and thenironed out so that the end result is all of ours. With all of the stuffavailable in the computer world, it is easier to each sit in our own houseand trade ideas back and forth, but in the end we try to give it somethingextra so that the final result still sounds like a band.
Rick: My inspiration definitely comes from personal experiences, and howthey affect me, others, how it makes me feel inside, etc…. I tend to beone who keeps things inside and internalizes everything, and music is mycreative outlet for all the crazy things I keep inside…make sense? It’slike a therapy for me. As for the writing process, it seems to change everyalbum. The next one will be interesting because everyone lives in differentplaces now and in ways it will be the album that is least written togetheras each person writes and sometimes records his own parts at his own house.But as Peter said, generally a song idea is written by one person, but theneach person adds his style and ideas to it, making better and in the end, an”all of us” song, a TLD song….
Jeff: Writing used to be easier, but I think we’re better at it now. We usedto rehearse and write together several times a week. These days, as therealities of life and geography limit us more and more all the time, we thendo more individual writing and posting things online for each other to helpout with. Inspiration comes from the same place it always has…it’sreaching into the places of your life that you don’t want to go and turningall that confusing stuff into songs.
Chain D.L.K.: What kind of instruments do you use, hardware, software, digital, analog,when you compose…both?
The Last Dance: Peter: My main bass is a 5-string by Fernandes, though I am always on thelookout for something else like most gearhead musicians. I use an assortmentof guitars as well mostly to compose or map out an idea that Rick will laterreplace with his own guitar. I have played some guitar on the records, whoknows, maybe I will do more of that this album. We pretty much work in thedigital realm using computers. I have recently become a Mac convert and useDigital Performer in conjunction with Reason mostly, and whatever othersoftware I can get my grubby hands on. It’s all software-based though,except for the bass and some guitar.
Rick: I am actually a big gear freak, I do love my babies which are acustomized 1990 Ibanez guitar, left handed of course, with modifiedeverything basically, from the pickups to the bridge to the tuners…if youlook closely you can even see the laser cut rubies that rest under thestrings for tone and sustain…. Beyond that my sound comes from mycollection of analog effects and my pre-CBS Fender Showman and Roland JC120Hin stereo through my ’68 Fender cab…. Yep, love it. As for recording we gothrough a 32-channel Mackie board straight to digital from there. As forcomposing that is done digitally, and [what] tends to end up [happening] is,the ideas are good as pre-production versions of our songs, meaning when Iwrite a guitar, I will be at my house studio and just plug it in to get theidea down. But or the actual album song, I will record via mics on my guitaramps for my “real” sound. As for software we all use various programs andsuch, really too many to list.
Chain D.L.K.: Where do you live nowdays? Are you happy there or you wish you could livesomewhere else?
The Last Dance: Peter: I live in the San Diego area these days. I like it well enough,better than either L.A. or Orange County. Southern California is probablythe best overall place for me to live because of the consistent weather andbecause its convenient for what we do, but it’s definitely a love/haterelationship. I hate the traffic and congestion of Southern California, andI am not too crazy about the people in general a lot of the time. If I couldlive on a small island in the Caribbean and still do the things I need to doand get around easily, I would do that in a heartbeat. I grew up in PuertoRico, and am an island boy at heart, I guess.
Rick: I grew up and still live in Central Orange County. I have a townhomehere with my wife and two children, my friend and roommate Robert, and theoccasional random guests that pass through our house. I love living here, insouthern California where the big city is, but we are far enough away tohave peace and quiet as well. The weather is fantastic, I love it, basicallywe are in between the beach and Disneyland yet snow is only 1.5 hours away.>From all my travels, mostly with the band, I have seen and experienced manygreat and fantastic places in the US and in Europe, but at the end of itall, Cali’ is what I consider home and where if I could live anywhere, Iwould stay.
Jeff: I live in Costa Mesa. I can walk to a Starbucks, a laundromat and abar in 5 minutes. I’m set.
Chain D.L.K.: I saw your video, “Once Beautiful,” I love it (my mum does, too). Do youwant to talk about it? Who shot it? Where did it take place and what’s thestory of the song? Is there a place where people can find it…?
The Last Dance: Rick: Thanks! The video was both storied and created and directed by SandyCollora. The idea of the video and the story that it tells is Sandy’sinterpretation of our song, and basically his creation of thatinterpretation put into visuals. It was filmed in two different locations, adry sunflower field in south Orange County and then in one of our Californiadeserts, about 3 hours inland from where we live. It was a really new andgreat experience to the video as it was professionally done, from scriptingto filming to editing, and honestly on set with all the cast and crew wewere definitely the amateurs…ha-ha…but they treated us like stars and itwas really fun.The video is available online at a few places; the easiest is to go toeither http://thelastdance.com or http://www.myspace.com/thelastdance. Itwill be released as a bonus on our documentary film Almost Beautifullater in 2007 and is also currently available on Hot Topic’s latest DVD/CDCompilation “Asleep By Dawn Magazine Presents: DJ Ferret’sUnderground Club Mix #2.”
Chain D.L.K.: Do you have any other hobbies, interests, beyond music? What are yourfavorite foods?
The Last Dance: Peter: No real hobbies unless you count liquidating Nazis on the Xbox as ahobby (LOL). I am very interested in history, I love the history channel andam very interested in World War II in particular and am working oncollecting every WWII-themed video game I can get my hands on. Other thanthat, I watch movies, read a lot, horror and history themed stuff mostly,and I am also becoming a film/soundtrack composer. That is my main musicalthing outside of TLD, and I will probably have done my 7th or 8th soundtrackby the end of this year. I hope to get into some TV stuff too; I?d reallylike to do some documentary soundtracks. Foodwise I love all kinds of stuff.Asian, Puerto Rican/Cuban food and peanut butter being the favorites!
Rick: Honestly I do not have much time for anything besides what I lovedoing, music related stuff, whether it be playing, writing, mixing,producing, or handling the business side of everything, because I also am astay-at-home dad and look after my two children and do first grade homeworkwith my son…it’s crazy. Let’s see — when I do get some “free” time Iusually like to just rest, sleep, maybe go to a sporting event or watch agame on TV. Occasionally the Xbox. Yep…love that and of course there isthe internet and such, chatting with people and learning about them andtheir lives. I find people’s stories and ups and downs can be inspiring,plus I tend to like being a friend to those who need one. Favorite foods???Lets see: Soy taquitos, vegetable soup, avocados, anything Thai andCheerios.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you watch films? Your favourite films of all time?
The Last Dance: Peter: I love movies. I really love gorey, stupid horror movies, it’s myguilty pleasure. Zombies, vampires, all that stuff. Not so much into horrormovies that are about serial killers or things like that. I like monsters,supernatural stuff. Also anything historical especially good ol’ WWII, andfilm noir and gangster movies. But I can get into any movie that hassomething that touches a chord in me. Like the movie The Big Bluewhich is not horror, or history, just a movie that moved me. Other favoritesare Guillermo del Toro’s movies, The Godfather series, anything withJoe Pesci or Robert De Niro, Saving Private Ryan, Alien, too many tomention, really, and it always changes.
Rick: I am not really a movie person. I do like movies when I have time towatch them, but I rarely go to a theatre, etc. As for favorites, hmmm –they would be The Big Blue, all the Star Treks, Spinal Tap, Betteroff Dead, and of course Bring It On, saw that on cable and thereis nothing better than a bunch of cheerleaders taking themselves way tooseriously. Yep.
Chain D.L.K.: What about TV, do you watch TV? Is there anybody you would save in the TVworld or should we kill them all?
The Last Dance: Peter: I like that show “Heroes” and I love “The Sopranos.” Other than thethat, the only TV I watch is history or documentary stuff, the news, and theComedy Channel, especially “South Park.” I also watch VH1 a lot because theyshow all the classic old MTV stuff from the ’80s which is the period thatreally made me want to become a musician. I absolutely loathe almost allreality TV and “American Idol” type shows. I can’t stand that stuff; thoseshows and the people in them make my skin crawl.
Rick: Love TV actually, we have that DVR thing so we can watch what we likewhenever we feel; it is great. I mostly watch sporting events, I am a hugesports fan. The shows that I am loving at the moment are “Heroes,” “Beautyand the Geek,” “Smallville,” and yes, “AI.” Ha-ha-ha…it’s so bad, I loveit.There are some past shows that I liked lots as well, “La Femme Nikita,””Roswell,” and “Star Trek Voyager” are tops. I would not kill them all, justturn the channel…I mean there are like 400 channels now, right???
Jeff: I like to write music, watch “Law & Order,” drink coffee and play MahJongg on MySpace. Favorite food is anything with lots of cheese in and ontop of it. My favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride,followed by Indiana Jones and anything with Wynona Rider in it. Iwouldn’t save anyone in the TV world, because it’s just too interesting towatch them as fucked-up as they are written to be.
Chain D.L.K.: Ask yourself a question and answer it!
The Last Dance: Peter — Q: when are you going to get your lazy ass out of bed?
A: Leave me alone!
Rick — Q: Where are you answering this interview from?
A: From the sound booth at my church, during the service…gotta love achurch with a wireless network setup in its sanctuary.
Jeff — Q: Do you want to ask yourself a question?
Chain D.L.K.: A message for our readers?
The Last Dance: Peter: Thanks for the interest and support.
Rick: Believe in angels!
Chain D.L.K.: Websites??
The Last Dance: http://thelastdance.com, http://www.myspace.com/thelastdance
Chain D.L.K.: Thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope we can see you live soon!
The Last Dance: THANK YOU LOTS!
Visit The Last Dance on the web at:
[interviewed by Ant] [proofreading by Benjamin Pike]