With One Last Breath Vocalist Sam Graves Talks Self-Titled EP
York, U.K.’s With One Last Breath has sold over 20,000 copies so far of the band’s self-titled digital EP. This five member group consists of Sam (guitar/clean vocals), Spencer (screaming vocals), Joe (lead guitar), Chris (drums), and Lanky (bass). Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria fame also performs the featured guest vocal on the track “Wake the Dead.” Metalunderground.com recently had an opportunity to interview Sam Graves about working with Danny, the EP, and the band’s upcoming video.
Valerie: How did the band get started?
Sam: The band started a couple of years ago when me and my brother Joe Graves, our lead guitarist had both left local bands. Although we jammed together at home for years, we never thought of being in a band together. We got in contact with Chris, who is still with us now and recorded a few demos. We recruited a bass player and from there, we set out on doing small shows across the UK. It all happened fast really for once.
Valerie: Why did you select this name for the group?
Sam: We actually booked our first show without having a name. Weirdly enough, our first show was with a band who at the time were only partially recognized but are now well on the road to success globally. It was with U.K. based band Bury Tomorrow. We got offered the show and accepted without even thinking about having a name. We have a song called “With One Last Breath: so we swore that for one show only, we would use this band name. Two years on and we still haven’t changed it haha!
Valerie: Can you describe the sound?
Sam: The sound is quite weird. Original, as far as we are concerned. Influences reach from one end to the other, starting with Metallica, stretching all the way to bands like The Devil Wears Prada and Killswitch engage. I’d say our sound captures the catchy success of acts like A Day To Remember and Bullet For My Valentine, and the heavier parts more like Killswitch Engage and The Devil Wears Prada.
Valerie: Tell me about the new EP.
Sam: The new EP was the kick off for this band. Last year we had nothing to show. The release of this EP (with the help of a few guest vocals) has sold in excess of 20,000 downloads. The best part about it is the fact that it’s not just in the U.K., It quite literally is all across the world. When we released it, we expected to do a maximum of around 200 sales, and that is no exjaduration. To have it selling this much, and have proof that every month the sales are better than the last, it’s so exciting to think what could happen for us next.
Valerie: How did the collaborations with the featured artists develop?
Sam: Well, I fucked up on tour basically. I was the clean vocalist and the screamer. We were in and out of the studio whilst playing shows and I went into the studio one day, with no chance of getting a scream out of me. We rang our mate Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria) to ask him to help with the screaming parts as he was back at home in York at the time. I went to pick him up, and he put down the screams for the whole EP in one day. Luckily my scream came back a few days later, but we knew we had to keep some of the valuable work that Danny had done on our EP, so we kept it in “Wake The Dead.”
Valerie: Do you have more planned for future LPs?
Sam: We plan to release a full length album this year. With a label or not I’m not sure of at the moment... but something will be released regardless. We owe it to the people who are supporting us already.
Valerie: How are things progressing with the next LP?
Sam: Its over half way done now, with a few touch ups to it, we just need to go in and record it! There are currently two songs available from the forthcoming CD and a third on the way with a video so that should give people a good insight as to what they are waiting for.
Valerie: Which song will be featured in the new video?
Sam: It’s a brand new song, titled “After The Suffering,” which we do have a lot of behind the scenes footage online already with a sample of the new song somewhere in it. It’s the heaviest song we have put together so far and I’m ecstatic to find out what people will think of it.
Valerie: Is the video completed yet?
Sam: The video at this moment in time is not complete. All the footage has been recorded for it and now we are just waiting for the company to come back with something special. I know they will do a good job, we worked all day and into the night for days to get the footage we need and I know for a fact they will do a good job.
Valerie: How long have you been playing?
Sam: Live as With One Last Breath, I’d say less than two years, plus the fact that we lacked in seriousness until we brought out the EP. We didn’t even promote of advertise the EP, I think we put it on ITunes just to say “Hey guys, we are on ITunes!” After the release and the major sales, we knuckled down with our manager and hit the U.K. hard in 2010. We hope that we can top it this year and so far, it’s looking up for us.
Valerie: Are you self taught or did you take lessons?
Sam: Our lead guitarist and drummer are fully trained up musicians. The rest of us are self taught. It helps to have a balance though because there’s such variation in everything we put together.
Valerie: Who are your major music influences?
Sam: Our major influences are Attack Attack!, The Devil Wears Prada, Killswitch Engage, Bullet For My Valentine, then a few classics like Metallica etc... Kinda weird, but cool.
Valerie: Where do you get inspiration for the music?
Sam: Our inspiration comes from horror and motive. We like to write gruesome songs, without being way too gruesome. We like to bring in experience, motive, and images of what someone could be witnessing or experiencing. Personal in a darker, weirder, and scarier way really.
Valerie: How would you define your role in the group?
Sam: Me and my brother do all of the song writing which takes up a lot of time. We do tweak with the rest of the guys, but that’s the way it works best and I don’t want to try and fix what isn’t broken.
Valerie: Does one person write the lyrics or do you work together?
Sam: I actually write all of the lyrics. As I used to be the full time singer of the band, I found it hard to let go of that role, but I knew we had to get in someone better, which we did. I couldn’t let go of writing lyrics though, which I write on my own, in my own time.
Valerie: What do you do in your spare time?
Sam: I’m always busy band wise. I could be working alongside Chris (drummer) looking for new merch designs, doing interviews, making plans for the band or keeping up to date with all our followers online. The support they choose to give it amazing. Without those guys we would be nothing so we owe it to them, and do so by trying to talk with everyone who wants to talk. Thanks guys!
Valerie: Are there any plans to tour the USA?
Sam: Our plan is to get out there ASAP. There is a bigger buzz for us our there at this moment in time compared to anywhere else in the world... we just need the final push to get us touring out there. It should be too long as long as we keep working hard.
Valerie: What is your favorite football team? Do you play?
Sam: Three of the band don’t care. I on the other hand do care, as well as Spencer. We are both die hard Manchester United fans! I think Spencer does actually play for a team too, can’t remember who though. I choose not to play, but to enjoy a lot of beer whilst watching it. It’s a lot less physically challenging.
Valerie: Can you tell me the future goals for the band?
Sam: Goals haven’t really been set by the band just as yet. I suppose the goals will seem more realistic when we have a label behind us to help us achieve those goals. For now, it’s probably play Download Festival as I’ve spent the past six years going and watching all my favorite bands. I hope I get a turn to perform to people like myself.
Valerie: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Sam: Follow us online, keep your eyes peeled for the new video, listen out for show and tour announcements and just generally keep doing what you’re doing. Thanks guys! Advertise the EP, I think we put it on ITunes just to say “Hey guys, we are on ITunes!” After the release and the major sales, we knuckled down with our manager and hit the U.K. hard in 2010. We hope that we can top it this year and so far, it’s looking up for us.
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