Last Dinosaurs are an Australian indie rock band from Brisbane, Queensland. The band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Sean Caskey, lead guitarist Lachlan Caskey, bass guitarist Michael Sloane, and drummer Dan Koyama. Koyama and the Caskey brothers are all of Japanese descent, and the band have toured and have made several trips to Japan.
The band's debut EP Back from the Dead in 2010 and subsequent debut studio album In a Million Years in 2012 have received critical praise by Australian media critics including the likes of Triple J, among others. In addition to Last Dinosaur's rapidly growing recognition and following by fans and members of the Australian music community, the band have developed a strong fanbase in foreign countries worldwide, in part by growing popularity through social media outlets.
The band is currently signed in Australia to independent label Dew Process, which has ties to Universal Music. In the UK, they are signed with Fiction Records.
Formation and early days (2007-09):
In 2007, frontman Sean Caskey and drummer Dan Koyama banded together during high school after developing a strong interest in music. Sean, who was very into the lo-fi movement, sought with Dan to "bring the musicality back to music" in a music scene that had failed to truly innovate and lost its focus on instrumental skill. It was through this ambition that Last Dinosaurs was born. Soon afterward, Sean's younger brother Lachlan joined the band as lead guitarist. Sam Gethin-Jones, who was already a talented drummer in the Brisbane music scene, tried his hand at bass and completed the Last Dinosaurs quartet.
Early success and Back From The Dead (2009-11):
After launching their debut extended-play in 2010, the band first found success after posting their demo to the Triple J Unearthed project. Not long after, they were interviewed by radio DJ Zan Rowe. Hit track "Honolulu" from Back From The Dead was placed on high rotation on national broadcaster Triple J, quickly gaining the band recognition in the music community. With their name popping up in music publications, blogs, and gaining fans through the airing of their songs on Triple J, the band was invited to play at mainstream music festivals including Splendour in the Grass, the Laneway Festival, the Falls Festival and Southbound, and have supported bands such as Foals, Matt & Kim, Lost Valentinos and Foster the People.
The band were approached by Australian independent music label Dew Process, on possibly being represented by them and distributing through Universal Music Australia. The band quickly accepted the offer, and was crowned a "Highlight Gig" of the Australian Music Conference 'Big Sound'.
In a Million Years (2011-13):
In early 2011 the band announced that they had been planning on recording their album after their "Back From The Dead" tour in mid-2010. In June 2011 the band started a Tumblr blog narrating their recording process for the album with producer Jean-Paul Fung at BJB Studios in Sydney, Australia. The album entitled as In a Million Years was released on 2 March 2012. The album made an Australian Top 10 Debut and managed to get to number 8 on the Australian Albums Chart and number 2 on the digital album charts. The band completed the sold out Million Years national tour, with multiple shows in many cities due to ticket demand. The band then completed a tour of the UK and Europe, and later released the album in the UK in September 2012.
Second album (2013-present):
Soon after releasing their debut album In a Million Years, speculation that Last Dinosaurs would produce a second studio album had already arisen, with bandmembers expressing ideas and ambitions for their next major release in interviews. On 13 October 2013, Last Dinosaurs officially announced through Twitter that the band have been hard at work on their second album. The new album is yet to be named.
Departure of Sam Gethin-Jones:
On 23 July 2013, Sam Gethin-Jones posted a statement on the band's Facebook page formally announcing that he was leaving the band. "For the band to move forward in the strongest way possible it is best that we part ways now," he said. Although he did not give a clear explanation as to why he was leaving, he ensured fans that he wasn't leaving music altogether, and the termination of his membership was the start of a "different pathway for him to follow." He thanked fans, and implied that there was no bad blood between the four. The announcement on Facebook was met with a considerable response. Fans expressed their sadness at his departure, with the most popular comments regarding Sam's good looks, and that this was "bigger news than the royal baby". As part of the statement announcing his departure from the band, Sam also told fans that the new album would "blow your minds", and expressed gratefulness for the many years with the band and encouragement to the remaining three members.
South African Tour:
Last Dinosaurs embarked on their South African Tour in late September 2013, visiting the country as a band for the very first time. It was the first tour and concert series without former bassist Sam Gethin-Jones. The band played three shows total, at the Alexander Theatre in Johannesburg on 27 September, The Assembly in Cape Town on 28 September, and in Pretoria on 29 September at an event hosted by Park Acoustics at the Voortrekker Monument Nature Reserve. At the show on 27 September at the Alexander Theatre in Johannesburg, frontman Sean Caskey formally announced to the crowd that they are working on their follow-up album to In a Million Years, and the band previewed a song provisionally named, "Losing Control".
Asia Tour 2013:
In November 2013, Last Dinosaurs began their Asia Tour, beginning with a performance at the 2013 Camp Symmetry music festival in Singapore on 2 November 2013. At Camp Symmetry, Last Dinosaurs previewed an unreleased song possibly from their second album, entitled "Sense". The band played alongside many other bands in the indie music community, including Wild Nothing and Veronica Falls, who they later joined in Bangkok, Thailand for the HYH Music Festival on 6 November 2013. The band performed in Manila on 22 November and in Kuala Lumpur the following day on 23 November. In light of the devastating typhoon in the Philippines, the band announced on Facebook they would be donating proceeds from their concert in Manila to charity in support of the victims. The tour continued in Japan with a show at Shinjuku MARZ in Tokyo on 25 November. The band then performed four more shows prior to Christmas in Sendai, Nagoya, and Osaka, with a final show in Tokyo on 23 December.
Addition of Michael Sloane:
As a result of Sam Gethin-Jones' departure from Last Dinosaurs, the band had lost its bass guitarist, leaving a major gap in the quartet's lineup. Beginning with Last Dinosaurs' South African tour, Michael Sloane toured with the band substituting as bass player and providing backing vocals. Sloane was the band's original bassist, and had previously worked with the band directed music videos for "Zoom", "Time and Place", and "Andy". On 28 January 2014, Last Dinosaurs officially announced that after four months of being with the band, Michael had officially returned and joined on as bassist.