Lollapalooza UPDATE: The below poster is indeed the real lineup for…
- Posted on Jul 2nd 2010 11:10AM by Charley Rogulewski
Local Natives' story starts a bit unusually -- following a self-funded, self-promoted marathon nine-shows at SXSW 2009, the five-piece caught the attention of UK label Infectious Records. As opposed to the UK's nostalgia for dirty, gritty garage rock, Local Natives hail from Southern California's shimmery and budding indie folk-rock scene, which includes the likes of the Delta Spirit and the Union Line.
"I've tried not to think about it too much, just accept it, because it's been pretty awesome," guitarist Ryan Hahn told Spinner of how the Brits took notice of the band in Austin. "It was amazing for us, because we had a little EP that we had pasted together in the van on the way there."
"I guess the industry is really small out there. I mean, it's a huge music thing, a huge music place, but everyone knows each other and things spread really quickly," multi-instrumentalist Kelcey Ayers added. Also helping the band was the Ayers-penned homage to his grandfather, 'Airplanes.' The single, easily mistakable for a love song with it's "I want you back" chorus, was really a salute to the elder Ayers, who died when Kelcey was just three years old.
"I'd get to learn about him and his life, and what he was like from stories my father would tell me," Ayers said. An unrecognizable, reinvented version of the Talking Heads number 'Warning Sign' also made it on the album, but the thing that didn't was the marxophone, which bandmate Taylor Rice brought to the recording sessions.
"He saw a band play it once," said Ayers, "and it's these hammers that spring back, just bounce back and forth and make a nice sound. We tried it like on every song and it didn't work out."
Despite the rigorous schedule that finds Local Natives today somewhere between Italy and France, the band's music has been the result of many a good times.
"The wildest [party] was an impromptu one that wasn't supposed to be any sort of party -- it just kinda stumbled upon all of us walking around to the different bars, and then all of us walking back to the house and then we had a food fight," said Hahn. "It's kinda become infamous just because on our album artwork there's a poster and on it is an image of the food fight and Matt's like mid-air throwing something and Kelcey's face."
"It makes sense and looks awesome in a movie," Ayers interjected, "but it's one of those moments where you throw reason aside and cover your girlfriend in shaving cream and Captain Crunch and peanut butter and flour and salt and sugar, went in that order. The next day I woke up super hungover and had to go to work and literally, one of those five-layer casseroles, five-layer dips was our whole floor -- just layer by layer and I'm crawling on top of it to get out the door."
"That was my favorite one," Hahn said.