Q&A: The Locals

Photo courtesy of The Locals

Photo courtesy of The Locals

Chicago-based band The Locals will be headlining the 5/18 early show at The Vaudeville Mews with Wolves in the Attic, Satellite State, and Spidercake. With a UK tour under their belt and a new album (Stereotastic Funicular) due out early this summer, the trio is a not-so-local (to us) indie band you need to give a listen. (If that doesn’t sell you, Yvonne was recently featured on Guitar World Magazine’s “10 Female Guitarists You Should Know.”) Show details: starts at 5:30pm, $5 cover, all ages. The band took a minute to talk about the hilariously awesome Raygun/Smash-esque story behind their band name, favorite shows, and fan stories.

What to expect:
Vocals: Leading lady Yvonne Doll takes on a more rock ‘n’ roll version of her spirit musician Karen O.
Guitar: Yvonne and Christy compliment each other well. The choruses rock and the guitar leads frolic one minute and take on a heavy bass line the next.
Drums: The drumming in the choruses is my favorite and much more than a background beat-keeper. Check out “Amnesia” off of their EP “Salt” for some awesome beats.

Band Bombshell: Describe your sound in three words that all begin with an L.
Christy Nunes (bass player): Loud, Luscious, and Leprechaun. The last because we’re all very short people.
Tommy Oerding (drummer): Likable, Lively, Licentious.
Yvonne Doll (singer/guitar): Wait, did Tommy just call our music is slutty? (Ed. Note: I think so.)

BB: Tell me a little bit about playing and recording without a label—do you guys ever wish someone would pick you up or have you chosen to take the completely indie route?
Tommy: Having a label has it’s pros and cons, and so does being independent. You just have to decide what is best for your direction. Being on a label can be great with support, management, and backing which means you can go a long way with the right deal. But being independent can grant you any decision you wish for whatever you may want to achieve with your music, which can also get you along way as well. 
Yvonne: Yeah, right now the indie route is working out pretty well for us. Our goal is really just to be able to tour as much as possible, play for true music fans & make great albums. Whomever comes along that can help us achieve that goal we’d be open to it. Just has to be the right fit.

BB: Any crazy fan stories (good or bad)?
Christy: All of our fans are a bit crazy.  We’ve got some good crazies and we’ve had our share of bad crazies.  There was a guy in this small town in Michigan who liked us a little too much.  This town, which we’ll let remain nameless, was so small that there really was only one place to have breakfast in the morning.  When we showed up to the restaurant at around noon the day after the gig, he was there.  He was all hopped up on coffee and went on to explain that he had been at the restaurant since 7am holding us a booth, in hopes that we would show up.  He then went on to stalk us across multiple states, telling everyone he was our manager, and handing out his own fliers for each show, which I guess would have been fine if he wasn’t handing them out to people who were already AT THE SHOW.

BB: Where did you play your best show and who was it with?
Yvonne: We actually did our first UK tour in 2011. At the end of the tour we played a GOGO Music Fest (with Heather Peace, BETTY, and Uh Huh Her). It was POURING down rain  and like 48 degrees, but there were people right up front singing along to our music during the whole set. That was pretty awesome!

BB: If you could tour with any musician in the world, who would it be and why?
Christy: I would love to tour with PJ Harvey, as I think she is an all around badass.  I could see her being an interesting person to be hanging out in the bus with.  My other choice would be The Joy Formidable, as they are one of my favorite newer bands and I think it would make for a great lineup.
Tommy: Any musician? It would definitely have to be Eric Clapton. That guy is a legend and I really love playing blues and blues/rock. After that I think I’d just move to a remote mountain somewhere and fish.
Yvonne: Silversun Pickups for sure. We actually got to meet them and they are super cool peeps. I really love their music, so that would be a blast.

BB: Do you have a favorite venue to play? Where is it and why is it so flippin’ awesome?
 Christy: We’ve played all over the U.S. and I think my all time favorite venue is the original Southgate House in Newport, KY.  Southgate was an old mansion turned into a music venue.  They had a huge ballroom for large shows, as well as small stages in different rooms throughout the mansion.  As a fan, you could just wander around and see bands playing on all these different stages in all these different rooms.  If you didn’t find one you liked, you could go sit out on the front porch with a beer and relax.  It was a fun and unique venue.
Yvonne: Well, in Chicago I really love playing The Double Door, the sound is great, the staff is super cool as well. Lincoln Hall was a lot of fun as well!

BB: Is there a story behind the band name?
Yvonne: Yes, there is kind of a crazy story behind the band name. We named the band after seeing “The Locals” graffitied on the Serpantine Wall in Cinci (after a gig), but the craziness came later. There was another band from Oakland that started using the name (but we already owned Trademark on it, we’d been playing under the name for several years before they came along).

They got signed and were told by their label they had to change the name, and well, they flipped out. They pretty much cyber-stalked and hated on us for the next several years. It was kinda crazy. They even named their first major label release “E.Von Dahl Killed The Locals,” I heard there is a chorus in one of their tunes  (on their second album) where they are yelling “Yvonne Doll will be your twist of fate.” LOL.  We’ve actually never even met these dudes, but yeah, they didn’t take it too well.

BB: What’s your favorite song and what was the inspiration?
Yvonne: Oooh, that is hard. I always like the new ones, ya know?  But one of my favs from SALT is “Everything Must Go.” It was inspired by a masahide quote “Barn’s burnt down, now I can see the moon.” It’s really about rebuilding, letting go of the things that you hold on to that only bring you down. We made a video for it with some really killer indie film people in Chicago.

BB: What was your local music scene like growing up?
Christy: I grew up in San Diego, CA during the 90’s. There was definitely a great alt/punk scene.  Bands like Drive Like Jehu, Rocket from the Crypt, Blink-182, Lucy’s Fur Coat, etc.
Tommy: My local scene was in a city of about 200,000 people [Springfield, MO] so it wasn’t huge. There were a lot of great bands on the scene while I was in high school that we looked up to and emulated. Eventually playing along side and then taking on their role was great. We were all friends so it was a blast that made local shows fun. I still try to keep it that mindset to this day.
Yvonne: Growing up in Cincinnati, there weren’t a ton of options for under age kids to see indie/rock bands. That’s why I’m always down with playing all ages shows, you know? I would have jumped at the chance to see indie bands when I was in high school. I more got in to the local music scene in Chicago. I moved here for school when I was 17 so, I got into the local scene here, there were a ton of cool art school bands that we’d go and see every weekend.

BB: What’s your best piece of advice for local musicians?
Christy: Do it because you love it and everything else will fall into place.
Tommy: Do what YOU want to do. Play what makes you feel good and conquer the world with it.
Yvonne:  Three things:
1)    Don’t wait around for someone to come along and “make it happen” for you. You have to make stuff happen for yourself.
2)    Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, ever give up.
3)    Protect the work. Make music, write songs, play shows. Don’t let all the other stuff that comes along with running a band get    the way of that. Your job is to create.

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