Before The White Stripes try to claim fame to the two-man rock group, the fellas of Local H have got them beat. The band, originated by Scott Lucas on vocals and guitar and Joe Daniels (who was later replaced by Triplefastaction’s Brian St. Clair) on drums, has made a career out of mixing indie rock with the classic sounds of yesteryear. Through often-humorous lyrical stylings and rock and roll power chords, Local H has created a sound that has lasted for nearly two decades. Songwriter Scott Lucas took time from the band’s busy touring schedule to answer a few questions about the band and its place in the legion of rock and rollers. It is known that you and Joe Daniels had began playing rock music together as far back as 1990 though Local H officially did not release a record until 1995. What transpired between those nine years? SL: Local H’s first show was in 1990. We were a four piece. From there we were a three piece. Then two. A lot of that time was spent finding who we were. Each time we lost a member, we’d have to re-group and come back. But we always came back stronger. It was good for us. There was even a few months there where it dwindled down to one – but that’s another story. With your second record, As Good As Dead, you guys hit the wave of success with the single “Bound to the Floor”. Describe your reaction at the time to the sudden stardom. SL: We were working so hard and touring so much that I never really thought about it. I don’t think we were ever really that big. We didn’t have gold records. We weren’t all over MTV. It never got to a point where I radically changed my lifestyle. If we had been that successful, I really think the music might’ve suffered. It’s hard to make rock and roll for underdogs when you’re a fuck-faced rock star. How did things change when Brian St. Clair came on board after the departure of Daniels? SL: It was just like it was in those early days when we would lose original members. You double down and get stronger. We became more independent. More defiant. I’m very proud of the way Brian and I pulled through that. Your covers are often a work of magic. With last release Awesome Mix Tape #1 you successfully reworked a handful of tunes into new and unique tracks. What would you say is your main mission when you go in to record a cover track? SL: We don’t really think about it too much. With the songs on Awesome Mix Tape #1 we just wanted to attack the songs with as much energy and passion as possible. Like a garage band playing just for themselves. The only thing I gave a second thought to was the Jesus Lizard cover. David Yow has such a distinctive voice that there was no way I was going to be able to get within a 100 miles of that performance. So I sidestepped it and did it in a falsetto. Other than that, it was all instinct. 2008’s 12 Angry Months is a concept album about a 12-month period following the end of a relationship. How did the idea for the album come to fruition? SL: I wanted to do a break up record, but one that was ugly and captured all the shit that goes on. I didn’t want to do an Ashton Kutcher break up record. I wanted to do a Ryan Gosling break up record. So, going into that record, we had a pretty strong idea about what we wanted to do. It wasn’t the easiest record to get done, but the strength of the concept kept us going. Last week, you released the Local H: The Island Years and this week embarked on a tour. How did the idea arise for the double attack of Local H? SL: Seemed like the natural thing to do. And with every other band doing their classic record tours now, it just shows that our timing is as fucked as ever. What can you tell us about the upcoming studio record you guys are currently preparing? SL: It’s big. We want to make a big statement. The last record is very personal, and yet by focusing on the personal details, I feel like we were able to get at something universal. I want to see if I can invert that with this record. By looking at what’s going on around me – both nationally and in my neighborhood – I want to make the political personal. We’ve all got something to say, and yet only the crazy people seem to be shooting their mouths off. It sucks. Check out Local H when they make a stop in Akron at Musica this Friday, April 15th.