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People and Power

The Last Internationale write bluesy protest songs and refuse to censor themselves



've been really excited about this one for a while. The Last Internationale, a blues-meets-folk-meets-rock band originally from New York City, had plans to play in Bend in July, but the show got rescheduled. A more folky version of The Kills that includes a hair-color-changing frontwoman and a multi-talented guitarist, The Last Internationale show is a must for any fans of Rage Against the Machine, The Kills and protest music.

"I think this band covers a lot more depth as far as musical styles are concerned," Edgey Pires, the band's guitarist, says. "We do folk music, we do soul, we do rock and roll, there's an eclectic mishmash of different genres. It's not just rock and roll, it's a lot of different roots traditions mixed into one."

Pires met lead singer Delila Paz on the streets of New York City. Paz, a classical folk singer, was also known for her protest songs. The two connected instantly and started writing their own folky protest songs. After some home demos, Paz picked up the bass and electrified the sound, turning The Last Internationale into a three-piece rock 'n' roll band.

"Chaos. It's very very chaotic," Pires says of his collaboration process with Paz. "There's no formula. So I couldn't tell you how it works necessary, we just know that it does work and we try not to analyze it."

Both Pires and Paz contribute to the outspoken songwriting. From standing up for workers' rights in "Workers of the World Unite!" to defending Native Americans in "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Indian Blood," The Last Internationale doesn't censor the music.

"Certain topics aren't off limits because they may not be popular or it might jeopardize our career," Pires says. "We would never do that, we think that's very insincere, it's unethical, if you will. So we have opinions about things and whatever those opinions are we're going to put them on the record rather than censor ourselves. It just so happens we're very opinionated about people and power."

When it comes to the songwriting itself, I asked both Pires and Paz what they love the most.


he finished product, when you're done with the song, and you don't know if it's any good, but you think it's awesome," Pires says. "Then you wait a few days and you either think, 'Aw, that was total shit, I don't know what the fuck we were thinking,' or it's like, 'Wow, I really love this, let's put it on the record.' Your excitement doesn't wane and other people get excited about listening to it."

"I think it's finding more about yourself, there's somewhere to go and you're always learning," Paz says.

When it comes to touring, Paz and Pires love visiting people in the towns where their touring takes them. They love walking around, checking out coffee shops and book stores, getting the vibe of the town. Pires says they also love revisiting places, because a lot of times they don't have the luxury of walking around due to crazy in-and-out scheduling.

The traveling life especially appeals to Paz.

"I love being on the road. I actually feel more at home, I know that sounds cliché, but it's true," Paz says. "I feel more at ease traveling and being in different places every night. It's more exciting. I don't know, as soon as we get home, I always want to get back on the road."

The Last Internationale, Riot on a Sunday

Thurs., Oct. 12. 8pm.

The Capitol

190 NW Oregon Ave., Bend.

$8/adv. at

About The Author

Anne Pick

Music Writer | The Source Weekly

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