Los Angeles outfit letlive. recently had their incredible ‘Fake History‘ album re-released via Epitaph Records which has cast them into the ears of many of us for the very first time, and leaving one hell of a lasting impression, with a dash of “how have I not heard them before?” being a common response. It’s out now, and awaiting your listening, if you like it hard, heavy and passionate, then this is a band for you. Deborah Konopnicki recently caught up with Jason from the band to chat about the album and get some more info on the band. Click below to expand this post and take a read. Press play below if you are yet to listen to their sound.

Hey Jason! How’s it going?
I’m doing well! Just hanging around right now.

What’s the band up to at the moment?
At the moment we just got done playing a couple of release shows for the Epitaph debut CD, which were back home in San Diego. We returned from San Diego this morning. My drummer and I are just going around and doing some straight LA chilling by the pool with palm trees and all. We’ve got a little practice session tonight. It’ll be an all night grind pretty much.

I know that it’s been out for a little while now, but now through Epitaph this fresh release of “Fake History” is now available here in Australia for the first time, how does it feel to make a debut all the way over on the other side of the world?
You know, man; and this is no exaggeration intended it’s just surreal! It’s crazy, and not only to have that CD released on the other side of the world, but I’m talking to someone from that side of the world about that CD that was released. It’s real crazy, man! We’re so grateful, man. We’re so thankful. All we know and all that we can attest to is that there is never any reason for us to feel entitled. The album did not have to be released over there and you did not have to call me or listen to it, but we’re so grateful. Thank you guys so much!

Absolutely, man. It’s a killer record! The album itself has gained you guys quite a bit of attention. I became an instant fan after hearing it for the first time. People have been absolutely raving about the release; whether it’s fans talking about it, people in the media and so on. How have you felt about such an amazing reaction to the CD?
It’s crazy! It’s just fucking crazy! We went into the studio with only just one objective. Our objective wasn’t just to create rave reviews or to become so much more popular, but Jesus Christ! We’re so welcoming of it. It’s so nice and we love it! We went into the studio and wrote this record to say something, no… I’m sorry. We went into that studio to make people feel something. We’re not even trying to say something if you want to get down to the bare minimum of it all. We’re just trying to make people feel things. I think that it’s one thing that we’ve lost, and not just through music but throughout cultures as well. It’s a very, very faltering thing but with all of this privilege, we feel that we need to do right by this privilege and we have to perform and we have to serve as our own testament to this album that we just released that we put our whole hearts into. That’s what we’re doing right now.

The album itself has been out for around a year now. It was initially released through Tragic Hero over in the states. As you said it’s a little bit surreal having it re-released a year on, but what it your relationship with the material like? Still very passionate?
With that, we felt that when we first released it that it was us proving to ourselves that everything that we had felt and said and talked about and acted on and so on, that we could do it! It’s been out for a year and what we’ve seen with this record being released prior is an amazing amount of organic progress and momentum that’s been building and building into us in the best fashion. It’s just word of mouth or people that believe or people that are patrons of what letlive is doing, because they believe in what we’re doing. I’m not saying that we’re the champions or the torch bearer of this dark, dark work and we’re bringing light to everything. I’m not going to say that because it’s extremely arrogant. What I’m going to say is with this record and the relationship that we hold is that we sincerely believe that we put every single bit of ourselves emotionally and even physically into that record. We can only hope that people feel the same when they listen to it when it’s presented through their speakers.

It’s such an emotionally powerful record. I can only imagine how some people would latch onto certain aspects in a live setting. I assume that you’d get people on either side of the spectrum. How have people been reacting to the material? Are people really emotionally attached?
Yes! Both on the CD but more directly with the live performance we’ve made the effort. We’ve made this sort of vehicle for people to feel something. I’ve always said in interviews that what drives letlive. is poignancy and progress. We want to be patients of emotion. That’s what proves that you’re a human being. That’s the must human quality; emotion. So, in a live setting what we aim to do is make ourselves vulnerable because that’s something that is unseen now. It’s not as common as it used to be or maybe as it should be. If we can present ourselves, these five vulnerable gentlemen on stage and make a comfortable forum for people to feel something; whether it be shame or a different emotion that they have been waiting to alleviate themselves of or bring to the surface, whatever that may be, we’re just there to open that forum in a live setting. People have really taken the opportunity to do so and we love it. We’re so thankful.

It kind of feels like you guys are creating your own little musical movement of sorts. You address the same sentiments on your myspace page saying that you created this record for people to feel something. Would you say then that “Fake History” stands for this awakening that might be taking place at the moment?
Yeah, I can only hope, man! I can only hope. There are going to be so many people that are going to be putting out records or standing on stage or writing books or on TV… there are so many different forms that you’ll be presented with. There’s an ideology for these doctrines. It has happened and it will continue to happen but what we know is that if you remain sincere and honest with yourself and everyone around you, even if they don’t want to subscribe to what it is you’re doing, if you remain honest and transparent then no-one can tell you otherwise. There’s no integrity comprised and with that you’re doing exactly what you think is right. The different with letlive is that we don’t know what’s right for everyone. What we know is that life is subjective and will always be subjective and with that all truth will remain relative. People and relationships, our associations and beliefs, it’s all relative! This might seem a bit vague but it’s so easy to tap into that primal source within you and understand that relativity is something that will help us move forward and something that will keep our mind open to things that could happen, that have happen and the inventible; things that will happen! That’s what we believe with this “Fake History” album.

I think it’s great the way that you guys are getting fans so passionate about this record and about how you feel, and even just seeing you have such a passion for your music is such an exciting thing. You treat your fans as a member of the band with how you are constantly getting them involved. It feels as if these grassroots activities that you take part in have lead to a rather passionate community. Is that really the case?
Yeah! I think that’s with our attempts to become accessible to everyone… literally, everyone! We went out in the efforts to be accessible. What that does is that it’s creates and environment where people can communicate and indulge in and I think people have done that. I don’t want to sound presumptuous in any way, but what we’re seeing and what we’re beginning to feel is that there is group of people that are like-minded or like-hearted that want to believe, so they’re with us. We’ll call it a bandwagon! I don’t think that it’s a bandwagon by any means, it’s just a group! It’s something positive.

So, a community rather than a fan club!
That’s perfect. Yeah, absolutely!

Following on from that, during February you guys pretty much re-branded yourselves as street performers! You played a bunch of street shows to raise awareness for public venues. Did you achieve what you set out to? Was there a lot of support?
Oh, yeah! And you asking that question is indicative of what we set out to do because we just wanted people to know that that is still a possibility and has been done before and worked and is effective, and is still there! As the small band that we are, people have enquired and want to know! Hopefully that trumps the idea. Not that we’re esoteric and have this fucking DIY mindset or whatever. Fuck that! We’re talking about doing things yourself because you believe in them and because you put in the hard work. You don’t create a scene that is esoteric and you don’t create a scene that you can’t be in if you’re this type of person or you wear these kinds of clothes or listen to this kind of music. We’re created a scene that is very public and we hope that people understand that there are alternatives. We’re still insisting that you can utilize whatever it is that you’re trying to say with whatever art, whatever show or whatever piece of work it is. You can put it towards publicity that works.

Touching on the record again, you have some really powerful tracks on there that I have no doubt have really resonated with many people, myself included. What tracks have you seen the best response to?
Ah, man. I think that one thing that works for us and one thing that we’re so happy about is that people have found on this record that with the songs, there is no reason for them to stand-alone. You can listen to the record as a whole. What I have been hearing a lot recently are that the emotive properties in “Muther” have been good. People have also been enjoying “Casino Columbus”. So, yeah. Those are some of the tracks on there that are really fun to play live. People really relate to it on that level and explore that dimension with that music. That’s always fun.

I totally agree when you say that the album is pretty much a whole. I seem to have a different favorite track every week with my current favorite being “Muther”. I just love how it’s so unique in terms of the rest of the album. It’s slightly slower and just epic in places with that awesome jazzy/rock/swing section at the end. Did you guys go into the studio with a whole lot of ideas about creating these very different tracks?
I like to say that it was simply the hand by which these songs wanted to be played. It sounds a little crazy and delusional but when we did this album, I think that these songs wrote themselves. They told us how they wanted to be played, what they wanted to be sung about and we would just been the hand and mouth by which they were played and sung. Again, we didn’t go in with a direct objective. We went in with a very liberal idea on how we were going to write and what we were going to write about.

What lead to the decision to re-release the album with Epitaph a year on from it’s initial release?
We put so much of ourselves into that album that we thought if we could in fact find a way to distribute it on a larger scale, then we would do so because we felt that this album would serve as something so much greater if it could be heard by so many more people. The number one point with re-releasing the album was to make it more accessible to a lot of different people all over the world. This phone call is a testament to that.

I’m rapidly running out of time so I’ll just sneak in two more questions today; is it weird having this new influx of people that have really latched onto this album now, a year after the majority of your fan base would have? Or is it simply just part of the process and part of what being in a band is like?
I think exactly that. I think that it’s just part of the process. There’s just this huge influx of information for kids and I think that people that listen to music or watch television or eat food; I think that there’s a huge influx as a result for the internet. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but sometimes there is just so much information to pay attention to that you sometimes need a boost that familiar catalyst. We understand that and we’re not jaded by any means. We understand that Epitaph has served as that catalyst for many people and that’s exactly what we wanted. For it to happen in the way that it has and the way that it’ll continue to is a damn blessing, you know. We’re lucky. We’re very lucky.

One last question and one that I’m sure a lot of Aussie fans would be keen to find out, is there any chance that letlive are you going to coming to Australia in 2011?
2011? I’m not sure just yet. We might find ourselves with a space where we can come down and do some stuff. I will tell you this though, I want to come down to Australia so bad because everyone that I’ve met and spoken with from Australia has just been phenomenal, and it’s also just a fucking beautiful place! We would love to come down there as soon as we can, at any point. I seriously cannot wait. I actually met a father and a son that flew to Los Angeles from there to our CD release show the other night and it almost brought me to tears. It was unexpected and it was amazing. It was incredible.


letlive. – Fake History
Instores now via Epitaph Records
Buy a copy online [Here] via JB-HiFi Online w/ Free postage.

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