WRITTEN AND INTERVIEWED BY: ALLEEN HUGHES
In a matter of 3 months time, Locals Only have played their first show, released their debut EP, premiered a music video and will be starting their summer out on Van's Warped Tour for the entire duration. What a dream come true for the pop punk band from Nanuet, NY. The guys recently made the long haul from home to the West Coast and booked a few shows to prep for Warped Tour. I was lucky enough to catch them on one of their dates in the most pop punk venue one could think of; a pizza place. Seeing them live gave me confirmation as to why we chose them for our 'Sunday Spotlight.' Right now the pop punk scene is getting smaller and smaller and this band is a good refill to one of our favorite genres. Their stage energy and clean sound live and on record gives validation that POP PUNK IS NOT DEAD!
Guitarist Craig was able to give me some insight on who Locals Only is and what led them to where they are today:
Alleen: Give me a history of who Locals Only is and who the members are. How long have you guys been a band?
Craig: So Joey and I were in another band before this that fell apart because some of the members just sort of gave up. It sucked, but it lit a fire under us and made us twice as determined to get this project on its feet as fast as possible. James and I have no idea exactly how we met but we know each other from the music scene and I invited him to try out and he was a perfect fit! I think we all got together around September and announced the band in February. I had some of the songs written for a few months before that though. I had been wanting to do something in this genre for a while so it was super easy to get everything rolling.
A: Who are you guys’ biggest musical influences?
C: They're all over the place, honestly. The bigger pop-punk bands in the scene like The Story So Far, Neck Deep, etc, definitely had a big influence on our sound 'cause that's what we were listening to, but there are also some riffs and "vibey" elements that remind me of From Indian Lakes or Balance and Composure or something. On the other hand, I think Joey gets a lot of inspiration for his vocals from State Champs and The Maine. So yeah, all over the place, haha.
A: If you guys could be flies on a wall in a recording studio, which band would you like to listen in on?
C: Oh man. I have no idea. Maybe Slipknot's Iowa. I heard that was insane.
A: Your debut EP just came out, what was the writing process like for you guys when putting this together?
C: Joey and I have been writing together for like 5 years at this point, so the process is pretty smooth. I'll put together a song in Logic and send it to Joey, and then he'll write the lyrics and melodies, and then we'll work together on making the vocals and instrumentals play nicely. When it's all pretty much done, we'll bring the song to the band and James will tweak his bass parts to add his own flare and the drums will get tweaked a bit too. Then I'll go back in and add those choir vocals and whatever extra percussion is necessary and it's done!
A: What kind of feedback have you received from the EP?
C: Everyone seems to be really stoked on it! We dropped "You're Sick" as our single a few days after the EP dropped, so that's our biggest song right now, but I've heard a pretty even mix as to what song is everyone's favorite, so that's awesome to hear.
A: How did landing a gig for the whole Summer on Warped Tour come about?
C: Warped is really cool about helping up and coming bands. Basically, we help the tour for a few hours a day, and then we can promote, sell CD's, play acoustic sets every day, and even play one of the stages for a few of the dates as well. It's absolutely surreal to be a part of it. Joey's been going to Warped Tour for like 13 years or something, so it's extra special for him, but we're all incredibly stoked on it.
A: Other than Warped Tour, do you have any upcoming shows before then?
C: Yeah! We're playing The Vibe in LA on the 11th with Something More and Gardenside, but we might jump on some last minute shows before then. We'll keep everyone updated online of course!
A: What are you looking forward to most about Warped Tour?
C: Just being "in" it. It's one thing to be in the studio writing and recording, or playing shows or whatever, but being surrounded by 30 other bands every single day, playing, hustling... just doing what we love. Everyone's on the same page. That's the dream right there.
A: What is one final thing you want to say to our viewers that gives a true insight to who Locals Only is?
C: We have given absolutely everything we have to make music our lives and we want to make our experience your experience too, so reach out to us, message us, or come say hi! We love interacting with you guys, and we're working on more ways to do that too. (Our socials are all "/wearelocalsonly".) Thank you so much!