A while back, someone on the "Copacetic mailing list" sent out an e-mail to all of us on the mailing list telling us about a review that Local H got on one of their shows. The review was done by Jim Derogatis. The E-mail read as follows........
I went to the Local H show on Saturday at the vic. Well lets just say they fucking ruled. Fig Dish and Triple Fast Action were fucking great too but this piece of shit mother fucking asshole Jim Derogatis wrote off all the bands as nobodies who will never be anybodie's. The fucking asshole thinks he rules the fucking music industry. I would like all of you to send a message to the Chicago Sun Times telling this mother fucker off. All he does is knock down every Chicago band. It is people like him that keep bands like Local H from becoming huge and famous. FUCK JIM DEROGATIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is the review that Jim did........
By Jim DeRogatis
Pop Music Critic
There's a joke among rock critics that when you have to say something about a band but you don't want to risk offending them with the cold hard truth, you can always say they were "tight." Being tight implies that a group was a well-oiled rock machine; it doesn't say anything about originality or inspiration. All three local bands on Saturday's sold-out triple bill at the Vic were tight, but only two of them had anything else going for them. Over 18 months of touring in support of their second album, "As Good as Dead," Zion-to-Chicago transplants Local H have scored several modern-rock hits and climbed from opening act to headlining status. But the duo's material was stretched thin over a 17-song set, with formulaic Nirvana-by-numbers rockers interspersed with more rousing and distinctive tunes such as "Bound for the Floor," "Eddie Vedder" and "High-Fiving M.F." In such a large venue, the bass guitar was sometimes missed (Scott Lucas tries to compensate with an extra bass pickup on his guitar) and drummer Joe Daniels wasn't quite as jackhammer -powerful as he can be in a small club. Nevertheless, the pair is living out the dream voiced in Prince's "Pop Life"--which they covered--and they were spurred on by several hundred fans singing along with their songs.
After reading this, I did what the person asked and decided drop Jim an e-mail. It wasn't the most friendliest of e-mails if you know what I mean. But afterward, Jim wrote me back and explained himself. I understand what he means in his review and I understand other things he had to say.. Although I may not agree with many of them, he definetly has an interesting opinion on Local H and music in general. Jim said to me that he really is a Local H fan. I figured that he has the right to explain himself to every one, so I decided to interview him and let the fans decide whether or not he really is a fan!!! You decide.
1)Out of the Rock/ Alternative bands, which bands would you consider to be the only ones that are contributing good music to the fans? What is it about those bands?
This is an awfully long list. I mean, you're asking about what current rock bands I like? Yikes! I tell ya what, here is my listof Top 10 albums for 1997. There are plenty of artists I really love who didn't put out particularly great albums THIS year--Beck, Bjork, Hole, etc.--but this will give you some idea.
TEN BEST ALBUMS OF 1997 (In No Particular Order)
1. Spiritualized, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space (Dedicated/RCA)
2. The Orb, Orblivion (Island)
3. The Boo Radleys, CíMon Kids (Mercury)
4. Smoking Popes, Destination Failure (Capitol)
5. Julian Cope, The Interpreter (Cooking Vinyl)
6. Blur, Blur (Virgin)
7. Helium, The Magic City (Matador)
8. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Letís Face It (Mercury)
9. Flaming Lips, Zaireeka (Warner Bros.)
10. Yo La Tengo, I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (Matador)
2)What is it that bugs you about Local H?
They are, at times, too derivative of Nirvana.
3)You told me that Local H has "the potential to make it big" in the Rock/ Alternative industry. What do you think they are missing that would give them the boost?
They already HAVE made it big. I don't know what you mean. I think they would be stronger artistically if they pursued the more original, less-derivative elements of their sound: Scott's lyrics (especially that sarcastic sense of humor) and the ability to craft really strong hooks.
4)What do you think Local H has in their music that bands like Bush or 7 Mary 3 doesn't?
They are much smarter, funnier, less self-important, and better songwriters.
5)What is your favorite Local H song? Why?
"Bound for the Floor." It's a killer tune.
6)What is your least favorite LH song? why?
The ones that sound too much like BLEACH.
7)Do you think their is any place left in the music industry for a band like Local H?
No; they should quit immediately and get day jobs. Jest kidding. Of course! They are already more successful than 99.8 percent of all the bands slogging away out there.
8)You told me that you rate "As Good As Dead" at a B+/A-. So if the album is that good, why is it that radio and video airplay is meager when compared to the airplay that bands like Silverchair and Smash mouth, who both got bad reviews on their lastest albums?
Ah, well, the corporate rock monster is a strange and deceitful beast. It has nothing to do with the quality of the music and everything to do with sleazy guys in suits at the record companies pushing "product." Also, less honest and less insightful peers in the music press hopping on hypes instead of offering their frank opinions (like I try to). And how much a band is willing to compromise. I don't think Local H does anything it doesn't want to do, including the Nirvana copy-catting. (Which is only a small element of its sound, granted, but it's the one thing that keeps them from being an A/A+ band like Nirvana itself.)
9)What was your thought about Scott, Joe and Gabe before you met them and then after you met them?
You know, I try to separate the musician from the music. Lots of great people make awful music, and awful people can make great music. It's irrelevant. But the guys in Local H happen to be good guys making good music.
10)What are you hoping/ expecting from Local H's next album?
More originality, invention, smarts, honesty, killer hooks and hard-rocking energy. This could be a record that elevates them from being a good band to a great band.
11)Which band is your least favorite band(In other words..which band do hope drops dead)?
There are so many, but the world would be better off with no Prodigy, SpiceGirls, Sting, Smashing Pumpkins (most times, anyway), reunited Motley Crue,or unrepentant Rolling Stones.
12)In answering your "favorite bands", you didn't mention Local H as a favorite. Was it because "As good As dead" came out in 1996 or you just don't think of Local H as a top ten rock band?
Yes, the album came out in 1996. And also, even then, it would have made maybe the Top 40, but not the Top 10.
13)What is your opinion on Local H's Halloween Show at which they dressed up like Nirvana and played all Nirvana songs? ( I thought it took a lot of balls!!! )
You know, it's been done. Granted, it's sort of funny, them taking the Nirvana thing head-on like that. But it just proves my point that they KNOW that material well enough to re-write it!
14)Your commentary on Local H and music in general.
Hey, read the Sun-Times! It's still only 35 cents.
Well there it is. You read the interview. You heard the opinions of someone who supossedly hates Local H. I doesn't sound like he hates Local H to me. But who am I to decide. You read it. YOU decide.
I would like to thank Jim Derogatis for putting up with my lateness with this whole interview. I appreciate it Jim. I will be trying to get another interview with Jim when Local H's new cd comes out sometime next year. Thanks