Having my blog has introduced me to tons of bands. Sometimes if I am lucky enough, I have been able to become friends with members of bands. It is like a dream come true to chat it out with real artists!! One band that I have stayed in close contact with is Local Natives. I have been addicted to their beautiful tunes every since I received my first email about them. Itâ€™s all history since then!
I couldnâ€™t just be there friend though; it was time to do some professional blogging! Matt Frazier, the drummer of Local Natives took some time out of his day (right before soundcheck!) to answer some of my questions! I am not really a phone person, so I try to avoid it whenever I can. We both logged onto gmail, and started shooting the shit. I logged the whole chat below. I think it was more of a conversation with interview questions, which is a pretty cool dynamic if you ask me!
Matt:Â Hey Will!
Will (me):Â Hey Matt! Sorry that Iâ€™m a little late. My dorm internet sucks right now!
M:Â No worries man. I literally just jumped on! The venue was having internet issues, so I ran down the street, hah!
W:Â Nice, Nice. Where are you guys playing tonight?
M:Â The Black Cat in DC
W: So how is everything going right now? Your currently touring with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, how has that been going?
M:Â Amazing thus far. Tonight will be our 4th night with Sharpe and the zeros. Fool’s Gold just joined us last night in Philadelphia. Weâ€™re super excited to have them with us. We actually went to Athens for the first time last week, itâ€™s an amazing city, I was pleasantly surprised.
W: That’s really cool, have the crowds been good to you so far out there?
M:Â Indeed. They’ve been really welcoming!!
W:Â That’s good to hear. A lot of crowds always talk over the opening act. It really bugs me! Iâ€™m glad to hear that you guys have been getting a good reception!
M:Â Yeah, that’s one of my biggest pet peeves. Especially when I’m sitting and watching a show from the crowd….probably just because I know what it’s like from the other end.
W:Â I mean you guys can’t help but notice it. It must be tough to ignore it, but you got to keep pushing through I guess.
M:Â I mean, especially when you’re opening for a bigger band, you’ve got to expect it. Most people don’t know who we are. So, yes, you just kind of shut it out and continue to play to the best of your ability and hope that you’ll catch the attention of some of those talkers.
W:Â Greatly said! How did you guys come together as a band? Give me a little bit of your back-story. Your name used to be Cavil At Rest right? Why did you end up changing it?
M:Â The five of us have been playing together for almost four years now, but as you said, under another name. Ryan, Kelcey and Taylor have been playing/singing together since early high school. Andy and I (after dabbling in our own individual musical endeavors) came into the picture later via mutual friends. We had bounced around the idea of changing our name for some time, but it really reached the forefront of our priorities during the recording process of Gorilla Manor. We realized that not only the music, but us as people, had evolved into something we weren’t before… We had finally fallen into our groove as this collective band.
W: Very cool. This is a perfect lead in to my next question. Talk to me about Gorilla Manor, what was the recording process like. (The record is fantastic, I am listening to it now, as we speak!)
M:Â Thanks! Well, Gorilla Manor has been somewhat of a work in progress for the past two years. Shoot, some of those songs (ie: Sun Hands) we wrote almost 3 years ago! We actually recorded a large majority of the album last summer with a guy name Raymond Richards in Los Angeles. By the end of 2008 we thought we held a finished record in our hands. After playing some of the songs live… things changed, which opened up new ideas and doors for select songs. We revisited those songs in the studio earlier this year and came out with alternate versions that actually ended up replacing the originals. Then in August of this year, after having spent more time writing on the road and whatnot… 3 brand new songs we added to the album.
W: Did any particular bands influence you? The Talking Heads maybe haha?
M: Talking Heads of course. Andy had actually been listening to More Songs About Buildings and Food quite a bit around that time, which heavily inspired us to cover Warning Sign. I think part of what makes our sound is the collaborative nature of this band. You’ve got five individually creative minds pulling inspiration from 5 different directions. Besides Talking Heads, bands like Broken Social Scene, CSNY, The Zombies or even Fugazi have inspired us in one way or another.
W:Â All very good choices, doesn’t surprise me at all! Your debut album Gorilla Manor leaked early, what are your thoughts on that?
M:Â In all honesty, I’m excited. We’ve been working on this “thing” for so long now. It’s just nice to finally have it available for everyone to hear. I’m flattered that people are willing to take the time and post and download these leaked links.
W:Â I mean, CD sales are practically non-existent now. If people are posting the album and getting excited, it is a good sign! I mean touring is where you guys bring in the dough anyways right?
M:Â Exactly! It’s a great sign. If people are hearing the music and getting excited about it, it’ll lead them to support us in other ways.
W:Â What is your defining moment as a band. (Your â€œTiny Dancerâ€ Almost Famous moment). What I mean is, what memory will you always look back on as a member of Local Natives?
M:Â We were just in London last month and while we were there we stopped by our label’s office. To our pleasant surprise, they had numerous finished, pressed copies of Gorilla Manor… Artwork and all. We hadn’t seen them in person yet, and as cheesy as it sounds, I can’t really describe the feeling of accomplishment I felt right then. It was just so exciting to hold this final product that we had all put so much time and effort into.
W:Â That must be a great feeling!!! Thatâ€™s really cool!
M:Â At the same time, it was also a bit intimidating. Knowing that this thing was about to be thrown out into the world for everyone to see and hear and not really know how it would be received.
W:Â That must really be intimidating. How much do you guys pay attention to the press?
M:Â I can’t say that our curiosity doesn’t get the best of us sometimes and that we don’t read some of it, but I will say that I’ve learned to take it all with a grain of salt. We’re not for everyone, and I’m okay with that.
W:Â Totally, you can’t get worked up about it. At least your don’t have a Liam Gallagher approach of world domination haha
M:Â Haha. Indeed.
W: What has it been like touring? Howâ€™s the rock star life? Is being in a band like the stereotypes portray it?
M:Â Sure, things get frustrating sometimes, but it’s really only natural. At this point, touring is still so new and fresh to us that we’re just excited everywhere we go. I feel like within our scene, the stereotypical rockstar image is somewhat of a thing of the past… and definitely I’d say that we’re the antithesis of that. We’re just a bunch of nerds sitting on our laptops in a bar. I’d definitely say that we’re the antithesis of that. We’re just a bunch of nerds sitting on our laptops in a bar.
W:Â Sweet man, I just got a few short questions left. They are more on the fun side!
W:Â Favorite Beer?
M: Boddingtons. Although, after touring the UK, we’ve definitely grown to like cider.
W:Â Whatâ€™s your favorite album of 2009 so far?
M:Â I got to say, probably Grizzly Bear’s “Veckatimest”
W:Â Thatâ€™s one of mine as well. Iâ€™m probably biased when I go to pick Arctic Monkeys â€œHumbugâ€!
M:Â Also great. I’ve also grown really fond of Foreign Born’s “Person To Person”
W: I have one last question for you, probably the toughest yet! Favorite song you guys have made?
M:Â That’s definitely a tough one because I’m really proud of everything we’ve done. If I had to choose one, Wide Eyes is definitely a recent favorite of mine.
W: Thanks so much for your time Matt!
M: Thanks again for the interview. It was a pleasure chatting with you man. Hope all is well. Talk soon!
That is it folks! I hope you enjoyed reading that, I really had a great time interviewing Matt! If you haven’t heard their debut album Gorilla Manor you can purchase it here. Sadly, it is a UK release only. We are still waiting to see where the band lands. In the meantime enjoy two songs below. One is their critically acclaimed song “Airplanes”, and the other is “Wide Eyes” the personal favorite of their drummer Matt! Although I have yet to see the band live (they always play when I’m away at school!), I highly reccomend seeing them live. I have only heard great things about their live performances, and I have complete confidence that they kill it live!
[mp3] : Local Natives – Airplanes
[mp3] : Local Natives – Wide Eyes