letlive. performing at 2014's Summerblast Festival in Trier, Germany. (LtR: Jean Nascimento, Ryan Johnson, Jason Butler. Obscured: Loniel Robinson, Jeff Sahyoun.)
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Labels||At One, Tragic Hero, Epitaph|
Letlive, stylized letlive., was an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. The band's final lineup consisted of lead vocalist Jason Aalon Butler (son of Aalon Butler, vocalist and guitarist of the soul group Aalon), guitarist Jeff Sahyoun, bassist Ryan Jay Johnson and drummer Loniel Robinson. Butler was the band's only constant member. The band has released four full-length albums and one EP, with their final album If I'm the Devil being released on June 10, 2016. The band was last signed to Epitaph Records.
letlive. released their first EP Exhaustion, Salt Water, and Everything in Between in 2003 and their first LP Speak Like You Talk in 2005. Their second album, Fake History was released in 2010. Upon its re-release on Epitaph in 2011, the album received critical praise and was also added to Rock Sound's 101 Modern Classics. Their third album, entitled The Blackest Beautiful was released on July 9, 2013 and on June 17 was streamed on Epitaph Records' YouTube channel. On April 28, 2017, the band announced via social media that they had broken up.
Early years (2002-2009)
letlive. was formed in Los Angeles in 2002 by vocalist Jason Aalon Butler, drummer Alex Haythorn, guitarist Ben Sharp and bassist Christian Johansen. In 2003, the band's debut EP Exhaustion, Salt Water, and Everything in Between was released on at One Records. After a line-up change (with only Butler and Sharp remaining), their first album Speak Like You Talk was released in 2005, also on at One Records. Bassist Ryan Jay Johnson joined the band before the release, but did not perform on the album. In 2007 Ben Sharp left the band and the band was plagued by subsequent line-up changes and a scrapped album.
Fake History (2009-2013)
After establishing a first stable lineup with guitarists Jean Nascimento and Ryan Johnson, and drummer Anthony Rivera accompanying Butler and Johnson, letlive. toured extensively throughout the US and Canada and gained momentum. The band signed with Tragic Hero Records in 2009 and released their second album titled Fake History the next year. The band continued touring and after signing with Epitaph Records in February 2011, undertook a brief European tour. They were signed to Epitaph after Bring Me the Horizon frontman Oliver Sykes contacted label owner Brett Gurewitz after watching them perform at a single gig in 2008.
Epitaph re-released Fake History in April 2011 with three additional tracks, including two B-sides and one new song produced by Brett Gurewitz. The re-release has been the subject of several favorable reviews from AllMusic, Alternative Press, the BBC and Rock Sound. Starting in June 2011, the band undertook more extensive touring, including appearances at Download Festival and Leeds Festival, supporting Enter Shikari and Your Demise on their mainland European tour, and, in the United States, supporting Underoath and August Burns Red. In February 2012, letlive. toured again with Enter Shikari and Your Demise for their first time around Australia as a part of the 2012 Soundwave Festival. Butler also featured on track Tangled in the Great Escape from Pierce the Veil's album Collide with the Sky.
In October 2012, the band announced they had parted ways with drummer Anthony Rivera.
The Blackest Beautiful and If I'm the Devil... (2013-2017)
On June 4, the single "Banshee (Ghost Fame)" was released. On June 17, the full album was streamed on the Rock Sound website, three weeks before the scheduled release. The Blackest Beautiful was released on July 9, 2013 to positive critical reception. The writing process surfaced many creative tensions amongst the band members, about which Butler stated, "We set the bar high and everything needed to be approved by everybody else. Eventually we had to become very transparent with each other and just say 'look, I just don't like this' or 'this isn't working for me.'". In an interview with Fuse, released on July 16, it was confirmed that Loniel Robinson, their touring drummer, as well as drum tech for Of Mice & Men, would become a permanent member. The album debuted in the United States at number 74 on the Billboard 200 and number six on Hard Rock Albums, selling nearly five thousand copies. In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number 62. A music video for the song "Younger" was released on September 26, 2013. On January 23, letlive. revealed that they would be releasing "renditions" of songs from The Blackest Beautiful, featuring various artists on remade versions of the songs. The first "rendition" released was a new version of "27 Club", featuring Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die. On April 23, their second "rendition" released was a new version of "The Dope Beat", featuring Dan "Soupy" Campbell of The Wonder Years.
On February 10, 2015, Jean Nascimento left the band for unknown reasons. In light of his departure, Kenji Chan, former live guitarist for Bruno Mars and former member of Ryan and Jeff's previous band, Best Interest, acted as the band's touring guitarist.
On September 25, 2015, the band posted a tweet confirming that they had completed their fourth album and that it would be released in 2016. On the same day, they also confirmed that further additions to their 'Renditions' project/album would be put on hold to focus on new music. On November 3, 2015, in a Revolver Magazine online article, letlive. disclosed that their fourth studio album would be entitled If I'm the Devil....
In June-July 2017, Butler, former The Chariot guitarist Stephen "Stevis" Harrison, and Night Verses drummer Aric Improta began teasing a new project called The Fever 333 (later shortened to Fever 333). The band performed their first show together out of the back of U-Haul truck in the parking lot of Randy's Donuts in Inglewood, California.
Fake History 10th Anniversary (2020)
On April 13, 2020, the band started using their Instagram account again and teased fans with a 10th Anniversary release of Fake History complete with unreleased songs and demos.
letlive.'s musical style has been described as post-hardcore as well as experimental rock, art punk and metalcore. Remfry Dedman, writing for The Independent, described letlive.'s sound as "harnessing the severe, frenetic power of Black Flag and marrying it to the melodic, infectious soul of Michael Jackson" In a 2011 interview with Rock Sound, frontman Jason Butler stated that they "want to show people American punk rock soul is very much well and alive". Typical aspects of the band's music include Butler's emotive vocal delivery, duelling guitars and introspective lyrics that cover topics such as infidelity, culture, greed and corruption.
Former touring musicians
Former studio musicians
- Studio albums
- Speak Like You Talk (2005, At One Records)
- Fake History (2010, Tragic Hero)
- The Blackest Beautiful (2013, Epitaph)
- If I'm the Devil... (2016, Epitaph)
This section needs to be updated.April 2016)(
- 2015 Rise Against North American Summer Tour With Killswitch Engage: The tour begins in Chicago, IL at the FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island on July 17 & is scheduled to wrap with a concert in Denver, CO at the Fillmore Auditorium on August 16.
- Christopher McLallen (April 2011). Joe Barnes (ed.). "Letlive. lound as shit and with some pretty big deal friends, meet the band you'll tell people you saw when they were small". Front. No. 155. London: The Kane Corporation. pp. 32–33. ISSN 1464-4053. OCLC 226099638.
- Heaney, Gregory. "Letlive - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- "Rock Sound's 101 Modern Classics: 74 - 50". Rock Sound. Freeway Press. June 27, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
Few albums encapsulate the idea of a modern classic quite as perfectly as this one. The essence of hardcore distilled by five LA lifers, ‘Fake History’ is at once a howl of vulnerability and a fuck-you-you-will-never-break-me clarion call of utter defiance. Truly, genuinely thrilling.
- letlive. Hit The Cover Of Rock Sound Magazine, Out Wednesday June 19th! | News | Rock Sound. Rocksound.tv. Retrieved on August 6, 2013.
- "INTERVIEW: letlive. Talk Fourth Album 'If I'm The Devil...', Black Lives Matter & Dealing With Social Media Backlash". Music Feeds. June 20, 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
- Patashnik, Ben (February 25, 2011). "Letlive Q+A: 'I want people to have a human experience'". Rock Sound. Freeway Press. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- "letlive. – Artist Info". Epitaph Records. 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- Heaney, Gregory (2011). "Fake History – Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
- Pearlman, Mischa (2011). "Reviews – Fake History". Alternative Press. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
- Pearlman, Mischa (April 6, 2011). "Letlive Fake History Review". BBC Music. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- Newbound (April 11, 2011). "letlive. – Fake History Album review". Rock Sound. Freeway Press. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
- "A Bazillion New Download Bands". Rock Sound. April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- "Soundwave 2012 lineup". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. January 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Remfry Dedman (May 9, 2016). "Letlive. interview with Jason Aalon Butler: 'Rock music was birthed in heresy and rebellion'". The Independent. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Melody in the Chaos: Letlive.'s Jason Butler on His Troubled Youth and 'The Blackest Beautiful' - Fuse. Fuse.tv (June 20, 2013). Retrieved on 2013-08-06.
- "The Blackest Beautiful - Letlive | Awards | Allmusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- Brown, Matt (July 17, 2013). "Metal By Numbers 7/17: Like Festivals To Flames". Metal Insider. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- Joe DeAndrea (July 17, 2013). "Album Sales Round-Up: Week of July 17th, 2013". Absolute Punk. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "LETLIVE | Artist | Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- "NEWS: letlive. finish work on fourth studio album!". DEAD PRESS!. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
- "letlive Facebook message".
- "Rise Against Announce Summer 2015 Tour With Killswitch Engage + Letlive". April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- "Review: letlive. – The Blackest Beautiful". Legends Arising. August 29, 2013. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
...their mish mash of Post-Hardcore, Experimental Rock and a variety of other genres...
- Gonda, Christopher (April 26, 2016). "LETLIVE. Share Summer 2016 U.S. Headlining Tour with Performances by SEAHAVEN and SILVER SNAKES". PureGrainAudio. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
Today, the Los Angeles art-punk band has shared details on their headlining tour...
- Crane, Matt (February 27, 2014). "The 15 best screamers in modern metalcore". Alternative Press. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
Here we acknowledge the best screamers in the metalcore genre today.
- "Rise Against 2015 North American Summer Tour Schedule With Killswitch Engage & Letlive". April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
- "Rise Against Announce North American Summer Headline Tour". Retrieved April 8, 2015.