Not long ago I was asked to judge a battle of the bands event here in Indy.
A band came out that sounded amazing and very tight musically.
I noticed a very intense looking bass player that was urging on the crowd and making all the right rock poses on stage.
He was a little scary, kind of cool, and fun to watch. Pretty much what Rock n Roll is all about.
The band was The Last Good Year and they won the battle that night.
The bass player was Steven Byroad and he earned a place in People that Rock Indy that evening as well.
I talked with Steven about living and working in Indy.
What started you down this Rock N Roll Path?
I started out as a jock and went to North Central and all of a sudden I got turned on to music.
I was playing guitar at church and once I heard the Jimmy Eat World record Clarity in 1993 I realized there was some bad-ass music out there other than in this little bubble I was living in.
Where does your energy on stage come from?
Its just my passion for music…I don’t know how I can equate it to anything else…maybe finishing a painting…we spend all this time writing the music and then to be able to share it with an audience our final product…its exciting to share that.
What have you learned about the music industry that you can pass on to others getting started?
Things don’t come easy in this business. If you have a passion for the music, then tough it out. Be realistic. Set attainable goals. After each achievement, set your sites on a higher goal. Build your way to success. Your band is a business. Your product is your music. I would like to think that the music will sell itself, but in the real world you have to work your ass off and network everyday. Build your band like a business and you will be successful, whether or not you have a hit on the radio.
The best part of being in a rock band is….?
Connecting with people. Plain and simple. We put in hours of practice writing and getting songs ready to perform. Each song we write is born from our own personal experiences and views on life. We practice, argue, sweat, and yet enjoy every minute of arranging a song. Then having the chance to share that with an audience is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Especially when they sing the lyrics back to you.
Best concert you have been to?
Like we discussed before, I am a huge Jimmy Eat World fan. I saw them with Hey Mercedes at the Mississippi Nights in St. Louis in 2001. It was a ridiculous show. I remember it was general admission. We drove from Indy to see them and got there early. Early enough to be in the front row. I stood there, sang every word, and didn’t move the whole night. I am a loser, I know.
Describe yourself in 4 words.
Determined. Stubborn. Creative. Loving
Favorite places to eat in Indy?
MacNivens. The MacHattan makes my mouth water right now just thinking of it.Yats. Chili Cheese Etouffee. Enough said.The Gyro place in Ripple after a night of drinking at The Alley Cat
Describe your personal style?
Kinda all over the place. Mostly black, it’s slimming they tell me…
If you were to write a song about your life up until this point…what would it be titled?
It Ain’t Over Yet
What are your favorite moments on stage during a show?
When the band gets locked in and the vocals are in full three part harmony. It gives me goose bumps. I know it will be time to quit when it doesn’t do that for me anymore. It is the simplest thing, but it is what I enjoy about playing in The Last Good Year. We challenge each other to be better and do different things. When it locks in, it feels great.
What is next up for The Last Good Year?
Continuing to play around the midwest and working hard on a new record.
3 favorite movies?
Back To The Future (all three) The Ghostbusters movies, Indiana Jones (the original 3, not the latest lame attempt)They are all movies I loved watching growing up and can still sit down and watch them today.
Is it better to burn out or fade away?
Great songs never burn out or fade away. You play bands like Queen, The Stones, AC/DC, Zeppelin, Pearl Jam (you’re welcome Mark) and The Beatles today and people still know every word. That’s what I love about music. Those songs may not be in heavy rotation on your iPod, but they never fade away. I hope we can write one song like that.