24 August 2009

Peenko vs The Local Natives

If you have been reading this blog on a regular basis then you should already be aware of the Local Natives, my great white hope for 2009. With their debut album 'Gorilla Manor' already in the bag and a Glasgow date forthcoming in October, I was luck enough to get Taylor from the band to do a wee Q&A for me.

Would you care to introduce yourselves?

Of course. My name is Matt Frazier and I am 1/5 of Local Natives.

How did you come up with the band name?

While recording the album it became clear to us that this band had evolved into something entirely new, with that, we decided to change the name. We threw names around the room for weeks, opinions clashed, and nothing stuck. Finally, Andy came to us with a new idea… Local Natives. Typically when a new name was thrown into the mix, skepticism followed, and the name usually fell by the wayside, but for some reason, this time, Local Natives stuck. It just seemed to fit all too well. Is it blatantly redundant? Yes, but to me, that's part of the beauty of it. We feel that the name completely embodies the nature of this band.

How did you come together as a band?
The 5 of us have been playing together for about 3 years now. Before the name change we were called Cavil at Rest; a band started in high school primarily by Ryan Hahn (guitar, vocals) and Taylor Rice (guitar, vocals). While still in high school, Ryan and Taylor were joined by Kelcey Ayer (keys, vocals, percussion), and after a couple of EPs and a few lineup changes were then joined by Andy Hamm (bass) and myself, Matt Frazier (drums). We played as Cavil at Rest up until the recording our first ever full length (see above).

What artists would you say have had the biggest influence on the band?
You’d probably get five completely different answers if you asked each of us individually, but that’s part of what makes this band what it is; we pull inspiration from all different directions and try to meld it into something cohesive. We’re a vocal band, so naturally we draw inspiration from bands like CSNY or The Zombies, but when it comes to our more tribal, percussive sound, inspiration can be traced to the likes of Animal Collective, Annuals or even Talking Heads.

You released your debut single through Chess Club Records, are there any plans to release anything else with them?
Releasing ‘Sun Hands’ through Chess Club was a great experience. I can’t say we’d be opposed to working with them again somewhere down the line.

Does your debut album ‘Gorilla Manor’ have a UK/US release date yet?
It doesn’t. We’re hoping to release by the end of this year.

As you already have your debut recorded, do you feel more empowered as to which record label you choose to release it through?
I guess you could say we have a leaning as to whom we may be releasing with, but for now, I cannot say. Ah, the anticipation.

You do a cracking cover of the Talking Heads ‘Warning Sign’, are there any plans to include it on the album?
It’s definitely a possibility, but if you had asked me this 12 months ago, I probably would have told you differently. Our original intentions were nowhere near what they are now; it’s funny how this song has become such a constant for us. After working the song out (which, if you listen to the original, resulted in us flipping the song on its head), recording the demo and adding the song to almost every live set, it feels as if the song has become one of our own.

Do all of the band still live together? and does that help you creatively?
We do all currently live together, and I’d say it helps us immensely. This band is like a marriage; we’ve all accepted that. When we’re not fighting over who’s dishes are in the sink or who left the lights on last night, we’re either huddled around our rickety $65 piano working out new material or collaborating on artwork. It’s a beautiful thing really; we keep each other in check.

You have been gaining a lot of buzz on various music blogs, how do you feel about being labeled as a ‘buzz band’?
Initially, I’m intimidated. We want this band to be built up slowly with a solid foundation... Key word: Longevity. It’s really amazing that people have taken a liking to our music and started creating this thing called ‘buzz’, but I also want people to be able to latch on for the long haul and not just listen to us because we might remind them of another band of the moment. At the end of the day, the responsibility of maintaining the quality that creates a career band lies on our shoulders and we can’t wait to prove our worth.

You recently took part in the Daytrotter barn tour, how was that?
The week consisted of two blown bus tires, hiding in corn fields, tomato worms, one sweaty attic, jumping on hay bales, too much PBR to count, playing in caves, and risking our lives on 120-year-old rafters. Needless to say, it was everything I had hoped it would be. We played four barns and one attic… Each of the five shows was special in their own way. The Daytrotter crew really has a great thing on their hands and I can’t wait to see how the future Barnstormers evolve.

You seem to have had your debut finished for quite a while now, have you started writing any new material?
I guess you could say the album is still a work in progress. Since our initial recordings we’ve been bouncing new material around and it’s looking like some of the newer stuff may make it onto the album. For now, I can’t say for sure.

Are there any bands you would recommend I check out?
Wild Beasts. We heard about these guys earlier this year and really took a liking to their sound. Flash forward to SXSW in March; we run into them by chance at one of our shows and it turns out that the feeling is mutual. Their new album ‘Two Dancers’ is definitely worth a listen. (http://www.myspace.com/wildbeasts)

Local Natives debut single 'Sun Hands' is out now on Chess Club Records, you can buy it here. They play Oran Mor in Glasgow on the 1st of October as part of the NME tour, you can buy tickets here.



  1. hey, very cool interview! I'm a HUGE Local Natives/Cavil at Rest fan. I've been following them since early in 2007. I long for the day "Gorilla Manor" is finally released, and they receive the recognition they deserve. I think the sky is the limit.

    Very cool to notice more fans showing up on the blogosphere.

  2. cheers for getting in touch, I'm with you there, I really think these guys wil be huge. Can't wait to see them in October