Starting out of as merely a high school fantasy, best friends Jake Hampton and Brandon McDaniel created 1 Last Chance, appropriately, by chance.
“We would just dig around in this tool shed just writing songs,” said McDaniel, guitarist and producer. “ It was then that we realized if people like this, then what would they think if we actually took it seriously?”
After a few lineup changes and several live shows, 1 Last Chance, with McDaniel on guitar, Hampton on vocals and songwriting, Jason Dean on drums and Newt Rayburn on bass, officially came into being along with the realities and struggles of becoming respected artists.
“When I say we started from the bottom, we are not shitting you,” McDaniel said. “That is really where we started. Like, $300 per month rented places infested with roaches. That’s how dedicated we were to this, and some things haven’t changed.”
Despite production setbacks and booking challenges, the foursome has stuck to their guns and found what they believe to be the root of rock music.
“No matter how good you are or how original your songs are or how great your music is, just be prepared to be rejected a lot,” McDaniel said. “You can’t take it personally. You just have to keep pushing. As a punk rock band, we have to work a little harder than everyone else. But the thing is, we believe in what we do so much that we just do it. Nothing’s really made me have more purpose than doing this and being apart of this.”
The tenacity and passion of the group has gone far from being unnoticed. Even with a sparse punk rock scene in Oxford, 1 Last Chance has created a large fan base outside of Mississippi.
“We got this email that was a submission from our website,” McDaniel said. “I was about to delete it, but I opened it up, and it was from this girl in Utah. She was like, ‘I just want to tell you guys that your music has gotten me through some hard times. I’m not in the best place right now, but your music has really pulled me through it.’ That was when it kind of hit me. That was a sign for us that said we are doing something that matters.”
The team said fans are the driving force for all their endeavors.
“We’re not trying to be rock stars or ‘golden gods’ like in ‘Almost Famous,’” McDaniel said. “We’re very minimalistic, but we’re doing it for a reason. We know that we’re helping someone out there get through tough times. And I can tell you that as a teenager that music got me through some tough shit. And the fact that I’m in a band like that means everything to me. I can’t describe it any more than that.”