Photo By Paul Terrebonne

They don’t even know what they’re doing, and they’re loving it! I had the opportunity to have a chat with Jake Desrochers aka Jake D. of Lonely Kings and former Papa Roach drummer Dave Buckner aka d.Black to find out what’s going on with their new collaboration Last Angels.

At the time of our interview, the band’s identity was being developing “hour by hour.” The project is so new that the members aren’t even sure how long they’ve been working on it. “I don’t know. Has it been five minutes?” d.Black joked at Jake D.

It’s a two-man band, man! One man a current guitarist and vocalist of Grass Valley punk rockers The Lonely Kings, hairstylist and father of two. And the other the former drummer of a multi-platinum commercial rock band Papa Roach, celebrity gossip victim and newfound passionate producer.

Though Jake D. and d.Black are just now trying out their musical chemistry, they have known each for more than a decade. In 1997, The Lonely Kings starting playing shows with Papa Roach. They played 10 to 15 shows together before Papa Roach reached large commercial success. Starting in the early months of this year, Jake D. would trick d.Black into playing acoustic and improv shows with him at various locations in town.

“It was all a big sneak attack to try and play music with Dave,” Jake D. admitted.

Last Angels was born out of a Tuesday night jam session at a Sacramento studio that d.Black co-owns with the rest of Papa Roach. Explained logically, the beauty of their musical meshing has a lot to do with experience and respect.
“He’s been on the top, and I’ve been trying to get there,” Jake D. explained. “So we’re right in the middle.”

I guess it’s not a bad musical match if your band mate describes you as the “Dr. Dre of the operation.” Having a “sensibility” as a musician and a director, d.Black is real on the production end of the Last Angels project. In addition to his work behind the drums, he is even writing lyrics and singing backup. Jake D. humbly acknowledged that his talents as a musician are “real natural” and organic and that he’s “doneskiez” with his personal musical scope. But with the production and beats of d.Black, Jake D. seems to have taken his “real natural” talents and put them to some good use giving d.Black something clean to work with.

The guys of Last Angels did a recording test a few weeks ago. They just wrapped up recording of a three song EP last Tuesday. Although the guys can’t quite pinpoint Last Angels’ sound, I can since I had a premiere listen. It’s definitely rock: The vocals are on the harder side, but can be soft at times. But the music is also somewhat experimental with a bit of a European discotheque quality as a result of synthesizers.

Future plans? Who knows. Jake D. and d.Black have no clue what’s next for Last Angels. Tour? Who knows. As d.Black put it, “the uncertainty is what’s so cool.” For sure, the guys have plans to record another three to four song EP before compiling all their songs onto a new album. You can expect an album release show at The Distillery on Aug. 9 where you can get your very own copy of Last Angels’ self-titled debut independent release.

Last Angels digs whatever it is that it is doing. Jake D. and d.Black are stoked that their homie-ship and musical collaboration is “real,” intentionally “super underground” and “stream of consciousness”-easy.

Like true musicians, the members of Last Angels can’t live without their art.

“It’s the first time I’ve been really and truly inspired in a long time. It feels real,” d.Black said.

Jake D. added, “If there’s a stage, I’ll fuckin’ play it. That’s what I do. I got to be busy with music or I’ll go nuts. I’d feel like a normal person [without music] and that sucks.”

These guys could set up shop anywhere to nurture their new project, but chooses to do so here.

Sacramento “definitely has a culture”¦.in and the downtown area,” as d.Black puts it, has become a part of who these guys are.

Last Angels just loves playing music, no matter what it ends up sounding like. They also love living in Sacramento. Lookout locals, because these guys are looking to make you “feel something rather than hear something.”