When a band gets mainstream press attention, comes 2nd to Skunk Anansie in the Kerrang! Newcomer awards and flirts with label signings like sweets in a sweetshop, you’d imagine a bright road ahead for their musical careers.
Well for Last Great Dreamers, 1995 was the year they courted fame. However glory turned to tragedy and the band faced contractual nightmares, a changing music industry and personal tragedy, which lead to the bands untimely demise. In 2003, after the funeral of their tour manager, the band decided enough was enough, and parted ways.
In true Rock n Roll style, the Brit rockers Last Great Dreamers are back! Having announced their first UK tour since reforming in 2014. Playing an impressive 11 dates across England & Wales during April 2015 as they continue to promote their critically acclaimed 2nd album ‘Crash Landing in Teenage Heaven’.
Brad was lucky enough to have a chat with Guitarist, Slyder from the band to talk about their return, the upcoming release and the April tour.
Hello Slyder! Firstly, How Are You?
Hello to you, I’m very well thank you!
Now, ‘Last Great Dreamers’ have some pretty massive successs back in 1995, how was this year for you?
It was a big year, the band had been together since Spring 1989 & we really felt we had done our apprenticeship & were finally going to get the success & recognition we felt we deserved. We were one of the only surviving bands to come out of the “sleaze” scene, we’d worked tirelessly playing every pub & club on the UK circuit & in that time had found our own sound & made a lot of fans & friends on the road. We were getting some great press by this point including the Kerrang awards nomination & got on a couple of support tours that took us into Europe too. We were out of our independent record deal & with new management had some big major label interest.
Unfortunately a horrible run of reasons meant that you guys called it quits back in 2003, how hard was this time for you and as a band?
We’d had a lot of knock backs as is normal in this sort of business but I guess we had run out of steam at this point. We had always been united in our ambitions & taken it on the chin when we had rejections but I guess time took its toll, we were very close to signing a major deal but it all collapsed at the last minute, we don’t really know why & perhaps should have been more involved but we had put our trust in others. Very soon after that our manager quit the business entirely & we started to self-destruct a bit. We lost 3 of our crew members over the years too, all unrelated, & the last time we were all together was at our good friend & tour manager’s funeral.
You tour the UK again in April…that must be an amazing feeling? or are you a nervous to return?
It’s a combination of excitement and fear. We haven’t properly toured for 20 years so the thought of being away from home & family is hard compared to last time around when being on the road was home but I’m sure when we get out there it’ll be great. We have played a handful of shows already over the last 6 months & have loved the feeling of being back on stage, there is nothing like it.
You have original drummer Steve Grainger back on drums for eight dates of this tour, I bet it’s nice to have the full line up back together for this reunion?
Yeah, we initially contacted Steve about our reunion but he had lots on playing with loads of different bands such as Tango Pirates, Peckham Cowboys, Healthy Junkies & Dogs D ’Amour. Ginge was in the original incarnation of LGD, Silver Hearts, so it was great to have him on board. Steve came to see our London reunion show & expressed an interest in doing some gigs & his work load is less at the moment so it has worked out well with Steve & Ginge both playing some shows as Ginge couldn’t commit to too many.
After the April tour, what is the plan for Last Great Dreamers? – Any more tours or a new album?
Marc & have started writing together & have a dozen or more songs so we are gonna continue with that over the summer months with a view to a new album next Spring. We hope to have a single or EP out in the Autumn with at least one new track & maybe try & reach some towns that we haven’t in November maybe. Then a full tour & 3rd album release the following Spring.
We also have a couple of small festival in July in Wales and Norfolk.
Your second album ‘Crash Landing in Teenage Heaven’ has been extremely well recieved and comes nearly twenty years after your first, what are your views on this album?
We love it, the production is great & there is a lot of energy so we are very proud of it & pleased with the great reviews it’s had. We were very prolific writing when these songs were recorded and we felt these were the best of the bunch, almost like a greatest hits album. I guess the 1st album was similar in the same way for its time but the production let it down. We’ve never just set out to write an entire album so our 3rd will be very different for that reason.
How has the music industry changed since you were last involved?
As all modern life & business everything is electronic & can be done remotely. Online I guess there is more competition with everyone vying for space as it’s easier to get yourself out there. I do have a fond memories for buying one or two of the half a dozen music papers available at the time reading a review or seeing a band & then going into town to buy the album. Nowadays everything is so accessible, you just have to reach into your pocket & everything is there! So I guess it has de-valued bands & their music to some extent. Luckily there’s no replacement for a decent live show.
What tips, if any would you give to upcoming musicians?
Be yourself and do what’s in your heart. There are too many artists just trying to imitate someone else, this goes for companies also I guess copying the latest formula that sells. If you watch the Voice you see very few singers on there that open there mouths & have their own sound, they’re all trying to sound like someone else.
What bands are you listening to a lot at the moment?
I usually listen to music when I am driving & generally grab a bunch of CDs for a journey so it varies hugely, I listen to lots of old stuff like new York Dolls, Johnny Thunders, The Damned, Redd Kross, Manics, Kasabian, Blondie. I guess mostly stuff with lots of energy, emotion & originality and good songs.