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Turn it Down: Locals shred at fourth annual Oigs Fest

Q&A with Phil Lynch of Locus Point

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Saturday, Jan. 11 @ Mac’s Bar, 2700 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. All ages, $13, $10 adv., 3 p.m.

Oigs Fest 4: Return of the Oigs! is an all-ages, all-day hard-rock and metal blowout at Mac’s Bar featuring a lengthy roster of heavy hitters. This year’s lineup includes Recorruptor, From Blue To Gray, Burial Party, Locust Point, Throne, Iron Mountain, Hokori, Teething, Pan, Hordes, Grave Moth and Wormfoot.

Phil “Doc” Lynch, vocalist and guitarist of Locust Point, chatted with City Pulse about his power trio, which also comprises Albert LaRose (bass) and Dave Peterman (drums, vocals, guitar).  Sample the band’s debut 2019 LP at locustpoint.bandcamp.com.

How did Locust Point first get together?

Dave Peterman and I got together in late 2016 with the intention of just doing a studio project after a long period of musical inactivity for both of us. My only goal was to get songs and ideas down on tape and to not slap a label on it until we had gone through that process and figured out what exactly we had. It came together pretty fast, and when Brad van Staveren was putting together his first Oigs Fest lineup, he found out what we were up to and asked us to play. We got a live lineup together, and it’s grown from there. We’ve played the previous three Oigs Fests, so it’s become a tradition for us. It’s really just a big hangout with a lot of great bands, drunken camaraderie and no drama or agendas.   

Locust Point’s debut LP seems to draw from classic rock and punk rock. What bands motivated you guys the most?

It’s riff driven, punk-y, working class rock ‘n’ roll with a lot of hooks. We’ve all played in metal bands before, so that element bleeds through, too. Musically our album draws from groups like Thin Lizzy, ‘70s-era Aerosmith and ZZ Top. There’s some Motörhead and Guns N’ Roses in there, too. Beyond that, I hear some ‘80s punk like Black Flag and Agent Orange — even some ‘90s bands like Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Nirvana. All that ‘90s stuff was rock ‘n’ roll too, they just called it "grunge" because everyone looked like auto mechanics and loggers back then. 

Who writes the songs?

We demo them on our own, send them to each other and teach them to each other as we practice. It may get more collaborative in the future, but I’ve always dug bands like Hüsker Dü and later-era Beatles — where you can go through the record and identify "this is a Bob Mould song, this is a Grant Hart song” or “this is John, but that’s a Paul song.”    

The vocals for sure have a Phil Lynott-esque vibe, but what inspired the lyrics?

The day-to-day drudgery of living and working in a city that’s only nice about four months out of the year and the bad habits that spring up around that kind of malaise. It’s about music being one of the only healthy outlets for that kind of stuff. Playing music with your friends is definitely worth getting up in the morning for when you don’t have a lot else to look forward to.

With 2020 upon us, what does Locust Point have planned for the year?

Definitely a new album. We’re aiming for late spring/summer at the earliest I think. It’s 100% written, but we really want to take our time and make it good because the material just deserves that attention. I’d love to play more shows afterwards as we didn’t get to play quite as much as I wanted in support of our first record.

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