Today, it’s impossible for something to be from only one place. With advanced technology, new forms of transportation, and the ability to take in the wonders of the entire world, nothing is ever rooted in where it was born. Brothers Sean (vocals, guitar) and Lachlan (guitar, vocals) Caskey, along with Michael Sloane (bass), from the indie-rock band Last Dinosaurs, are walking proof that it’s the environment that changes a song into something universal, especially with their fourth album From Mexico with Love.
Last Dinosaurs have making music since 2012 and have toured around the world, performing sold-out shows and opened for leading artists like Foster the People and Foals while gaining a loyal international fan-base over the years.
Despite being from “a small country on the other side of the world,” Last Dinosaurs have spent notable time recording and living in cities outside of their hometown of Brisbane, Australia. From Mexico with Love, released November 4, 2022, under Nettwerk Music Group, is a ten-track collection mostly written by Lachlan in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the world began shutting down, the musician found himself trapped in the country, separated from the rest of the band. Lachlan states that being alone “forced me to concentrate more on [the album] and allocate the time to it because I didn’t have any distractions really for the majority of the time spent there.” Before the release of the album, Last Dinosaurs unveiled Yumeno Garden, their third album which had some of the songs produced in the southern town of Arita, Japan. The band’s long history of performances and travel — adventures that have taken them to Europe, the Americas, Asia, and more — have “definitely influenced” their music. “I couldn’t tell you how,” Lachlan explains, “but we’re definitely cut from a different cloth than most Australian bands and we can’t pinpoint why. It’s probably because we’re pretty multicultural; we’re half Japanese and Sloane’s mom is Dutch.”
From Mexico with Love is not only inspired by the country, but acts as a tribute to the people of Guanajuato and a commemoration of their lives. The band now forever has “a special palace in our hearts” for Mexico, Lachlan crediting his experience as “inspiring,” especially due to how it challenged his way of thinking. “I just have like a newfound respect for what it’s like to just be a regular Mexican. ‘Cause life there, it’s so full of so much ugliness as much as it’s beauty. And I think, maybe, that there are some polarizing feelings on the album too, where there are some morose songs and then very happy songs.”
The album provides a variety of sentiments, each song different from the last and ultimately an encompassment of the human emotional spectrum. Songs like “CDMX”, “Put Up With The Weather!”, and “Collect Call” are more traditional indie-rock, born from catchy melodies and upbeat lyrics. In contrast, tracks such as “Look Back” and “Note To Self” delve deeper into feelings of regret and introspection. The eighth song, “The Hating,” is unlike any other on the album; it’s a just-under-four-minute piece denouncing the Australian government and pointing out its flaws. Lachlan wrote it as something that “was really just transmuted from how I felt about a particular subculture in Melbourne of insufferably arrogant hipsters. But, I generalized it to be about how Australia was at the time: just super privileged.” It was initially released as a single and quickly acquired attention on TikTok as people started using the song to make political posts commenting on their government systems. Last Dinosaurs conclude that “people feel rage from their government, and it’s a feeling that needs to be fleshed out. Music shouldn’t just have to be about heartbreak and stuff, it can be about anger as well.”
The band is currently on tour with Bad Suns, a 28-legged run in the United States, followed by a show in Singapore, a festival in Thailand, and finally, three concerts on the Eastern Coast of Australia. Sloane comments on being excited to go back to his country, but expresses that he “[doesn’t] know if the shows are going to be any different.” Due to being such a global band, Last Dinosaurs speculate that they “fit better outside of Australia,” and have enjoyed traveling around America in a van, meeting fans who have broadened up their listenership in ways never imagined. “When we came to the U.S. everything opened up a bit. It’s funny cause it’s not like we’re sort of releasing anything extra that they couldn’t see online. It was just more like finding out about it and then doing the touring and stuff I guess. It legitimized us as not just some random Australian band.”
Now four albums into their career, Lachlan admits that he feels pressure to constantly be creating more music. “Your f***ing career depends on it,” he said. “It’s really just go, go, go all the time.” When it comes to social media, the group described that it has been a “slow grind” for them; Sloane elaborated on how YouTube, despite not commonly being thought of as a social media, has enabled them to grow and understand that they had an audience out in America. Even then, Lachlan theorizes that if the band were to take more time to produce their next compilation, they would face consequences for their absence: “I think it’s more a time-limit thing. ‘Cause, we’re not super young anymore. So we just gotta go, make as much out of it as we possibly can. Do it as best as we possibly can.”
Regardless of their anxieties, the trio has continued to appreciate every opportunity their given and make the most out of any situation. They affirmed that they have “really good careers, some great stuff’s happened,” and Lachlan is adamant that he will “always be involved in music in some way, I know that I will. I won’t be able to do anything else.” But their work is far from over, backed by the confidence gained from seeing new fans alongside old ones, and getting to play their music all around the world. Sloane defined his love of music as something ubiquitous: “Everyone loves music. There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t like some kind of music ‘cause it just, it makes you feel good or it makes you feel something.”
Lachlan and Sean Caskey, and Michael Sloane have driven over thirteen hours every other day to play in front of screaming fans in sold-out venues, but their journey is far from ending. Amped with the energy of the world, and enough Dr. Pepper in Sloane’s hands to keep him running for miles, the group has proved themselves as a band worth noting and one that will continue to make passionate music, always From Last Dinosaurs with Love.