If Last Breath don’t make it big in the music world, it won’t be for the lack of trying.
The Blackpool lads have been going for a decade now, since they were High School kids. But the graft is paying off, with the band making serious progress in the last 12 months.
A music video with local girl/TV star Hayley Tamaddon caught the attention of NME and Kerrang, so did follow up The Weekend, and then came a support slot to Gary Barlow at the Illuminations Switch-On.
An album – Last Breath 24/7 – has been recorded and will be released next month with a signing session at HMV.
In short, after a decade of hard work, not to mention a lot of cash forked out by the lads themselves, the band feel as if they are finally truly starting to get somewhere.
“It’s taken a long time and it has been a hard slog but I’ve always thought that if you absolutely believe in what you do and you do it for the right reasons, then you will get there in the end,” said frontman James Parkinson.
“The music industry isn’t the same as it used to be. Record labels no longer pick up a band with a good sound and throw money at them.
“You have to do all the legwork yourselves and although that makes it tough, I think it separates the bands that really want to make it and those that are only playing at it.
“We’ve had to put thousands of pounds in to make videos and record songs, but we’ve now got a good sound, good gigs, fans and we’ve signed with a management company.
“We’ve won big battle of the bands competitions in the last 12 months, done the Switch-On gig – which was absolutely terrific in our home-town – and we are absolutely determined to have a career in music, no matter how much hard graft it takes.”
Last Breath formed in 2003, when James and his lead guitarist brother Tom (both at Collegiate High School at the time) started played covers.
Using their heroes as influences – American rock bands like Metallica and Nickelback – they began writing songs in 2007, realised they had a knack for it, and decided that was the way to go.
A breakthrough came a couple of years later when their cover of Taio Cruz’ Break Your Heart got 100,000 hits on Youtube.
It gave them confidence, and they began plans to record a video for a new song called Under Her Control, which is where Emmerdale star and Dancing On Ice winner Hayley Tamaddon comes in.
“I noticed she followed us on Twitter so I sent her a cheeky tweet asking if she fancied being in the video,” explained James, who lives in Layton.
“She asked to hear the song, loved it and said yes. On top of that she said we could film it at her friend’s house. It turned out to be a mansion belonging to Terry George, who was on Secret Millionaire, and she got her friend, the movie actor Daniel Brocklebank to star in it as well.
“We had a brilliant time making it and it got shown on quite a few music channels.”
Of course all that needs funding, which explains why James spends his days working as a supply teacher in schools around Blackpool.
“That’s why the album is called 24/7 because I literally spend 24 hours a day working, either in a school or with the band,” he added.
“But like I say if you put the work in, it will pay off and we have really started to see that in the last year. Hopefully we can keep it going and get to where we want to be.”
As well as James and brother Tom, aged 24, there’s bass guitarist Dan Capper, also 24, and 29-year-old Richard Taylor on drums.
Given how much effort they’ve put in, Last Breath certainly deserve to have success.
“They’ve got the look and the sound. If the album is good enough, and gets heard by the right people, they have every chance of making it.
Check out their music on Youtube or at www.aspiremusicmanagement.co.uk
They kickstart Blackpool Music Festival tonight with a gig at Uncle Tom’s Cabin (7.30pm start). They’re also in action at Lowther Pavilion in Lytham on October 31.