Friday, July 2, 2010

Interview with The Locals: Putting a little Salt in the Big Picture

Offering their fifth installment with their latest EP in 10 years, The Locals has been rocking the Chicago music scene by performing their raw alternative rock sound and giving rockers a touch of a retro 1990’s style.

This trio delivers an exceptional sound created by Lead-singer and Guitarist, Yvonne Doll, Bassist, Christy Nunes, and Kirk Snedeker on drums. With captivating retro melodies with rhythmic guitars, crashing drums with a modern spin, combined with Yvonne's powerful and smokey voice, this compelling combination gives this band a sense of uniqueness. Reminiscing with a sound similar to the 90’s rock with artists like The Divinyls, Garbage, or even No Doubt, The Locals are poised with a quality that is definitely their own.

The Locals newest installment, “Salt”, a four track EP that was released earlier this year, combines a pop rock style brimming with intense guitar hooks that is no less than a head-turner. Salt begins with “Sound it Out”, a high energy rock song simply dedicated to the night life and realizing you are there. “Amnesia” is one of the most notable songs on the EP. A story about two people in a relationship that are equally screwed up, yet they attempt to help one another, but seemly, they only encourage each others problems. The only way they can cope is to forget. Another track favorite is the song, “Everything Must Go”. While masked with the bands best musical performance, it is easily to forget there is a deeper story about a once forgotten identity about her former self and realizing there is no reason to feel lost, “…It’s only now”. The final song from the Salt EP is “Away From Here”, a song about wanting to escape from her problems.

While the songs may appear to surround a sense of darkness, their delivery is quite the contrary. Every song maintains equal tempo throughout that does not bore nor does it feel repetitive.

CD review rating: Composition 5, Production 5, Arrangement 5, Performance 5, Hit Potential 4

Listen to a special 4-track preview only on The Great Unknowns Presents, Ep 70

Q&A with Yvonne Doll:

Interesting story about the three of you is that you met your drummer, Kirk Snedeker on Craigslist and it wasn’t hours upon hours of searching, you found him on the first try! If that isn’t fate, I don’t know what is. I know you and Kirk are both from Chicaoo, but Christy is from southern California. How did you and Christy meet?
A: Christy moved here with another band called "Rogers' Park". She was totally broke she ate rice with honey on it for like a month. The cheapest entertainment option for her was a coffee house where they had music. I (Yvonne) played in an acoustic trio at the time and we met there. We were instantly drawn to one another both musically and personally, it was pretty cool.
So, your last name really is Doll, I got that and your mother’s name is Barbie. So, it leads me to this question. Does your mom really have a brother named, Ken?
A: Actually, my dad has a brother named Ken Doll and he has a sister named Barbie. LOL! All true people, all true.
You have a mascot? What’s the story behind “Danger Boy”?
A: Danger Boy's tale is one of adventure, heartbreak, exotic extreme sports and semi-synthetic organic amorphous solids. "The Boy" as we call him was an extra in our very first music video (which will hopefully never see the light of day lol). He is that friend of yours that will pretty much do or say anything, he's a complicated little guy, he's surly, but has a heart of gold, he drinks tequilla with a straw, he chases women and men, barbie's and cats, he's all about the love.
(Enough of the random questions)
You’re not only a singer and song writer, but you’re also an exceptional art painter. How did you get involved with music?
A: My mom was a music teacher when I was kid. She plays a bunch of instruments and would play and sing piano for us every night before bed. So music was everywhere. It was cool. I started on the piano at age 5, saxophone later on in high school, the picked up guitar. I always loved to sing. I was the kid singing into the vaccuum cleaner handle. Yep.
What music artists do you look up to?
A: PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse, and I'm currently totally addicted to Muse. Totally. I heart them.
Where does the inspiration for the songs you write come from?
A: It sort of varies, you know. Sometimes it's personal experience, other times it may be something a friend is going through, something going on in the world.
Is there a common theme that you tend to write about most often?
A: Well, being a musician/artist just comes with it's own built in struggles, you know? So, I do tend to vent a lot of that frustration in my songs. I write a lot about my relationship with my work (music, writing songs,visual work). My "muse" can be sort of an asshole sometimes. I also write about relationships with people in my life.
What is easiest for you? Do you write lyrics before or after the music?
A: I would say most of the time, historically, I've started with lyrics, although as of late I've been writing the music first. It's kind of a new thing for me to write the music first, it's been interesting.
This year you released your newest EP entitled, “Salt”. What are you most proud of about this release?
A: I think the over all evolution of our sound. I'm happy we keep pushing the sound, we're not just making the same cd over and over again.
You’re released five EP’s with The Locals including a solo album back in 1996. Since you’ve recorded your first album, what has been the highlight of your career?
A: Man that is a hard one... honestly there are a handful of shows that stand out because the crowd was amazing, sound was good and we just had a blast. I would love to bottle those moments where it all comes together like that, it's a totally addictive feeling. We did get an awesome shout out from MTV this year via Twitter, they called one of the tunes from SALT, "epic" that was really cool.
Do you have any plans to expand on your album this year?
A: We really want to have a new EP out this winter... fingers crossed.
Do you have a summer tour planned for this summer?
A: Yep we're always on the go! We'll be sticking close to the midwest this summer though.
Do you consider yourselves just a typrical alternative rock band or do you like being recognized as a LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) band?
A: We're both. We get this question a lot and we look at it like this, we're no more a straight band than a gay band, we have members that are gay and a member that is straight, what we are all together is the sum of all the parts. The Locals as a group are something different that what and who we are individually. To me that is the coolest part of being in a creative partnership.
Is there anything particular that you love about performing at a gay or lesbian venue versus a straight venue?
A: We tend to gravitate toward venues where everyone feels comfortable to have a great time. Our crowd is totally mixed and we love that! It's totally fun sometimes to be surrounded by a buncha homos (I'm aloud to say that, as I am a big ol homo, so no pissy emails people!) But, it's like hanging out all your guy friends all the time or all your girl friends all the time, that can get tired. It's fun to mix it up. We are like the friggin Switzerland of music fans, we love them all!

Find more of The Locals:
The Locals with a special guest appearance by Yvonne Doll on:
The Great Unknowns Presents, Ep 70
Band Website: The locals
Purchase The Locals music at iTunes

Written and interviewed by Michael J

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