For some, Lastelle will be an original proposition. For many others, just a singular mention of the band’s namesake will invoke a flurry of emotions. Such is the emotional prowess harboured by this rapidly rising and unique act.
Hailing from picturesque beauty of Oxfordshire, Lastelle have made a significant impact since their initially humble inception just a number of years ago. Forming in a wake of dissolution following the disbandment of an array of previous projects, the quintet have swiftly become a widely hailed powerhouse of potent emotion as of late, with the group’s richly dynamic take on earnest post-hardcore being heralded as a return to the golden years of the genre they approach. With the release of their debut EP Harrow, Lastelle established their homegrown sound with confidence and sheer cathartic determinism. Not unlike the emotional outpourings courtesy of artists such as The Elijah, Being As An Ocean, Casey and Underoath, the group’s sound is affluent with authentically powerful intensity that stems from an amalgamation of post-hardcore sensibilities and textured post-rock stylistics.
Not entirely unlike an overwhelming hybridisation of Acres and MONO, the group’s output is a cathartic search for answers in the wake of loss, love and interpersonal struggle. It’s these outpourings of delicately crafted intimacy that have made Lastelle such a renowned title on the now dormant live circuit, with the band having been sharing stages with the likes of Dream State, Polar, Chapter And Verse, Press To MECO, Parting Gift and many others prior to the start of the pandemic.
Despite Harrow being an emotionally fraught statement of sound and intent, the band are currently gearing up for the next chapter of their blossoming career. Following on from signing to Year Of The Rat records last year, Lastelle are now on the verge of releasing their second EP in the form of Delicate. Releasing February 26th via Year Of The Rat and Beth Shalom Records, the forthcoming extended play not only see’s the band further detailing their impassioned sound with grace and dynamism, but also see’s them showcasing their intricately tight understanding of ethereally arresting sonics to bring comfort to listeners and to them themselves.
With Delicate soon set to usher in a new era of Lastelle, we got in touch with Freddie Whatmore (Bass), Jonjo Willaims (Guitar), Mike Haydan (Drums, Vocals), Rich Lester (Guitar) and Adam Rigozzi (Vocals) for an introduction on the band, the forthcoming EP, catharsis in music and more.
For those new to Lastelle, how would you briefly describe yourselves?
Freddie: "We are post-hardcore band, inspired by post-rock. We blend together cinematic orchestration, poppier choruses and honest emotion, to make a wall of sound, in an effort to overwhelm the listener. People compare our sound to bands like Devil Sold His Soul, Being As An Ocean and The Elijah."
You’re currently gearing up to the release of your new EP Delicate. How are you feeling about the release as a whole?
Freddie: "I'm so proud of how this release is sounding, due in part to the excellent mix from Simon Jackman at Outhouse Studios. He's done an incredible job of helping us expand our sound and represent it on record. Aside from that, all the singles we've released so far have gone really well. 'Coping Without a Cure' has taken off and is really resonating with people, which is so nice to see and hear. Hopefully people enjoy the rest of the EP!"
How was the recording and writing sessions for the EP, did the current events influence the record in any way?
Jonjo: "We were quite lucky timing wise with this EP in regards to the UK lockdowns, as we finished the recording process just before restrictions started to come in. This gave us the opportunity to get the EP mixed over the first couple months of the initial UK lockdown. The recording sessions themselves though were great, and I think we felt like a much more cohesive unit during the recording process this time around. It’s definitely been a weird process, and not one that we expected to find ourselves in for this EP cycle...but all things considered, it's gone as smoothly as we could've hoped for!"
Delicate is the follow up to your 2019 EP Harrow. Looking back, how do you feel about the EP as a whole?
Jonjo: "I think we collectively look back at the Harrow EP incredibly fondly. I'm still really proud of the songs on that EP, and although there are things that we might do differently now, I think it really encompassed us a band how I hoped it would."
Before the pandemic hit you toured relentlessly. What are your favourite memories of touring and what did touring as a whole teach you as a band?
Mike: "Being on tour is a dream. You've probably heard it before that it really isn't easy, but it's totally what you make it! When we are on the road we really try and fit as much sight seeing and activities in as possible. There's nothing worse than sitting in a van for hours just to go and sit in the back room of a venue, so we always plan something ahead of time. You can never go wrong with a bit of mini golf to set you up for a great show."
There’s an urgent level of emotion within your work, is writing a cathartic experience and do you feel like you’re channeling something when recording and performing?
Mike: "When it comes to writing music, we feel that we need to write about things that people can truly connect with, whether that be loss, love or mental health. So when it comes to writing the lyrics, it really is like getting a weight off your chest. Performing the songs live is incredible - it feels very therapeutic and we can’t wait to play the new material live."
You’ve already established an aesthetic in regards to your merch and visual content. Could you elaborate on that?
Rich: "We’re very conscious of branding and create everything ourselves from the single/EP artwork, merch designs to all our music videos. We all help out and are all on the same page with how we want the band to appear online, which is super important right now. Being in a band is expensive so having constant support from fans who buy our all merch is a massive help, they really keep us going!"
Finally, what hope listeners take away from the Delicate EP?
Adam: "On a surface level, if people enjoy the music we’re writing, that means the world to us. Separately though, if our music provides any sort of emotional release for our fans, and allows them to feel like they’re not the only ones battling internal demons, we’ve done our job in providing something we’ve tried to make relatable and honest."
Delicate is released February 26th via Year Of The Rat Records and Beth Shalom Records.