Silver Lake boys Local Natives hit the park in Hoxton, London, a couple of weeks ago for an impromptu performance. We gathered amongst a rather large crowd for a special acoustic set in the sun, plus a quick chat with guitarist Ryan Hahn.
FAN THE FIRE: So how long have you been in England for?
RYAN HAHN: A few hours, we got here this morning. We came from Copenhagen, we’ve been in Europe, for like a month.
FTF: How did you like it?
RH: Love it, love it. I mean we spent more time here rather than back home this year, which is fine by me!
FTF: We caught you guys over at SXSW!
RH: Oh cool, you where there?
FTF: Yeah, that was a really good show.
RH: Awesome. Thank you.
FTF: Was that your first SXSW?
RH: No, we played last year, in 2009, and we played 9 shows and we swore that we would never do that again, cause it was just so chaotic, but we did 9 shows again this year and it was even better, the shows were even better this year.
FTF: Did you get a lot of interest this year?
RH: Yeah, I mean it was kind of getting our foot in the door in the U.S it felt like. Like, last year we met a lot of people British accents, and that was a trip! And then this year it was more like suddenly those Americans have a show. Like “Oh, where have you guys been?”… “We’ve been here for like a year!”. [laughs]
FTF: So do you feel that your sound is more suited for more European audiences or … audiences?
RH: I don’t know, like, you know people back home are always asking us like why we spend so much time over here, but it’s just happened that way for us.
FTF: I does feels like it’s a West Coast, US sound … with lots of harmonies going on.
RH: I guess so, right? Yeah, I don’t know, I can’t explain it I guess. We’re glad to go wherever people want to listen.
FTF: Did you originally plan to have 4 or 5 people singing the harmonies?
RH: I think it just kind of worked that way, or you know in our band we have everyone always writing songs, there’s so many songwriters, that it was just bound to happen. It’s not like anyone knows music theory and all that.
FTF: …. It’s not like none of you can’t sing.
RH: Yeah I guess so right? I guess that that happens but then I luckily for us everyone can contribute vocally. We just tore around a lot of harmonies and we what works.
FTF: Awesome. So what’ the plan for the rest of the year?
RH: Rest of the year… we go home. We play a couple of festivals back home. And we get to go to Japan for the first time… I know right?! [smiles] Try some real sushi I guess. Then tour the U.S again then come back here for Reading and Leeds. And then yeah, hopefully start working on the next record by the end of the year you know.
FTF: So you doing a bit of a festival circuit?
RH: Yeah, this whole month has been festivals. We did Glastonbury, which blew our minds. Yeah, we didn’t sleep at all. Pretty crazy.
FTF: Who did you see at Glastonbury?
RH: I kid you not, we saw Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, cause they played the same stage we played, like two bands after us. And all of a sudden I looked and saw Jonny Greenwood walking around backstage. So we watched them, the whole set, and it was like the best thing I’ve ever seen.
FTF: It was a surprise gig wasn’t it?
RH: Yeah it was a surprise gig.
FTF: Can’t believe I sold my ticket…
RH: Fool. You’re a fool. Yeah, it was pretty surreal.
Interview by Rob Henneberry and Anna Felix.
Photos by Anna Felix.