On The Last Day
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A noble attribute often ascribed to professional athletes is their ability to play with pain. That certainly applies to the fiery Seattle Hardcore Rock band On The Last Day. Consider this particular road hazard: They were playing in Charleroi, PA this last tour, singer Geoff Walker recalls. And right at the end of Leaving the Citadel bassist Aaron Johnson's headstock and Geoff's face crossed paths. "He hit me and all I remember was thinking, That's gonna bleed." He awoke a minute later to Justin handing him a towel and a river of blood meandering across the stage from his nose. He had to get a CaT Scan and two X-rays because He had been knocked out. The doctor said he had no broken bones, but some of the cartilage was detached at the bottom of his nose.Read More...
Nevertheless, the band played on. They only missed one show two days later, and only because, due to the medication Geoff was on, He had completely lost control of his diabetes and was admitted to yet another ER, this time in critical condition. He played the next few shows looking like I was turning into a werewolf because the swelling was so bad. There were two more clinic visits for swelling and an infection. After about eight days He started looking normal again, although it's still extremely sensitive today.
There's nothing normal about On The Last Day's stunning debut album: Meaning In The Static, where the quintet displays a remarkable ability to create fierce, challenging music. with it. "Every song on the recordis some form of therapy for me", Walker admits. "They aren't always happy because sometimes I need to just get my most terrible thoughts on
paper." That he does in often graphic detail, as the raw passion and pain in his lyrics are reinforced by the slashing guitar work of Justin Johnson and Frank Gross and a non-stop propulsive rhythm section of
bassist Aaron Johnson and drummer Drew Dowell. Together, On The Last Day packs a monumental wallop that will resonate in hearts and minds of hardcore rock fans the world over.
The title song, the first track to assault radio, typifies the band's search for truth through loss and confusion. "We had a concept for the record that got a little lost in the process", Walker explains. This
song is one of the surviving themes; it's about searching blindly for meaning where there maybe isn't any. It's about being terrified of nothingness at the end, and looking for an escape. There's no escape
any of the raw edges in any of the songs, which often details real-life events. Twelve CCs painstakingly details Geoffrey's hospital ordeal with diabetes; Missing Frames (Changover) flashes back to the band's van accident, and A Welcome Haunting recalls the drunk-driving death of two of Geoff's friends when he was 16. "I had a lot of trouble dealing with it for a long time", he asserts. "I had a dream where I was able to talk to them and apologize for what I felt like I could have done to help them. It was therapy. It was a welcome haunting".
It was a welcome happenstance that brought them all together. Dowell and brothers Justin and Aaron Johnson had known each other since grade school, before forming a band in high school. At around the same time they cut the original lead singer loose, Geoff Walker had moved from Vermont to Seattle, looking for a bigger and better music scene. They crossed paths in 2003, and it took only two practices before they knew they should work together. That was the official birth of On The Last Day, although second guitarist Frank Gross joined a year later. The band name came from a song we did close to our inception, Walker notes. "We liked it as a name because, much like our lyrics, it's very ambiguous. It leaves a lot open to interpretation. There are a lot of last days in our lives and they can mean a lot of different things".
Before long, they were veterans on the Seattle club scene, playing shows with the likes of Atreyu and Deftones. But their favorite peers on the local circuit happened to be their oldest friends, fellow Seattle band Aiden. "They were the first band we played with that fit what we were doing",Walker says. "And they felt the same way about us. It seemed that we played every show together for about six months, so when they signed to Victory , we didn't feel jealous at all, we were happy for them".
Aiden's Will Francis tried to return the favor by setting On The Last Day up with
talent scouts from a variety of labels, but as fate would have it, Victory picked them up as well. So it seemed only natural for On The Last Day to use their Aiden connection to find the producer for their debut album. "We actually met Steve Carter through Will", Walker recalls. "He basically put a word in with Steve, gave me his number and we started talking. He is really like a sixth member of our band, with a third-party perspective. He's a very hands-on producer and he pushes us really hard. The guy has a great ear for rock and really just helps us do what we do
better. We couldn't ask for anything more".
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- LyricsStrings of numbers in the black. Solutions false to send me back. If only I could only do the math. (there is no escape) Tell me secrets with white noise. If I could single out a voice maybe the past would all make sense. (there is no meaning) A pattern there, a sequence here, there's something that I lack. The answer's there, but the end is near, and there's no turning back.
There's meaning in the static and I need to believe that if there's an end, I'm planning my escape.
Turn the volume up to ten. The signal's there it's just hiding. Beware the monsters at the end. (there is no escape) I'll place this purpose in the void. Something to block out the white noise. Quick now, my time is running out. (There is no meaning) They've caught my scent, they're on my heels, this city's closing in. I'm leaving town, I'm reaching out, but all I grasp is air.
I hear voices in the darkness. (I hear voices) Waiting, they're watching, and telling me lies. They don't answer now.
I hear voices...
- LyricsYou seemed so strong, stood your ground. Is this enough to make you proud?
The seasons barely change. They move too fast for me.Back home the autumn leaves are falling softly from the trees. Don't take this away, I'm close to sanity. I pushed against the grain and drove a thousand miles away.
There's nothing left (I've given all I have) Done what I can (I've leaned into the wind) It's all (it's all)For you (I've done all that I can) There's nothing left(I've given all I have)
You seemed so strong, stood your ground. Is this enough to make you proud? You seemed so strong, stood your ground. Are you proud?
Winter turns to spring, but it still looks the same. The city is gray and there's still the constant rain. Now I understand the things you gave to me. Because I have the means to fight a faceless enemy.
- LyricsThe dead will take you in
Leave me alone, can't you see I'm dying here. I'll rip you, wide open. Just let me go, there's no more use for me.
So cold I'm shaking
Are you all dead? Dead and walking, corpses talking. Is your blood red and beating? Still screaming "don't let them take me"
I'm paralyzed, my arms rest at my side. Stop testing, I'm resting. Incessantly, you're making a mistake. It's just my time now.
- LyricsThis is a quarantine you aren't allowed to leave. Wall up this grey city. Go home the streets are empty. We're sterilized and clean, unaware that I am the disease. Run
This is us. And here's the chance that we've been waiting for. It's us. You should run. Or face us and embrace the plague for now.
Standing in the crowd spreading all throughout the scene. There is no vaccine there is no cure for me. As dangerous as we seem at least that's what we believe. Run
(You won't survive)
This is us. I guarantee you won't survive
- LyricsLight your signal flare in the air. I need to find you. Hospital white glare. Are you there? This is the rescue.
Collapsed out in the rain. Lost in the dark. Surrounded by the trees with no landmarks. So now you're out of sight. Blood draining till you die. You won't make it through the...
Light your signal flare in the air. (in the air) I need to find you.
Hospital white glare. Are you there? (are you there) This is the rescue.
Let us begin the surgery tearing you apart. We need to fix the valve on your failing heart. I hope I blocked the pain. I hope we're not too late. Don't you dare give up.
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