Blending intoxicating melodies with no short of brutal hardcore breakdowns, From First to Last are here to put an end to the overdone cliche of teenage heartbreak. With very widespread musical influences throughout the band members, From First to Last have created a sound, which so far has proven to be very unique and amazing. But that's just the beginning for these young talented musicians, they plan to amaze their fans with a whole new sound, which is discussed in this interview. As Sonny Moore put it himself, this is "beauty that can't be denied."
This is interview was done on February 13, 2005 on the Epitaph Tour 2005 at Slim's in San Francisco, CA with Sonny Moore, vocalsit of From First to Last. The interview was conducted by Kevin Talebbeik. Enjoy.
Start off with your name and what you do in the band.
Sonny: Hi, I'm Sonny Moore and I'm vocals in From First to Last.
Can you give us a brief history of how you guys got started?
Sonny: Ok, well they were Florida based, the band was actually called First to Last, it was like a pop-punk band four years ago. Matt Good met up with Travis, Travis is from Albany, Georgia, and was going to school in Florida. Travis joined First to Last which turned into From First to Last and started taking shape as far as the new style of music or whatever. Derek was also going to school, our drummer, he was going to school the same place Travis was, that's where he met Travis. Derek was from L.A. though but they both went to school in Orlando for like recording and stuff, and they started a grindcore band called The Color of Violence, and they toured and stuff with that band. And Derick joined From First to Last because they kicked out their old drummer. They started touring and recorded the ep on four leaf productions. Their old bass player Joey actually went to jail for stealing. Derek used to play in this black metal band with this kid named Jon from L.A., so Jon moved to Orlando, and they started touring, they went on tour with like From Autumn to Ashes and all that stuff. They had a singer named Phil Rearden, the one that liked screamed in the band and stuff, so then they kicked him out. Then they got joined to Epitaph, then they called me, I've known Matt for a little bit. I went to Georgia where they were recording the album and I was going to try out guitar because either Matt or Travis was going to sing but then I ended up singing. It's a fucking long story.
Yea it's a really long story. Being so young and all, what was it like realizing that you don't have to school and you get to tour all the time?
Sonny: Oh man, I mean it was sort of a little and sort of wasn't because I always knew I would end up doing this ever since I was 9 years old when I got a guitar for Christmas. I always knew I wouldn't grow up like everybody else and fuckin' be like some middle class kid. Yea it's good.
Can you tell us some of your musical influences?
Sonny: My musical influences are really like...I listen to a lot of stuff that's really like minimalist singing or no singing. Like I love a lot of drum and bass and electronica, like I lot of Warped Record's bands like Squarepusher, Autechre, Aphex Twins. I don't know, I listen to pretty much everything though. I even like thing like....I've been listening to metal for a long time, I've listened to black metal. Like our influences are really weird because John and Derick are really like black metal, grindcore, you know stuff like that, crust and stuff. Travis is really like...he listens to a lot of that stuff too but he also listens to like 90's alternative rock and stuff. Matt listens to more of the poppier stuff.
Who came up with the concept for the album artwork?
Sonny: Actually this guy at Epitaph, his name is Nick, he does a lot of artwork for Epitaph, he came up with the design. It was kind of like a dark theme, like you can't really tell but the cd is like a force almost. There's a guy with a paper bag over his head carrying a coffin and then the actually cd is like a force like really contrasty and dark you know what I mean.
How did the title of the album come about?
Sonny: Well the whole album, in this time of music there's a lot of shit about like being young and heartbreaking and all that bullshit, we wanted to like take a darker side of that you know what I mean. It's actually from the movie "Heather's", it's like a movie from the 80's, it sounds like a really cliché emo thing, you know "my teen angst has a body count", but it's actually from the movie. It's basically like the more twisted side of being a teen, like we write about murders and stuff like that, it's not your average fuckin' high school heartbreak you know.
Yea, I noticed in some of your songs you're sort of making fun of the whole thing, like in "featuring some of your favorite words", is that the whole point? Right?
Sonny: Exactly exactly. Like it's so easy right now to write about heartbreak, you know it could've been "dear diary my teen angst has a heartbreak" you know what I mean, but we kind of wanted to make it rated R, body count you know, not fuckin' hold back you know.
This is the first Epitaph tour, how has that been going so far?
Sonny: Amazing amazing, the guys and all the bands are awesome. It's a bunch of brothers hanging out, you know all from the same label. We've been blessed with this tour, we're fuckin' totally happy. Every show has been amazing, the kids have been so awesome.
For someone who isn't familiar with your guys' music, how would you describe your sound?
Sonny: I don't want to describe our sound because we really haven't found our sound yet. Our next record is going to much different, like we're writing a lot. It's going to heavier but so fuckin' heavy that people..it's almost like uncomparable. But as far as like, if I wanted to describe our record now to people, it's basically screamo, rock and roll, punk rock, metal you know.
Do you guys have any new song yet?
Sonny: We're writing new songs, we don't want to say anything's finished yet because it's not really.
How was the making a video process for you guys?
Sonny: It was actually very time consuming and very fuckin' boring.
Sonny: Yea, we're sitting outside in the fuckin' heat forever, and me vomiting in that video, that was really me vomiting, like sick.
Where was the video shot?
Sonny: It was up like an hour north of L.A., near like six flags.
So what's your favorite part about playing a live show?
Sonny: Seeing kids go fuckin' crazy and see how crazy we can make them. We're really good on crowd participation. We're bringing the circle pit back! I can't stand kids like jumping around, there's like this big open space and randomly criss crossing, I love fuckin' circle pits, that's what I grew up on. So we're bringing that back.
What was it like growing up in the Southern California scene?
Sonny: I grew up in like the real ghetto East L.A. hardcore scene, I'd be like the only white kid with a bunch of mexicans going to shows and stuff, but it was fuckin' awesome though because I really got to see what really went on at a young age, like at 12 years old and stuff I was hanging around in the Bario. Being a white kid, I had all these like mexicans friends, you know what I mean, it was awesome though.
Read more of this interview and see some FFTL photos at href='http://www.thehardcorereport.com/index.php?page=111' target='_blank'>thehardcorereport.com!