LIFE: A Journey To The End (Interview)


LIFE. A band whose name sums up everything they’re about and everything they will be about. It’s a powerful statement, they are life. But it’s not a statement that’s been diluted. Their songs, in the words of guitarist Sean Chapman, “aren’t going to be all sad or all happy.” They’re songs about life. And, as with life, there’s a lot of emotion. Songs that you’ll sing to and songs that you’ll hold close to your heart.

Chapman laughs as he says he and the band are emotional guys (it’s no foolish question of masculinity but a much more important one about connection).

“We’re emotional about everything. Even if we’re writing about a subject that’s not that major we’ll still put a lot of emotion into it.”

That their songs won’t be all happy or all sad but certainly emotional is one side of the proverbial coin. Moi Jaurez (lead vocals), Matt McEwan (guitar) and Chapman are as culturally diverse as their music and as Chapman says, “We’re all from LA and we’ve taken the quintessential west coast sound [Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sublime] and then we’ve gone to Detroit and there’s some Motown and then we’ve gone down the coasts and picked up the punk bands.”

As people, they come at life differently and, like the music, that’s all brought together and the result is a slightly different approach to songwriting. Where some bands will write for their audience, LIFE make a point to write to them and the reason is beautifully simple.

“We write for ourselves and we write as though we’re one of the fans, because we are one of them.”

We all experience life and for many (the band included) music helps us get through what we’re going through. “We’re all dealing with crap,”  Chapman says sounding a touch jaded, “love, good things, bad things, it’s all life. We write about experience so people can have an outlet and sing or dance or have something they can connect to.”

Writing for the fans, not to them, is something he believes people take far too seriously. And while, and it’s not disputed, the best intentions may be at the heart of it, the end result can feel contrived and forced. Two feelings that the band were going to avoid at the beginning with Chapman saying if it was ever going to be forced, they’d have never started the band. It’s also about vibe and musical diversity.

“[Musical diversity] is important for us and every great band, not saying we are one, has a vibe that they offer.”

The EP RUDWN is four tracks and while it’s only a touch of what’s to come (Chapman let on that there will be a full-length and potentially another EP before that) it embodies their aim for musical diversity.

“That’s what LIFE is about and we want to offer different vibes in our lyrics and in our music.”

They’re not a genre band and they’re not about to be contained to writing about one or two emotions. Everything they think and feel ends up in the music

“We don’t discriminate against anything. We write about what we’re feeling and how we’re feeling at the time. Writing is one of those things you just have to do and not think about it.”

And write they did. Write they did. Chapman even says they over wrote and then continued to right more. LIFE turned into a powerful creative outlet for the band, it opened doors for them and allowed them to record with artists they normally wouldn’t have. The sound, Chapman says, comes down to them maturing as people and musicians and on RUDWN he’s confident that they’ve found their sound.

LIFE have taken what they know and what they feel and written an EP that has funk, a hell of a soul, groove and is all about life.

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By Sebastian Mackay