"If sound is a metaphorical representation of the twisted maladies of life, then there's more to it than just blasting your brains out," says the Locust's Bobby Bray. "I can understand that people want a band to be a certain thing, and that if a band changes that, it's like, 'Aw, man, what the hell!' A band can home in on a particular mood or feeling. But I think that these sounds we're using, these soundscape kind of parts that build and breathe and develop, also reflect the same thing [as the harsher stuff]. It's the same entity coming through, just in a slightly different form. It's still not so pleasant."
Maybe not so pleasant, but not exactly detached, either. Although the insectoid costumes, video game synths, tech-metal chaos, and incisive eye for social problems combine for an offbeat punch, this band is anything but a bunch of angry young men who are too smart for their own good, content to revel in their cynicism. "We Have Reached an Official Verdict: Nobody Gives a Shit," declares a song title off the latest album, New Erections. But the members of the Locust do give a shit. In fact, like Devo (a primary influence), there's heart and distress beating away underneath the steely intellectual fa#231ade. The music's apocalyptic tone takes on an urgent (rather than apathetic) character.
The Locust puts its money where its mouth is, playing exclusively all-ages shows and refusing to patronize Clear Channel-owned/affiliated venues (even while on high-profile tours with Fantomas, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Andrew WK).
"Boycotting Clear Channel has been tough, but it's seeming to become easier and easier," Bray says. "Clear Channel is a scary entity who I don't trust to be deciding what art you're going to be listening to or seeing."