Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of Local H by dual-purpose guitarist/vocalist Scott Lucas and original drummer Joe Daniels in their hometown of Zion, Ill.
In the beginning, Local H was a standard issue Indie Rock trio, but three years in, bassist Matt Garcia opted out of the band and Lucas chose to replace him with a custom bass pick-up rather than an actual new bassist, and one of the first guitar/drum duos was born.
Local H has hit for the cycle during its quarter century run: critical acclaim; commercial success; indie obscurity; lather, rinse, repeat. The band’s 1996 album As Good As Dead yielded the Top 40 Billboard hits “Bound for the Floor,” “Eddie Vedder” and “Fritz’s Corner,” while “High-Fiving MF” has become the highlight of nearly every subsequent Local H live set.
But success often breeds complications, and label wrangling ultimately caused Daniels to quit.
His replacement was ex-Triple Fast Action drummer/Cheap Trick drum tech Brian St. Clair. During St. Clair’s 14-year tenure, Local H dropped 2002’s excellent Here Comes the Zoo, 2004’s highly praised Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles? and its first live album, Alive ‘05, featuring a studio-recording cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”
Three years later, Local H produced Twelve Angry Months, a fascinating concept album detailing a year in the aftermath of a romantic break-up, which was followed by the politically charged Hallelujah I’m a Bum, released two months before the 2012 elections. A little over a year later, St. Clair played his last gig with Local H, leaving in order to devote more attention to his tour management company (he was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, so wish him well).To date, Lucas and new skinsman Ryan Harding have only produced one studio recording, a cover of Lorde’s “Team,” but there’s always something brewing, so stay tuned. And what will this latest live appearance from Local H — part of the free MidPoint Indie Summer concert series on Fountain Square — bring? Play the album picked out of a hat? Sushi-menu song ballot? All covers? Special guests? Anything and everything is on the table.
LOCAL H with MAD ANTHONY, NEW STRANGE and ONE DAY STEADY play Fountain Square at 7 p.m. Friday, July 4. More info here.