Plague of the Locust

Plague of the <b>Locust</b>
"I think the whole concept behind terrorism can be important, especially with the times," says Locust bassist and singer Justin Pearson. "I would like to consider what we do as some form of musical terrorism." In the post-9/11 universe, terrorism may be a dirty word but not to this San Diego-based outfit. They not only view terrorism, the musical kind, as an ideal to achieve, but also see the hypocrisy in the U.S.'s war against it. "The whole thing with terrorism being thrown around with 9/11, if anyone is a real terrorist it's the U.S. They're taking part in C.I.A. bombings where kids and innocent people are dying; I honestly think that the Bush administration is a terrorist group. The whole thing with Iraq — was this about Bin Laden or 9/11? What was it about? It's about money, oil and being the pig of the world."

The Locust aren't going to take their terrorism to actual violent extremes, but musically they have thrived on destroying accepted norms throughout their eight-year existence. Whether it's offering a radical electronic remix album of their trademarked grindcore-laced, synthesiser-driven noise, donning bizarre costumes, offering sardonic song titles that can last longer than their songs, or even signing to Epitaph spin-off label Anti, the Locust excel at obliterating preconceptions.

Nowhere is this more evident than on their Anti debut, Plague Soundscapes, a record that again shifts musical gears, getting wilder and weirder, retaining the Locust's keyboard-driven metallic clamour while eschewing the death/grind blasts of the past. "There are different kinds of terrorism in history," Justin explains. "We just signed to probably the largest independent label, which shows we're getting in [the mainstream] but we're challenging people. The [fan] reviews on the Epitaph website are like ‘this is bullshit,' ‘this isn't music, I'd rather hear my dog take a shit.' That's a form of musical terrorism. I don't really want everyone to get it." And since any good terrorist needs a manifesto, what would the Locust's be? "Our manifesto is our record. It deals with all kinds of social politics, art and life in general."