Earlier this year, Australia’s Our Last Enemy released their album PARIAH on Eclipse Records.
Recently, we were able to sit down with vocalist, Oliver Fogwell, and bassist, Matt Heywood, to discuss the recording process of PARIAH, the difference between Australia/US music scene, and more.
We can’t thank Oliver and Matt enough for taking the time to answer our questions.
Let’s introduce the world to Our Last Enemy. Who is who?
Oliver – Vocals
Matt – Bass/Vocals
Bizz – Guitars
Zot – Drums
Jeff – Keys
How did Our Last Enemy come together?
MH: We all new each other from other bands we had been in. It happened that our bands (Oli/Jeff/Matt) had broken up at the same time and we decided to start something new. Bizz joined a few years later after he moved to Australia from Florida and had left Genitortures (David Vincent ex Morbid Angel) and mutual friends got us in touch. Zot joined last year and had coincidently been on Olivers old band.
Why the name Our Last Enemy?
OF: Our Last Enemy is death, which is something we all face. We also like the duality in that, with death being something that comes with negative and dark connotations; but it can also be something positive, like a rebirth as in the tarot etc.
Describe the essence of Our Last Enemy in five (5) words?
MH: Heavy, Dark, Brutal, Atmospheric, Violent
Where does the responsibility fall for writing songs and music?
OF: We all share that responsibility and we jam regularly in the studio bouncing ideas off each other. We also utilize the technology at hand these days and send each other ideas online we have come up with that we can work on together in the room.
How does a typical Our Last Enemy song come together?
OF: Sometimes an individual will come in with an idea or song structure, but this always changes in the room once we are all together. Other times we just jam on spontaneous ideas in the studio. It’s a very democratic process.
You recently signed with Eclipse Records, why this particular label?
OF: We felt Eclipse was the perfect fit for us, within their current roster and looking at their track record with developing promising bands. They shared our enthusiasm for the music and really came to the table with a strong game plan for us to enter the North American market.
What was it like working with Christian Olde Wolbers on Pariah?
MH: Challenging and rewarding! He pushed us to be the best we could be, and we learned a lot while we were there. Christian said to us at the beginning ‘I’m old school, I’m going to teach you old school.’ He ended up like a big brother to us, he even put us up in his house for 3 months!
Was there any difference in recording in the US vs AUS?
MH: In the US we had access to some amazing gear and studio space, as well as a bigger team working on it. We had drum techs and engineers as well as Christian at the helm. In Australia we do much more ourselves and usually hit the studio with one guy and knock it out pretty quick. Both scenarios have their pros and cons.
Was L.A. a distraction/hindrance to the recording process or an inspiration/help to the recording process?
MH: I would say an inspiration, being around so many talented and well known musicians and names as well as the city itself. Not to say we didn’t indulge in the nightlife when we could! There was a lot of encouragement and leadership from seasoned professionals we admire.
The video for “Devour the Sun” had elements of old school Slayer, Testament, Metallica, Exodus, & Megadeth videos, visuals that were intriguing to the viewer and slightly mind-disturbing or subconsciously scary, was the video a vision of the band’s or was the story board presented to you for an idea for the video?
OF: The band came up with the idea, sent it to our team and they story boarded it and made it work on the day. We have to say The Blackley Brothers at Her Name Is Murder Productions really knocked it out a the park for us! They certainly used some of the old school videos like you mentioned as inspiration, which is what we wanted too as it was something we grew up with and wanted to bring back.
We’ve interviewed several Australian artists and have heard that though the music scene is competitive, artists support each other. Do you feel that US artists are similar to that or is there a distinct difference between the music scene between AUS and the US?
MH: The music scene here is much smaller and harder to make work, so having strong relationships with other bands you respect is certainly important. So far what we have seen form the North American scene is the same but on a larger scale.
How do you as a band handle your social media activity? Does one member do the majority of it or is it a team effort?
OF: Its mostly me and also our record label who help run our facebook/twitter/reverbnation etc but we all certainly try to play our part.
Do you like being socially active?
OF: Online we try to keep a strong presence and post regularly. In real life we all like to hit up other gigs and clubs on our weekends off.
With fans following your every move on social media and the web, how do you draw the line for what is public and what is private?
OF: We have a rule that none of our personal pages are tagged in anything posted from the band page. We try to keep that line of separation. However if fans ever approach us personally, we are more than happy to respond.
Favorite artist you have shared the stage with?
MH: We supported Hanzel und Gretel when they toured Australia and put on an awesome show and were cool to hang out with. We still keep in touch.
Artist you want to share with the stage with?
OF: I’m sure every member would have a different answer, but the common ground would probably be Faith No More.
What are Our Last Enemy’s plans for 2014?
OF: We are continuing to push our debut release in North America ‘Pariah’ and are currently in the studio writing the follow up for next year. We are in talks for some tours both here and overseas which we cant confirm right now.
Anything else you want the audience to know before we go?
OF: We want to say a big thanks to the media and people like you who have really gotten behind the record, and of course everyone who has purchased the album in some form. Also our great team at Eclipse Records, Street Cult Marketing, Adrenaline PR, Skateboard Marketing and Rive who have pushed fantastically in North America.