SXSW weekend

We packed up the guitars and went to Austin, TX last weekend for the annual South By Southwest music conference. We played Saturday night at the Invasion of the GoGirls showcase put on by GoGirlsMusic.com, which is always a great show. GoGirls founder, Madalyn Sklar, does a great job of putting together the showcase and packing the place out (Thanks, Madalyn, for everything!).

We showcase hopped all weekend, checking out bands and enjoying the fest. We caught a great band, Scattered Tress, on Friday night, who are actually from Chicago and we didnt even know it. Saturday we hung at the “South By San Jose” show next to the San Jose hotel passing out fliers for our show and saw Amy Cook and Uh Huh Her. Hanging out at this showcase was probably the best part of the weekend…we hung out, listened to great music, passed out fliers for our show and met some really cool people. Handing out fliers at these types of festivals where there are 100 bands playing at any given time and 100 bands handing out fliers to every person walking down the street is usually a very unmotivating experience. I know personally that I get so sick of having postcards, stickers and fliers forced upon me that I will do almost anything to avoid the situation, including naked cart wheels down the middle of the street just to bypass the whole situation. That being said, I’m very sympathetic towards the people involved, but a bands gotta promote and I must poke and prod you with my flier just as much as the next guy. Mentally prepared for flier rejection, I was pleasantly surprised by everyone at the South By San Jose showcase. Not only did people take fliers, they stopped to talk to us about our music, the festival, music in general, etc… Some people actually came up to me unsolicited and asked if they could have a flier. We met some great people, new friends and had some really cool conversations about music and life in general. I’m still trying to get over the shock of the whole experience! It was such a great community of people, who just love music and wanted to have a good time.

After the South By San Jose showcase we headed up the street to Trophy’s Bar, where we played. It was a great show and the place was packed. Thanks again to Madalyn and GoGirlsMusic for inviting us down and asking us to play. We had a blast.

Sunday the streets of Austin were dead…it was like the whole thing had been erased. Showcases ended Sunday at 2am and by 10am that same day everyone vanished. We had breakfast and then hopped back in the rental car, equipped with our GPS, who we affectionately named “Amy” and headed back to the airport. Having “Amy the GPS” with us was a trip in itself. We decided to invite her along after we saw the “drive like The Locals” GPS advertisement at the Thrifty rent a car office. Apparently we needed a GPS to drive like us. Some things we swore Amy said:

“take Grandpa’s head” (turns out she was trying to say “take ramp ahead”)

“Take a right, I mean left” (no clue what she actually said)

We even sold a CD to Danny, the coolest Thrifty Rent A Car shuttle bus driver ever.


EJ Dawson

EJ Dawson played drums for The Locals from 2004 to 2006 and was with us when we first started recording Big Picture. EJ joined The Locals at a time when we were rebuilding and revitalizing our sound and needed someone full of energy, who could hit hard and rock out a beat. He did just that. Not only is he a great drummer and a good friend, but he’s full of freak show anomalies that we adore, like his ability to turn one leg completely backwards at the knee, stomach a Cincinnati taco pizza without vomiting, raise a bionic cat with a metal hip and taste 20 cups of Espresso all in one day. EJ appears on 4 songs on the album; Big Picture, Together Alone, Seems So and Psychic Night at the Big Boy.

EJ is also an avid photographer and a coffee roasting master. He now resides in Nashville, TN where he can almost certainly be found eating Doritos and impersonating Mr. Wong.

You can learn more about EJ by visiting his MySpace



Eric Remschneider

I still remember the first time we heard Eric play cello. It was at a show at Chicago’s Elbo Room with his old band, Red Elephant. We were completely blown away by his style, energy and mastery of the instrument. That being said, it was a no brainer on who to call when we decided to add cello to Bending In The Wind. Eric came in and spent the whole day writing and layering parts over the song, each getting better one after the next. He was a total pro and great to work with.

Eric is probably best known for contributing to The Smashing Pumpkins‘ 1993 release, Siamese Dream, and appearing in the subsequent tour and “Disarm” music video. He is also credited on the band Filter‘s album Title of Record for acoustic cello and Zeta electric cello, as well as James Iha’s solo CD, Let It Come Down.


Kari Bloom

We are so happy to have Kari Bloom as guest backing vocalist on Seems So. Kari, better known as KaBloom among The Locals camp, has one of those voices that when she starts to sing, the world stops to listen. She is not only the powerhouse, lead vocalist for one of our favorite bands, Dropmore Scarlet from Milwaukee, but also the most genuinely nice person we know, and the brains behind 2 of our all time favorite beer quotes “Beer, the other white milk” and “Mom, beer me”. Kari’s voice compliments Yvonne’s so nicely that we knew she had to be a part of this project, and Seems So was the perfect fit.

The Locals play live with Dropmore Scarlet as often as we possibly can, so keep an eye out for future shows. They are definitely a band you dont want to miss.

To learn more about Kari and Dropmore Scarlet, check out their website at www.dropmorescarlet.com


Trevor Sadler

January 18th, 2008, the album is finally finished! With mixes in hand, we piled in the car and headed up to Mastermind Studios in Milwaukee for the last step in the process, mastering. Trevor Sadler is the owner and mastering engineer behind Mastermind and came highly recommended to us from our producer, Steve Gillis. According to Steve, “Trevor is THE GUY to go to”. Spending the day with Trevor was an absolute pleasure and an all around good time. He’s just as childish as us, so we meshed well! ; )
Trevor Sadler has been engineering , producing and mastering music for over 15 years and in that time has accumulated over 1000 album credits. Past work with artists such as Charlie Sexton, Kathy Mattea, Zap Mama, Cracker, jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, Tony Levin, Moby, Madonna, David Byrne, Peter Gabriel, Live, Nine Inch Nails, The Crash Test Dummies, Triumph, Rush, Tom Cochrane, I Mother Earth, the Chicago Symphony and the Toronto Symphony has yielded several gold, platinum and Grammy awards. Trevor is also a voting member of NARAS (The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences).

Thanks for being a part of the album Trevor.

To learn more about Trevor, visit the Mastermind Studios myspace page:



Steven Gillis

The Locals had the pleasure of working with Steve Gillis, who produced, recorded and mixed Big Picture from his studio, Transient Sound. We met Steve 3/4 of the way into recording this album the first time….yes, I said the first time. We originally started recording Big Picture in 2005 with Martin Stebbing, who engineered our last album Baby Buddhas & Little Einsteins. Martin is a great engineer and a pal, but he also happens to be the touring sound man for Poi Dog Pondering, and about 3/4 of the way thru our album had to pick up and go on tour with Poi. We started the search for an engineer we liked who could jump in and finish the album for us, and were given Steve’s name from our long-time friend and Chicago musician, Lauretta Tagli of The Pow Wows.

We met Steve in August 2006 and started the process again, unintentionally. We told Steve we wanted to pick up where we left off and get the album done. After our first meeting, he convinced us to start a new song with him, that we hadnt yet recorded, so he could show us what he could do and give us his take on the music. We went in and started with the title song, Big Picture. 2 weeks later we had a rough mix in hand and were sold; Steve was the guy we needed to make this album with. I remember E.J. (former Locals drummer) calling us from the grocery store parking lot after listening to the first rough mix in his car and saying simply “we have to record this whole thing again, dont we”.

Steve is not only a brilliant engineer, but an amazing drummer and musician as well. Whether playing in front of twenty thousand screaming fans on the Family Values Tour, or a hundred people who have come out to a club in Chicago on a Wednesday night for some post-bop jazz, Steve Gillis brings an undeniable intensity to the stage. He was asked to join hard rockers Filter after frontman Richard Patrick saw him play behind a 10-piece acid jazz band, and the immediate result was the Chicago-based band’s sophomore effort, Title of Record. The album proceeded to go platinum on the strength of Gillis’ grooves and the radio success of the bone-crushing Welcome to the Fold and top ten hit Take a Picture.

The depth and style-hopping of his playing isn’t surprising once you consider Steve’s history. Born and raised just north of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois, most of Gillis’ drumming career has been spent in the Windy City. It’s been said that you can’t come through Chicago without playing the blues, and after two years at Boston’s Berklee College of Music and a European tour with Virgin recording artist Inner City, Steve did just that, with notable artists such as Sugar Blue and Dion Payton. From there, he branched out into everything from jazz to funk to rock to electronica and beyond, often working as many as 300 nights in a year with artists such as Henry Johnson, Ken Chaney, MVP, Sumo, Bomb Pop and Eternalux. Elements of any one of these genres find their way into the others, whether it’s industrial rock intensity in a jazz context, or gospel-influenced fills in a rock tune. Steve has also found his way onto television, with appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Last Call with Carson Daly, MTV’s The Rock Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman in the United States, as well as Top Of The Pops in the United Kingdom.

Thanks for everything Steve, we couldnt have made this album without you!

To learn more about Steve, visit his MySpace:


or visit Transient Sound at http://www.myspace.com/transientsound


Kristen Kakatsch

Who is Kristen Kakatsch, you ask? She is 1/2 of the songwriting force behind one of our favorite bands, Milwaukee’s own Dropmore Scarlet, a killer guitarist, the type of pal who is willing to help you polish off a bottle of Sailor Jerry rum in a night, and all around one of our most favorite people on this planet. That being said, its only natural we would ask her, hound her and harrass her to be a part of our album. She was hanging around one of our band practices last winter and jumped in on guitar while we were playing “Tidal Wave”, and from then on, we knew we had to get her to play her part on the album. She came in one session and knocked it out in 3 takes. Thanks, Kristen, we love you.

To learn more about Kristen and Dropmore Scarlet, visit www.dropmorescarlet.com.


Happy New Year

Happy New Year and thanks to all of you who came out and supported us in 2007.

We are busy plugging away on our new album, Big Picture, which will be released in Spring 2008 (hell or high water my friends, hell or high water!!).  We have 9 songs mixed with 2 more to go and will be mastering in early January!  Its sounding great, many thanks to our fantastic producer, Steve Gillis.  Look for more album updates in the next few weeks.

Happy New Year!

The Locals