30 seconds with...The Last Republic

In this week's instalment of 30 Seconds With, M speaks to Jonnie Owen of Welsh band The Last Republic.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 25 Nov 2011
  • min read
This week in the bands instalment of 30 Seconds With,  M speaks to Jonnie Owen of Welsh band The Last Republic.

How long have you been making music?
I started making music when I was 15.  My mum managed to scrape together whatever money there was to get me an acoustic guitar and I haven't looked back since.  I lost my father at the age of 10 and I found it difficult to speak of what had happened.  I'll never get over the loss but music has certainly helped me to learn to deal with it. Music has almost been like a medicine to me and has exceptional rewards if you work hard enough.

What inspired your latest single/EP/album?
Our debut album  Parade is based on observations that I had made from being young at the time of the miner’s strike, which also affected my family. The underlying theme of the album is social degradation from a local to national prospective.

I also look at the ever-growing need for each government we put in power to have to take more and more of our privacy away.  Living in a nation with the largest number of CCTV cameras apparently isn't enough to keep us in line.

What process do you go through to create your music?
We don't really have any rules on how to write songs, it's an absolute democracy. On Parade I brought a lot of the songs in myself with the words and music on acoustic guitar and the guys would write their own parts on top.  Dave and Dafydd also write songs. We have started working on our next album and Joey our bass player has brought some great ideas forward too.  A lot of songs come from simply jamming an idea over and then developing it.

How would you describe your sound?
Our influences are quite eclectic, we take inspiration from lots of bands.  Our reviews always praise us for a massive sound fit for stadiums, a praise I can deal with.  Our main influences are bands such as The Cure, Radiohead, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Levellers, NIN, My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, Pink Floyd, Editors, British Sea Power, early U2, New Order...this list could get rather long...

What would your dream collaboration be?
There are so many, I suppose I've already filled a collaboration dream when I got on stage with the Levellers during our tour to play their hit What a Beautiful Day. Mark, my childhood idol and now friend, let me sing the drop down of the hit, it was one of those moments I'll always cherish as they were such an important part to me.  Their lyrics spoke to me then and still do now, they have never followed any fad and are a massive independent success.

Where can we catch you performing next?
3 December -   Trinity College, Carmarthen
10 December - Kasbah, Llanelli
16 December - Queens Hall, Narberth
17 December - The Duke, Neath