I have featured the Local Natives, a phenomenal band from Southern California, a few times, including having them be a Band to Watch, and I must say I was delighted when I checked our inbox and saw that they agreed to do an interview with us. After way too many emails, and probably interfering with their lives too much, I finally have an interview to post, and I'd like to thank the Local Natives for taking the time to answer our questions.
I could go on and on about my love for Local Natives, but as I said, I have featured them a few times so you guys can check out those posts to see what they're all about. But now it is time to see what the boys over in California had to say...
fork/knife: Alright, I have to start out by asking if you guys are locals/natives of Southern Cal?
Local Natives: Everyone but Andy, who is from Colorado. Ryan Kelcey and I [Taylor] grew up in south Orange County. We've been playing music together since high school.
f/k: So you guys just finished up your first tour. How did the band handle being on tour together? What's some advice you could give to future first-time tourers?
LN: We already live together, so we see a lot of each other, but nothing can really prepare you to have to cram into the same 40 cubic feet with five people for the majority of a month. Luckily we get along really well. It's the sort of thing where when we got home from a month long tour we all went out together that night. Sounds sort of psycho-therapy, but I'd just advice communication and wariness towards the need for space. Oh, and rotate who rides in which van! If you get sick of hanging out with your band, hang out with the other band for a while.
f/k: What was the best place to play? Worst?
LN: Best places we played were the east coast and a little place in Hattiesburg, MI. We had never played in NYC or Brooklyn before, and yet somehow a good amount of people had found out about three small LA bands that were playing for the first time at Pianos and The Public Assembly. We were welcomed with open arms at both venues and everyone out there was more than nice to us, except the ice queen bartender at Public Assembly. She found it quite amusing to pour cocktails half full and give us a look that could kill a puppy when asking for a drink.
Half way through the tour we puttered into a small town in MI called Hattiesburg. The town was literally dead minus these creepy giant painted Swan statues, which seem to be crawling over every street corner. We barely found the venue called The Thirsty Hippo at around 8pm. By 10pm this unique little venue was packed with music loving people and it turned out to be one of the best nights on tour.
f/k: The band is formerly known as Cavil At Rest. What prompted the name change? Did the change act as afresh start for the band?
LN: We had been toying around the idea of changing the name for awhile. Ryan and Taylor had been playing under the Cavil name since they were in high school and since then the music style and band members had changed quite a bit. While finishing up the album it became pretty apparent that the band had become its own separate style with the rest of us in the mix and we all felt it needed a new identity. It was our sound, our first full length and the first time that we had ever decided to try and be a full time band. Up until a few months ago none of us had really been doing the band as a priority in our lives. The timing was right for a change, and I guess you could say it did act a fresh start for us, it helped put us in the mind set that this was a real, legit band that is going to try and get ourselves out there.
f/k: What was it like living in Gorilla Manor and recording Gorilla Manor? Release date set yet?
LN: To record Gorilla Manor, we stumbled upon a gentlemen by the name of Raymond Richards who runs a little studio out of a garage right outside LA called Red Rockets Glare. All of out prior recording experiences had been very stiff and stale so one of our biggest goals going in was to get more of a natural and more relaxed sound. Raymond's place served perfectly for this and we spent the next five to six weeks hashing out all the songs. A nice experience all around.
We are hoping to release the album within the next 2-3 months.
All living together is like having the giant dysfunctional family that I never had growing up. Constant people in and out, tripping over left over pasta and pizza from a week ago, Kelcey's usually shouting in the background and yet somehow there always seems to be at least one or two of us hiding in the corner somewhere with a guitar or piano playing with melodies.
f/k: If you had to beat up one member of the band, who would it be? Why?
Andy: Hmmm...well Matt, Ryan and Kelcey are all MIA at the moment so I would first break Kelceys writing hand because he never emailed me back his answers to a couple of the above questions. I would then proceed into Ryan’s room, wake him up, and as soon as he opened his eyes I would mace him. I don’t know where Matt is so I think I’m just going to set up the old bucket filled with tacks and water above the door prank. Then I wait.
Taylor: What? What a divisive question! Alright well...if I had to beat up one member of the band it would be Kelcey because he is the nicest and has the slowest temper, that way he wouldn't get mad at me until it was too late and he was unconscious.
Ryan: Andy is out of the question, as he could clearly destroy any one of us (see: the scar on Taylor's forehead). It would definitely have to be Kelcey because he is soft like dough and has the memory of a goldfish. We'd probably be back to normal like five minutes later.
f/k: Lastly, fork or knife? Why?
LN: From a logical standpoint it would have to be knife. I mean a knife can essentially be used for the same function as a fork. However, forks are just a better looking and all around more stylish piece of steel, and who the hell wants to be logical anyways? I remember when I was in 5th or 6th grade I was a little metal-head and had this album with a picture of a fork jabbing into an eyeball being served on a plate and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.
Be sure to watch out for Gorilla Manor, due out in "2-3 months". Included is a track from the upcoming album entitled "Airplanes".
Local Natives - Airplanes
Check out a few other tracks on their myspace.
Again, we'd like to thank Local Natives from the bottom of our hearts for taking time out of their busy schedule and dealing with our pesky emails. Hope you enjoyed it, because it's all for you.