On Jun 18, Local H, one of the most underrated alternative rock acts from the ‘90s, will grace the stage at The Met in Pawtucket. The duo, lead by Scott Lucas and best known for their alt-rock radio hit “Bound For The Floor,” is still going strong. They released their eighth album, Hey, Killer, last April and have maintained their reputation as a spectacular live act. Lucas and I had a chat recently about being in a 2-piece band before it was popular, being one of many artists who covered a Lorde song last year and the internet’s effect on the music industry.
Rob Duguay: Local H got acclaim while being a 2-piece band way before bands like The White Stripes, The Black Keys & Death From Above 1979 were making the duo band setup popular. When all of that was happening in the 2000s, what were your initial thoughts? Did you think they were ripping you off?
Scott Lucas: No, not at all. I felt more validated than anything else. It gave me the chance to say, “See, it really is a good idea.” That’s what was cool about it.
RD: When you were starting out did anyone ask you where the bass player was or where’s your other guitarist?
SL: All the time. We always had people coming up and offering their services to be our bass player. We got that all the time. There were a couple of situations with labels where they wanted us to get a bass player and the deal would fall apart because we weren’t interested in that.
RD: Last year Local H was one of many acts to cover “Team,” a song by New Zealand pop star Lorde. What do you think attracted artists like yourselves, Bruce Springsteen and many others to do covers of Lorde’s songs?
SL: For me, it was the lyrics. When I first heard “Team” I just kind of went down a rabbit hole on Youtube. I had no idea she was that popular; I initially thought that she was only an indie pop type of thing. I didn’t realize that she was all over the place, so by the time we recorded it and I heard that Bruce Springsteen had done a song I was like “Oh, shit.”
RD: Was it a challenge to write your own rendition of the song or did it come pretty easy?
SL: It came pretty easy. There was an acoustic show I did where I played a version of it and I didn’t like it too much because it was a slower one. I’d thought it would be better to do it the way that we did it, which was combining it with a song of ours called “Cynic,” and it worked out pretty well.
RD: I thought the cover was electrifyingly rad. To support the release of Hey, Killer, Local H did a PledgeMusic campaign to help fund the album production. Are you one of those musicians who thinks the internet is a double-edged sword or do you embrace the internet as a vital tool to get heard?
SL: It’s not going anywhere, to ignore it would be silly. I hate to say it, but it is what it is. There’s a lot of cool things that have come out of the internet, but there have been a lot of shitty things that have come out of it too. You got everybody becoming sort of like androids, they’re on their phone all the time, no one is looking at where they’re going, no one is talking to each other and everyone is on Twitter being assholes to each other. It’s insane to me, everyone gets offended by something Louis C.K. did on Saturday Night Live and we wouldn’t know about it if it weren’t for Twitter. I think there are a lot of things that are awful about it, but it seems to me that kids are a lot more musically literate because of the internet. Before when labels were in control of things, they were the keepers at the gate of what people could listen to and the great thing now is that it isn’t true anymore.
RD: Recently on Twitter someone asked about the origin of Local H’s name and you posted that it comes from two R.E.M songs: “Oddfellows Local 151” & “Swan H.” We’re you upset when they called it quits in 2011?
SL: Not really. I hadn’t listened to any R.E.M. records in a while. I kind of hopped off after Monster came out in ’94, so I don’t think I was upset.
RD: After this current tour in support of Hey, Killer and the show at The Met on Thursday, what can fans expect from Local H in the future? Will you have any releases with your other music projects?
SL: I don’t know really. Maybe we’ll do another tour in the fall. The idea is to get as many people to hear the new record as possible. We really like it and we want people to hear it.
Tickets to see Local H at The Met on Jun 18: etix.com/ticket/p/8466480/local-h-pawtucket-the-met
Local H’s Website: localh.com