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2&2: Last November

For this week's 2&2 we actually have an Inside Track interview with Luke Pilgrim of Last November. Luke answers our questions and takes us track by track through the band's new album All The Gory Details.. 

2&2: The first obvious question: Where did your name come from?

Luke: Originally, Last November had no meaning whatsoever. It wasn't until about two years after I thought of the name that any significance formed from it. I wrote a song called "On New Years Day" and the chorus of the song says "This will be our last November/ I'm praying I make it through December..." 

2&2: How did the group form? 

Luke: Last November began about four years ago. I met Taylor (drums/vox) through our keyboard player at the time. Since then Taylor and I have kind of become the nucleus of Last November. We are the only remaining original members and over the years we've toured with various other musicians.

2&2: How would you describe your music to someone that hasn't heard it?

Luke: Like a struggling young rock band trying their best to survive in an industry that's consumed with fake sincerity. We aren't reinventing the wheel. It's only rock 'n roll. I can't claim to be the best songwriter around (especially while Paul McCartney is still alive), but I will say we're putting ourselves out there. We don't have to be dragged to the slaughter. We drive ourselves there with smiles on our faces. Because whether anyone ever listens to us or not, they can't say we didn't try our damnedest.

2&2: As an indie band you guys accomplished what a lot of signed bands haven't with your online success as well as landing songs in MTV shows. Do you expect things to escalate even more with your new record deal? 

Luke: Over the years, we've always made a conscious effort to utilize the internet and whatever other tools we had at our disposal. It's hard to predict the future (particularly in this business), but we do feel like things are moving much faster now, especially with all the radio support we've been getting.

2&2: How did the deal come about?

Luke: I met label president Butch Lowery several years ago. Since our introduction, I've just kept in touch. If I was in the area I'd stop by the Southern Tracks offices just to say hello or maybe play him and whoever else was there a new song. I always bring my guitar and or a rough demo of anything new I'm working on. We released our album independently and were doing literally everything ourselves. Then one day about a year later, we met with Southern Tracks and they decided they wanted to release "all the gory details..." and just repackage it. So we did. Since then things have been great. We're glad to have them on the team!

2&2: Now we get to the main part of the interview, the Inside Track. If you can gives us some background on each track. Forgive the pun, but all the gory details. Whether it's the meaning of the song, the inspiration a story related to how it was written or recorded etc. 

1. Aquaphobia
Of course all the songs are based (at least loosely) on something. However, I hate telling what I wrote the songs about because I don't think it matters. What matters is what a person gets from the song. There are certain songs that I hear now that take me back to a particular point in my life. Much like a certain scent can remind you of something from the past. I want people to take what they need from our songs, not what I'm forcing on them. That being said, "Aquaphobia" was based on an actual trip I took to the beach when I was probably in tenth grade. 

2. The Attic's Full of Paper Hearts
This song is a story about a fictional girl. She was based on several people I knew. Basically in the song she commits suicide. Her parents and her family keep all of her belongings in the attic. "I hope she can swim, 'cause she's diving into the deep end/ She replaced her eyes with a lens that told lies and she bleeds from the cut of a paper heart that was ripped into shreds and laid out on her bed for the cameras to capture in their film." 

3. Infantry
It's not an anti-war song. It's not really anti-anything. You can take from it what you will but really this song is an observation rather than a persuasion one way or the other. "Obesity, can it be a nationality?" Here I was talking about how America overdoes everything. I don't mean obesity just literally (although we do seem to love our fast food here) but we go to extremes in almost everything we do. Much of this song was inspired by my tenth grade American History class. We were discussing Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That's what conjured many of the vivid images like "A shadow on the wall, a silhouette, is all that survived the blast..."

4. Sniper
Sniper was inspired by a JFK documentary on PBS. Ironically JFK was assassinated on November 22nd... making that his "last November."

5. Sorry, Sweetheart
This was one of the last songs we wrote right before we started recording. It's pretty angry and vengeful. Obviously relationship based. I'm not sure this one was based on an actual experience. I think it was more of a combination of many different incidents.

6. On New Year's Day
This song was based on a real relationship I had, which explains some of the extremely literal examples in the lyrics. Although this song sounds extremely sad, it's actually quite uplifting because the whole theme is based around moving on and healing wounds. "On New Year's Day I'll start all over..." A promising new year that will be better than the last. 

7. Where Do We Go From here? 
Basically this song is about growing up in a small town and the common yearning shared by so many to escape from the town they were raised.

8. Addicted to You
I originally wrote this song when I was about eleven years old. No joke. Then when we recorded the album I rewrote some of the lyrics and kind of revamped it all together. 

9. Hindsight
Hindsight's 20/20. It's a saying as old as time but truer words were never spoken. I was working with this idea about a car crash and it ended up being the basis of this song. It's so weird remembering all this. I was so young when I wrote most of these songs. I started this one in one of my high school classes as well. The first line was inspired by this documentary we were watching about The Holocaust. It said when they were burning the bodies that there were so many ashes falling from the sky that it looked like it was snowing.

10. Every Gory Detail
Ah yes. The title track. This song was fictional. It's more of a story really. The first couple of verses and choruses are told from the girl's point of view. Then the tables turn in the third verse and the guy tells his story. I did this because songs are always one-sided events and we all know there are two sides to each story. 

11. Make-Believe
I honestly have very few memories of writing this song. It's a love song. It's about questioning reality because this person seeps into your subconscious so much that you are starting to confuse your dreams with the physical world.

12. When It Rains It Pours (and the forecast calls for a 100% chance) 
A strange song. I remember I played this song for my relatives on an old acoustic guitar by myself one weekend at the lake. I usually have to put on some kind of show for my family whenever we're all together. I don't mind though. I enjoy playing. Anyways, after I was done I remember the look on my grandma's face. It was pretty funny. She always acts like she likes it even though I know she was thinking "Was he really just singing about a flesh eating virus?" 

2&2: What are some of your favorite tracks? 

Luke: "On New Year's Day" is actually one of my favorite tracks. I think because it was so personal. I also enjoy listening to "When it Rains It Pours..." because it always puts me in a weird mood.

2&2: Any big touring plans in the works?

Luke: We do plan to continue touring and over the next few months we're going to begin touring on a larger scale and expanding our circle. However, at the moment we are taking a bit of a break from the road to begin the early stages of the next album.

2&2: Finally, what's next for Last November? 

Luke: We plan to get into the studio before the end of the year to start the new album! I've got so much material I've been working on since we completed the last album. I try to write at least a little everyday so I've accumulated quite a few songs. We've been on the road so much that we haven't had too much time to actually work on the songs. Next week we're actually going to start pre-production for the new record.


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