Band Of The Week

“There’s nothing like when it began!” says/sings Paulie Godbout quoting one of his heroes, Paul Westerburg. The sentiment rings true with the three founding members of Salt Lake City’s The Last Look. “We’ve always been big fans of The Replacements,” says singer and guitarist Godbout, “and over the last few years this has inadvertently become our mantra,” he says laughingly. “It seems like every time things get going something major changes or someone leaves. This time we said ‘screw it! and kept on going.’” Along with Dago Marino on bass and Josh Tomlin on drums, the trio has been in a constant metamorphosis during the tenure of their career. The band has been through almost as many names as they’ve been through supporting members. “This band started as three friends making honest music and along the way we’ve invited anyone who wants to join to come along for the ride. In fact, on our latest EP this guy who lived in the house where we were recording was playing Charlie Brown Christmas songs during our lunch break and we asked him to play some piano parts for us. I’ve never seen the guy again but he’ll always be a part of my life and it’s music that’ll forever bind us.”

From the conception of the band in Phoenix, AZ, as the female-fronted power-pop Feline, to the current manifestation of their art-brought-to-life, the musical landscapes this trio has traversed has been as diverse as the cities they’ve called home. “We’ve been through a lot; seen a lot; grown up a lot; learned a lot; drank a lot; suffered a lot; loved a lot; tried a lot; failed a lot; lost a lot; found a lot; everything that’s ever been a part of any great story,” says Godbout. “All my favorite songs and favorite books are ‘epic’ in some way. It’s only fitting that our story should be epic and contains all the same elements.”

The Last Look is a band that views the music they’ve made as “photographs of the various stops along journey.” Godbout says, “They’re called albums for a reason; songs or pictures compiled into one...tome, if you will, are a way to let others see and experience where you were at a specific place and time. If you want some sort of biography of this band just listen to the music we’ve made. Sadly, I think our age has sometimes shown in the maturity of the music”, he says with a smile. “I think ‘Cut’ [the new EP] is a pretty exposed glimpse into our lives at the time we recorded it. Musically it was a brand new approach that led to a lot of head-butting and disagreement but in the end resulted in something we’re all proud of.”

The tension and confusion TLL was experiencing during the writing of the songs on the EP show through in the final product. The first track, “Don’t Tell Me” begins in ambient confusion and ends on a note, literally, indicating something more is still to come. The record continues and flows seamlessly due to creative intervals that in the analog age would have left the cutting room floor a wasteland. The final track “Angels” is the perfect resolve that this mini-epic needs. While the record may begin in chaos, its story closes with a room full of people singing in appropriately weathered harmony.

“We actually finished the recording back in November. What I love is that the songs have already changed and been given new life”, says Godbout. “[Bob] Dylan never does the same thing twice and I love the unpredictability. I’m proud of what we’ve done but it wouldn’t be the same if we recorded it today. Or tomorrow. Or in 6 months. Life is always changing and we’re always changing so the music has to always be changing. That’s why we’ve been together so long; it’s never been boring.”

Boring is the last word you would ever use to describe TLL’s live show. “Bards, banter, and bruises, baby!” say Godbout. With the newest addition of keyboardist Hayden Henderson the life and depth of the band’s sound has never been more captivating. The live set is fueled by the conviction of the songs’ writers and kept interesting with an ever-changing approach to the songs’ composition along with an array of unique samples both in and in between the songs. Godbout explains “making music is like being in love; if you aren’t always doing new things and spicing up the routines then both you and the one you want to woo get bored.”

When asked what was next for the band Godbout fittingly replied “I don’t know. But you’re welcome to come along and find out.”