Full exposure on The Last Exposure


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The Last Exposure are: Nathan McCulloch (Bass), Chelsea Barnes (front-woman), Jake Doran (drums) Haley Curran (guitar). Photo by Jay McCaffrey.


The Last Exposure’s Chelsea Barnes discusses the band’s first national tour, the inspiration behind their song ‘The Boys’, and how they broke into the Sydney music scene.



Sydney pop band The Last Exposure smashed their first national tour in September, coming a long way from writing songs for assignments.


Forming in 2013 during their studies at JMC Academy in Sydney, the band’s music is all about love, equality and having respect for others. This is demonstrated in their newest song release The Boys, which soared to no.14 on iTunes on its day of the release. The song is an anthem for anyone that has ever been treated poorly at gigs, and it is a reminder to love who you are.

Since making their mark as a live-act in 2015, The Last Exposure have shared the stage with Camp Cope, BANDINTEXAS, and Hands Like Houses. They dedicate time for rehearsing, regardless of driving long distances from Penrith to Campbelltown, and are inspired by Lady Gaga, Queen and Muse.

Being in each other’s company constantly on The Boys Tour was no hardship for the band either. In fact, front-woman Chelsea Barnes says they suffered from withdrawal symptoms whenever they went home, adding that one of the best parts of touring was “being in the car together, travelling from place to place and talk and laughing about really silly things…”

“We would return home in-between shows and miss each other, getting geared up to get on the road again.”


Talking to Chelsea, she gives an in-depth insight into the band’s recent tour, what inspired The Boys, when you can expect an EP release, and where you can see them perform before their six-month break in 2018.


 Q: You guys recently finished your east coast tour for your latest track The Boys. How did that go?

Chelsea: The tour went well, especially considering it was our first ever tour. We drove everywhere, even to Brisbane and back; then to Melbourne and home. I’m stoked that my little fiesta made it through all the travelling. We got to see and stay with my family in Brisbane that I hadn’t seen in six years. We stayed with friends in both Canberra and Melbourne, and we had heaps of time for band bonding in-between restless car sleeps and on/off stage.

I think we have now gained some super experience with doing this, including what we can do differently for next time and what would be great to include again. You know it, but you really don’t get how tired you’re going to be until you are doing it. We also learnt unique things about the different cities, as some of us had never been to Melbourne or Brisbane previously, which made that extra exciting… stepping into venues and onto their stages in other cities is a whole different experience too.

Overall, we enjoyed the entire tour, but our Wollongong show was our highlight! It’s my hometown and they pulled through helping us sell out for the first time, which was awesome. To top it off the atmosphere of the room at Rad was incredible! We play there all the time, but this time was extra special with everyone singing, dancing and enjoying themselves entirely, and I could really feel that while we were playing.



The Last Exposure performing at The Phoenix in Canberra. Photo by Adam Thomas. 

Q: You released ‘The Boys’ on August 17 and on the day, it made it to no.14 on iTunes’ alternative charts.  You also describe the song as an anthem to love yourself and be yourself. What was it like to see the track go up the charts so quickly and to play a song with a positive message to many fans in September on tour?

Unbelievably amazed, grateful and proud to know that people we’re listening and enjoying our music –  especially considering what the song is about, where we have come from and where the track started. We didn’t think it would make the charts, but it did and to no.14. We’re over the moon about it. We have been playing the track live for about three years, but now that its recorded and released with people knowing the words, what the song is about and singing it back to us, its created a whole other dimension of emotions and feelings attached with its purpose.


Q: What inspired you to write ‘The Boys’?

I wrote the basic lyrics and melody to The Boys way back in 2013, which was around the time I started questioning my own sexuality, so that was a major inspiration. I grew up with aspirations to love equally and treat others with respect, which was instilled in me from my parents and are values I’m incredibly grateful for. Looking back at high-school and how I had been surrounded with struggling and misunderstood teens, I quickly grasped ideas of gender inequality and masculine and feminine roles. One in-particular was how homosexual males, including my brother, where knocked down because of the heterosexual boys and their masculinity issues…which defines the original theme of The Boys.


Q: The Last Exposure was formed whilst studying at Sydney University. When did you come to the decision to take the band beyond a university assignment?

We all really wanted to be writing and playing music live, which made it an easy decision to go out and do it. A friend’s band was playing a show out in Windsor and asked us if we wanted to play with them, so we went for it! We then started playing locally in Sydney near our university and people were enjoying us and our sound. We felt we had something special, so we haven’t looked back. We’ve grown and changed so much since then, but we are still as eager to learn and develop.

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“We all really wanted to be writing and playing music live.” Photo by Jay McCaffrey.


Q: You’re now aiming to release a debut EP. Are you working on any new tracks for it, and when do you estimate its release? What do you think your EP will be about?

At the end of the year we are planning on taking a long-needed break… when we get back into the groove of things, we hope to be releasing our first ever EP. Timeline would say possibly end of next-year or beginning of 2019. Nothing is official yet. We have plenty of ideas being thrown around, including new songs that we wrote and played on our tour. If they will be a part of it, we are unsure at this time. On our break, we are hoping to spend some time writing material that may also be used for our future EP! We don’t know yet, so you’ll be just as surprised as we are to see and hear what it is going to be like.

Q: What else is next for The Last Exposure?

We have five shows currently before we go on a hiatus. You can catch us supporting The Mis-Made at Dicey Riley’s on their tour, which will be our last Wollongong show for a while. We’ll also be supporting The Bear Hunt (Brisbane) and Paper Thin (Newcastle) in Newtown at Hideaway Bar for their tour. Catch us on November 18 playing Sad Grrrls Fest Sydney 2017 with an incredible lineup of women and gender diverse artists and allies at the Red Rattler. You can lastly see us for our final show for the year, and for most likely a good six months, playing the Queer As Fvck Xmas Party at the Lazybones Lounge in Marrickville!




 “I want to thank everyone for supporting us thus far; coming to our shows and tour, enjoying our music, playing with us, working with us, buying our merchandise and being a part of our Last Exposure family. Honestly you name it and I’m thanking you for it. We really appreciate all the love…we hope our friends and fans will come see us at our last few shows before our hiatus, and are as eager for what we may return with as we are! Please remember to be strong, and be yourselves – especially in this time of upsetting inequity of postal surveying.”


Want more of The Last Exposure? Hit up the links below:

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Photo by Jay McCaffrey.



Triple J Unearthed

….and why not go ahead and watch their music video for track Human?

Copyright © Music Mayhem with Mandy 2017

Categories: Band Tours, Feature, music, Q&A, Uncategorized

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