Exclusive Interview: Local Natives
August 6, 2010
by: Chuck Norton
For most of 2010 I have been working on an interview with Local Natives. Back when it wasn’t 95 degrees everyday – that would be February for those counting at home – there was one album that I listened to over and over, and over again. It was, Gorilla Manor, the debut LP for the southern California band.
The band is been one of the break-though acts of 2010 and their album will surely be on most critic’s top 10 lists for this year.
Between my own hectic 2010 schedule, the band touring Europe, Asia and North America, it took six months for our schedules to align. Thankfully, on August 6, 2010, it finally did.
I was able to spend some speaking with Local Natives’ Matt Frazier while the band was on the way from New York to Philadelphia. What follows is our conversation about the band’s success, their international tours and the expectations and time-line for the band’s next album.
DeadJournalist.com proudly brings you this exclusive interview with Matt Frazier of Local Natives.
Since (Guerrilla Manor) has been out for six month, for you and for the band, how has the reaction and sales of the album been based on what you anticipated?
MF: It has surpassed all of our expectations. Since we wrote a chunk of album in 2008, we wanted to release it properly, find a label, and find a team to put it out properly. It was tiered process just putting it out. I don’t think any of us expected the response that we’ve gotten.
Seeing all the people showing up at shows – knowing the songs like the do – and buying the record, it’s been overwhelming. It’s been really exciting but we definitively didn’t expect it.
Since you guys just got back from Japan – and are about to head back to Europe – what has the overseas reaction been? How as that reaction compared to that of the US fans?
MF: It moved a little quicker there [overseas] after we did SXSW 2009. It progressed a little faster in the UK, especially. In markets like France and Sweden, we are doing really well. Everyone is kind of catching up to each other.
Overseas was an unknown territory to us – we never expected to be playing to hundreds of people each night in London, Paris and Japan, especially. It was a huge surprise to us.
From a performance stand-point, do you guys try to maintain a consistency in your performances? What challenges to you face both in the US and overseas considering you have been on the road for three or four weeks every month for the last couple of years?
MF: I think everyone is just learning how to pace themselves on the road. We were just talking about that. We have been on the road for the last year-and-a-half with just a few tiny breaks here and there.
It’s a whole new lifestyle that we are just getting used to – especially for the vocals.
There are little things we are trying to do, like exorcises, to stay on top of our game of our game to make sure that the show doesn’t suffer. We’ve always seen ourselves as a live band first – we’ve always focus a lot of energy on the live show. Now we are trying to focus in a new way because we are playing so much. I don’t think we’ve got it down, so much, but I do think we’ve caught a groove and we’re figuring it out.
Is a new album in the works? Are you planning on taking some time off to knock that out after you regroup form your rigorous touring schedule?
MF: We are touring through December and then we are going to take a two month break and take some time and start working on writing the next album. Realistically we haven’t had the time to write at all because we’ve been touring so consistently.
When we wrote the album we were pretty much just living in LA and Orange County and we were stationary in one place and could spend 12 to 14 hours every day working on the album.
Now we’re sitting in the van or flying or playing a show and so it’s been a much more of an hectic schedule that we haven’t had time work work on any new material. Although there are a lot of new ideas floating around nothing has come to fruition yet.
What is the most unique experience you’ve had since being on the road?
MF: I think, for me, it was going to Europe – going to London in 2009 over the Summer – because I never had the opportunity to travel when I was a kid. I didn’t even have a passport until a that year because I didn’t have a need for it. It was very exciting to be on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean because I always wanted that opportunity.
In the most recent months the most unique experience was Japan because we never expected to be there so soon. It was the most culture shock because it was the other side of the world. But it was an amazing experience all around.
Since you are heading back to Europe in a few weeks, what are you anticipating most about going back? Both personally – for things you’d like to see – and also for an audience that may now be more familiar with you since the first time the band came around?
MF: Where ever we go, I don’t get my hopes up to see the sights, because the tour has been so meticulously planned out. I don’t have that much time to be a tourist, but that aside, I’m actually really excited because we are going back to Sweden.
This is the first time we’ve come around back in January when we sold out both shows. Sweden has ended up being a really great market for us and we haven’t been back since so I’m’ really excited about going back. I’m excited to see the response.
With all the social networking going on – from Twitter to SoundCloud to BandCamp – how has it effected the ability to connect to your fans in such an intimate way?
MF: I think we’ve found way more advantages than disadvantages, so far. I think it is a really excellent time for band since social networking is so much on the forefront now. I can’t image what bands did ten years ago when it was almost nonexistent.
Being able to keep fans interested all the time – since everyone is on the computer and Internet all the time – makes it super easy for us to put little updates on our Tumblr or whatever. It keeps people interested and coming back. We only have so-many songs, and one album, so it’s a great way to keep people involved and captivated until we can work on something new.
Who have you been listening to that you would recommend to your friends?
MF: Recently, I’ve been listening to the new Menomena record. I listened to the last album and when I heard they had a new album coming out a was really excited. I finally got my hands on in and I’ve been listening to it non-stop.
Another band I’ve been listening to a lot is Bear In Heaven. It’s kind of funny because their album came out last year but I just got it earlier this year. I fell in love with the record.
It turns out that, through mutual friends and playing shows – like SXSW – we ended up having mutual admiration for each other. We ended up becoming friends with them – they’re like the nicest dudes. It’s really great. We’re hoping to play some shows together in the next year or so.
So what were you listening to in 2000?
MF: Oh shit, ten years ago I was a sophomore in high school in 2000, so I guess I was listening to bands like Lagwagon. Or something along those lines. Something super-fast punk.
One drink. One Movie. One album.
MF: I’m a sucker for coffee. I probably drink too much coffee. Everyone in the band gives me shit for it. I just can’t live without it. One movie? Probably Life Aquatic. One album? Broken Social Scene’s You Forgot It People.
3 comments on “Exclusive Interview: Local Natives”
- NEW! All music and music video posts are now exclusively on the DeadJournalist Tumblr site! Follow DeadJournalist on Tumblr
- Don’t Forget about Tumblr
- Music, To Me
- Guest Writers Coming In May
- Exclusive Interview: Jamaican Queens
- Exclusive Interview: Psychic Twin
- Editorial: “Accidental Racist” – Good Intent, Poor Execution
- Exclusive Interview: Vague-à-bonde
- Exclusive Interview: Cloud Cult
- DeadJournalist’s 7-11 Anniversary
- Exclusive Interview: The History of Apple Pie
- Music! Music Videos! They Are Back! (Because of Tumblr)
- Why So Few DeadJournalist Posts? Let Me Explain
- Exclusive Interview: Hayden
- Retro Album Review: The Pleased – Don’t Make Things
- Exclusive Interview: Ivan & Alyosha
- Exclusive Interview: Wang Chung
- Exclusive Interview: Cayucas
- Exclusive Interview: Fonda
Archives: August 2006 to Current
- "Keep a clear eye. Don't ever be steered by what others may be writing. Write what you feel, and tell everybody else to go f--- themselves." - Furman Bisher