STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER/For 21st Century Media
This April, Chicago-based rock and roll duo Local H will be celebrating their 25th anniversary, but unlike other bands who hit the quarter century mark, it’s not going to be a time for nostalgia. In fact, it’ll be quite the opposite, with a brand new album – Hey, Killer – dropping a few days before, the first with new drummer Ryan Harding.
Doing things a bit like Led Zeppelin used to back in the 70s, Local H are touring right now, coming to the North Star in Philadelphia tomorrow night (Feb. 11), and playing songs from the new album before fans get to hear them in their studio recorded form.
“I like doing things the Zeppelin way,” H frontman Scott Lucas said before taking the stage in Pittsburgh this Sunday (Feb. 8). “We’ve done new songs live before, usually to try ’em out before we record them. But this is different. These songs are all recorded; can’t change them if they go over like a lead balloon.”
Hey, Killer is the first Local H full length in quite some time to be sans a concept, loosely based or otherwise. Previous efforts have been about break-ups or even politically based. For album number eight, it’s nothing but crunchy, straight ahead rockers, which Lucas said are tending to go over pretty well.
“Sometimes [there’s] confusion,” he said. “Sometimes it hooks them right away. Depends on the person and what they want from a show. All the songs on this record are pretty catchy, so I’m not too worried about it.”
Another element audiences are taking to is the addition of Harding, who is the third drummer in the colorful history of Local H, having joined in late 2013 to replace Brian St. Clair. Lucas said the reaction has been “great,” and that he’s felt a spark from having a new member in the band.
“He fit in instantly,” Lucas said. “I was actually kind of shocked. Everyone took to him right away.”
“It’s been a shot in the arm, no question,” he added. “Brian and I were guilty of letting the band become a chore at the end there. I don’t want that to happen again. I love what I do, and I feel lucky to be doing it. It’s important not to lose sight of that.”
IF YOU GO
What: Local H in concert. Alright Junior open.
When: 8:00 p.m. February 11 – Show is 21 and over
Where: North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar Street, Philadelphia, PA