Metal music is what it's all about for Last Resort.
It's something the five members of the Heights-based metal band have shared since before they even started writing and jamming in their drummer's garage.
The five members of the group, all 16 and 17 year old high school students, are almost always together working on new songs, jamming or just hanging out.
Drummer Tyler Melendez says they practice pretty much every day in his garage. Whenever they have time they are there jamming. Kelly Moran, vocalist, says even on days where her schedule gets extra busy she always stops by on the way home to sing a few songs.
In addition to Tyler and Kelly, Last Resort includes members Steven Continanza on guitar, Etay Hami on bass and Gabryel Torres on guitar. Moran says the band originally started out as a project for Teen Arts which involved herself Tyler, Steven and another friend on guitar. From there they decided to start performing on their own.
There was one point where they did not have a bass player Gabryel says but then they got Etay to join. They say Etay learned the songs in two days before a gig and it sounded great.
Last Resort has played local clubs like The Blue Room in Secaucus and are currently gearing up for two shows in June.
Each member has always had some appreciation for metal music. All five members cite Metallica as one of their biggest influences. For many of them it was their parents that introduced them to this style of music.
Gabryel says he learned about Metallica from his mother who grew up in San Diego and was exposed to a great music scene. She showed him the music she used to listen to and he loved it, he says. Moran said her mother listened to Metallica before they were even famous.
Steven says he started out listening to some of the more mainstream rock like early Korn but then through friends he got exposed to Metallica and System of a Down and the rest all grew from there.
Etay says originally he wasn't into metal but was a fan of Red Hot Chilli Peppers whose bassist Flea is known as one of the best bassists out there. He quickly developed an appreciation for bass playing which led him to pick up the instrument. His friends introduced him to Metallica and through that discovered the late bassist Cliff Burton.
Kelly says Tyler is also a great singer who can sing metal better than Guns and Roses' Axl Rose. Tyler got behind the drum kit when a friend asked him to for the Teen Arts performance. A few months later he bought a kit and just kept on learning. His parents also exposed him to metal music and one of his biggest influences is Guns and Roses.
Kelly also knows how to play guitar but singing metal is her thing. She won a contest that led her to study at the School of Rock in South Hackensack. She gained the opportunity to sing some Black Sabbath in a showcase and that really got her into wanting to sing this style of music. She was the only girl doing it too.
Kelly doesn't want to be one of those stereotypical female singers that people think is supposed to look all pretty and feminine. Metal is passionate and angry, she says, and as a singer that is what she is all about.
The band currently plays songs by some of their favorite bands like "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "Fade to Black" by Metallica. They also jam on Guns and Roses' "Sweet Child 'O Mine" and many Misfits covers. Playing songs they are famliar with has led them to write their own original songs. They plan to introduce one at their upcoming shows. Recording is another goal they have.
The members of Last Resort are committed to their music. They hope one day they can play a role in helping to change the music industry. Tyler says the music industry is in such decline these days and something is needed to bring it back. He says even labels that produced metal and rock bands are even turning to more pop and mainstream music.
Gabryel says they know they can't change the music industry all by themselves but hope that by doing what they're doing they can even influence others to start up their own bands. They all agree that they hope they can make some kind of difference and be heard.
Friends on and off the stage, the bandmates say they need each other and influence each other. Steve says if one of them wasn't in the project, it just woudln't be the same.
Last Resort is playing Saturday, June 9 at The Blue Room in Secaucus, a benefit show for children of Columbia and at Battle of the Bands event on Sunday, June 10 in Garwood.
Visit Last Resort on Facebook.