The Last Vegas are touring the U.S. right now with Motley Crue. Prepare to be familar with The Last Vegas. The band just won the massive Guitar Center/Motley Crue/Gibson contest "Make Rock History," beating about 8,000 other bands for the chance to open for Motley Crue and win a recording contract. Bring Back Glam! recently spoke to singer Chad Cherry and asked him about winning "Make Rock History," working with outside writers and the possibility of The Last Vegas playing Crue Fest II. Transcription follows.
Bring Back Glam!: The Last Vegas has been around awhile, but people unfairly categorize you as a new band because you won the “Make Rock History” contest.
Chad Cherry: The Last Vegas is an extremely brutal appreciation for everything that is good in rock n’ roll music. Such as the hard rock, the Glam rock, anything from Motley Crue to Guns n’ Roses, to Aerosmith to the blues and Muddy Waters. Anything that is against authority and all for the power of hot licks and hot chicks. Actually, even hotter chicks.
BBG!: We might as well talk about “Make Rock History.” Did you think you’d actually win that contest?
CC: You know, we’re all pretty boastful gents. We’re cocky but we did know we’d give the other guys a run for their money. I don’t know if we actually thought we’d win – but we knew we’d kick some serious ass no matter what.
BBG! Something like 7,000 bands entered.
CC: I guess it was more like 8,000 bands. Those bands were whittled down to 30 and then they were cut down to six...and out of 8,000 we came up on top.
BBG!: When it was down to six – that’s when you did your showcase for Motley?
CC: Yeah, that was at the Whisky a Go-Go. It was a great time. You’re playing the Whisky in front of everybody who’s anybody in the music industry in L.A. There was an amazing, built in crowd ready to rock out. All the bands we with were really cool. It’s [the Whisky] just like a historical place. The Doors, Motley Crue, Guns n’ Roses...everything that was cool about California back in the 60s through the 80s. It’s cool to be apart of that for the newer generation.
BBG!: You’re a Chicago band. Did you relocate to L.A.?
CC: We’re all still in Chicago. We’re in L.A. to make the new record and we’re going out on the Crue tour, but we’re all still Chicago residents. Some of us are from Michigan and the other guys are from Chicago. We know about how cold it is in the Midwest. It’s warm a couple weeks out of the year it seems like – and the rest is cold and snowy!
BBG! When you won “Make Rock History,” you had to haul ass and record a new single. You recorded “I’m Bad” in a weekend.
CC: We did that in two days, pretty much. We’re pretty good when it comes to studio stuff. When we’re not touring/playing live shows, we’re recording. We work nonstop – creating rock tunes. Even the studio is second nature to us. It’s a no-brainer for us. When we get in there, we know exactly what we want to do...and we hammer it out. We pretty much do the best we can. We don’t settle for shit! You know what? It was hardly work at all. We know what we wanted to do – and it was a blast.
BBG!: Do you typically use outside writers and producers? I know DJ Ashba helped you with “I’m Bad.”
CC: Yeah, we’ve worked with a handful of people before. We worked with a great musician/producer from Los Angeles named Roy Z. He’s worked with Dio and Sebastian Bach and others. DJ is good. Nikki (Sixx) is good. Marti Frederiksen is good. When we get a chance, we’re all usually on the same page. These guys are all musicians themselves, so it’s a really good time.
BBG!: What year did The Last Vegas start as a band?
CC: I think around 2005. We were all on the same page. We were doing stuff in Chicago that no one else was doing at the time, that’s for sure. We went to the studio, put down a record and pretty much have been touring and recording up until right now.
BBG!: It’s very impressive that you’ve been together just a handful of years and you’ve released so many albums independently.
CC: We do a lot of traveling. We put it out there. We figure there’s only one way to experience life, and that’s by getting out there and doing it – and pushing the limits. We want to test ourselves and we’re up for a good challenge in the name of rock.
BBG!: Tell me about your new album.
CC: I think it drops around...middle of April.
BBG!: Do you have a title?
CC: No. [Laughter].
BBG!: Do you have a number of tracks?
CC: We’re shooting for 11 songs.
BBG!: Have you been playing some of the new stuff live?
CC: We have such a catalog of songs, we try to keep it fresh every night. We have a bucket full of tunes that we can pull out whenever we feel the need. We like to feel out the crowd. We want to get a hold on what they want and what we think is necessary at the time. We’ve been playing a lot of songs that will be on this new record. We keep it fresh.
BBG!: How much time do you get for your set?
CC: Twenty or 25 minutes.
BBG!: That’s not a lot, but that’s good exposure, which leads to this: will The Last Vegas be on Crue Fest II this summer?
CC: You know, there are talks of it but I can’t say just yet. Let’s just say there might be a possibility.
Read more about The Last Vegas by clicking here.