This past Saturday, on July 22nd, 2017 I saw the new locally known band Last Man Standing preform at Club Red in Mesa. They performed with three other bands, Undecided Youth, Plants After Dark, and Promise to Myself. Last Man Standing has four members: Samantha (Sam) Potter on vocals, Abbey Maruyama playing guitar, Katie Gibbs on bass, and Rowan O’Riley on drums. Sam and Abbey are both 15 years old, Rowan is 17, and Katie is 18. I spoke with all of them after they played their 30-minute set.
Okay let’s start with the basics, how did you come up with your band name?
Abbey Maruyama: Well we were crunched for time, and it’s ironic because the only guy in the band is siting. Sam wrote it down on a list and we just went with that.
How and when did you guys meet?
Katie Gibbs: Abbey and I met two years ago.
Abbey Maruyama: At least. I met Rowan because he was only taking drum lessons, and it was right before our practice time. Rowan was looking for a band and we were looking for a drummer so it worked out perfectly. Sam wasn’t in the band then either though.
What makes your sound unique?
Rowan O’Riley: We sound like every other punk band out there!
Sam Potter: Rowan’s really loud so there’s that.
Abbey Maruyama: Yeah, he also likes to just throw in random cowbells too.
What are some bands or artists that inspire you?
Abbey Maruyama: I mean, I really love panic at the disco.
Sam Potter: Yeah, they’re pretty good.
Katie Gibbs: (pointing at Rowan) he likes Shinedown.
Are you guys working on any originals?
Everyone: No not yet!
Rowan O’Riley: (sarcastically) A ten-minute metal ballad.
How Long Has Everyone been playing?
Katie Gibbs: 7 years.
Abbey Maruyama: 7 years.
Rowan O’Riley: 6? 7 years?
Sam Potter: 7 years.
What are your plans for the future?
Abbey Maruyama: I don’t have an exact plan for the future. I would love to stay with these people because they’re amazing and I would love to continue playing with them and if this goes somewhere that would be great but if not, college!
Sam Potter: Yeah, same as what she said, I don’t know what I want to do for college at all, and if this doesn’t work out then maybe something with art.
Rowan O’Riley: (sarcastically) Uh, freelance zookeeper.
Katie Gibbs: I’m going to a trade schoolfor cosmetology.
Do any of you have interests outside of music?
Abbey Maruyama: Visual art and drama. I also play volleyball.
Sam Potter: Visual art too.
Katie Gibbs: Beauty and visual art.
Rowan: I play hockey.
Sam, I heard you’re popular on Youtube?
Sam Potter: Oh no.
Katie Gibbs: Just look up Samantha Potter on Youtube, and you’ll find her. I have an alien fender jazz bass, and a cat fender jazz bass. Fender is the only good bass company.
What can you tell me about your instruments?
Abbey Maruyama: My guitar, my dad made my guitar for me. It was the first electric guitar I ever got. He put special pickups in it, and it’s a really cool instrument, especially because it’s really dear to me and he made it.
Which is your favorite?
Katie Gibbs: The alien one, because I have a tattoo to match it.
Rowan what can you tell me about your drum kit?
Rowan O’Riley: It’s an SJC 5-ply maple kit with a 20 by 22 kick drum, a 7 by 12 rack tom and a 14 by 16 floor tom and black aged pearl wrap with brass hardware with a custom SJC shield lugs and brass badges. I also play a Zildijan 22 a custom ping ride, Zildijan 14 a custom hi-hats, an s spin crash, and s medium thin crash 18 inch and 14 inch. I also play DW 5000 bass pedal, and a DW 5000 hi-hat stand.
Abbey Maruyama: I love the fact he told you all of that because he tells us this on a daily basis.
Any final thoughts?
Rowan O’Riley: Honestly, I don’t know why I’m being so mean to you, this a really nice experience. Also, I’m endorsed by SJC custom drums, they paid for my kit, because I’m a poor white kid. Also, I have a joke. Abbey, should we tell our joke?
Fine. What is it?
Abbey Maruyama: Hey Rowan, what’d you do this weekend?
Rowan O’Riley: I went to the zoo, nothing interesting.
Abbey Maruyama: What did you see at the zoo?
Rowan O’Riley: I saw a piece of toast in a cage.
Abbey Maruyama: That’s kinda odd don’t you think?
Rowan O’Riley: Yeah. It was bread in captivity!