The Last Gang

The Last Gang - Robby Wantland

  • Feb. 26, 2017
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Last December, Orange County punk rock band The Last Gang made its debut on Fat Wreck Chords with the 2-song 7-inch Sing For Your Supper. On Friday, March 2, they will release the full length Keep Them Counting.

Originally forming in 2007, the band called it a day in 2012 and were reformed by vocalist-guitarist Brenna Red and Robby Wantland.

Recently, I got a chance to talk with Robby about the bands reformation, their new relationship with Fat Wreck Chords, and the new album, among other things.

thelastgangThe band disappeared for a few years, tell me how the reformation of The Last Gang came about.

One day Brenna and I just started talking about doing music again. We always ran into each other at shows and out and about and talked about getting it going again but it was never set in stone when we would do it again. Then one day I think Brenna called me or I called her and we talked over details of how we wanted to do it this time around. We went through a few bass players and one day we we’re about to leave for a tour and lost our bass player a couple days before and I called Sean up (since we played with his other band before I knew he was going to be good) to fill in for the tour and he did great so we decided to make him permanent and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Were you all doing anything musically during the band’s “hiatus”?

Brenna did a band for a bit called Fiction Reform, I was in a band called Bamboula and was a drummer for hire for most of the time.

What bands or artists influenced you as musicians?

The Clash, Against Me!, The Pogues, Dave Hause, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Ryan Bishop, David Bowie, Cro- Mags.

What was the songwriting process like for the new album (Keep Them Counting)? Were you trying to stick to certain lyrical themes?

We wrote about 80 demos narrowed it down to about 15/20 demos than we started talking about who we wanted to record the album. Through the luck of the world and some friends I was able to go over to Cameron Webb’s studio to hang out and I played him the demos and he immediately was interested, from there it was even more hard work once we were record it. We really pushed ourselves musically more than ever before while tracking this album. Brenna has always been one of my favorite lyricist (I should probably tell her that more often haha). I don’t believe we were trying to stick to anything, just really talk about the world and personal experiences with it. I like that Brenna is able to tap into any subject without looking at it from a female or male point of view. She’s able to do it so you can relate no matter who you are.

the_last_gang_sing_for_supperHow does the typical Last Gang song come together?  Lyrics first? Riffs first? Jam sessions?

We kind of attack song writing from all angles. It can be as simple as Brenna coming up with a cool riff on the spot and we Jam to it, Sean will come up with something at home and bring it in or I will write a demo at home and email it to both Sean and Brenna and they change some stuff around and we bring it to the table.

How did you all get involved with Fat Wreck Chords?

Our really good friend Billy Beans (Kingrock Photo/ 99% Magazine) actually submitted some of songs to Fat and they reach out to us.

Are you planning to tour to support the new album?  What are some of your favorite venues and/or cities to play?

We are definitely going to tour in support of the album. Our record release shows are going to be with Good Riddance:
3/2 in Ventura at The Garage
3/3 in San Francisco at Slims
Then we go with Good Riddance for a few more dates in Portland, Seattle and Canada.

IMG_0034When it comes to venues and cities, we love them all. It all depends on the crowd really, we can be playing a packed show with crappy sound systems but if the energy good than we will love that city and venue forever!

What else does the future hold for The Last Gang?

Like the great Joe Strummer said “The Future Is Unwritten” 😉


Here are some links where you can learn more about The Last Gang:

The Last Gang official website
The Last Gang on Facebook
The Last Gang on Bandcamp