Interview by Arianna Govoni
Underground music always offers great and undiscovered music gems that need to be discovered and brought to life. From UK, One Last Day rises up and brings some fresh air of alternative metal and rock music that immediately gets stuck in the listener’s head and please people’s listening. We had the big pleasure of talking to Hayley (vox) and Adrian (drums), in order to talk about the band and introduce it to our readers and people who are constantly searching for some new music realities… and what a great discover this band was! Please, have a nice reading.
Hi Adrian, hi Hayley, welcome to Femme Metal webzine. It’s a great pleasure hosting this chat with you today. How are you doing guys??
Hayley: I am doing fine and looking forward to more concerts and making more material for our new album. Many thanks for asking.
Adrian: What she said.
Today we introduce officially your band, One Last Day, to our readers and followers. Would you mind telling us how did the band come to birth?
Adrian: Our guitarists, John and Gareth played in separate bands, but had actually known each other for years; when bumping into one another at a gig in 2015, they got talking about starting up a new music project. Inspired by bands such as Alter Bridge, Shinedown and Sevendust, they got into Gareth’s home studio and started writing music, resulting in the solid track ‘Fallen Soul’. Their long-time friend Mike soon joined on bass and the three moved forward looking for further members. I joined on drums in 2017, after seeing an online ad and instantly being impressed hearing the strength of their songwriting. They hadn’t had much luck with finding a drummer but we knew the four of us instantly formed a solid core musically; so whilst spending the next year looking for a singer, we used the time to record the instrumentals for the EP. Then in April 2018, Hayley answered a similar online ad as I had. She definitely worked hard to impress us with video and two live auditions, and putting her own creative stamp on proceedings.
Hayley: I came across the band on a website called ‘Join My Band’, I replied to an ad Gareth put up and had two auditions. The rest is history.
On November last year you released your first self-titled EP, “One Last Day”. What kind of feedback did you get from both the press and the fans?
Hayley: From what I heard the majority of the feedback was positive, and many people took a liking to songs like ‘Battle Cry’ and ‘If You Could See Me Now’. Both of which are very powerful and emotive songs that I believe people can relate and connect to.
Adrian: ‘Sol Exodus’ seems to be the catchy favourite that is usually chosen to be played on online stations from the UK to Canada. European sites have given us favourable reviews, with special mention to songs like ‘Sol Exodus’ and ‘If You Could See Me Now’. Playing live is the best way to get feedback from the crowd who seem to enjoy the entire set, though we try to make each song fairly different from the last so the fans each have their personal favourites.
One Last Day offers a mix of rock and hard rock music, not turning its nose up at metal as well. What have been the bands who have affected your musical background?
Hayley: I’m a classical soprano so it is no surprise my biggest influence musically is Nightwish. I also look up to Epica, Within Temptation, Evanescence. But there are other influences there for me personally like Queen, Fleetwood Mac and Cranberries to name just a few. I think everyone in the band has a rich and diverse set of musical influences which help form our very unique sound.
Adrian: We always had the idea of getting Myles Kennedy to sing for us, so it was quite the departure going in the direction that Hayley added to our sound. But with the music already diverse, she brings a further unique quality that thankfully keeps us from sounding like anyone else. We’re not quite hard rock, not quite symphonic, not quite metal, just an amalgamation that should please a diverse range of rock fans. I study all styles from Funk to Jazz to Rock to Afro-Cuban, so I try to use whatever fits and as long as we each play for the song, then everything should sound cohesive and solid.
Listening to the EP, I’ve been impressed by the song called “If You Can See Me Now”. I sense there’s something very intimate in this track and you, Hayley, manage to give a magical touch to the song, my biggest compliments to you! What does the song deal with?
Hayley: The song ‘If You Could See Me Now’, was written before I joined, but I did my best to add my touch. Oddly enough the song resonates very deeply with myself. Shortly before I joined the band I lost someone very close to me and when I found the guys and this song I put most, if not all of my grief into it. The song has been my ‘healing’ process if you will. I think it’s a powerfully universal song, as I believe everyone has dealt with grief one way or another. So for me the song deals with grief and trying to move on from a loss.
Adrian: That was a very personal song written by John, and luckily gave us a great ballad which gets a great response live, with people coming up to talk to us about it afterwards. The first time I heard Hayley put vocals to it, I quietly thought it would be our secret weapon as she added something I didn’t hear many other acts doing.
Will this EP anticipate a full length album?
Hayley: Is the Pope Catholic, yes!
Adrian: Further songs are already being written and played live, so expect one or two singles before the full length drops next year.
Like so many other music realities out there, you do everything independently, indeed you are not bound and tied to any record company and you promote your own music by yourselves. So far what has been the toughest obstacle/difficulty you ran into?
Hayley: I think for me the most difficult obstacle is getting people to listen and I will admit when people do they are extremely happy and impressed. It is just getting people introduced to the band, especially when there are so many more artists out there like us that do what we do. Social media and the internet is a major help, as it gets your music worldwide, but then again
you have to try and catch people’s attention. In this busy and modern day and age that can be difficult. Not impossible but difficult.
Adrian: We understand there are thousands of bands trying to get promoted online so we’re always super appreciative when someone is willing to feature or even mention us. Online helps but it is so oversaturated with both good and bad bands spamming you for attention. We will push any announcement on our Facebook and Instagram but outside of that, it is very difficult to get promoted. Similarly playing live, there are so many bands trying to get a slot with less and less people coming out to experience live music. Even the venues rely on bands to guarantee certain numbers, whilst the so-called promoters request you cover the cost ahead of time if there aren’t enough people turning up on the night.
I don’t know what’s going on in UK, but how important is being supported by a label who could be interested in relying on a young band like you?
Hayley: I have never dealt with any labels before, in fact this my first band. I know the guys have much more experience in that field than myself. However, I assume with the right label backing and supporting you, it can be a major aid in things like albums, music videos and concerts.
Adrian: The music industry has changed so much. Few bands get lucky anymore. Even big rock bands have to constantly put the hard work in to remain on people’s radar. We’re currently getting the right materials together to promote ourselves in securing management. That would be such a huge help as we know we have something special but need the right manager to help us find the correct launchpad. Then through that we would hopefully get a good booking agent for the live shows. We do like the DIY ethic so in lieu of a label, we would look for the right distribution deal.
Usually promoting your own music by yourselves requires a lot of time and energy. How did you approach to the “do it yourself” promotion?
Hayley: Social media, we rely on social media. In this day and age you can put anything online and it will be public and out there. I know we are not the only band doing it either. You need to make connections and gain attention online which, as I said previously, can be difficult.
Adrian: It has been my mission to get us more exposure. I think sharing the load is the best way to do things by tasking people with roles based on their strengths. I take care of the Instagram, built the website at www.onelastday.co.uk and create content for Youtube, IGTV etc, whereas John or Mike will take the lead in chasing gigs, whilst Gareth will work on all the production (recording, mixing, legal red tape) and releasing our music. So you’re right, it is a lot of time and energy, but no-one is going to do it for us so we have to get it done.
Currently how is the metal and hard rock scene in UK? Is there a real interest by the press, agencies, labels and bands for what it concerns the mutual support or is there the typical indifference and everybody thinks for him/herself?
Hayley: From my knowledge, sadly not. I mean Slipknot had some form of attention recently but nothing major. The UK prefers its mainstream pop and rap music, which can be extremely boring and repetitive. But we cannot forget the UK also gave birth to some of the biggest metal bands Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Queen. I also look back on those times and bands in an age where pop music seems to have taken over. Sadly I wasn’t alive in such a great age were rock music ruled the UK charts.
Adrian: There are still some amazing metal bands coming out of the UK, but exposure is minimal so you have to search for them. I’m sure all us metallers are crying out for another NWOBHM type event but sadly, unless you want more awful UK Indie tripe, you have to really keep your ear to the ground. People turn out for the big foreign bands when they tour over here but as far as local gigs go, the crowds are unfortunately lacking. Even recently a promotor told us anything but metal goes at his shows! Some pub venues are known for hosting only heavy music so metal all-dayers and mini-festivals usually have a good turnout, but those venues are few and far between. It also doesn’t help being booked for shows where you’re the only heavy band on the bill. Metal shows are my favourite to play as everyone is there to rock out together. I think the fact that all the big and successful metal bands come out of Europe or America show where the real support and community for such scenes are.
One thing that is often missing is, indeed, the support that should be shown to both the newborn bands who would love to enter the music world, and the ‘already known’ bands who would love to have more recognition inside a music path already complicated and a bit hostile. In your opinion, why is that hard to make an agreement or form an alliance both between bands who come from the same music current and between bands and labels? Why do people tend to care more about their selves instead of showing off some more support?
Hayley: Humans innately are selfish and I believe because in the UK metal isn’t as mainstream and the attitude towards metal and rock is its ‘loud’, ’offensive’ depressing,’ satanic’ and ‘noise’. Therefore that can build a negative kind of mind-set for rockers and metalheads who feel threatened by maybe new bands and sounds. I’d also like to say the music industry whether metal or pop is very competitive and this can make people selfish and closed minded. As a classical soprano, I have met my fair share of metalheads who have flat out refused to hear me sing or call me a ‘fake’ and ‘wannabe’ due to my tastes in both metal and opera. Not to mention being a woman in a male dominated genre is used against you.
Adrian: I also think that sadly there is even close-mindedness in the smaller non-mainstream community of metal. I understand metallers want to protect the music they love, but some aren’t willing to listen outside of their preferred style. Plus when people can’t put you in a box, they instantly want to dismiss you for not fitting into what they want you to be and so disregard you based on some pre-conceived prejudice. I believe there is room for everyone and consider us lucky to live in a time where metal isn’t just one style, where there is something for everyone. Personally I don’t consider other bands competition, if they are similar in style then I want to play a show with them. That way we have a great time amongst peers and the audience get a great show of the style they love to hear.
If I’m not mistaken, you had a release show in your hometown when the EP came out. What kind of reception did you have?
Hayley: It was great fun plus my first gig. We had so much support, yet sod’s law I had the flu but still pulled all my strength to sing on that stage. Always get your flu shots especially if you’re in a band.
Adrian: I was actually away from the band for a year and only returned in June 2019, after the guy filling in live didn’t work out, so I didn’t play at the first show. A music journalist in attendance was impressed with the songs and did an interview for a 2-page magazine spread. Even though I was unavailable I wish I had been there so we could have been firing on all cylinders.
Currently you’re promoting this EP. What are your future plans?
Hayley: Future plans include expanding and exploring our musical style, writing more material, making music videos and recording a full album.
Adrian: Since the EP we have released a cover version of ‘Hurt’ by Nine Inch Nails, but more in line with the Johnny Cash version. It is available for free download from the usual places and a lyric video exists on our Youtube. We have two new songs ‘I’ and ‘Milk, Water, Blood’ which we’ll be recording over the winter and putting out separately as we focus on completing our album which will be out in 2020. Music videos are next with the first coming in October 2019, with another to follow soon after. Otherwise it is just trying to get those gigs, we have UK dates for the rest of 2019 but who knows how much further afield we’ll get to play next year…
What are, instead, the goals you would love to achieve? What about your ambitions?
Hayley: I don’t want fame or riches, I doubt I could cope with that. Instead I just hope and wish my music could at least touch someone. I write and sing music to inspire others to overcome the strife they may face, if I am able to do that even if it’s just for one person that I would have achieved my goal as a singer.
Adrian: As a band we’d love to play music as a full-time job where we could be financially independent and make music for the rest of our lives. Who wouldn’t want to be playing bigger shows to larger crowds and have longevity in this industry? But we’ll focus on the medium-term goals for now, which are music videos, gigs, merch and getting the right management ready for the album release.
Adrian, Hayley, I’d love to thank you for your time and for giving us this spot. I give you carte blanche to share the final words with us!
Hayley: Many kind thanks for having us for a chat, it means very much to myself and the band. I look forward to hearing from you in the future and all the best!
Adrian: Please subscribe, follow, like or share us on social media, visit our website, or get in touch at email@example.com. Thank you so much for featuring us in Femme Metal Webzine, it means so much to be heard and we hope to share more with you all over the next year.