Interview with Monica Strut Vocalist of The Last Martyr
The Last Martyr are a melodic metal band from Melbourne, Australia. The Last Martyr have a real exciting catchy sound that has an amazing feel, with a great mixture of clean and heavy vocals driven by vocal powerhouse Monica. The debut single for The Last Martyr “Into the Black” was released late July and received a really good reception with airplay in Australia and overseas. The second single “Stay awake” was released earlier this month and with their forthcoming EP “Into The Black” set to be released February 1 2019, it looks like The Last Martyr will have a big year next year so remember their name.
Earlier today I had the pleasure of interviewing via Email Monica Strut.At the bottom of the interview I have put in a couple of film clips from The Last Martyr and links etc.
Jai Q:First off for those who haven’t heard of The Last Martyr who are TLM?
Monica A:We’re a melodic post hardcore band from Melbourne, Australia who love music that is heavy, yet catchy. Think Asking Alexandria meets New Years Day.
Q: And how did The Last Martyr come about?
MS :The boys had been playing together in various bands for years. I (Monica) moved to Melbourne last year and immediately started looking for a new project. Eventually I replied to an ad on Melband our guitarist, Ben, posted and we met up with our other guitarist, Travis. We got along like a house on fire and within a week we had a band name, logo, several demos and a really solid plan for the rest of the year!
Q: What first inspired you into music and playing music?
MS : Music has always been a part of my life. I started piano lessons when I was 8 years old, played clarinet in the school band (lol) and was always making up my own songs on the piano and writing lyrics. I started my first band when I was 13 and my music taste got heavier and heavier in the years after. Once I discovered heavy music that’s when I really knew that music was my life’s calling.
Q: How did you get into Heavy Metal?
MS: My brother introduced me to Linkin Park and I also discovered Evanescence around the time when ‘Bring Me To Life’ was all over the radio because of that Spiderman movie. You could say they were my gateway bands into the heavier genres.
Growing up in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney’s south, Christian hardcore was massive and screamo bands were the main bands playing local shows. My friends and I were always at all-ages gigs and eventually all of this lead to discovering heavier bands and I’ve never looked back!
Q: What are some of the influences of yourselves and The Last Martyr?
MS: We love anything heavy yet melodic and catchy. We’re influenced by so many different bands from Periphery and Tesseract to Asking Alexandria and Architects. Matty our bassist is a total emo and hardcore kid so that does sneak in as well.
Q: Your debut single “Into the black” received a bit of airplay here and overseas can you tell me about how it felt to get that recognition and what that track means to you?
MS: OMG it felt amazing! We were so blown away by the support we received after launching the band with the track, ‘Into the Black,’ especially as we did all the PR ourselves. To get radio play on Triple J here in Australia and internationally within the first week of release was incredible and we were so grateful for the support.
We’d been working behind the scenes, writing, recording and planning for what seemed like forever so obviously we were really curious to how it’d be perceived. The song itself is about embracing the dark moments everyone goes through in their lives and it really means a lot to me. To have such an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the song and to the band took my breath away.
Q: Stay Awake is the second and most recent single off The Last Martyr’s forthcoming EP “Into The Black” what does this track mean to you?
MS: Stay Awake is about that moment you consider giving up on a huge goal because you just can’t see a way forward. For me that goal was starting another band when I moved to Melbourne. As I mentioned I’ve been playing in bands since I was 13 and the last band I was in was together for 6 years. When that band decided to call it quits it shook me pretty bad as it was such a huge part of my identity as a person.
Gradually I built myself back up and moved to Melbourne with faith that I’d find another, even better band. But that didn’t happen for ages. I spent maybe 7 or 8 months trying to network and find people for a new project and was getting so frustrated. It was the longest period of my life I wasn’t in a band and I honestly felt lost.
I remember one day just breaking down, questioning all my life choices and feeling so fucking pissed that I hadn’t found a project here yet. I said, “Fuck it, I’m giving up. Maybe I’ll just work in the industry instead.”
But deep down I knew that I had more to give as an artist and “Stay Awake” was sort of like the mantra I created in order to coach myself to stay in the game so to speak; To recognise that everyone has a time when they question everything but if we stay focused, eventually things will happen in divine timing and the right path will appear.
A week after that realisation, The Last Martyr was formed.
Q: The Last Martyr’s forthcoming EP “Into The Black” is due out February 1 2019 Can we talk about the process of making the EP?
MS: For sure! We’ve been writing heaps over the past year and the songs chosen for the EP are definitely our favourites. We have a song called Creatrix which is more rock n’ roll than the other songs, yet it’s the tune I scream the most in so I’m really interested to see what people think of that one!
Usually we’ll sit down and write/record the music at Ben’s home studio and I’ll go off and writing the lyrics in my own time. I’ll send the demo version back to the guys and they’ll give their feedback. Often they’ll tell me I can do better and off I go again until I get a barrage of random celebratory gifs in the band chat and Travis tells us we’re gonna be rich. That’s when I know I’ve done a good job.
Q: Where did you record the EP? And who produced mixed and mastered?
MS: The EP was recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Ted Furuhashi from an incredible Melbourne band called, Circles. If you’re into progressive metal you need to check them out!
Q: What has The Last Martyr got coming up into the end of this year and onto next with the EP due out early 2019?
MS: Since 2018 has really just been about writing, recording and building our online following, we’re wanting 2019 to be all about the live shows! We’re keen to tour, play some awesome gigs and just get out there in front of an audience. We’ve been missing the stage!
Thank you So Much The Last Martyr for making the time to do this for Crannk and myself I really appreciate it.
The Last Martyr are
Monica Strut – Vocals
Ben Rogers – Guitar
Travis Presley – Guitar
Matthew Mumford – Bass
Vin Krishnan – Drums
Jai “That Aussie Metal Guy” Anderson