The Locust

The Locust
The Locust are nothing if not brutally uncompromising. A constant aural assault of blast beats, distorted synths, confusing time signatures and lightning-fast changes in tone, they have been confounding the ears of fans of heavy music since 1995. Justin Pearson, the band’s de facto leader, began making a name for himself in San Diego’s avant-punk scene in the ’90s with Swing Kids, and currently also makes glorious noise with Some Girls and Head Wound City. While the Locust’s last record, New Erections, contained a surprising number of slower atmospheric songs, the record was still punishing in its intensity, relying on more musical creative techniques than fret board runs and furious drum work.

You’re in Europe! How is that?
Pearson: It’s okay. Tour has its ups and downs. It’s cool to go places but for the most part, we just see the venues across the world. We meet cool people, lose a lot of money and play music. If you want to know more in detail, I have been writing a journal that I post as a blog on under the name of "From the Graveyard of the Arousal Industry.”

Is there much difference in the way European and North American audiences interpret what you do?
To be honest, I can never tell what the hell people think of us and how they interpret us. It’s actually of no concern to us though. What we strive for is accuracy in our performance; if there’s good energy from the audience, then that’s great. If the audience isn’t interested, not sure what the heck is going on, scared, confused, etc., then the energy is odd or different. But overall we try to focus on what we are doing. Of course the feedback from the audience assists in the performance to some extent but we never know what the outcome is, per se, as we are pretty busy doing what we have to do.

How about Americans and Canadians?
How about them? We are huge fans of Strange Brew.

Has the positive reception that New Erections has been receiving since it leaked continued in every stage, from its release up to its live presentation?
I suppose. I mean, there is the obvious and apparent internet shit-talking and shit-flinging from the start. We all seem to avoid the bulk of the criticism, good or bad, just to stay uninfluenced by outside forces. But the feedback that we have been given by peers and comrades seems to be good. As far as the live presentation, I feel that it’s pretty accurate to the recorded material. We always make sure that we are as good as what we recorded, if not better, when it’s pulled off live. The only downfall for the live aspect can be obstacles such as a poor sound system, room sound, even physical illness or something along those lines.

Have you felt any "play loud and fast and scream all the time” kind of backlash since incorporating more dynamics into your songs?
We get backlash for everything we do and everything we don’t do. So there is no concern by the actual band of what people think we are doing. We do what we want and we do it for ourselves. I mean, we did all that super-fast, "we scream as hard and loud as we can” shit for years. Then the flock arrived so we moved on and matured. Bands like Crossed Out and Jenny Piccolo covered the brutal shit a long time ago. It’s great but why create the same thing and why not evolve?

What do you think of when you think of touring Canada?
Hockey, at times, but a question such as this is too vague. I mean, I think of a lot — everyday aspects of life, politics, our environmental surroundings, etc.

Do you have a city you are most looking forward to visiting in our fine country?
Well, the ones that I’m looking forward to visiting are ones that we have hit in the past. Toronto and Vancouver are faves of mine but we are looking forward to doing more areas and hitting places that we haven’t [before].