The Listros are a rock band fronted by the brothers Sean and Evan, and their latest song, “Hands Against The Wall,” has been creating quite a stir. This song came out on February 9, 2024, and people just cannot stop talking about it.
“Hands Against The Wall” is not any regular song, it’s a deep look into the muddy waters of toxic relationships. I mean, those times when want and addiction get all muddled up, then you are like drowning in a circle. Yes, this is what this song is actually about.
From a musical perspective The Listros are doing something very exciting. They’re combining rock and EDM influences to create something that’s unique and new. Sean is responsible for the vocals, guitars, synths, and programming, with Evan holding down the drumming. They are a team that has produced a song that has got many people bobbing their head and also feeling something deep.
Then how was the puzzle put together? Actually, it is Sean who wrote the song at home while being influenced by artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Linkin Park. When he had the fundamentals covered, he hired AJ Healey and Ross Hayes Citrullo to polish it off. They implemented certain changes, re-recorded parts, and mixed it all together to have the final version.
Where does this name come from? As it turns out, the story is in fact related to Sean’s own personal experiences with a rocky relationship. The song depicts the highs and lows of love, desire, and the other not-so-pretty parts.
In this The Listros interview, we’re exploring their creative process, the things that inspire them and how it feels to be part of this music environment. From jamming in their bedrooms to conquering the stage, the brothers Sean and Evan are telling us what is required for one to make it in the music business.
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Listen to Hands Against The Wall below
What is your stage name?
Is there a story behind your stage name?
It’s our last name.
Where do you find inspiration?
Mainly from listening to our favorite artists music. We initially take an idea we like from a song we’re inspired by, and then it always grows into something entirely of our own making. As for lyrics, a lot of inspiration comes from the experience of the self. The voice in our heads that fills us up with lies about who we are and what we can or cannot do. Temptations, addictions, self loathing, greed, are all examples of themes upon which we like to write about from our own personal experiences. Writing and singing about them is a form of therapy. We write for ourselves.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
From an early age, there was always a fascination with the arts. Sean’s first taste of music was from an early love of musicals, particularly Singing In The Rain and Moulin Rouge. Eventually, after hearing Led Zeppelin for the first time at age 9 and age 7, Sean and Evan became obsessed with rock music. Their older brother, Joe, started taking guitar lessons in which the family bought a Squier Stratocaster. One day, Sean picked it up and the rest is history. Evan’s drumming came about after discovering his drumming ability from the video game Rock Band in high school.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Our family has a huge love for music and art. We grew up being exposed to incredible music growing up from our parents. Our older brother, in particular, is the biggest lover of music. He was always discovering and showing us music from a variety of genres. His taste was, and still is, excellent. That consistent exposure to great music really helped form our musical tastes.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
There’s a few. Initially it was just Jimmy Page, then Metallica, then Trent Reznor, and Hans Zimmer.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
Initially, at age 9, Sean took guitar lessons, but quickly grew to hate the weekly learning curriculum they made him endure. Learning boring songs like ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’ or ‘Hot Cross Buns’, combined with the difficulty he felt learning the instrument, made him lose interest in which he put the guitar away for 2 years. One day, when he was 11, his friend taught him how to read guitar tabs and where to find them online. This changed everything. The ability to choose the songs he wanted to learn, and the access to learn them sent Sean on a road to teaching himself.
As for writing, Sean learned from listening to a ton of music, and from writing a ton of bad songs. Eventually, with enough practice, combined with his musical tastes, songwriting began to improve.
Vocals came from singing constantly since age 15. Eventually Sean found a vocal coach which helped tremendously. Learning to sing properly without damaging the vocal chords, combined with efficient energy release, was a game changer. Sean recorded the vocal lessons, and practiced with the recording everyday for 2-3 years. These recordings we 45 minute vocal lessons which included vocal scales and techniques.
Evan learned to play drums after his experience with the video game Rock Band. For his first few years playing, he had a drum teacher who came over once a week. Between the lessons, and his consistent practice, Evan’s drum skills grew and grew. Studying the greats John Bonham, Buddy Rich, and Dave Grohl, just to name a few, Evan studied and practiced along with his favorite artists.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
First concert Sean went to was Backstreet Boys in 1998.
How Was The Song Recorded (what was the process like, who was it recorded with, how was the track create)?
Heavily influenced by Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park, and The Vines, the song was initially written and produced by Sean at his home studio. Searching for inspiration, Sean listened to and studied his favourite artists to help inspire some ideas. Once the musical idea was formed, Sean recorded a demo using Ableton. The guitars were recorded with a Neural DSP Quad Cortex, the vocals recorded with an AT4040 mic, drums were samples, while the synths were programmed with Arturia Pigments and a ton of distortion. After finishing the track, very similar to the creative process of their first single, ‘Into The Otherside’, Sean presented it to AJ and Evan where they then got together and collaborated. The collaboration involved rearrangements, re-recordings, re-writes, and mixing that propelled the song into the next level of completion .
After preproduction finished, we re-recorded the drums, guitars, and vocals at RHC Music studio in Toronto with audio engineer Ross Hayes Citrullo (The Sheepdogs, Monster Truck, Marianas Trench).
Once we finished the final recordings, we took them back to AJ to include them into a final mix.
The final mix was then sent off to Robin Schmidt (The 1975, Sam Fender, Liam Gallagher) for mastering.
What Inspired You To Write / Create The Track?
Searching for inspiration after their debut song, Sean listened to and studied various rock artists to help inspire more ideas. Once the musical idea was formed, the song led him into writing it about the toxic on and off relationship he was experiencing at the time with his ex.
What Is The Message You Wish Listeners To Take Away From The Track?
Above all, we wanted to write a song we felt was relatable. A song about lust and a toxic relationship is something we feel people will be able to connect with. It’s fun, a little dangerous, and exciting. We want it to fill people with energy, while also making them feel a little sexy.