Interview: Going A to H with Scott Lucas of Local H, on Boston, the government shutdown, and his last shows with drummer Brian St. Clair


[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t would be easy for Scott Lucas to forget about 2013 altogether. There was the February mugging in Russia where he was choked out so severely that one of his vocal cords had to be popped back into place, leaving a string of Stateside Local H dates postponed. Then, in late summer, H drummer Brian St. Clair announced that the makeup dates, including Brighton Music Hall Sunday, would be his last as part of the duo. Having occupied the kit for the past 14 years, St. Clair is leaving to focus on his tour management and production company as well as “other live and studio projects.”

Yet Lucas is continuing on with both his Scott Lucas & the Married Men collective, and while these few remaining dates with St. Clair might be bittersweet, he isn’t letting it bum him out too much, having boldly agreed to take part in Vanyaland’s game of Local A to H where he talked about what should happen to movie theater texters, how he really feels about cats, and who would be best to get behind the drums Local H next.

Michael Christopher: “A” is for Allston. Between The Married Men and Local H, you’ve been coming to the Allston section of Boston quite a bit in the last year or so. Are you starting to feel like a local – pun seriously not intended?


Scott Lucas: Shows in Boston have always been pretty great. I think this was on of the first towns to actually embrace us. Who knows why? Actually, I was under some pressure to cancel that last Married Men show at Great Scott in August for a much higher paying Local H gig. But I was like, “Fuck that. Boston’s gonna be great.” And it was.

“B” is for Bullshit. That’s what Vanyaland called on the singer from the Calling allegedly getting mugged and abducted right after they announced a reunion. Aaron Carter, son of Robert brother of Nick, claimed he was jumped in Boston by angry New Kids on the Block fans. Both have the same publicity firm. As an expert on the subject, does it smell like a stunt? And if so, what do you think of these clowns trying to steal your thunder?

If it works, it works, I guess. I can scarcely believe it happened to me. And speaking of which — who jumps Aaron Carter? Why? Look at the poor guy. And “angry New Kids fans”? Holy shit, that’s hilarious!

“C” is for Cats. You and the Married Men stayed at Vanyaland Headquarters South in August. But while bassist Tom Szidon took to the two resident cats, you paid them no mind. Yet Local H has an album titled Pack up the Cats and the songs “’Cha!” “Said the Kitty” and “Son of “Cha!’” But at the same time, in the lyrics to “Deep Cut,” you sing “I don’t know where I’m at/I think I killed my cat.” You can’t have it both ways man, so which is it: are you a fan of cats or not?

I am not. I’m also not a fan of high-fiving motherfuckers or rock and roll professionals. And the photo shoot for the Pack Up The Cats cover was absolute hell.

Local H Pack Up The Cats

“D” is for Darkness. That’s where you spend a lot of your time, at the movies. As of last weekend you’ve seen 134 films in theaters this year. This is a three-part question: what is it about the movie-going experience you are so drawn too? How is your posture? Do you get that crap they try to pass off as butter on your popcorn?

Just saw number 135 a few minutes ago. Movies are special to me and watching them at home just doesn’t cut it for me. I watch a lot of movies at home — but I’ll always prefer my first time seeing a particular movie to be on the big screen. When it’s perfect, it’s one of the few times during the day that no one can bother you. It’s just you and the movie.

People who text during movies should have their hands cut off. As for posture – who’s to say what’s done more damage, the movies or playing guitar?

And lastly — I hate popcorn and I hate the sound of other people eating it. Who decided that a noisy bag full of crunchy shit was the perfect movie snack? Jesus. How long has this country been under the thumb of the big corn lobby?

“E” is for Epiglottis. It’s one of the nine structures that make up the larynx. Back in February yours was damaged in a well-publicized assault in Russia, resulting in the cancellation of some Local H shows — including Boston. Now that you’re back doing the more demanding singing style, how is the voice holding up?

It’s good. And I have to admit it’s getting better all the time. It hasn’t healed as fast as I would’ve hoped — there are still some songs I can’t do — but it hasn’t plateaued yet. I see improvement all the time.

“F” is for Five. That’s how many gigs drummer Brian St. Clair has from Sunday until his final show. At what point do you start to get emotional onstage knowing that he won’t be there anymore?

I don’t know. If I get emotional, then so be it. We’re certainly not going to squeeze out some crocodile tears like fucking James Murphy in that LCD Soundsystem movie. I think the fact that we know this is end with Brian has definitely made these shows feel more vital.

We’ve taken whatever emotion we might be feeling and channeled it into trying to play, um — I don’t know… “transcendent” sets? The energy level at these shows has been unbelievable. The trick now is to keep tapping into that energy going into the future — but I really do feel re-invigorated and excited about the future.

“G” is for Government. It’s currently shutdown. Everyone else has a fucking opinion about it — what’s yours?

Republicans and Tea Baggers are like a bunch of fucking babies who didn’t get their way so they’re gonna take their toys and go home. If only there was a way for the rest of us to say, “Fine. Fuck you! Take your stupid Star Wars figures and go the fuck home forever, you spoiled rich shits.” That would be great. I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous.

“H” is for Help Wanted. For the second time in your career, you are in the market for a new drummer. The following 10 stick men are currently available. Rate your interest in them with your first choice at the top and last at the bottom:

Chris Slade (ex-AC/DC)
Bill Ward (ex-Black Sabbath)
Peter Criss (ex-KISS)
Animal from The Muppets
Topper Headon (ex-The Clash)
Phil Collins (ex-Genesis, wrote “Sussudio”)
Granny Drummer
Jason Bonham (John Bonham’s progeny)
Meg White (ex-White Stripes)
Stewart Copeland (ex-The Police)

I see no reason to pussyfoot around here – Animal. Definitely Animal. Actually, they’re all pretty great — except for Phil Collins. Fuck that guy. I will never forgive him for the ’80s.

LOCAL H + MONKEY PAW + KINGSWOOD | Sunday, October 6 at Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave., Allston | 8:30pm, 18+, $15 | advance tickets