Kelcey, Ryan, and Nik of L.A.-based band Local Natives visited Salt Lake last week for the Twilight Concert Series. They sat down with Richie on a big inflatable couch backstage and recounted their failure of a first show in Utah back in 2006, why they treat Nik "The New Guy" like a second-class citizen in their band (they're joking, don't worry), and how they came to be the hardest working band of 2013 (according to a study by SongKick).
Kelcey, Ryan, Nik
--- First Show in Utah ---
Kelcey: The first time we ever played in Utah was in Provo at some tiny, tiny club and the promoter forgot we were playing. Somehow we show up, there’s nobody there.
Ryan: Doors are locked.
Kelcey: We get somebody’s number and he’s like, “Oh $%*#!” He’s calling his friends trying to figure out how to make the show happen…I think that was 2006.
--- Band Formation ---
Ryan: Taylor and I met in junior high and then we met Kelcey in high school and so we kinda started the band then…and really started getting serious about it in college and that’s about the time we met Matt. And a few years ago we actually met Nik, and he’s the newest member. He’s the new guy.
Nik: I still don’t fit in.
Ryan: He’s still being hazed.
Kelcey: We definitely make him feel like a second-class citizen.
Ryan: He’s sitting the farthest away from you.
Kelcey: Yeah he wasn’t there, he’s just gotta deal with that, you know? This is what he signed up for and he’s gonna get it.
Nik: I think I have four more years before they’ll call me by my first name.
Kelcey: I’ll never accept you.
--- Hardest Working Band of 2013 ---
Nik: We sadly know that statistic.
Ryan: We thought that’s what everyone did. We thought everyone was just like, you say yes to everything. You just play as many shows as you can before you fall down. It’s nice to realize that that was an insane amount of shows.
Kelcey: It kind of justifies us feeling tired.
Ryan: Yeah, we were all falling apart.
Nik: Granted also, the album came out in January. If someone’s album came out in March, we already had a 2-month head start on them.
Ryan: Getting all technical with it.
Kelcey: Don’t sugarcoat it man!
--- Writing for Album 3 ---
Kelcey: We’re transition in to that [writing]. So we’re doing a bunch of festivals and in between we’re trying to get a new practice space set up in L.A. and trying to make the hard transition in to saying no to shows and actually start writing and stuff. We’re obviously very bad at saying no. That’s our issue that’s holding us back.
--- Living and Writing Together ---
Kelcey: With this last album, Hummingbird, we ended up living together for a couple months, just kinda working out the end of the record, and that was nice. I think we got to rediscover an energy where, like Ryan said – being in the same house, living and breathing and sleeping. This music – I think it really benefits our process. I think maybe at one point we may be together in one place.
Lou Ferrigno talks to Richie T about being Michael Jackson's personal trainer, coming to this year's Salt Lake Comic Con, and much more!
Being Michael Jackson’s Personal Trainer
Well it was different because he [Michael Jackson] was so involved in music that he never really weight trained or exercised as much before. So when I was with him, I would give him a live regiment, like a routine so he could do it to retain his flexibility and stamina.
Going to Salt Lake Comic Con 2014
Well, I do a panel at the Con also, and I tell the fans to stay away from drugs, sex, and violence. That’s important because the fact that they come to a comic con that’s so positive, and you meet people, and make connections to celebrities, and there’s a Q&A. It’s always about walking away with a smile on your face instead of being depressed and doing the wrong things to yourself.
After learning of Robin Williams' passing on Monday I was shocked and disappointed and curious about what happened, much like I expected most people were. I logged on Facebook and posted something short like, "Jesus, Robin Williams is dead" and left it at that.
I deleted the post later because I saw the tsunami of personal tributes take over the news feed and felt whatever I had to say wasn't adding anything constructive. Then news came out about how Mr. Williams died and the shock went away, but my curiosity and disappointment didn't.
I volunteered as an usher at The Sundance Film Festival the year Robin Williams' film "One Hour Photo" made its world premiere. I was able to watch the film because the volunteers are rotated into different positions so everyone can see some of the films. It was a very different picture than anything I had seem Mr. Williams in before. For those who haven't seen it, it's an edgy film that focuses on obsession and how loneliness can lead to mental malfunction.
After the film was over Robin hopped up on stage for a Q&A and lightened the mood of the heavy-hearted audience who had just sat though something they obviously weren't prepared for. He turned the Eccles Theatre into the best open mic night I have ever been witness to. He joked about Utah culture and his "Mormon Posse." He went on for about 45 minutes. The audience: in stitches. Then he took time to shake hands and say hello to everyone he could before heading backstage to the volunteer area where I had snuck off to since I preparing for the next screening and grabbing a snack.
I clumsily said, "hello." I was a bit surprised. He asked me how I liked the festival and where I was from. When I told him I was a local he asked me about good places to go biking in Utah. I can't remember my response, but we talked a little about snowboarding as it was something I actually knew a bit about. It was a brief chat and odd in how casual it was since I was talking to THE Robin Williams.
I'm not relating this story to name drop, but with Mr. William's death this chance meeting came to mind. I was in the right place at the right time and got to meet a movie star who just seemed really nice and comfortable with people. He didn't have a security detail with him or a crew - not even his Mormon Posse.
I mention this story because when I think about those 45 minutes Robin Williams was performing impromptu and the amount of enjoyment he brought an auditorium of people with his presence and humor, immediately after a dark drama no less, a well of sadness invites itself into the front of my consciousness. Knowing some people pay for highs with extreme and dangerous lows is a heavy and confusing train of thought.
I have seen those lows with people very close to me - very low. I don't want to go into detail, but I have sat in emergency rooms. I've seen havoc and worry wreaked. I have been through it as a witness and it sucks. It's shit. And it's debilitating and can be distancing at time when distance is not what someone really needs.
So I thought I would post a link to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention with the idea that there might be someone around you having a hard time or perhaps they have been for a while, that there may be a discussion to be had there. Maybe you've felt off for a while yourself and think, "That's just how I am." Why bother taking a chance? Maybe ask a few questions. Here is a link. Click if you need it.
A few weeks ago at Vans Warped Tour, Richie T and his team of expert producers recorded 5 straight hours of interviews - that's around 25 artists FYI. Over the past few weeks, we've been releasing videos of these interviews on the daily: bands like Less Than Jake, Real Friends, The Maine, Anberlin, and tons more!
In today's installment, we have trendsetter Jordan of The Ready Set, triplet Tay from We Are The In Crowd, and well-coiffed bros Dave and Bennett from Crown The Empire.
Listen to the interviews and read a short write up below!
The Ready Set
Jordan of The Ready Set showed up at our Warped Tour tent in a gentlemanly hat and Jackie O glasses to talk to us about other Warped bands we should know, his upcoming headlining tour, and then Richie turns travel agent to give Jordan tips on how to vacation in Maui.
From: Fort Wayne, Indiana
--- His Second Warped Tour ---
We did it in 2011, first time...2011 was cool, but this time I think is better because I kinda knew what I was in for with it. In 2011 it was a lot more, much much heavier bands, and I lean more on the pop side a little bit. Now I think we’ve got much more of an overlap with friends of ours like We Are The In Crowd, The Maine, Mayday Parade, Breathe Carolina, and bands like that where I think we share somewhat of a similar fan base. We’ve been having better crowds, it’s just been a great time. I love It.
--- Warped Bands we should check out ---
The coolest thing to me about the tour this year specifically is a band called Saves The Day is on our stage which, that’s one of my favorite bands. I have a Saves The Day tattoo, in fact. So that’s my absolute favorite band to watch…We have some friends in a band called Air Dubai who I don’t think they’ve done [Warped] before…They’re the nicest dudes and they usually play a little bit before or after us every day, so we have a similar set time. I get to catch they’re set a lot and it’s really great.
--- Upcoming Headlining Tour ---
After tomorrow, heading home for a little bit, gonna film a couple music videos, then doing a headlining tour in the fall which coincidentally starts here in Salt Lake City. It’s October 26 is the first day of it.
--- Vacation Plans ---
Well my first plan of business is to hang out with my dog and cat for a bit, ya know just chill with them. And then I think I’m gonna go on a vacation…I’m gonna go to Hawaii, just kick it for a little bit. I’m going to Maui. Taking in the scene, I’ve never been there before. I haven’t gone on a vacation since I started The Ready Set.
We Are The In Crowd
--- The Band Name ---
We were originally called The In Crowd, which was just another bad name. We made it longer because we had a copyright issue with a band from Jamaica who decided to go on a reunion tour, they’re like a band from the 70’s. So when our band started in 2009 we were trying to get the rights to the name and they said no.
--- Being on Warped Tour for the third time ---
This has been the easiest Warped Tour for us, and I think just because of experience. Everyone knows what their role is, because each tour is different whether it be a club tour or a festival tour or traveling overseas or whatever it is, we all try to help ourselves stay sane. But here, here it’s so different because it’s like – there’s a routine every day, to the point where you eat at the same time, the exact same time every single day. Catering’s only from 12 to 2, I don’t know, you just get used to it. We’re so used to the people on the tour and it’s just nice to know the ropes. It’s comfortable at this point.
--- What’s coming next ---
We have a couple weeks off and then we’re going off in the Philippines with some of the bands that are on the tour actually. I think The Summer Set is on our date, and so is Echosmith, so that will be cool. And then we’re home for most of September and we have a really exciting Fall tour that’s coming up that’s not announced yet.
Crown The Empire
Bennett & Dave from Crown The Empire talk about how Dave came to be the band barber, what they’re favorite pizza toppings are, how they stay in shape on the tour, and where they’re off to after Warped Tour.
--- Dave the Band Barber ---
Dave: Honestly, our drummer one day needed a haircut really bad and I was like, “Dude, I think I can do it,” and I had a little kit. I just tried it and then he was like, “It’s really not bad!” So I just did it every time and I was like, “Ok I’m getting better at this!” So I just tried it with everyone else like, let me cut your hair. I’ve cut tons of hair now and I’ve just gotten way better at it over time.
Bennett: He does a great job.
--- The Band Name ---
Dave: At the time it was totally random. It kind of developed a meaning throughout our career. But at the beginning they came up with it – our guitarist and bass players right now. They’re the original members of the band.
Bennett: In the garage where they started the band, they were just chillin and they had a big list of [band] names. We have bunch of bad ones that we talk about all the time. One of them was “Strawberry Centrefold”. Neither of us were in the band at the time, thank God.
Dave: Yeah we didn’t have any of these ideas.
Bennett: “Laying in Circles”, “A Tree Without”.
Dave: “Purple Is Grape”.
Bennett: We could’ve been Purple Is Grape. That could’ve been real life.
--- Staying in shape on tour ---
Dave: Not gonna lie, It is the hardest thing in the world to make yourself do it ‘cuz when you’re out on tour like this – especially with the heat and everything like that – you’re exhausted from just you’re day in general and what you have to do. But we take the time out of every single day to work out. We make sure we lift weights and do cardio.
Bennett: We get really creative with the certain exercises we do.
Dave: An hour and a half every day.
--- Latest Album – The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways ---
We actually just released our album. It’s called The Resistance: Rise of the Runaways. It’s a concept album it’s got a whole story behind it that would take forever if I got too deep in to it.
Seriously. The best thing you'll see. ALL.WEEK.
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