Interview: The Locust


by pr!

Hey man, what’s happening? (hands him a copy of Modern Fix)
Not much. I wanted to ask you; how does a band get on the cover?

Writer input, basically. We usually have a few ideas each month for bands that we think would benefit from exposure, so we just choose a band. Unlike other magazines, it’s not influenced by advertising or friendships or something.
I also thought your magazine was more of a metal magazine.

Yeah, we get that a lot. People also think we’re not metal enough, or we’re too punk or something. I see us more as a product of our writers and readers. Anything that our writers want, we cover. We never assign a writer to a certain band or artist; I think that’s shallow and totally misrepresents the magazine and hurts the band.
This band (points to Glassjaw on our cover) is on tour with a band on my label, Blood Brothers.

I was going to mention that, actually. Cool for your label, yeah?
Well, sorta. They just signed to a major, so it’s good for us because we’ll sell more records, but… (laughs)

Glassjaw fan?
No. Actually, I only have heard one song from them on a comp, but what really bothered me about them was that they are really misogynistic and support abuse to women. They have serious issues.

So, when you listen to a band, you really analyze the lyrics.
No matter how good the band is.

But what about a band like Reagan Youth, for example. When you first listen to that one song, with the chorus, “Reagan Youth, Seig Heil!” people could assume that’s a pro nazi band.
People thought that about Minor Threat, also. They thought they were skinheads. I did, when I was 12 years old, until I read the lyrics. People need to investigate the bands they are into.

They’re being too shallow with their music tastes?
It’s like marketing. Glassjaw’s huge now, and nobody knows shit about them. Like Blood Brothers is now on a major, and their shit’s going to be crammed down peoples throats, and they’ll sell records, but no one will know shit about ’em.

What is the Locust?
Whatever people make it. We’re a band.

“Best all around local band in San Diego” (referring to the award that they won recently)
Yeah, I’m not sure about that.

What the fuck does that mean?
My mom called me to tell me about some internet poll with us on it, and then we get these awards in the mail. It was strange. Today, we’re going to the San Diego music awards because we’re nominated.

You support those local awards things?
I guess. We won’t win, of course. That shitty band Dogwood will probably; a fucking Christian punk band, which is a oxymoron right there. It’s not like we won’t support it, but I’m not sure why we’re there. I believe the Locust is ahead of its time, and the general population isn’t ready for it. How can you market the Locust? We’re not going to lengthen our songs or make melodies to please the people.

Was that ever a thought, creating a ‘radio song’ so you can get airplay?
The only reason we would make a song that wasn’t a normal Locust song would be because we wanted to, and not for the radio or something.

Does that mindset exist with Holy Molar?
Yeah. Holy Molar is just the locust without the keyboard player. We make music that you have to figure out.

You recently were signed onto Anti, part of the Epitaph empire. Any recoil from the Locust fan base?
People will think whatever they fucking want to. People call us racist, say that we beat up girls. We get shit for whatever we do. I don’t give a fuck what people think. We’re going to write a better record, have a good engineer which we’ve never had before and have good distribution. The point is that when we do make our next record, it will be the best Locust album ever.

Are there many shit talkers?
Of course. People email us, “you fucking fags” or “sellouts”. We’re the same human beings.

Email is funny like that. You can really hide behind your words.
Yeah. About half of our emails are good, and the rest are calling us fags or something. People say we’re ruining hardcore. We might be related to that, but we’re just a band. We aren’t hooked to a genre. I want to be able to play with Rocket from the Crypt, or a hip hop band. We’re not hardcore kids; we just have some ethics. If you looked at our record collection, you would question where Locust came from.

What’s in your record collection?
Everything, except for some jazz.

Christian punk?
(laughs) No, none of that. I have a problem with that shit. There is no room for Christian in punk. That’s about as bad as rap-metal.


Since your big rock stars now, will you still play the Che Cafe?
Of course.

What’s the deal with Epitaph, anyways?
It’s an interesting thing, since we’re used to GSL. Brett, owner of Epitaph, is a really cool guy. He wanted us to be on that label first but we didn’t want to be there with all those crappy bands like NOFX and Rancid and Pennywise. We eventually warmed up to Brett as a person, and can accept that he has some bad taste as well as good taste. Bad Religion is cool; they’re not just trying to be mohawks and spikes. Epitaph is changing it’s style. Like that Dillinger Escape Plan with Mike Patton record which is totally amazing.

With the cover of Aphex Twin..
Yeah! I love it! I think it’s great. That’s really interesting too, that a band can take electronic music and convert it to instruments. Epitaph also signed American Nightmare, which changed its name to American Nothing. They’re also on tour with Glassjaw and Blood Brothers. On Anti, we can do whatever we want. “Here’s some money, go do it” kind of attitude. We’re currently finishing up an album for Ipecac, Mike Patton’s label. There’s some problem with the BBC, but it should be out soon. It’s already recorded. But anyways, Anti has let us do whatever we want.

How many records are you signed for?

Not to rehash old questions, but what’s your stance on MP3’s, Napster, blah blah blah?
I have never looked at Napster. I don’t download music. I’m not very computer literate. I don’t want to be like Metallica or whatever; running a record label makes me concerned, but I don’t really care. I’m not going to worry about it. I want to concentrate on the art of the album, which I think is what people want to own. I’m a record collector, so I’m a sucker for cool looking records. Hey, I gotta put money in the meter. I’ll be right back.

I heard that the Locust is just a bunch of arrogant assholes.
I hear that too. When people actually talk to us, they’re surprised we don’t live up to that. We’re normal people, but I think that the idea exists is because people see us live, and talk shit to us from the crowd, because they’re so big. Like, “nice uniforms” or “you suck” or “play a fast one” or some other horseshit comment, and we just battle them back with attitude, so we come off being assholes. Which is too bad, because I’m not going to sit and take someone talking shit. San Diego is one of our best cities; the Che Cafe fucking rules.

Now you run the 31G label; how’s the genre?
Very broad. We’re a family that has a common interest, but the music style is all across the board. It’s really all over the place. I wouldn’t want it to be a certain style of genre.

For example, and I know I’m going to fuck their name up: Orthorealm?

Yeah. Their album off of 31G is… odd. I really like it tho. It’s strange; just a drummer and guitarist. I’ve really got to sit and listen to it to take the music in.
Totally. The crowd reaction is just, jaw drop. They aren’t exactly on our label; we don’t really sign bands. They have a bunch of releases; mostly on Troubleman. Bands are free to do whatever they want. If they want to do a record with us, fine.

What’s the future of 31G?
I dunno. Get bigger, maybe? Hopefully? I think we’ll grow. Because Cattle Decapitation, the Locust and Holy Molar are all related, fans will go for each band’s material. I think that’s something we can cater to. I respect labels that are like families. A lot of people got into Holy Molar because of Locust, which is interesting but show that people are into the artists in a band.

Speaking of Locust, why do you make those little fucking CD’s? You know they don’t play in car stereos, yeah?
I don’t have a car stereo, so I don’t care.

I went with my friend to the record store when he bought your last album, and he was all stoked, so when we get back in his car and he goes to play it, it won’t play. It was a sad moment.
I think it’s interesting packaging; you can actually buy an adapter for your car.

Oh sure, now we have to buy more crap to play Locust CD’s.

What was your last mistake?
Hmm. I’m not sure. Eating Ethiopian food? I got massive food poisoning from it a few days ago. I think it had meat in it.


How long?
13 years, I think.

Straight edge?
No. I used to do drugs, but I don’t anymore. I drink occasionally, but I don’t get wasted. I don’t care if people eat meat, or anything. That’s their problem. I don’t like militant vegans, because they make us look like assholes and ruin the vegan ideology.

Like the Earth Crisis people, you know, militant straight edge?
Those guys are a bunch of fucking total jackass’s. They totally deserve to get fucked with and have hotdogs thrown at them. I’d throw hotdogs at them, and I wouldn’t even eat that. They call people fags and women bitches; fuck them.

No X’s on your hands, then.
The politics behind veganism is interesting, and I think people should read up on it, but my mom eats meat, and I’m not going to go beat the shit out of her. I think straight edge can be cool; some kids are totally cool but the rest of the straight edge crowd is fucking stupid. They call us junkies and shit… fuck them. Who the fuck are they? Fuck off. Whatever facet of life you fit in, there is always some jackass ruining it.

What was your most memorable show?
Probably at the Che, when Mike, who actually works here (at the coffee shop), dropped his pants and jumped in the crowd. They’re all pretty memorable, actually. We’ve been maced before.

Could you still rape someone on mace?

I mean, does it really inhibit you? My girlfriend has that stuff in her purse… would it take someone down?
It hurt a lot. My throat, my eyes… I didn’t know what was happening. I got hit with a whole bottle of beer before. People throw chairs at us. I broke some kids nose once. This kid, he kept kicking the mic stand into my chin, and I told him to fucking stop it which just made him laugh and spit on me. So when he did it again, I socked him. It escalated later, actually, when his brother punched out our headlight for our van and broke his hand, cutting his artery. Police came for that one.

Not a smart family.
No, I guess not. This was in South Carolina.

Anything else?