Fun Fun Fun Fest Artist Interview: The Locust

Photo courtesy of The Locust and ANTI-.

Interview conducted by Daniel Hublein.

Aside from their on-stage insect get-ups, there’s much more that sets The Locust apart.

From their music to their ideologies, this San Diego quartet is the epitome of unrestrained art. The Locust boasts songs that are short, fast and loud, but bassist and vocalist Justin Pearson said their music doesn’t fit into one label or genre.

“Identifying with any kind of genre is sort of bad,” he said. “A good band is a good band, and a genre is never going to be accurate, unless a band is very formulaic and kind of obvious. …It’s like when normal people ask me what kind of music I play. They look at me and they are probably thinking punk or metal, or that I’m hipster or some bullshit, you know? And I just tell them ‘annoying.’ And really, in general, to a lot of people it is annoying.”

On the Fun Fun Fun Fest website, the band’s biography states that The Locust “want to destroy the way people perceive music in general.” But Pearson said that the band doesn’t really have a set goal they’re aiming to achieve; they just want some sort of emotional reaction from the crowd.

“Of course there’s an essence of us trying to perform, and it being a good live experience or interesting experience,” Pearson said, “but we don’t have a goal to get people to take away something specific or special. We kind of just create this art, and then people can get from it whatever they want. …Even a negative reaction is better than no reaction.”

You might think that it’s easy for a band like The Locust to elicit negative reactions from listeners, especially when contrasting its music to today’s most popular, mainstream tunes — melodic, happy-go-lucky pop or perfectly rhythmic hip-hop versus layered, complicated guitar riffs and choppy time signatures — but Pearson disagrees.

“Sometimes, I think achieving the negative reaction is maybe more difficult, because you have to really get under someone’s skin and upset them. I think that’s a pretty big achievement,” he said.

Intrigued? Stop by the Black Stage at FFF Fest on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. to catch The Locust’s set. You never know, it could be the next band you love to hate.