Interview with JT of Famous Last Words

Ugly Scene interviews JT of the new up and coming Famous Last Words. Keep an eye on this band as they tour Canada in December (dates below) and will be soon releasing their EP and video. UglyScene: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. How are you? JT: I’m doing fantastic. Thanks for having me. UglyScene: Congratulations on your video. How did the shoot go? JT: It was awesome. We ran the song about thirty times and by the end of the day we were toast and it was all worth it. We put all of our energy in the song each time and killed it and got a rough cut of it the next day. It wasn’t color edited and not everything was in it yet but it still looked good. I’m really excited about it. UglyScene: I can’t wait to see it. How is the band going to go about putting it out there? JT: I will probably throw it up on my YouTube channel, Facebook and any other web sites that want to put it out there. I don’t have an exact date for you when it will be out there. UglyScene: You recently had a chat on Yowie. Unfortunately I didn’t get to be on there. It’s a great idea to get your band out there and chat with the fans. JT: It went pretty good. We had around 600 people watching us and we played some acoustic songs. It was a lot of fun. UglyScene: When you play the acoustic is it a little or a lot different from what you are used to? JT: It’s different. The one thing I hate is when bands half ass their acoustic songs when they sing them an octave lower. If you are going to write a song and say you are going to sing it live then you should be able to do it acoustic too. I make sure I just go all out every time I do an acoustic version. Sometimes it’s just me and sometimes it’s two different guys playing the guitar. UglyScene: You have had a pretty busy schedule in December touring in Canada. JT: Our management company set us up with the tour and surprisingly we have been hit up by people in Canada saying how excited they are to come and see us. It’s great and I’m expecting each show to be really good. UglyScene: How did the band come together? JT: Originally I started the band when I was fifteen. We have gone through two other names and a lot of different members. None of the guys with the band now are the original members. The only lasting one is Craig and he has been with the band for around two and a half years. UglyScene: Do you write most of the songs or do you meet with the band have a jam session and see what happens? JT: I normally write all of the vocal parts, lyrics and the melodies and sometimes I write the structure to a song. Lately, for the next full length, we all have been putting in a lot of work writing the songs together. Other than the vocals we do everything together. UglyScene: How hard it is getting everyone together since all of you have jobs. JT: We all live together so it’s not that hard. Our biggest supporters by far are my parents. They let us all stay at their house in the basement so this will work. That is a lot of people for just one house. My parents have been super supportive of me for years and they have never once told me that I should try anything else. UglyScene: When you write your songs is there a certain formula or theme you go by? JT: Lyric wise no. Usually we go for a dark sound and like to throw in a little techno. We love theatrical sounds with strings and horns and anything to make it as ethic as we can. With my melodies I want to make sure that each song is just as catchy as the next one. Ugly Scene: Where do you record at? In a studio? Did you start out at home? JT: We record at Chango Studios with producer Cameron Mizell in Orlando. That is where we are going to record our full length too. We are pretty stoked about recording the cd. The EP will be released soon and we update our Facebook everyday of what is going on so I tell everyone to keep an eye on it. UglyScene: Who are your biggest influences? JT: We all listen to different music. There isn’t one certain genre that we all listen to. We pull from all different kinds of music which I think contributes into helping make our music sound unique. We will take all of our favorite aspects from each genre and mix it all into one. It usually works out pretty well. UglyScene: What is your most memorable performance so far? JT: We just played a show about an hour away from our hometown in the middle of nowhere. Hawthorne Heights ended up playing and then we did. The show ended up being a good three to four hundred kids there and being out in the middle of nowhere that was really impressive. The show at Sonar in Baltimore was really good. That was awesome because we are fifteen hours away from home and there are still about two hundred people watching us play. UglyScene: A lot of people I’ve shared your music with love the song I’ll Get You Next Time Gadget. Tell me a bit about that song or even one of your other songs. JT: If you listen closely to the lyrics there is definitely a difference between the first half and the last half of the song. The first track is a lot angrier and the second is a lot happier. That song is written about two different people and it’s basically about personal things that happened to me and my way of venting through the lyrics. I do write my lyrics very vaguely so they can mean different things to different people. In the song Starting Over it’s not about what most people think it’s about. It’s about my daughter and most people think it’s about a girlfriend and our relationship. This kid came up to me and said that the lyrics in Starting Over meant so much to him. He said he just went through a really bad breakup and knew exactly how I feel. I was thinking that he obviously didn’t know how I felt but if it’s going to help him then I will just go with that. I feel that’s a way to reach out to more fans to write your lyrics more vaguely so that they can interpret them in different ways. UglyScene: That’s great that you mentioned it about the fan. One of the purposes for UglyScene is looking at the other side of glam. About how music can help people through an experience they are going through. How does it feel that your music can actually help someone? JT: One of the bands that originally got me into harder music was My Chemical Romance which is ironic because we didn’t even come up with our name our manger did. It’s funny because Famous Last Words is a My Chemical Romance song and we never connected the dots until someone said something to us on our Facebook. That is kind of beside the point but the reason I brought it up because Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge was such a life changing album. You can even see on the live dvd for that album kids holding up signs saying MCR changed my life. Ever since I saw that I thought I want to change people’s life and help them with my music. Every kid dreams of being a superhero and saving people and if I can do that with music then Hell yeah that is way more realistic. UglyScene: Obviously your music has helped when you already have someone coming up to you thanking you. On the business side I see you have a link where people can purchase merchandise for the band on merchnow.com. JT: We have some on-line merch and some other shirts that we take with us to shows that are not on-line and hopefully soon will be. We will have new merch coming out soon along with the release of the video. We have been doing a bunch a new stuff and it is all about ready to explode. UglyScene: Even though you’re just getting started is there anything you have come across where you can give a little advice to other musicians just starting out? JT: Probably the hardest thing I had to deal with was going through different band members. It’s never easy and it’s almost like going through relationships. It’s someone that you are going to be spending quite a lot of time with and you are going to want to be able to get along with them or else you are not going to be able to accomplish what you want. Just like in a relationship if both sides are not putting out the same amount of work it’s never going to work. You have to collectively get five guys together who are all willing to do the same amount of work, have the image, talent and all of the equipment. It’s pretty hard and I should have been more nitpicky with my members but I was young, and I’m still pretty young, and I just now getting the final line up that I am really happy with. We all get along and we all work hard and I have a feeling it is all going to take off pretty well. UglyScene: What is your biggest challenge as a band so far? JT: I want to keep my artistic influence as strong as possible and at times I won’t budge. But I also understand that there is the business end where sometimes you have to change some things. That is just how it is in the music industry and if you refuse to follow that I’m not exactly quite sure how well it’s going to work out. Just as long as you stay true to yourself you will be good. UglyScene: Is there anything else you would like to add? JT: You covered it beautifully so not off the top of my head right now. UglyScene: Thank you so much for your time and I wish your band the best. You deserve it! JT: Thank you so much it’s been a pleasure.

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