Local H has plenty to say on upcoming disc
BY J.T. MORAND firstname.lastname@example.org March 7, 2012 5:06PM
“We make [records] when we have something tosay and when the songs are good, says Local H’s Scott Lucas. | JOHN J. KIM ~ SUN-TIMES
♦ 8 p.m. March 9
♦ Montrose Room, InterContinental Chicago O’Hare, 5300 N. River Rd., Rosemont
♦ Tickets, $15
♦ (847) 544-5300;
Updated: April 10, 2012 10:52AM
Local H makes a record only when they have something to say.
And, with the political divide in this country widening and the presidential election eight months away, they have something to say on their yet to be released 12th album, “Hallelujah! I’m A Bum.”
It’s been four years since the Chicago-based, two-man post-grunge band consisting of Scott Lucas (vocals, guitar and bass) and Brian St. Clair (drums) released a studio album — “12 Angry Months” in 2008.
Unfortunately, there’s no release date set for “Hallelujah!,” but the band finished mixing last month and Lucas said the album will be out before the November elections.
“We wanted to take this thing that goes on in the country, and the rest of the world, and figure out how it affects people and their relationships with each other and the relationships within their neighborhoods and their community,” Lucas said. “It definitely is a record that, in some ways, has an expiration date, and that expiration date would be November. But, in other ways, it doesn’t.”
Fans can get a preview of what Lucas has to say on “Hallelujah!” when Local H performs at the Montrose Room in Rosemont on March 9.
Lucas is a liberal and has no problem letting you know how he feels about conservatives.
“It worries me that all these people want change for no real reason other than out of spite,” he said about the Tea Party. “It seems like these people have dedicated their lives to getting Obama out of office no matter what he does or what he’s done or what he says.”
The right wing, he added, has made themselves targets for criticism. Local H takes aim at the idolization of Ronald Reagan by conservatives on the new album via “They Saved Reagan’s Brain.”
“You’ve got all these people who constantly invoke the name of Reagan, and that’s all they do. You watch these Republican debates and it’s constantly, ‘I believe in Reagan, I believe in Reagan,’” Lucas said. “So, it’s basically about them and that sort of stonewalling. When you look at Reagan, when he was governor of California, it was kind of [messed] up the things he did. He’s not a perfect figure, by any means. But, once again, nobody wants to hear that.”
There are songs that touch on other themes, too. “Blue Line” is a nod to Chicago and the L line that runs through the city between O’Hare and Forest Park. Living in Chicago, a politically-charged town, is a thread that runs through the album, Lucas said.
“There are a lot references to the Blue Line on the record. Where I live, I hear it everyday,” he said. “You’ll hear the sounds of trains throughout the record. The whole record is meant to evoke ... listening to this record on your headphones while riding on this train. And then there’s dogs. Dogs is another thread that you’ll hear throughout the record. There’s a lot of stuff going on.”
Including the weather. “Another February” is one of Lucas’ favorite songs on the new album.
“On top of everything, the weather affects things,” he said. “This time of year is a lot of people’s slow time. There’s a certain sense of anxiety. It’s off-season time, off-peak time, and you’re worried if you’re going to make it to spring and summer. That’s something that’s pretty primal when you talk about animals and hibernation and scratching around for food. It seems to bleed into a lot of facets of a lot of living creatures. That’s interesting to me.”
Local H has been around, in one form or another for 25 years. Their breakout hit, “Bound for the Floor,” was released 16 years ago. Lucas said the desire to keep making good albums is what keeps the band going.
“When we made our first record and nothing happened with it, I said, ‘Alright, I just want to be able to make another record,’” he said.
The second album sold some copies and the band started to pick up some steam. Since then, Lucas hasn’t wanted to rest on his laurels because the band hasn’t achieved the financial success that would allow them to rest. Integrity comes first, he said.
“I’m constantly trying make good records just because I want to make good records,” he said. “We don’t make records just so we can tour. We make them when we have something to say and when the songs are good.”