Local Band Alert: ThisisReno takes a closer look at local bands in this series of 5-minute interviews. This week we chat with Local Anthology.
Local Anthology is a four-piece, militant, reggae fusion band formed on the north shore of Lake Tahoe with an original West Coast sound. Ready to raise eyebrows and spark controversy, Local Anthology pairs eye-opening lyrics and song concepts with dynamic music that makes you want to dance. With an against-the-grain attitude, the band is ready to fight the power and unite the people like we should have been all along.
Current band members are Harrison Russell (lead guitar and vocals), Lloyd Lopoz (bass), Amearist Philips (drums), and Motor Boat Mic (percussion).
I first saw these guys at a show at the Sparks Lounge earlier this year when they filled in for another local band that canceled at the last minute. It might have been one of their very first shows, if not the first. I’ve known Amearist Philips for some time, but did not know the other guys. But as soon as the first word came out of lead singer Russell’s mouth, my jaw hit the floor. Russell has one of the best voices that I’ve heard in years, and I’ve heard a lot of vocals over the years. While Russell has the perfect reggae voice, it works well with most any style of music the band plays. The rest of the band played very well for being the first show; you could tell these guys practiced a long time before playing this show.
This week I had the privilege of chatting with Harrison Russell in his very first interview. I told him that he’d better get ready to do many more if he plans on going forward as a singer. I asked him the usual five questions and this is what he had to say about the band:
ThisisReno: Who came up with the band’s name and what is its meaning, if there is one?
Russell: I came up with the name. It means the voice of the people. It’s the local Anthology. The writings and thoughts, poems and songs of the people around us.
TIR: What bands inspire you?
Russell: The Grateful Dead, Rage Against The Machine, The Wailers, ‘90s hip-hop, Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan.
TIR: Describe your sound and style?
Russell: We’re an old-school So Cal-style reggae punk fusion with rebellious factual lyrics, a powerful voice, and powerful multi-genre music. I don’t like to compare us to other bands, but we’re sort of like Rage Against the Machine meets Sublime meets Santana. Basically, just in-your-face music.
TIR: What are your goals as a band? Where do you want to be in five years?
Russell: Our goal is to reach and inspire people who ask questions, people who take action, people who may not have the most fortunate life or situation, people who are different, and people who want us all to unite for the greater good of humanity. And travel of course. In five years I hope I’m on the road in the back of an old tour bus on the way to the next city, broke and happy with my boys.
TIR: How do you like playing in the Reno/Tahoe area?
Russell: Tahoe and Reno is our home and the best people to play for are the ones right around us, but we plan on expanding our horizons one day.
Well, that about says it all. This guy knows what he wants to do with the band and I think Local Anthology will be going places. it will only take the right person to see the band play live and off they go. Be sure to catch Local Anthology the next time they play in your area and you’ll see what I mean.
As always support your local bands and venues … Go to a show!
Update: It turns out filling in at the last minute is a habit for Local Anthology. On Dec. 3 the band played an opening set for Crazy Town at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor. They’d already packed up their gear before getting word that the headliner cancelled due to the bassist’s illness. But, chants from the crowd brought them back to the stage.
“We ended up playing a few more songs, just me and the drummer,” Russell said. “It was a bummer.”
In addition to the extra set for the Russell and Philips, the band’s set list included:
“Bullet Proof Vest”
“Live Upside Down”