Sickly sweet and manically heavy, The Last Martyr create an effortless balance of the two on new single, Sugar, the bands heaviest track to date. The modern metal outfit return bouncing back and fourth between extreme highs and lows musically, as well as emotionally, on their chaotic new single. The song takes the listener through passages of spine-tingling double kick patterns, showcasing vocalist Monica Strut’s brutal Valkyrie-like screams before rising up to a soaring and glowing chorus that will burrow deep within listener’s brains. Ben Rogers (guitarist) talks about the new single with Hi Fi Way.
How exciting was the build-up to your new single Sugar?
The build-up to Sugar was pretty intense. We recorded the track right at the start of a hectic period for us. We had just played Halloween Hysteria festival in Queensland and returned with recording new songs the next day. From here onwards it had been a crazy time with recording, touring, making music videos etc so it has just been go go go. Coming up to the release for me it was a relief to have it come out as we had been sitting on the track and had been putting a lot of work in behind the scenes. So it was a sweet relief to finally have all that work be shown after such a busy period for us as a band.
Was the process of making the single as challenging as you thought?
For me I usually have a great time in the studio and when writing. When working with our producer Chris we are very open with each other about what we think of sections and where we think a track can go. That kind of relationship and trust has been a real benefit for us and I think it helps that outside of music we are all very good friends. There are always aspects that are challenging, for me this song was all about the execution of notes as the whole song is played with single notes with no chords being played. So being tight on the execution has been key. I want to always be challenged with every track in some way so that I never remain in my comfort zone for too long.
Was it a huge buzz hearing your single on the radio and TV?
Yeah it was really cool to hear it on the radio. I missed it on the TV but as soon as it was on my phone blew up. I actually had fallen asleep and woke up to my phone going off and thought “Ahhhh there must be something going down!“ But when I actually came out of the post-nap, “Where am I and what year is it,” stage I checked my phone and was stoked with the messages that people were sending through.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
I think to each of us that could be a different answer. I try not to look too deep Into it. Some friends have labelled it Nu Metal resurgence and others dark rock. But being a massive Nu Metal kid I’ll happily take that label any day haha! #limpbizkitforlyf
How did the band get together?
I had put an ad out looking for a singer on a website called Melband, Monica answered but we didn’t catch up until months later. Upon our first meeting with the lineup, we had at the time we all had a similar vision in terms of what we wanted to achieve and who we wanted to work with. We very quickly had a band name, and some demos and had started recruiting other members. We recorded a couple of singles and an EP and played our first show back in 2019. Ricky jumped on board towards the back end of 2019 and we have evolved massively and continued as a four-piece since.
What inspired the band name?
It started with just the word ‘Martyr’ but it kind of inspired things further when we all had been reflecting on how over the years we had seen so many friends be burned out and leave music behind. There are a lot of those faces I miss around the scene now and there was a feeling that we were some of “the last” left from the people we grew up playing music with or went to study music with.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
For me, I’d have to say I write a lot of my favourite riffs based on emotion. When writing I tend to listen to a lot of different music so if I’m angry then you will usually find heavy guitars and blast beats or if I’ve been listening to something less heavy there will be more of a jazz or blues influence to the guitar riffs. A bit of nostalgia would also come into it as well throwing back to the bands I love from that mid-90s to mid-00s Nu metal influence.
How was it touring with the likes of Black Veil Brides and Sunk Loto?
With black Veil Brides, I did not really know what to expect but any expectation I could have had was exceeded in every way. We played three shows in very quick succession and the crew was great. Their fans are extremely loyal and they really opened up and accepted us which was an amazing experience.
With Sunk Lotto I have been a die-hard fan since I was a kid. So it was hard to not fanboy hardcore on this tour. The lads in Sunk are an absolutely beautiful bunch of people and have been very hospitable. It’s been great to see them at their best and I can’t wait for the Melbourne and Sydney legs of the tour.
Are you looking to tour more broadly?
At the moment we are touring Australia. We just played Bigsound in Brissy, had our first big headliner at Stay Gold in Melbourne last weekend, and have a few festival dates with Scorched Fest in Queensland, Froth & Fury in Adelaide and In Peril Fest in Sydney then rounding off the year finishing the Sunk Loto tour in Melbourne and Sydney.
What’s next for The Last Martyr?
We have a lot of shows and touring until the end of this year and we have just dropped some new merch designs including some sick-as socks. But keep your eyes peeled for “generic big things coming” in the future for more TLM shenanigans.
Interview By Rob Lyon