Fan-filmed video footage of THE LOCAL BAND, the Finnish covers act featuring Alexi Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM), Jussi 69 (THE 69 EYES), Olli Herman (RECKLESS LOVE) and Archie Kuosmanen (SANTA CRUZ), performing on March 1 at Tavastia in Helsinki, Finland can be seen below. The group’s setlist consisted of 1980s “hair metal” classics, including tracks originally written and recorded by POISON, OZZY OSBOURNE, BON JOVI and MÖTLEY CRÜE.
THE LOCAL BAND made its live debut in December 2013 and has been playing sporadic shows ever since.
It was a warm dark night before Christmas in Los Angeles in 2013. Jussi 69 and Alexi Laiho met in Hollywood, had a couple of drinks and decided to put together a covers band that would perform songs from POISON, MÖTLEY CRÜE and others classic acts of the 1980s. They shook hands and swore that they really were going to make this happen. The key word and the whole idea behind THE LOCAL BAND would be to have fun. No stress, no pressure, and definitely no business plans.
Right after Jussi and Alexi decided to do this, it was obvious they would need a charismatic singer, one who could handle all the classic hard rock super hits, from “Jump” to “Girls, Girls, Girls”, among all their other favorites. Jussi decided to send a message to RECKLESS LOVE‘s Olli Herman.
“Naturally, I was immediately excited and kept saying: ‘Yes — HELLYEAH!!!’ over and over again while listening to Jussi talk me through the idea,” says Olli. “Nothing could’ve kept me from taking part after I heard we would only perform killer songs from all the greatest ’80s hair metal bands. I couldn’t believe it. All my favorites!! I was ecstatic.”
To complete the lineup, they got Archie Cruz from SANTA CRUZ to play bass. Now this crazy crew was ready to rock!
Says Archie: “When I got the call from Jussi, my jaw basically hit the floor. I had been watching these guys, these huge rock stars since I was a kid, and never in a million years thought I’d be in the same band with them when I was practising BODOM riffs in my bedroom, or watching a 69 EYES show as a kid. The fact that we’re playing pretty much all of my favorite songs makes it even cooler. Being a part of THE LOCAL BAND is a dream come true for me and it’s been one of the coolest things in my life to be a part of this.”
THE LOCAL BAND was supposed to last for one night only, for a single show at the legendary Tavastia club in Helsinki, with just one interview, no rehearsals and half a soundcheck. But the universe had some other plans for these rock gods, and the mighty quartet decided to spread its good vibes around the world: their “Locals Only – Dark Edition” debut EP, full of all-time classics, was released in December 2015.
If you ask Jussi, the idea of recording an EP was written in the stars.
Jussi: “Some weeks after our first show, I walked into a bar in New York and they were playing ‘Shout At The Devil’ by MÖTLEY CRÜE — which was our opening song at the Tavastia show — followed by ‘Sunglasses At Night’ by Corey Hart. I saw this as a sign, and called Alexi to say that we can’t leave this cool thing here. We have to do this, we need to record a single, and ‘At Night’ is the most perfect song for us to cover. Alexi agreed immediately. We didn’t want to cover the most obvious songs that every other cover band plays, as those songs are perfect the way those bands originally recorded them. We wanted to surprise people with unexpected, twisted songs. Suddenly recording just one song expanded into an EP. And it’s a perverse, totally unexpected collection of songs that me and Alexi came up with. Those are some of our favorites that pretty much nobody knows.”
The EP was recorded in four days, and THE LOCAL BAND is very proud of the result.
“It’s a killer, mind-blowing party music EP which is going to blow people’s minds,” said Jussi. “Oh, and the key word, the reason why we did this, even though every one of us is busier than ever with our own bands… We had so much fun doing it, a fucking blast! I know that can be heard from the end result.”
THE LOCAL BAND is:
Olli Herman – Vocals
Alexi Laiho – Bass
Samy Elbanna – Guitar
Jussi 69 – Drums
Hohottava Hujoppi – Keyboards