Our most recent interview with Last Vacation has been a long time in the making. Flashback to March 11th, our chats about quarantine were nonexistent but imminent. Fast forward a few days later, and schools closed, tours were canceled, and stay at home orders were upon us. Amid all the chaos, Last Vacation released their anthemic single, “How Could You Hurt Somebody You Love?” on April 17th.
The Boston band has been not so sneaky about their references to The 1975 during the promotion of “How Could You Hurt Somebody You Love.” They even changed their Instagram bio to “A not so good version of The 1975.” We beg to differ, though, and would argue that they are underestimating their unique sound. While fans can surely pinpoint the connections in their work, the distinct vocal and pop-punk feel of the new single does not line up all that much with the Manchester band.
Let’s jump into our interview and dig a bit deeper into the making of “How Could You Hurt Somebody You Love…”
PoetryDansLaRue: Can you take us back to the early days of “HCYHSYL?”
Last Vacation: “This is a song that we wanted to release for a long time. We wrote it about a year ago and now feels like the perfect time to put it out there. “Eternal Romantic” was a slight jump for us, but I think that “HCYHSYL” is more of where we are now.”
PDLR: I’m curious about the process and the backstory of “HCYHSYL” since it is a breakup song…
Last Vacation: “We wrote this one a bit differently. One thing that we were inspired by was something that Blink 182 did on their self-titled album. They each wrote a separate verse and then fit the pieces together. In the case of “HCYHSYL,” Travis Rutzel, the singer, wrote the first half of the song. Then, I (Scott Anderson, drummer) wrote the second half of it, including the choruses. We never wrote a song this way before, Travis was always more of the lyricist.”
“In regards to the lyrics, I was seeing somebody at the time and recently started dating someone else. The relationship fell apart rather quickly, and the feeling of betrayal led me to the phrase “How Could You Hurt Somebody You Love?” I think we were all able to relate to that as a band and realize how it could connect with a broader audience. Everyone has that question for somebody, and you are that question for somebody else. It seems to resonate well with people.”
PDLR: How has “HCYHSYL” translated with a live audience?
Last Vacation: “We noticed over time that it stands out in our set and people seem to respond well to it. We recently did a couple of shows back in early March with PHANGS and Hand Made House, and we were happy with the reaction. We would like to branch out with that song a bit and maybe do a couple of remixes. I was also thinking of doing an acoustic version since we wrote it acoustically. It seems to be THE song. We believe in it, and it’s the most honest track.”
PDLR: How did the video come together for “HCYHSYL?”
Last Vacation: “The video was inspired by how some of The 1975 aesthetic looks very retro, but not really at the same time. It has a lot of neon and high colors. We filmed it in single shots where you see one of us at a time. There’s some splitting and stuff like that. It was kind of a choice to film it that way. It’s been about a year since we released our first video, so this one is pretty big for us.”
There is no doubt that Last Vacation is talented. In this time of self-discovery and reflection, we advise them to continue to define and develop their unique sound.
Check out this former Last Vacation feature on PoetryDansLaRue for more background on the band.