Life, the Universe, and Everything
Last Life in the Universe,is a pop/rock band based in Los Angeles which was founded by Pete Razo (guitarist) and VNA (vocalist). The duo met through Razo’s Craigslist ad in 2009.
[Pete] Razo’s background had been in rock while VNA was “completely in love with electronic music.” Through shared influences like The Beatles and Garbage, the pair found their sound – a rock-based hybrid that incorporates synths and breaks threaded throughout.
After playing together and growing the brand for several years – including shows at some of LA’s premier venues – VNA was diagnosed with breast cancer and the band had to put things on hold for two and a half years. Though she was told the cancer was gone July of 2014, it returned shortly after and she was diagnosed with Stage IV as the cancer had spread to her bones.
The band continues on, however, and MusicZeitgeist, inspired by their fresh and energized sound, filled with intention, had the opportunity to interview the singer:
MusicZeitgeist: Tell us about the early days of the band, and how you blended your influences into a unified style?
Last Life in the Universe: Within a few years of getting together, our sound did grow immensely; we’ve worked hard to develop the music. I don’t think there is really a name for what we do, so we just categorize it as pop rock/modern rock because our music does have a lot of those elements. Starting out, Pete had a lot more experience than I did but he was always moving from band to band and I was just finding myself musically.
MusicZeitgeist: How did you find translating it to a live show?
Last Life in the Universe: I remember the first time I performed at the Viper Room and it was scary as hell. Pete practically had to force me to do the show. The music was so raw back then. It took us another solid year of playing at various venues to get up and running. The music industry has changed so much in the last 10 years and I think we really had to accept the idea of the “DIY band.”
It’s been a bumpy road navigating through the music world but what keeps us going is our love of music. It might sound trite, but we know there is definitely something to that. When the odds are against you, you really have to remember why you’re doing this in the first place.
MusicZeitgeist: It’s truly inspiring that you have continued to play and record through the challenges you have faced in the past several years…
Last Life in the Universe: We have been blessed to have worked with so many talented people along the way. And we do want to be able to share our music with others.
I think at that point [when the cancer returned], I realized that I didn’t really want to leave this world without doing the things I wanted to. Pete was behind me all the way, I mean, he’s always been that way about the band. I think he was just waiting for me to come around. I really didn’t think we would be starting this up all over again. So we shall see what happens. I would say that we are starting all over again.
MusicZeitgeist: What is next for you?
Last Life in the Universe:
We definitely haven’t reached our potential so it will be very exciting to see where this goes. We have new songs in the works and our EP will officially be released in June. Pete and I are really into the Steampunk movement and we did a new photo shoot in May that is influenced by the movie “A Clockwork Orange.” We will also be working on a music video later this year and we will hopefully be playing some festivals this year so stay tuned!