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An Interview with Scott McGiveron of Year Of The Locust

Splice had a chance to sit down and speak with Scott McGiveron the lead singer of Year Of The Locust before their show on their tour with Tesla. We talked about their new EP that is coming out soon and is available for pre order on their website, the history of the band and all things Year Of The Locust.

How did you get into music?

I got into music because when I was 18 years old, I went to a house party. And I took the microphone away from a friend while I was drunk. And then I was in a band. (laughing) And that’s exactly a true story. So, I just blew everybody out the window. I couldn’t stand to sit there and listen to him butcher songs. He was singing so badly some of my most favorite songs. Because I lived on a Walkman, I’m dating myself now, but I lived with music in my ears. 24 seven from the time I was 13 all the way through Junior High and High School but I was never musician and I just happen to get drunk and house party and couldn’t take it and I just got myself on that stage and hold the mic way from my friend. And the next day I got a call. And that was it. I was in a tribute act until I was about 21.

That was just life saying, this is where you’re going. And no, you have no choice.

Yes, the guitar players girlfriend called me up and said, We lost our singer and my boyfriend has laryngitis and we have a gig and you need to show up. That was the fucking phone call.

That was it. There was no backup plan. This is right where I’m going.

That’s right. That’s right. I was passionate about it. I was very nervous. I’m not naturally a showman and that started it all.

How do you feel? Now that you’ve gone through this you feel more comfortable on the stage?

I feel much more comfortable on the stage and you get comfortable on stage the first time that you’re in a bar playing and you realize no one’s paying attention to you. It should be the last time you ever feel stage fright. Because they don’t care if you’re not good. So, when you get on stage, that’s your moment to show people that you have a gift and give them what it is that flows from you. And that should that erase my stage fright. And I still remember the moment. Man, I’m so nervous to play this guitar and sing this song. And when I heard that bar chatter so loud, I said no one is even listening to me and it got me, it got me upset and I wanted to captivate people. That was the end of stage fright.

What did you do to draw that audience in?

I stepped up my game up after that. I think that was an acoustic gig and I started smashing on my guitar with my hand as hard as I could and screaming and that actually went over pretty well and got a lot more gigs, and ultimately led me led me to my band. Because I made an EP of those acoustic songs, and next thing I knew trying to put a band together isn’t easy. But once I did that, I had more musicians that I knew what to do with. So that changed everything for me.

How did you guys come together as a band?

This was about the end of 2013 2014, I had worked with a couple of musicians on other projects. For years, we came together under the guise that we would do something that we were super proud of. That was our only goal. We wanted to cut a record that is perfect. We’re going to write songs and we’re going to record it and it’s not going to be any more demos where you play it for someone and you’re real excited about it. But you hear those bad notes and the that bad musicianship and you kind of just want to turn it down and start talking to them about something else. Everyone’s been there who’s a musician when you’re going up the ladder and I didn’t want to do that again. So, we got together as a three piece and we said let’s cut a perfect record of everything on it. We could stand by it and play it for someone and not say a word and just feel confident that we did the best we possibly could. And we created an EP got a first management deal. I ran the band for about two years after that and then just recently we linked up with Green Machine. Green Machine got us distribution to Ingrooves. Ingrooves got bought by Universal and now with the label group. So, a lot of things that happened in recent times, and change and everything has happened for us. So, we have an EP coming out on March 1 pre orders up now our single “Stay Alive” had a guest drummer Troy Luccketta from Tesla and guess guitar player Brian Bonds from Florida Georgia line. Both fast friends who live in Nashville, who came through the studio. So, we’re excited about that.

How did you manage to get them to play on your EP?

Well our label rep is Troy Luccketta’s brother and he said, hey, my brother wants to stop by the studio, and we didn’t know who was going to be there. When he came in. We said My God you’re Troy Luccketta.
From Tesla and he said yeah, let me play on one of your tracks. We said absolutely! So, we let them pick the one that he enjoyed the most. And Brian’s a friend from the road. We toured with him and we broke a headstock on one of our Les Paul’s when were on tour with Puddle of Mudd, Saving Abel, and Tantric. When we broke that headstock on the Les Paul, Brian Bonds obviously fully endorsed. He hands the outlaw, my guitar player, a star studded American flag, sparkling PRS, and says here, man, use this for the rest of the tour. It’s yours. Give it back me at the end. Yeah, so after that, it was just Brian and us. And then after we got off that tour. We just kind of kept in touch and he wanted to get his feet wet producing, so he produced the single “Sunrise” that came out last year. We’ve just become fast friends because the industry is a tough place and finding real people and forming real friendships is a beautiful thing so that’s what that’s kind of become. So, he hung out in the studio in Nashville we were there with Brett Hestla from Dark New Day producing the EP and he was just there every day just lending his energy. At the end of the recording sessions we were like Brian why do you grab some toys and lay down some guitars? So, we’ve had a slide with him, he had a dobro, he had some other funky instruments. He’s like, dude, I’m going to get on the EP. And he did. His energy is crazy. And it was a blast.

You guys are from scattered areas like Long Island, Washington, DC, West Virginia. How does that happen?

I’ll tell you how that happens. When I speak to people online, and I spoke to the outlaw from West Virginia and I was on tour with another band. He met me at the club. He helped me load in and out he stayed there all night. He had a three hour drive and he stayed till the club closed and I said good god you know what, if you want to come on tour with us be in New York on such and such date. I didn’t speak to him for a whole month. And lo and behold, who calls me from New York City, but Tyler with his accent. And he says, man I’m lost in New York City. I said, don’t worry, we’ll come pick you up. We brought them out to the Island. He toured with us for two tours. Turns out, he’s a fantastic guitar player. So, one day, he plays the songs and I said, you know, all the music. You said, Yeah, I know, all of us. So, the next gig in Rochester, New York, I gave my guitar to him. And I said, Tyler’s going to be playing guitar guys. And they were like, okay, and that was it man. He was in the band. And then, let’s see right now we’re playing with Billy Gray from Fozzy. He’s friends with our drummer Dusty from Florida. He hopped on the tour midway through. We had some issues and he’s just been coming through. He’s a professional, he’s a fantastic guy. Great to be around totally talented. So that’s kind of what’s happening lately there.

Has there been a favorite band that you like touring with?

Touring with Starset was amazing. Amazing production and their music really, really got under my skin. by the end of the tour, I was a huge fan, whereas I wasn’t much of a fan going in. By the end of the tour, I was absolutely enamored with their sound. It was so much more than just the visual part of their show the music itself is absolutely beautifully constructed. I also enjoyed the guys in Saliva. They are crazy you know. Wayne will drink a bottle of fireball every night. I enjoyed very much touring with Devour The Day also because I’m just a huge fan of the music so when you get to tour with bands. Right now, we’re on tour Tesla and their show is absolutely phenomenal. They’re just on fire. When you talk about guys at that level, you know what you’re going to get. It’s going to be phenomenal. You don’t achieve that status in rock and roll unless you are great. You don’t even have to be a fan. If you go to the show you can have a great time. That’s what huge rock star band to that’s what they do.

Have you learned anything good from Tesla being on the road with them?

I definitely have. I’ve learned that you can have humility and really care about your fans and manage the whole thing. Whenever you tour with rock royalty you really get to see that to achieve that level of music you do have to love it and you love being there. Everyone knows sometimes rock stars have bad nights, but not a single member of their band and their crew they’re just happy to be there. They’re big family have been together a lot of years. You know band and crew, you get to see pros do what they’re good at. I’m happy for that.

That’s what you want to see yourself one day.

Yeah! Yeah, it takes a lot of work to get there. It’s more work than anybody could understand. We’re on a great path now with everything that’s happened to us recently. I couldn’t be more excited about the future. If I had to give advice to anybody in their hometown. It’s work really hard and realize that, you know, the minute you leave the basement, you’re a businessman. So, if you want to play in a club, you’re not just musician, you’re a businessman. You need to be humble. You need to be good to people. And you need to seek out advice from others and be careful who you deal with. That’s the industry.

You’ve got the new EP coming out with a lot of good guests on it. How do you feel about it? Is it something you’re excited about getting out there?

The new EP is the next step forward for the band as a group and the sound. My personal opinion of the sound is we didn’t have as much of an identity as we have now. I think I’ve found even more so where my voice has its most strength and have completely gone to that place. The new EP is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. I honestly couldn’t be happy about it happier about it.

There’s a lot of growth from this from your debut album and from the first EP.

Oh, good lord. Absolutely. You have to find yourselves as musicians. You have to find, especially as a singer, you have to find where your voice is. Being of the opinion that I never wanted to be part of a particular scene and never wanted to be typecast into a particular genre. That’s a difficult place to be. Because it’s easier to identify faster with a particular style than it is to create art in the nothing.
When you are creating art, and you don’t know what exactly it is becoming, you are growing and being in that place is scary. But it is necessary if you want to grow to your utmost potential.

Who handles all the writing?

Everyone throws riffs around and I tend to want to work with ones that immediately speak to me. I’m really, I’m a fan of the Elton John approach. If it doesn’t come together in 20 minutes leave it be. A lot of the new EP were pieces and bits that I built with the band and with Brett Hestla producing it and seeing into its potential, it was a much different way of writing. It wasn’t the band pre producing music. It wasn’t the band coming into the studio with music. It was trusting your project with the producer of your choice and letting him put his imprint on it. Some musicians work one way with songwriters and some songwriters prefer working with a producer. I would say I’m of the mindset now that I definitely prefer choosing a producer that you vibe with, so we can help you grow your music and capture the spontaneity and the energy that music should have. So, I don’t think I’ll ever go back and pre produce music for an extended length, then go record it and all the love and all the spontaneity and all the energy be sucked out of it. I much prefer the way we created this.

Thank You for your time and have a great show tonight!

Year Of The Locust: