After playing in Memphis, Nashville and at Bonnaroo twice, the Local Natives are finally coming to Knoxville.
The indie rockers will play at the historic Bijou Theatre on Friday, April 18, at 8 p.m.
The Daily Beacon talked to Ryan Hahn (guitar, keyboards, mandolin, vocals) and Taylor Rice (guitar, vocals, bass) after their performance at last year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
The Los Angeles, Calif., natives, previously known as Cavil at Rest, met while attending UCLA. A year after they graduated, Hahn, Rice and Kelcey Ayer (vocals, keyboards, percussion, guitar) met Matt Frazier (drums) and Andy Hamm (bass) and moved in together to work on their debut album.
The band started gaining attention in Europe via music outlets online, which led to the 2009 release of "Gorilla Manor" in the UK; the debut album released a year later in the U.S.
"We're young enough that we grew up reading music blogs and then finding music on the Internet," Rice said. "It's natural to us, it's a native language enough."
Hamm left the band "due to unresolved differences," according to an announcement on the band's website, and was replaced by Nik Ewing in 2011. When asked what's most important about starting a band, Hahn emphasized the relationship one must have with their fellow band members.
"Make sure that you can be friends with the people that you're in a band with, and that you get along more than just on musical terms," Hahn said. "(Make sure) that there's a special connection there."
The two members describe their style of music as "under an indie rock umbrella," but capitalize on their focus on collaborating with all the band members.
"A lot of our songs come from a lot of different angles, and there's a lot of different influences involved," Hahn said. "I just hope that whoever it is would listen to more than one song, because I think for our band, you kind of need to hear multiple songs to really get the whole picture."
When asked about inspiration for a future album, which has yet to be announced, Rice said it never turns out the way he thinks.
"When we were making 'Hummingbird,' or before we did, I had all these ideas of what it would sound like, and none of them were accurate. It would probably be the same moving forward," Rice said. "But we all have an energy of wanting to push ourselves not in a competitive way necessarily, but maybe a little bit.
"Just push ourselves into doing something better and more interesting than last time."
Rice and Hahn reminisced on their first year as a band working to gain a following and connect with listeners through their music. It evidently was worth it, since their albums have made the Billboard 200 chart, their tours take them around the world and their music gets millions of plays on Spotify.
And they're bringing it to Knoxville.
"We're super lucky, we have a second record and we're playing Bonnaroo," Rice said at the time. "That's an amazing humbling experience. We are a band because we went through that."