Gimme Time: Last Bullet Ends the Rock & Roll Dream

It’s not easy being the band that loads into the bar to play a set of loud rock and roll for 12 people. And it’s even harder to keep doing it for a decade.

At some point things have to move in one direction or the other. Either there’s going to be a breakout hit, a label that’s willing to take a chance, or a hard decision to make about the future and the reality that doing the thing that you love more than anything isn’t the thing that you’re going to do for the rest of your life.

For thousands of bands over generations and around the world, the decision to pack up the gear and move on has been the one that ultimately gets made. Most recently, we’ve seen it from Toronto rockers, Last Bullet.

Bryan Fontez, Brenden Armstrong, Michael Silva, Will Shannon, and Chris Galaz played the band’s last gig together after more than eight years. They released three EPs (Last Bullet, Love. Lust. Illusion, and 80-69-64), earned praise from respected industry insiders, and did what they loved. But on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, they played their last show.

“Filthy Rock N’ Roll from Toronto”
– Alan Cross, Radio Broadcaster / Music Writer

“One of the hardest working bands I’ve ever worked with. Their live show is incredible.”
– Brian Moncarz, Producer (Our Lady Peace, The Trews, Circa Survive, Moneen, Yukon Blonde)

“Last Bullet provide everything you could want from a rock show. They are flawless”
– Jamie Gutfreund, Journalist / Host at CP24 News


Like I said, the story isn’t an original one, it’s been played out a thousand times before, but it remains captivating because it’s never the ending that anyone planned for. A band doesn’t hit the studio, the stage, and the road for years with an end goal of playing one final show on a winter Saturday night and not making it to the top.

The story that we all love, the one we want to tell and that bands want to live can be found in the first half of Almost Famous. Yes, it’s a movie, an act of fiction, but it’s all right there… Lester Bangs says, “Tell him, you know, it’s a think piece about a midlevel band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom…” and it sounds like the band is in bad shape (and they were). But they were also on the road, with a hit, and t-shirts, and fans, and groupies and the cover of Rolling Stone.

Last Bullet didn’t get their cover.

We talked to the band before their farewell set in Toronto, and asked them about the decision to hang ‘em up. We also asked about their highlights, the things they’ll remember fondly, and what might have been different.

We started our conversation with the awkward, but undeniable, elephant in the room… Why?

The guys told us that it wasn’t an easy decision to make, and it’s a little different for everyone in the band. But, when you boil it down and try to explain it, they’re burnt out from the heavy grind and stress/work/uncertainty that comes with the rock and roll business.

Indie artists like Last Bullet aren’t the glitz and glamour rock stars we see in the movies. These guys work 9 to 5 jobs to pay the bills and invest in their careers. They rehearse and write and play gigs on evenings and weekends and vacation days. They put everything they have into the thing they love in less than half of the time that they wish they had to do it.

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For Last Bullet, it became too much. We asked the guys if they ever felt like they were ‘this close’ to making it, to finding that level of success they wanted/needed to get to, and they said no. And not because they never had great reviews or features (TSN World Junior Hockey placement, Alan Cross endorsement, 97.7 HTZ-FM Rock Search, etc.), but because for years they heard industry insiders, radio reps, A&R pros, and others tell them that they were ready, that they had what it took, and that they’d call them on Monday to make it happen.

No matter who you are, that many broken promises can take a toll on you. It’s like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the football. And if you don’t know what that means, here’s a helpful gif.

And while we were all at The Horseshoe Tavern to bid the bad adieu, we weren’t all in a bad place. The band talked to us about the good times, and about performing, and about what comes next for them.

The guys talked about performing and their unwavering dedication to the show. They were proud to tell us that no matter how hard things were behind-the-scenes, they always came out and put on the best, loudest, most fun, rock and roll show that they had in them. And as we watched later in the night, they brought that same dedication, with maybe even just a little bit more, to the stage for their last show.

We asked about great memories, and tours, and whatnot, and Last Bullet wasn’t short on those. They look back fondly on the chances to share the stage with acts like Buckcherry, One Bad Son, The Wild, The Lazys, and more. They have great memories of the east coast, with friendly Canadians, great parties, and good times while they worked – and of the west coast, hitting Banff and playing in one of the most beautiful places they’ve ever been. Last Bullet at SounDrive's DriveWire at Brampton's Rose Theatre

On that same night in Toronto we caught up with Crown Lands, an up-and-coming rock and roll duo that had shared billing with Last Bullet at The Horseshoe Tavern. Their stories are contrasting, with one band on the way up and the other on the way out, but even still they are connected.

We talked to Cody and Kevin of Crown Lands about it, and they told us that they owe a bunch to bands like Last Bullet who have put in the hours and shows and proved that live rock and roll is an industry that can survive and works. They recognize that opportunities that they get will be (in)directly related to the efforts of bands that came before them (both indie and mainstream) in the industry.

Crown Lands - Kevin Comeau and Cody Bowles at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern January 2018

And that Friday on stage, with Crown Lands rocking out, leading into Last Bullet coming on to take it to the end of the night in one of Canada’s most legendary venues, they were most definitely connected.

During our conversation with Last Bullet, we asked if there was anything they wish they had done differently or tried during their tenure. The one big thing they pointed to was taking a shot at the US market. For a variety of reasons (budget, time, opportunity, etc.) the band never loaded up a van to go south of the border on a tour to introduce their music to American audiences.

And while there’s no guarantee that going would have been a difference maker in their career, we completely understand where the band is coming from in wishing they had taken the chance.

Last Bullet Interview at the backroom bar in Toronto before their last show February 2018 with Joshua Murray

Here’s the thing about musicians… they rarely stop being musicians. And it looks like that’s the case with Last Bullet too.

Bryan, Michael, and Brenden all told us that they’ll continue to have music in their lives in one way or another. Whether it’s picking up a guitar after work to play around with a lick, or as Bryan told us, working on songs that weren’t marked for Last Bullet to see if there’s another project in the future.

In the end, the members of Last Bullet may or may not step on stage again to sweat and sing in front of a live rock and roll audience… but either way, the shows, memories, and years that they put into their dream can’t be taken away.

Bryan Fontez, Brenden Armstrong and Michael Silva of Last Bullet Interview at the backroom bar in Toronto before their last show February 2018

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Gimme Time: Last Bullet Ends the Rock & Roll Dream

It’s not easy being the band that loads into the bar to play a set of loud rock and roll for 12 people. And it’s even harder to keep doing it for a decade.

At some point things have to move in one direction or the other. Either there’s going to be a breakout hit, a label that’s willing to take a chance, or a hard decision to make about the future and the reality that doing the thing that you love more than anything isn’t the thing that you’re going to do for the rest of your life.

For thousands of bands over generations and around the world, the decision to pack up the gear and move on has been the one that ultimately gets made. Most recently, we’ve seen it from Toronto rockers, Last Bullet.

Bryan Fontez, Brenden Armstrong, Michael Silva, Will Shannon, and Chris Galaz played the band’s last gig together after more than eight years. They released three EPs (Last Bullet, Love. Lust. Illusion, and 80-69-64), earned praise from respected industry insiders, and did what they loved. But on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern, they played their last show.

“Filthy Rock N’ Roll from Toronto”
– Alan Cross, Radio Broadcaster / Music Writer

“One of the hardest working bands I’ve ever worked with. Their live show is incredible.”
– Brian Moncarz, Producer (Our Lady Peace, The Trews, Circa Survive, Moneen, Yukon Blonde)

“Last Bullet provide everything you could want from a rock show. They are flawless”
– Jamie Gutfreund, Journalist / Host at CP24 News


Like I said, the story isn’t an original one, it’s been played out a thousand times before, but it remains captivating because it’s never the ending that anyone planned for. A band doesn’t hit the studio, the stage, and the road for years with an end goal of playing one final show on a winter Saturday night and not making it to the top.

The story that we all love, the one we want to tell and that bands want to live can be found in the first half of Almost Famous. Yes, it’s a movie, an act of fiction, but it’s all right there… Lester Bangs says, “Tell him, you know, it’s a think piece about a midlevel band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom…” and it sounds like the band is in bad shape (and they were). But they were also on the road, with a hit, and t-shirts, and fans, and groupies and the cover of Rolling Stone.

Last Bullet didn’t get their cover.

We talked to the band before their farewell set in Toronto, and asked them about the decision to hang ‘em up. We also asked about their highlights, the things they’ll remember fondly, and what might have been different.

We started our conversation with the awkward, but undeniable, elephant in the room… Why?

The guys told us that it wasn’t an easy decision to make, and it’s a little different for everyone in the band. But, when you boil it down and try to explain it, they’re burnt out from the heavy grind and stress/work/uncertainty that comes with the rock and roll business.

Indie artists like Last Bullet aren’t the glitz and glamour rock stars we see in the movies. These guys work 9 to 5 jobs to pay the bills and invest in their careers. They rehearse and write and play gigs on evenings and weekends and vacation days. They put everything they have into the thing they love in less than half of the time that they wish they had to do it.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For Last Bullet, it became too much. We asked the guys if they ever felt like they were ‘this close’ to making it, to finding that level of success they wanted/needed to get to, and they said no. And not because they never had great reviews or features (TSN World Junior Hockey placement, Alan Cross endorsement, 97.7 HTZ-FM Rock Search, etc.), but because for years they heard industry insiders, radio reps, A&R pros, and others tell them that they were ready, that they had what it took, and that they’d call them on Monday to make it happen.

No matter who you are, that many broken promises can take a toll on you. It’s like Charlie Brown and Lucy and the football. And if you don’t know what that means, here’s a helpful gif.

And while we were all at The Horseshoe Tavern to bid the bad adieu, we weren’t all in a bad place. The band talked to us about the good times, and about performing, and about what comes next for them.

The guys talked about performing and their unwavering dedication to the show. They were proud to tell us that no matter how hard things were behind-the-scenes, they always came out and put on the best, loudest, most fun, rock and roll show that they had in them. And as we watched later in the night, they brought that same dedication, with maybe even just a little bit more, to the stage for their last show.

We asked about great memories, and tours, and whatnot, and Last Bullet wasn’t short on those. They look back fondly on the chances to share the stage with acts like Buckcherry, One Bad Son, The Wild, The Lazys, and more. They have great memories of the east coast, with friendly Canadians, great parties, and good times while they worked – and of the west coast, hitting Banff and playing in one of the most beautiful places they’ve ever been. Last Bullet at SounDrive's DriveWire at Brampton's Rose Theatre

On that same night in Toronto we caught up with Crown Lands, an up-and-coming rock and roll duo that had shared billing with Last Bullet at The Horseshoe Tavern. Their stories are contrasting, with one band on the way up and the other on the way out, but even still they are connected.

We talked to Cody and Kevin of Crown Lands about it, and they told us that they owe a bunch to bands like Last Bullet who have put in the hours and shows and proved that live rock and roll is an industry that can survive and works. They recognize that opportunities that they get will be (in)directly related to the efforts of bands that came before them (both indie and mainstream) in the industry.

Crown Lands - Kevin Comeau and Cody Bowles at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern January 2018

And that Friday on stage, with Crown Lands rocking out, leading into Last Bullet coming on to take it to the end of the night in one of Canada’s most legendary venues, they were most definitely connected.

During our conversation with Last Bullet, we asked if there was anything they wish they had done differently or tried during their tenure. The one big thing they pointed to was taking a shot at the US market. For a variety of reasons (budget, time, opportunity, etc.) the band never loaded up a van to go south of the border on a tour to introduce their music to American audiences.

And while there’s no guarantee that going would have been a difference maker in their career, we completely understand where the band is coming from in wishing they had taken the chance.

Last Bullet Interview at the backroom bar in Toronto before their last show February 2018 with Joshua Murray

Here’s the thing about musicians… they rarely stop being musicians. And it looks like that’s the case with Last Bullet too.

Bryan, Michael, and Brenden all told us that they’ll continue to have music in their lives in one way or another. Whether it’s picking up a guitar after work to play around with a lick, or as Bryan told us, working on songs that weren’t marked for Last Bullet to see if there’s another project in the future.

In the end, the members of Last Bullet may or may not step on stage again to sweat and sing in front of a live rock and roll audience… but either way, the shows, memories, and years that they put into their dream can’t be taken away.

Bryan Fontez, Brenden Armstrong and Michael Silva of Last Bullet Interview at the backroom bar in Toronto before their last show February 2018

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