Few bands ever get the honour of playing with such prestigious musicians as former Led Zeppelin members. The Last Internationale are a three-piece blues band rock from New York currently touring in support of Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters. I spoke to Edgey Pires and Delila Paz on their music, touring and supporting Robert Plant.
How would you describe your sound to people who haven’t heard you before?
We’re very heavily influenced by folk and blues music and early rolling stones so I think our music has that rock and roll vibe of the rolling stones when they first started. We’re playing as a three piece now so it’s even more raw then when we had a bass player, more stripped down which I love.
Our shows are always different, we don’t always play the same sets, we’re always throwing in some different cover, or some song that we just feel should be sung at that time.
Do you like playing as a support act; is it different to your own shows?
It feels different, being the opening act depends on who the headliner is, it could be completely different with a different headliner; the feeling could be different on our part.
Specifically, with Robert Plant, he’s such a legend, he’s been doing it so long and we’ve been big fans of his since we were little kids that for us it’s more of an anticipation with his crowd and it feels very surreal.
It’s like ‘oh my god I can’t believe we’re doing this’ and you always get a bit nervous about going on stage and the mind-set, no matter what show it is, is always to go out there and kill it and give the best performance you definitely could. But with someone of that stature it’s more like winning his fans over too.
With other acts that we’ve opened for that are more contemporary, there’s a very competitive streak through this band we’re like “we’re gonna fucking go up there and tear the f**king house down”. It’s a different kind of mentality I guess.
With Robert Plant’s crowd, a lot of them are blues enthusiasts and love blues, so for us it’s a case of showing this crowd that there’s young bands that are playing traditional blues music still and that we can kill it and reinvent the blues for ourselves. It’s more like that and it seems to go really well with his crowds.
When we play festivals, it’s all about bringing the rock, it doesn’t matter who’s on the bill, we’re coming in and murdering it and we want everyone to talk about our set.
Do you ever play any instrumental songs in your set?
We used to do some instrumental sound-y stuff on a couple of tours when we were doing three-hour sets in bars but now we’re playing 40/45 minutes.
We figured there’s not enough room for all our songs so we have to very selective and play the “hits”; the ones we know people know and will react well to, and we always throw in a blues number or two, because we’re a blues band and it keeps us honest.
What song are you most looking forward to playing tonight?
All of them, but I (Delila) like ‘1968’, I like playing that one. That’s the last song.
The one I (Edgey) like most that’s my favourite would have to be ‘Killing Fields’ as it’s the first song tonight, I just wanna get up there. I think ‘Wanted Man’ is definitely a highlight of the night, that would be my choice.
Are American crowds and English crowds any different?
The people are different, I can’t explain it. A different vibe, last night in Newport, they were really polite but they had a great reaction, they would clap and then be quiet but in the US it’s a little bit more. Well you can’t really say because it’s so diverse, it depends on the state, in New York they may be rowdy and in Texas they may be quiet. Missoula in Montana was the rowdiest one we’ve played in our lives, who’d have thought it! Maybe Americans are more moody, you never know.
Who would you most like to play with if you got the chance?
Robert Plant! But if I (Delila) had to choose another one, Bruce Springsteen.
I (Edgey) would choose The Rolling Stones; that would be really awesome.
If you could have Robert Plant cover one of your songs, what would you like to see him do?
‘Wanted Man’ would be cool, I think he would do something completely different production wise, I think that would work. Maybe ‘We Will Reign’, but maybe it’s too political. He is a super nice guy; he’s really calm and sweet, very down to earth and polite.
Are you into Westerns? When you wrote ‘Wanted Man’ did you just have that in mind for the video?
(Delila) My father is a film major and he used to love all these old westerns, he would play them all the time so when I was little I used to watch them all the time, and especially El Topo, it’s from the 70s, a really weird artsy western so we referenced that in the video, it’s very symbolic.