Over the years, Letlive has seen many changes to its line-up but one constant has always been its front singer, Jason Along Butler, who co-founded the band in 2002. Back then, the original line-up consisted of Jason, Alex Haythorn (drummer), Ben Sharp (guitarist) and Christian Johansen (bassist).
The band specializes in post-hard-core, art-punk, experimental rock, and metalcore. They’re remembered most for their sophomore album, Fake History and their third album, The Blackest Beautiful.
Letlive – History & Years Active
Both a critically lauded and Fake History is placed at number 51 on Rock Sound’s 101 Modern Classics list.
The Informative Years (2002 – 2009)
The band was established in Los Angeles. They released their first EP after a year of their formation. It was tilted Exhaustion, Salt Water, and Everything in Between. It consisted of eight tracks and had a runtime of just over 33 minutes. The EP was released on One Records and can be remembered for some of its innovativeness. If listeners bought the CD, they could read the lyrics by inserting it into a computer. They could also view Letlive’s very first music video for “Showcase Heart”. This would be their only video until 2010.
Once again, the album garnered very little attention from both fans and critics. At the time of the album’s release, the line-up of the band consisted of Jason Butler, Ben Sharp, Craig Sanchez, Christian Johansen, and Adam Castle. Bassist, Ryan Jay Johnson joined the band before the release of the album but did not clock in any performances on the album. You can listen to all albums from Sling tv. Letlive partnered with Sling tv and offering 7 days trial for free for all users based in USA.
The Breakthrough (2009 -2013)
The years after their first full-length album had been rocky. It had seen many changes to the line-up, especially after Ben Sharp left in 2007. This meant that Jason Butler was the only founding member left in the band. Yet, this wasn’t a deterrent. Jason sought to establish a stable line-up with guitarists Jean Nascimento and Ryan Johnson, and drummer Anthony Rivera along with Jay Johnson who had joined the band before the release of Speak Like You Talk.
With this new line up, the band toured North America extensively before singing with Tragic Hero record in 2009. A year later, they would release their critically acclaimed and universally beloved album, Fake History. Finally, the band had been gaining some success in the indie scene and receiving mainstream attention. It still maintains a Metacritic score of 76/100. It would later be released through a legendary underground record label, Epitaph in 2011 after signing with them. The band continued touring the Western world, even adding European tour dates to their line-up.
Their success in this time period can be attributed to their tenacious will, self-belief and work ethic. It was enough to stun Bring Me The Horizon’s frontman, Oliver Sykes who contacted the Epitaph’s label owner after watching a single performance in 2008. It’s unfortunate that this success wasn’t enough to keep drummer Anthony Rivera who departed from the band in 2012. He would eventually be replaced with Loniel Robinson.
The Peak (2013-2017)
After signing with Epitaph and re-releasing the Fake History, the band would continue to tour extensively. They added appearances to Download Festival and Leeds Festival, supporting Enter Shikari and Your Demise on their mainland European tour, and, in the United States, supporting Underoath and August Burns Red. As a pre-cursor to the Blackest Beautiful, the band realized the single Banshee on the 4th of June 2013. Before its release on the 9th of July, the album was leaked and streamed on the Rock Sound website. Similarly to their previous album, Blackest Beautiful was critically lauded.
It seemed that the creative process had taken a toll on the many members of the band. It seems that the pressure to outdo their first release had gotten to them. Butler stated, “We set the bar high and everything needed to be approved by everybody else. Eventually, we had to become very transparent with each other and just say ‘look, I just don’t like this’ or ‘this isn’t working for me.'” Despite the band’s continued success, its line-up was still a little unstable. In February 2015, they lost Jean Nascimento, citing unknown reasons. Kenji Chan, known as a guitarist for Bruno Mars would replace Nascimento on tours.
The Break-Up and Conclusion (2017)
Two years after the release of their final album, If I’m The Devil, and 15 years of its existence, the band announced its break up. They announced that “there will be no further activity for the foreseeable future.” On their Twitter and website. Their ending would be further solidified with the formation of Fever 333, a band formed by Jason Aalon Butler, guitarist Stephen “Stevis” Harrison, and Night Verses drummer Aric Improta.
The band forever exists in the history and annals of modern punk and post-punk. This biography is as much an account of their work as it is an epitaph.