Three years after the release of their last record, Aussie rockers The Last Dinosaurs have stomped back onto the Aussie music scene. Their meteoric return has been anything but prehistoric. After sell-out shows in Melbourne, the Brisbane indie-rock group will be dropping their new album, Yumeno Garden, next month just weeks ahead of their gig at the UC HUB. Dino’s front-man Sean Caskey sat down with Curieux to talk evolution and authenticity – and I promise, no more dino puns!
It’s been a long and exploratory journey for the Dino’s since the release of their sophomore album Wellness in 2015. Pouring over new inspiration in some unlikely places, the band sought to deliver a more authentic record with their latest outing. It was a matter of independence for the Dino’s. Having travelled to Japan to workshop their new material, the group came back with only two songs but also a new-found confidence in themselves.
“We realised the importance of this authenticity and decided to go all out and make the whole damn thing on our own!” says Caskey. “Lach (Lachlan Caskey) recorded his in his bedroom studio and I recorded my tracks in my studio called Ryusuke Love Hotel.”
Caskey also explains how he found inspiration closer to home. “I have been working Mondays at the best record store in town which has been really good for me,” he explains. ‘The guys there play so many albums I never would’ve come across on Spotify or YouTube or anything.”
While Caskey admits little of what he discovered at his new Monday gig found its way onto the record sonically speaking, it did help him to hone in on a sound and tone that he felt was truly his.
“I have developed a stronger appreciation for originality. It compelled me to think more about making an album that purely sounded like us because authenticity is paramount.”
Joining the band this time around is Caskey’s brother, Lachlan Caskey, who’ll be making his debut for the Dino’s on the new record. Splitting the song writing and vocal work with his brother, Caskey describes the new album of something of a two-parter.
‘The last five tracks are all his, the first five are mine. I wanted to separate our tracks so that on a vinyl you flip it over to play side B and you’re introduced to what sounds like another start to an album.”
The authenticity of the new album also extends to the music videos for the two singles released so far; ‘Eleven’ and ‘Dominos’. Speaking of ‘Eleven’, Caskey explains the DIY process the band took to production.
“The process was relaxed,” he says. “With every shot we had the luxury to really stop and think about the best way to film it.”
The band’s bassist, Michael Sloane, directed the new videos. Keeping it in the family, so to speak, the Dino’s were able to have absolute faith that the videos were going to deliver and be authentic to their sound, rather than leaving it in the hands of people they hadn’t met.
:The whole album is very DIY to be honest,” Caskey explains. “I won’t get into the technical aspect of it but it was crafted by our own hands. As for videos, in the past we have had pretty decent sized production crews to help us make videos so this time we took a little gamble.”
“All we had was us, a camera, Chinese food, and a Ferrari.”
So far, Caskey says they have had nothing but positive responses to the new songs at their sold-out shows. While the tone of the new tracks differs somewhat from the rest of their set, the ‘Strokes-y’, rocky tone seems to have struck a chord with listeners. With some guitar tricks and sonic effects up their sleeves, Caskey says they’re excited to play the new tracks as part of their east coast tour.
New album on the way. Sold-out shows. It’s been one win after another for the Dino’s. While we can rest assured The Last Dinosaurs won’t be going extinct anytime soon, as Caskey describes it, one of their most important decisions wasn’t to move forward, but to look back.
“I always see bands evolve into more synthesis and complexity but this time we kinda went backwards,’ he says. ‘Most of my songs are revisiting my roots and proudly highlighting them.”
“It really feels like the keys are in our hands and it’s up to us to come up with our own version of the goods so to speak. No more external influences, just the best versions of ourselves.”