Year of the Locust Released an impressive self-titled EP in 2019. What they have planned in 2020 is so much more
Scotty Mac is 2019 as a springboard to launch Year of the Locust into a new decade. Fresh off a month-long tour through November, the band has been testing the waters with a new management company and partnership with The Label Group. And as Scotty is preparing for a busier next year, 2019 saw the reverberation of their impacting self-titled EP. The band chose Nashville as their recording hub, enlisting producer Brett Hestla of Dark New Day fame to take the reigns with drummer Gabriel Flores overseeing the recording. Within the focused context you hear a powerful difference and distinct maturity from their debut Devolver.
“The spontaneity was captured and with a strong producer like Hestla, your sound benefits,” said Scotty. “He helped shape the music and gave us a better product. We originally mastered Devolver to have a throwback sound. With the EP, the songs were not squashed and compressed like our full length. I wanted to create a record with some room sonically, and the EP is a lot closer to the overall sound that I want.”
When their original drummer, Dusty Winterrowd, left the band earlier this year, Scotty got back in touch with his friend Gabriel to build a stronger foundation . Winterrowd originally helped work on the creative input of Devolver.
“His idea of recording was a lot of pre-production and creating songs before you go into the studio,” Scotty said. “I’m an overthinker so artists who are overthinkers paired with a strong personality can actually be better on the spot. Building music in a studio with a focused band is very beneficial for an overthinker. It prevents the music from being worked to death and the soul and spontaneity being lost from the music.”
Year of the Locust – Stay Alive (Official Music Video)
Scotty and Gabe took that ideology to heart and utilized a more spontaneous philosophy to their songwriting and recording process. Plucked from the four songs was their first single, “Stay Alive.” The song’s view of humanity is a gripping tale of realism that burns like jet fuel with unparalleled drive. It’s an eye opening first impression. For Scotty, the song wrote itself. One day on his way home, he found a toy drum set in the garbage. He pulled it out of the bin and took it with him to sit on his decke eventually spending months collecting dirt and leaves. When Gabe arrived to begin writing the EP, he saw the set sitting there and begin flirting with an idea.
“I have a tiny apartment with tight quarters. He said let’s straighten up the place and play some rock music. The two of us in silence started cleaning, rearranging, organizing, brushed the kit off, tuned, and set it up. As a joke, I have always wanted to cover ‘State of Love and Trust’ by Pearl Jam. It’s an easy song. Let’s see if we can do a version of it by playing in odd tunings. I started just playing along to that song and Gabe started playing on the kit, and it became “Stay Alive” in the matter of 10 minutes.”
To ramp up the adrenaline, “Line ‘Em Up” became the band’s rager. This is the song where they came together in strength. The roars of Cody Hyde’s guitars complement Scotty’s expressive vocal determination.
“He’s a beast!,” Scotty says of his bandmate. “I wrote that hook in my tiny bedroom on an acoustic guitar, and he took it and made it his own. It really helps to have someone who knows their way around a guitar where they can do so much to a barebones idea.”
“Whispers in the Dark” is a fragility that wraps Scotty’s lyrics in warm hues of sincere balladry. It shows the band does not have to churn out hard rockers in order to impress rock fans. This song blends in musical art with great lyric writing. Even though Scotty’s vocals shine throughout the album, he feels it is still not enough.
“I don’t feel like I have hit my peak as a lyricist, but I feel like I am chasing down and getting better all the time. I really beat myself up in the studio and writing sessions to get to the core of the matter. When performing live it is an awesome experience, but sometimes it’s scary. You are raking unknown waters each night. The reward is satisfying.”
Year of the Locust are consistently trying to find ways to be stronger and better. Next year the group plans to get back in the recording studio and ramp up their touring schedule. Yet if this EP is any indication of the band’s expressive prosperity, 2020 will indeed be the year of the locust.