James Hart thumps tubs for One Last Daybreak. They also trusted him to answer our BotD questions on behalf of all the members, as we revisited the band two years on from our first natter…
We’re all from different parts of Essex. Myself (James), Connor and Sam live in Romford whilst Jack lives in Waltham Abbey.
How did you meet?
Playing shows together mostly. I met Sam through college and we started playing in a band together when we were 17. Jack joined that same band a few years later, after Sam briefly left. Connor was in another band on the local circuit at the time and we became friends through playing shows together. One both of the bands had split, myself and Connor formed One Last Daybreak together with Jack, with Sam joining us recently this year.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Almost 3 years now! Connor and I formed the band unofficially in August of 2017 and we officially launched Daybreak January 15th 2018.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Honestly, at the time it was just kind of made up! We intended to name the band “Short Of Daybreak”, but the name was already taken by another band so we changed “Short Of” to “One Last.” In hindsight, the name is unintentionally relevant to where myself and Connor were emotionally when we started this band. This band felt like the only light in a very dark place. It was one of the few things we had any faith in. So, in a way, the name represents our last effort to find something in life that keeps us going.
What are your influences?
Our band takes a strong influence from the Mid 2000’s Screamo scene. We’re all huge fans of bands such as: Senses Fail, Silverstein, Underoath, Saves the Day & Hidden In Plain View to name a few. We’ve always shared a deep love for the Emo/Screamo genre. Emo has a unique sound that blends a plethora of genres, which is something we admire.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Our music is definitely for fans of those who enjoyed the MySpace era of Screamo music. That being said, we strive to incorporate a different approach to what’s already been done. There are a lot of genres out there, and a lot of cool trends that come and go, so our motive is just to take everything we like about what we see/hear and somehow incorporate that into our band. With our latest record, ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, we approached some styles that we hadn’t done on our previous records. Overall, the record has a solid metalcore theme that couples well with what we’re already doing, plus adding the pace and energy of punk & hardcore to certain tracks whilst maintaining that same ’emo’ foundation that Daybreak is all about. I would say it’s the most refined and cohesive sound we’ve created thus far on a record.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
As a band, we’ve always strived to approach topics that we find important and meaningful. We’ve approached mental health, heartbreak and love a lot in our earlier work, whereas now I think we’re pushing the boundaries of what makes us anxious as people. In our latest EP ‘Maybe Tomorrow’, we explore how Kübler-Ross’ stages of grief are applied to dealing with childhood trauma. Grief isn’t just about death or divorce, but all of our lived experiences and the loss of innocence that comes with prolonged exposure to such trauma.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live shows are pretty crazy! We aim to play as hard as we can and give the most entertaining show for those that watch us. We usually measure our success on the amount of times we vomit at the end of the show! We’ve played a lot of shows over the past two years, including a few UK tours and a festival in Quebec City supporting Parkway Drive and August Burns Red. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to play live in 2020 due to COVID, but we’ll make sure we amp up the crazy when we’re back!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We’ve been rather lucky as to not have experienced to many crazy things at our shows! Only one occasion comes to mind for me from a few years ago when someone, who wasn’t a part of the band, punched a hole through a window at a venue we played at when they were angry.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
As for myself, I use: PDP/DW drums, Meinl cymbals, Promark sticks and Evans heads. They get the job done and make me sound great! Also, we’re endorsed by Blackstar, so that’s what we’re currently using for cabs & heads.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We just released our brand new EP Maybe Tomorrow last month, so we’re plugging that right now and trying to get as many people as we can to hear it! We wanted this record to be better than anything we’ve done before. The production’s better, the lyrics are more personal & the songs are faster and more aggressive. I explained a little about the lyrical content above, being that we explore the cycle of grief that one navigates through after experiencing trauma. The idea is that each song on the EP represents one of Kübler-Ross’ stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining/Depression and Acceptance). We wanted to explore topics that most others wouldn’t have the guts to explore, yet approach trauma in an optimistic way. Because, though life can be traumatic and painful, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel if we’re willing to heal.
What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?
Though Maybe Tomorrow is out now, we haven’t finished the record’s cycle. There is still lots more to come from us, so stick around for that. We’ll also be booking are winter touring cycle up as we’re getting impatient and want to start playing these songs live! Besides that, we’re going to keep promoting this EP as much as possible in hopes that we can get as many people to hear it as possible.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
I know this for sure! No hesitation. Holding Absence would be the headliner, 100%. We love that band dearly. And we’d have our buddies in Take The Backseat, Casey on the bill too! We did a split record with them a few years ago and they’re all round great people!