Being on the telephone with a member of Last Dinosaurs is enough to make my nerves jittery and my voice dry. However, Sam-Gethin Jones, the bass guitarist of the Brisbane indie band, is incredibly laid back, a factor which quickly puts an end to my nervous stuttering. Having just released their debut album In a Million Years, the Last Dinosaurs boys are having the time of their lives, sky rocketing to number eight on the ARIA charts and gearing up to do a UK tour at the end of the month.
In a Million Years deals with the brevity of relationships and youth. These themes were inspired by the lead singer Sean’s recent breakup, and the band’s collective interest in the idea of time and space; “The idea of time is something that fascinates all of us,” says Gethin-Jones. Influenced by the song writing skills and eclectic beats of Foals, The Strokes and Phoenix, In a Million Years blends the genres of indie rock and power pop, resulting in a variety of catchy tunes that explore universal struggles and significant everyday moments.
I was first exposed to the band at the 2010 Falls Festival and was intrigued by their name. I spent half of their performance fantasising about the origin and meaning behind it, wondering if the band had some evolutionary theory about humans and dinosaurs. However, as it turns out, Last Dinosaurs is the name of a song in Japan that has resonated deeply with the band’s drummer. Japan is an important place for the band; they recently completed a tour there, which was extra special for the band’s other three members, Sean, Lachlan and Dan, all of whom are half-Japanese.
Last Dinosaurs more recently performed at Splendour in the Grass, where they shared the stage with a number of local and international wonders including Angus Stone, Jack White and The Smashing Pumpkins. Gethin-Jones gets incredibly excited here and enthuses that “Splendour was ridiculous. The goose bumps I got when I heard the crowd’s reaction is definitely something I am never going to forget.” When asked if he had any anxieties about playing in front of over ten thousand people, Gethin-Jones confesses that he was worried that they would only be “that band” that people watch whilst waiting in line at the hot dog stand. However, “everyone knew our songs and was singing along.” Gethin-Jones describes this as the highlight of his career so far.
Last Dinosaurs also recently gave an exclusive performance with Bloc Party, which resulted in the English band trying to learn Last Dinosaurs’ Zoom on the guitar. This was a huge honour for the boys, as Bloc Party is one of their favourite bands. When asked who he would want to collaborate with, dead or alive, Gethin-Jones is quick to answer: “Andre 3000 or D’Angelo. I would love to jump on the keys and do a soul album with D’Angelo.”
With their performance at Splendour and their tours in Japan and the UK, it is clear that the profile of Last Dinosaurs is growing. The band is currently gearing up for their Satellites Tour around Australia, which is on sale now and selling fast. They have announced a second gig at the Corner Hotel in Richmond on Thursday the 25th of October.