Meet Brooklyn's premier thrashcore band One of the Last
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
Absolutely! My name is John O’Connor and I’m the singer of the Brooklyn Hybrid Metal band One of the Last! Hybrid Metal is our unique mix of hard rock, metalcore and thrash metal. We’ve been a band since late 2016 and I’ve been a member since late 2018.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
Well, the global pandemic delayed the recording process of our upcoming EP. We hope to have it ready to go some time this fall. It will feature the 3 songs we already have uploaded (Determined/Shotgun/Wallflower) along with 2 other songs. If my math is correct, it’ll be a 5 song EP and the title is still TBA. Although, Photogroupie sounds like an awesome name! I’ll bring it up to the guys!
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
Bringing people together through rock/metal is number 1 for me. This entire world has been flipped upside down and there’s too much negativity. Our songs, while heavy, have positive and uplifting lyrics so if we can shine a little light on someone’s day with our music, it’s all worth it! I know it sounded a little self-serving but it’s true. We want to be different, make different music and bring everyone from different walks of life together through our music.
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?
Positive, heavy, catchy, familiar and different. Our music is heavy but catchy, the lyrics are positive and the overall sound is familiar but also different.
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
Meteora by Linkin Park. It’s funny, Linkin Park has been my favorite band for quite a long time but I thought they were boring when they first came out. I was a kid that grew up on pop radio so I’ve heard In the End millions of times. My friends got me into Slipknot, Mudvayne and Limp Bizkit during that time so I wanted something heavier. I believe I was in an FYE and heard One Step Closer for the first time. I went over to the sales associate and asked who this was and the guy said Linkin Park. The same band that did In the End also did this heavy song, so I ended up buying Hybrid Theory and loved it. Then 2003 rolled around and being a teenager with no internet at the time, I went to a CD store in my hometown called Saint Mark’s Records and got friendly with the staff there. They knew how much I liked Linkin Park so as soon as the record came in, they sold it to me days before it was “released”. That record is still my favorite record of all time because there are so many different elements. You have the hard rock, you have the sampling, rapping, screaming, and even a “shakuhachi”, which is a Japanese flute! Will One of the Last use a shakuhachi? That’d be pretty badass!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER
We have one music video up for our song 'Determined' which was just a run of the mill performance video. I do have to give our friends Deadtide some credit here. They have a video for their song 'Alteration' which is unbelievable! I’ve known those guys for a while and worked on several different musical projects with their drummer Daniel Touw. They’re all good guys and they have an album coming out soon. I’ve heard some of their tracks and if you love Melodic Death Metal, this is going to blow you away!
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
Way too many things haha. I work 2 jobs, train in Mixed Martial Arts, and I’m going back to school for IT Management. Add that to promoting the band, writing music, doing amazing interviews with publications like yours, podcasts and whatever it takes to make this band successful. I’m also newly married but thankfully, my wife is just as busy with her work and going to law school. Other than that, I don’t do anything!
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
This is going to sound a little odd but I’m like Will Ferrell from the movie Old School. There’s one scene where he’s in a debate and he blacks out, but during that blackout, his response to the question was perfect. I’m kind of the same way. I get a little nervous the morning of. By the afternoon, the adrenaline kicks in so nerves times 1,000! I can’t eat anything or drink alcohol before a set. I’m stone-cold sober onstage! Then I get on stage and it’s all muscle memory. I’m concentrating on hitting my notes, remembering the setlist, moving out of the way for solos and just trying not to audibly mess up. I say good night, walk offstage and then the nerves come back for some reason! It’s like my body blacked out onstage and then came to after the set haha. I told you this was going to be odd!
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
I didn’t form the band but Parker (guitar), Mario (guitar) and Tripp (bass) were in another band and left it to form this one. One day, I got a message from Mario. He saw my profile on BandMix (which is like Craigslist for bands) and asked if I wanted to jam. He’s in Brooklyn and I live in NJ so it wasn’t too bad of a commute. I liked what the guys had and I threw some vocal melodies around. It just happened to click and after a couple more jam sessions, they asked me to join the band. 2 years later, we have a good resume and we’re getting bigger every day!
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?
I 100% write the lyrics and the vocal melodies. Mario and Parker would come up with a guitar riff and then have a certain vision for the song. Our old drummer Brian would lay down a beat and Tripp would come in with his bass lines. We practice it a million times and then lay it down in the studio. Unfortunately, Brian left the band in February and right when we were about to audition a new drummer, the pandemic hit. This band has always been about awful timing but we still press on!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Let’s see how cringe-worthy I can make all of you feel right now. What inspires me is the dawn of a new day, the cooing of a newborn baby, a moist chocolate cake, the sound of a babbling brook trying to communicate with me and of course, Blue Train on vinyl by John Coltrane! Now that I got that out of the way, the short answer is successful people both in the music and the business world. I love reading about their daily routines and what made them stand out from all the rest. People like Joe Rogan, Mark Cuban, Zoltan Bathory, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jesse Itzler and Sara Blakely really transcended into different worlds. That’s what I plan to do. I want to be a successful musician but I want to learn to be a cornerman for a fighter. I want to learn all I can about computers and technology and help others through IT Management. One day, I want to start a podcast that actually becomes successful. I have a lot of goals and I feel like I’m going down the right path!
WHAT IS NEXT?
For the band, we’re trying to lock down a new drummer and start cranking out some new music! Until then, we’ll just be promoting our 3 songs. We’re going to have something special released for our new song Wallflower pretty soon. We’re in the designing stages now but once we lock down what we want to do, it’s going to be awesome!
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