The Last Year,
The TVD First Date

“I grew up in a house filled with music. My father is an accomplished blues harmonica player, and my mom, while not a musician herself, is an enthusiastic music fan. Perhaps that is why they were drawn together and eventually ended up with me. But, I digress.”

“As a child I remember my parents having this huge Hi Fi system, and at its center, a record player. I used to leaf through shelves and shelves of records checking out all the cool artwork and inserts. Everything from Joni Mitchell to Muddy Waters and Talking Heads to Johnny Cash. I remember being mesmerized by these large, collectible pieces of art. Every time my parents would have a party or get together, this record player became the supplier of good vibes throughout the house.

When I reached my teenage years, I started to realize that music was really what I wanted to do with my life. After I started playing bass and jamming with a couple of my friends, my father introduced me to the origins of the music I was into at the time, which were Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc. This entered me into my second wave of obsession with vinyl.

I remember finding The Jimi Hendrix Experience record and going crazy. I would take the records and record them on to cassette tapes and play them for all my friends. I always found that the sound was so much bigger when I listened on the record player. So I took to spending hours huddled around the record player with my friends, taking in records by Hendrix, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and, of course, The Beatles.

That’s the thing about vinyl, instead of staring at the wall while you listen, you can check out all the cool artwork on the record covers. You make this strong visual connection between the sound and the artwork. I mean, who could just pass by Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy without giving some thought to what the album cover means?! You could stare at the cover for Sgt. Peppers and still be seeing new stuff by the time the record is over.

When we are writing our music in The Last Year, we are really trying to evoke a vision in the head of the listener. We try to take them to a different place; a soundscape. I think that sort of thinking originated with vinyl record covers. To this day we still have a record player in our band house that can usually be found playing Beatles or Police records on a sunny summer morning.

In the modern world of Mp3s and the cloud, it’s nice to slow down and really just enjoy the look and feel and sound. I don’t see that ever going away.”
Scott Ensign, Bass

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