Published on July 6th, 2010 | by Lewis Donovan
Interview: Andy Hamm (Local Natives)
After Local Natives’ surprise gig in Hoxton Square, we caught up with bassist Andy Hamm…
Lewis: So today’s gig was a resounding success, how did it all come about?
L: So do you prefer the more intimate gigs as opposed to the larger crowds?
A: Well they’re two very different things. I can’t speak for the rest of the guys but I think we’re still getting used to playing the larger venues. And it’s always nice to be able to see the smiles on the faces in the crowd and see the reactions. Personally, I always walk away feeling great from gigs like that.
L: You recently released the stems from tracks on your album for people to remix, what was the thinking behind that?
A: Yeah, I’d been thinking about it for a while and we decided that we wanted people to really have fun with the songs and that letting them make their own mixes would be a good way to do it.
L: If you could play or tour with any band, who would it be?
A: Haha, that’s a trick question. I dunno. We toured with this band called Suckers and they’re from Brooklyn. They turned out to be really awesome guys and, without sounding cheesy, we became like one big family.
L: So what shows have you got lined up this summer?
A: Well we’ve got eight days left of this tour, then we’re heading back to the States and we’ve got a few shows out there like Pitchfork Festival, then we go home for a week and then we come back to the UK for some dates up north. We’ve got Reading… Leeds… T in the Park… it’s hard to keep track, you guys have so may festivals over here.
L: What’s the worst show you can remember playing?
A: We played one of those ‘Battle of the Bands’ things and it was awful. I remember as soon as we got there we all just wanted to leave.
L: Okay, so let’s talk influences. Who would you say influences the band and your music?
A: Well when you’ve got five people all writing music it’s hard to pick out a specific influence, although we all like listening to the obvious stuff like Crosby Stills & Nash, This Heat, The Harmony Band and stuff like that.
L: So how would you describe your sound?
A: I dunno, I think different people relate to music in different ways. I mean, I know I could listen to a band and say to one of the guys ‘Hey this sounds like this other band.’ and they’d be like ‘No way!’ So yeah I don’t wanna create pre-conceptions or anything, I think people should be left to discover it on their own.
L: And what about your creative process? How do you go about writing the songs?
A: We just go song-by-song, I mean there’s five of us all writing. Sometimes you might just have one riff or one melody to work from and try and fit it into something and just keep trying until something sticks.
L: And lastly, have you got any words for the users of BlagSound.com?
A: Yeah, just stay tuned to the music blogs. I guess they’re the last true source of P2P music and genuine opinion in what is quite an unforgiving music industry.
What’s your view? Let us know in the comments section below…