A few months has passed since the release of The Blackest Beautiful and it has become one of the most important albums of this year within the international Post-Hardcore scene. This crowns the efforts of letlive., who joined the Warped Tour this year as one of the breakthrough acts. It is not just the wildness of their live shows what generates attraction, the mixture of different elements makes their sound to have an unique seal which is easy to recognize and enjoy. We talked to Jean Nascimiento, guitarist on the band, who kindly answered our questions. Learn about his vision on art, about the physical and mental wear on tours and what’s their next music video, on this exclusive interview for HxC Life.
1. Just like many people, at HxC Life we were looking forward to The Blackest Beautiful, we think it is a solid and balanced album, a good successor to your previous work. Now, after some time since the record was released, what is your personal view on the reception from the people? Comparing this to the reception and feedback obtained with Fake History, what is the difference?
Thank you! I think, we all feel that the album definitely has an even flow. As far as reception, I feel that the album has gotten much great praise. We are all grateful and endeared by the response we’ve received thus far. In comparison to Fake History, The Blackest Beautiful has gotten much more espouser; especially since it is our first technical release on Epitaph Records, also it came out within beginning of The Warped Tour Festival– that definitely helped as well. So far, I’d say the reception has beyond reached my expectations.
2. When speaking to other bands, some of them tell us that when they write they don’t consider the expectations that the fans might have about the material. How does this work with you? What were the parameters that you had to exceed in order to create the album that you and the people deserved?
I personally feel that selfish art can sometime be the best art. Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike. So, when we are in the writing process, we don’t really worry about what people might think. We feel the music out together and if it captivates us, then it works.
3. We noticed more Latin American rhythms on this album, especially in terms of percussion, which differs from Fake History. What musical elements intervened or which influences appeared when writing The Blackest Beautiful?
Percussion is something that we definitely did put a lot more emphasis on this record. It’s definitely and element of our sound that we didn’t want to get lost in the progression of letlive. Also Jason and I grew up listening to artists like Earth Wind And Fire, Michael Jackson, and many other funk and soul artist that are inspirational in adding those elements. I’m also Brazilian- so for me, I think naturally Latin and percussion rhythms are something I’m drawn to.
4. In the case of Fake History the lyrics had a strong emotional burden (Muther, for example). I personally consider that the lyrical work on The Blackest Beautiful, as well as the emotional component, is more solid narratively speaking, adding a clearer and more acid view. According to your personal preferences, what is, in terms of lyrics, the strongest song off this new record?
I feel that Jason’s lyrics on the new record are definitely still very emotionally driven. There are many songs that lyrically are very engaging emotionally, But personally Virgin Dirt would be up there for me.
5. Besides the tours, what other promotional projects do you have in mind for The Blackest Beautiful? Have you decided which song will be the next single/video? Are there any tracks that didn’t make it to the album and might be released in the future as a re-release?
We’ve made a music video for Banshee, as I’m sure you’re all aware, but we’ll also be coming out with a video for Younger that we’ve just finished recording. Hopefully there will be a few more music videos we can expect to see for The Blackest Beautiful. At this moment we don’t have any B-sides we expect to add if there were to be a re-release.
6. Recently you were part of the Warped TourYou are currently playing at the Warped Tour, how was the experience ? You’re known for having intense live shows, so how do you deal with the physical -especially for Jason- and emotional wear that this kind of tour takes?
Warped Tour was a great experience, and we would definitely consider doing it again. Also it’s served as great exposure for the new album. There are naturally wear and tear and Warped Tour is very demanding and taxing on your physical and emotional state, for everyone I’d assume- But over our years of touring we’ve learned how to manage and deal with the extremities that daily life on the road present.
7. Your live shows are also known for having such an energetic audience. I remember having seen the video of one of your performances where a security guard was too hard on a fan and you were in favor of the fan. Through the years, what things have you learned about live shows? Are there any precautions that you consider when interacting with the audience? Is there a specific moment in a show that marked your lives?
In that particular case of the video you’re refereeing too, the security guard used extremely excessive force- choking the kid for having got on stage and stage diving. There are some situations where there are security guards that act extremely unprofessional. I’d have to say that would be my most memorable scenario. For the most part, I feel our audience is very aware of the kind of show we put on, and are respectable to each other and themselves. But we definitely look after our fans as our own.
8.You have had the possibility to go on tour with other bands, like Deftones and Pierce The Veil. What advantages, besides showing your music, do you see when performing in front of such diverse audiences? Is there any difference in the reaction of the people to your music?
One of the most gratifying experiences for me as a musician is seeing the faces and reactions of the people that see our live show for the first time. One of the great things is seeing people of different ages and who appreciate vastly different genres of music appreciate our live show. I feel that we are a very well rounded band musically- and that is why we are able to hopefully win over an audience such as the ones with The Deftones or Pierce the Veil. It is still surreal when we receive such positive responses from these audiences.
I don’t think that’s an issue we’ve ever worried about. I can understand people may use labels because they need a reference point for something they can’t describe. At the end of the day, I feel we have a unique sound that is our own, so genres aren’t really something that come to mind. It’s only another way to segregate forms of sonic art.
10. Before we finish, we must ask you this question: Is there a possibility to see you guys soon here in Chile?
I would hope so! If there is enough demand and the right tour/festival situation arises. We would love to tour or play South American and Chili especially! I would love see that in 2014!
11. Any final words for the fans that are reading this interview?
Thank you for listening to us! We really do appreciate our South American Fans! Keep supporting our music, and we will definitely see you soon in your respectable countries!
For more information about the band visit: Thisisletlive.com | Twitter.com/thisisletlive | Facebook.com/theletlive | Thanks to Jean Nascimento, letlive. Ignacio Cáceres and Valeria Lastra | Interview by Edgard Lara | Translation by Maximiliano Rojas