Local H, Queen Producer Score At Radio

Aug 10-1998

For their third album, modern rock act Local H opted to work with legendary producer Roy Thomas Baker, known for his work with Queen, Cheap Trick and the Cars, rather than an alt-rock knob-twirler du jour. And the results have been well-received by radio. "All The Kids Are Right," the first radio track from the duo's Pack Up The Cats album, which is due September 1 on Island, was one of the most-played new tracks at modern rock radio last week, scoring airplay on such influential stations as KROQ in Los Angeles and WBCN in Boston.

"We weren't really interested working with anybody who is making records now," Local H singer/ guitarist Scott Lucas tells myLAUNCH. "We would know what it would sound like based on what they've already done. Everyone goes, 'I dig this Beck record, let's work with the Dust Brothers.' All of a sudden everybody is working with the same people and it gets kind of boring."

Lucas, who is partnered with drummer Joe Daniels in Local H, adds that he was listening to a lot of '70s records in the months leading up to the making of Pack Up The Cats. "That's the kind of record I wanted to make," Lucas explains. "The people we were thinking about were Roy, [early Aerosmith producer] Jack Douglas or Todd Rundgren; it was never at any point going to be [Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hole, Soul Asylum producer] Michael Beinhorn or anyone like that."

Working with Baker provided an element of surprise, Lucas says. "From listening to a Queen record, you couldn't tell what our record would sound like if [Baker] worked with us," he explains. Initially, the concept of working with Baker was nothing more than a pipe dream, Lucas admits. "We didn't think he would ever work with us, but we called him and sent him a demo, and he said, 'Yes.'" Lucas wasn't only drawn to Baker because of his work with Queen. "I was a big fan of one of the Journey records that he did, the fact that he worked with Cheap Trick, and the Cars records he did sound great," he says. The album was recorded at Baker's RTB Audio Visual Productions in Lake Havasu, Ariz. "It was kind of like going to work in the Bat Cave, because it's embedded in the side of a mountain."

Part of the reason why Local H chose Baker is that the duo--best-known for the 1996 modern rock hit "Bound For The Floor"--wanted to make a cohesive album that would put an end to the notion that the band is a one-hit-wonder. "We tried to connect every song on the record to each other," he says. "You have to start at the beginning and listen all the way through, or you'll know you are cutting off the record at some point," he explains. "It's not like you can just start at track five."

Local H plans to hit the road in support of Pack Up The Cats in mid-September.