the last dinner party interview music female band uk
Trigger warning: discussing subjects of
warning: Adult content
Project by:
The Last Dinner Party
Find me:
Curated with:
September 4, 2023
Show some love & share

The Creative Process Of The Last Dinner Party

We talked with The Last Dinner Party during the Montreux Jazz Festival for their first gig in Switzerland. Speaking about their creative goals, music making, directing a short movie and books, they really got us inspired.

Chloé Bruère Dawson: You’re performing tonight at the MJF, how are you all feeling today?

Lizzie: Really excited! We've never played in Switzerland before. Montreux is beautiful. Geneva is beautiful. Like, it's a joy to be here.

Abigail: Yeah, this is like one of the most beautiful countries I think we've played, so it's really cool.

Chloé: You all met at 18 during freshman year. Then you started as a band. How was it starting as an all girl band? In general, that is a mostly male dominated industry. How was it starting together?

Abigail: It was something that we very deliberately wanted to do. We all met by chance and we were like, « oh, we're all women, we're all musicians, we want to do this together ». And then we realized that it was maybe an important thing to do because it's not that common that you see an all female band, especially in indie music, especially in London. It's normally either all men or maybe one woman on the drums or one woman singing. I think it's nice to look at us as a normal band. That's what it is and I think we're really lucky to be coming up during this time. I think it's a really good time to be an all female band.

C: You’re touring with Picture Parlour. So, how did you meet them?

Lizzie: They’re Northeners and I'm from the north of England. We have mutual friends. So I’ve met them before they started the band. And they offered to write together and whatever. That was during lockdown. And then, I saw them again and they told me they formed the band and then we went to got to go see them live and we we’re like oh my god. They’re amazing and the music is f****** sick. So it's going to be a powerful tour.

Chloé: You’ve released your second single Sinner  a couple of days ago. And I noticed a lot of people relating to the lyrics of the song regarding their coming out experience. What do you think about this interpretation?

Lizzie: I mean, yeah, that's kind of what the song is about, I guess. I saw somebody commented just in all caps « LESBIAN ANTHEM » (laughs). It's about growing up in a small town and it being kind of prejudiced and not having words for the sexuality unless it’s a negative thing. The first time I heard « lesbian » or « queer » or whatever wasn't in a positive way. I think it's about the self acceptance you find when you get a bit older and kind of surround yourself with the people that you need and that kind of thing. So, yeah, I love that people are getting that without having to read interviews and stuff. I'm really happy. Because I don't know if you feel like you can be as obvious in the lyrics because it's artistic. I worry sometimes that people won't understand what we're saying because it's kind of metaphorical.

Abigail: I think that's what speaks to people. The metaphor cuts deeper than if you are like « I am coming up, I’m queer and I’m singing » (laughs). It's more meaningful to express something like that through more interesting language and metaphor. It's more striking.

Chloé: Yeah, I've read in one of the interviews you said that you were talking about the growing up in a small town and you couldn’t express yourself creatively or sexually wise. You said that you didn’t think those two things could coexist. Do you envision a future where you can be queer and creative and living in the countryside? That's something because I also grew up in the countryside. So I relate to that and it's like always something I have on my mind, like something we can reach.

Lizzie: Yeah, I hope so. See the Cottage Core thing on TikTok? I feel like that's what people be wanting to have, that small town vibe. But I also think it about reclaiming your childhood. I feel like it has to do with generations. People that grew up in small towns, mainly surrounded by people from the older generation who haven't quite gotten there yet.

Abigail: You don't have a lot of old people representing different backgrounds. Cottage Core for exemple, is still very white upper-middle class and therefore kind of small minded. So I don't know for sure, but I hope so. I think queer people are carving that space up themselves.

Chloé: Yeah, I love the way you put it. I heard you design your own outfits. What are your inspirations? Fashion icons or movies, books?

Emily: Well, we've had a lot of themes shows so that definitely helps. We had an Alice in Wonderland, we did Diana does apparel…

Abigail: Yes with Princess Diana (laughs). We're really inspired by older silhouettes, renaissance and Tudor, but in a modern context. So it doesn't look like we're just wearing a fancy dress but situated in the modern day. And we also like to take inspiration from Chloe 7 years, which is one of my heroes and I think that the way she dresses is amazing. We also like to play with gender. So David Bowie, he’s like number one in terms of inspiration.

Chloé: I also saw that on top of being a band, you would like to be a creative collective. What creative projects are you eager to start? Have you any ideas in mind?

Abigail: We would love to do a short film and a concept album. We've been talking about that. I'm not sure when, but at some point I think we'd really like to do a short album, maybe five songs that's all one story and then make a film of those five songs tha goes along with it and direct it and do that ourselves. I think that would be something great.

Chloé: Do you maybe have a director in mind that you we would like to collaborate with?

Abigail: I think we’ll do it ourselves. We’re learning! There’re lots of directors that we would love to work with for music videos. But I like that one we’ll do it ourselves. I think that we already see ourselves as a creative collective rather than just a standard band. We don’t want to be tied down just doing one thing, just doing music. We like to be into art, fashion, directing and filmmaking, and I think that, as we go on, we'd like to do that more.

Emily: Yeah, just saying we want to put those kind of things in our newsletter as well, having bits of things that everyone likes doing such as drawing, poetry or something and sending it out to people.

Abigail: I think we want to expand, beyond just doing music and kind of be an artistic collective rather than just a straight band.

Chloé: You’re gonna tour quite a lot for festivals and then in the UK and also around Europe later in fall. And I've read that you mostly construct your songs after performing them live.

Lizzie: Not always, it depends. We’ll start writing something and then play it in the rehearsal room and then we start playing it live. As we do that more and more it blossoms a bit. But when we did like the guitar solo, when you wrote the one, nothing matters.

Emily: I think a lot of the instrumental parts have changed, but the song elements not so much. I think you had a clear idea what you wanted from the beginning. But I think knowing what we wanted from the guitar parts and stuff like that has like evolved as we played live to like suit the songs, I think.

Abigail: And adding extra stuff for a song like « Portrait Of A Dead Girl ».
It started off as one thing and ended in another way and then we started doing it live and decided to have a gospel section at the end. So now it’s a big live moment, and that only happened because we played it live and could adjust the song to the audience’s reactions.

Chloé: And lastly, you said you were nerds and I'm also like a literature nerd. So I would love to hear if you have any book recommendation you would give to read while you listen to your music.

Abigail: My one would be  Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima. I read it recently and there was like one passage that weirdly perfectly described my childhood. The whole premise he's talking about, his sexual discovery as a child, as a teenage boy through religion and religious trauma, violence, homosexuality. It's absolutely beautiful. Gone Girls, by Gillian Flynn is also amazing, and if I'm going to do another one for three of us, Drive Your Plough Over The Bones Of The Dead  by Olga Tokarczuk, she’s a Czechoslovakian author and she won a Nobel Price in literature a couple years ago, it’s a stunning book.

Images by Morgane Marchon


More in 


load more