Since my first year of college, I’ve had this weird love affair with the band Local H. It’s rooted in the fact that they were the first band I ever interviewed in person, on a tour bus, for an assigned story to discuss their breakthrough effort As Good As Dead. The high of sitting with drummer Joe Daniels for an unlimited amount of time, basically until running out of questions, I can still feel to this day.
I’m self-aware enough to know the primary reason I developed a soft spot for the duo out of Zion, IL was because of that initial encounter. It was a legit bummer when Daniels split in 1999, and singer/guitarist/bass pick-up artist Scott Lucas continued on with another guy behind the kit. Coincidentally or not, that’s when the popularity of Local H began to fade, save for a strong contingent of diehard fans. It also had to do very much with the shift in the music industry that was suddenly less artist-driven, more singles-centric and almost zero room for talent development.
Personally, a funny thing happened. I stayed with Local H, never missed them when they came to Philadelphia on tour, and even traveled at times to Washington D.C. for the sole purpose of catching them live. The fondness had gone beyond the sentimentality factor, they were still cranking out damn good music. Sure, you’d hear the same thing from a fan of any other band that came to popularity in the 90s:
“Yeah, [insert best known single here] is what most people know, but the rest of their catalog is so much better!”
When it came to Local H though, that was actually true. Take a look at their AllMusic main discography; it easily averages out to four stars an LP. The same can’t be said for Fuel or Seven Mary Three. Lucas was just able to keep delivering the goods, first with Brian St. Clair on drums from 1999-2013 and Ryan Harding since 2013.
I’ve interviewed Lucas about a dozen times for various publications for both Local H and his other project, Scott Lucas and The Married Men. One of my editors told me we need to cool it with the stories on him for a bit. That’s fine, but the the unthinkable happened; Joe came back.
When it was announced Daniels would be returning – with Harding still taking part – for a tour to support the 20th anniversary of As Good As Dead, all those memories from, shit – two decades ago, came flooding back. Tonight is the show in Boston, and I’m about to geek out like I did in ’96, even bringing my brand new copy of As Good As Dead on vinyl to get signed. Because while there has been something there keeping me interested all these years, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of nostalgia every now and again.