What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in music, and what was your journey to becoming a musician or band like?
We have all had an interest in music from a young age. Hearing music we loved as kids and seeing live performances and thinking “Hmm maybe I could do that” were what really made us pick up our instruments. Funnily enough I think we can credit part of it to rock band and guitar hero as well. In terms of how our band formed, I (Trick, lead vocals and guitar) met (Mitchell, the drummer) at a show that our own previous bands played together at The Red Papaya in Guelph. We didn’t talk much, but I think we both thought highly of each other’s playing after that show. Over 2 years later, I messaged Mitchell after seeing some drum content he had been posting on Instagram. We decided to jam some covers and original material I’d been working on to see what happens. We clicked right away, both in terms of musical chemistry and our influences. We further built up our chemistry by playing several open mics and cover gigs together. We had our first show as The Last Armada in December 2021 with another bassist. Eventually we found a new bassist, Brent Wilson, through mutual contacts. Since then, we have played several shows and released 2 singles with more on the way!
Who are some of the musicians or musical acts that have had the most significant impact on your work and your sound?
Our foundations are built heavily upon music from Led Zeppelin – in their creative effort to expand upon existing ideas and experimenting with different genres while still maintaining their ground as a great band. Aside from that, in our music there’s a mashup of The Beatles, Royal Blood, and John Mayer to name a few.
Can you describe the progression of your musical style and what sets it apart from others in the industry?
Our style is definitely rock music at its core, but who’s to say we can’t dress it up with a bit of R&B or funk or even reggae music? We don’t want to be too experimental, but we also don’t want to be just another hard rock band. One of the standout features of the band is everyone’s high-level caliber of musicianship and artistry. In a lot of cases, you see groups where one member is carrying the whole band, but in our band, it’s an equal effort to put on a great performance in live and in studio settings. Our musical variety and our ability to improvise jams and solos on stage are standout features of the band as well!
Could you elaborate on the backstory and significance of your artist or band name?
I (Trick) wanted a band name that sounded intimidating, yet vague enough as to not pigeonhole us into any given genre. One of the main foundations of the band is to be able to incorporate several styles and genres of music into our version of Rock. We want to write music that challenges our listeners, but can also be consumed by a general demographic. The Last Armada represents the three individuals that form the band; established musicians and artists in each of their own right.
How do you typically approach the songwriting process, and what role does collaboration play in your work?
I’m the main lyricist, but aside from that we don’t necessarily have a formula for writing songs. In fact, we’ve found that the best way to be creative is to not restrict ourselves to a certain process. Sometimes I’ll comes to a rehearsal with chords and lyrics, sometimes the songs are born from a drum groove Mitchell randomly went into from a jam, sometimes it’s a bassline that we build from. We draw from our personal experiences of love, loss, loneliness, addiction, etc… to create music that people will (hopefully) connect with. As for collaboration, we sometimes have friends play a song or two on stage, but we haven’t collaborated on any songs with other artists yet!
Can you share with us a particularly meaningful or personal song in your discography, and what inspired it?
Our drummer Mitchell wrote most of the lyrics for our song “Bittersweet” after his mother lost her life to cancer in 2019. The music itself is relatively upbeat and dancey, while the lyrics are sad in nature. This captures the conflicting feelings of grief and nostalgia as you try to remember all the good times you had with someone who has passed.
Could you discuss the evolution of your live shows and performances, and what you aim to convey through them?
We have loads of experience playing cover gigs as well as original gigs. We are a very dynamic band in that on stage we like to tastefully create moments; drum solos, bass solos, using drills for guitar solos, balls to the wall headbanging sections, romantic slow dance sections and switching up who’s singing leads are all fair game. After playing so many shows together, we can read subtle cues from each other like a book. Essentially what we are trying to convey is that each member is equally important and talented, and that each live show will be a different experience with unique moments.
Can you recall any memorable or unique experiences you have had while touring or performing?
Nothing too out of the ordinary! I think we’re just happy to see positive reception from audiences and there’s always a memorable moment as far as the music goes when we perform.
What is your perspective on the current state of the music industry, and how do you see it evolving in the future?
We think the current state of the music industry is neither good nor bad! On one hand, it creates equal opportunity for artists of all genres to get their music out there through the (heavy) use of social media. On the other hand, we feel the line between content and art is being blurred and takes away from the fundamental artform.
Can you speak to the role that activism, social justice or charity play in your music and career?
We don’t necessarily affiliate with any group and we keep our music secular. Our Drummer Mitchell is vegan and has a passion for animal rights and environmentalism, but this doesn’t directly influence our music.
How has your hometown or region shaped your musical identity, and what elements of it do you attempt to incorporate into your work?
We believe that Guelph has been a melting pot of sorts. It’s an inclusive city where you can see the metal artists hanging out with the folk artists, who also hang out with the punk artists. I feel we all inspire and challenge each other in a healthy way.
Could you share any exciting new projects or collaborations you have in the works?
We are currently working on 3 singles (recording, mixing, mastering, artwork) and are planning to release a live music video in the spring. An LP for the fall is also in the works. Be sure to stay tuned!
Spotify: The Last Armada