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Article: Local Natives x Topo Designs

Local Natives x Topo Designs

Local Natives x Topo Designs

We here at Topo Designs have been fans of LA-based Local Natives for quite some time (eg: thinking back to the excellent bill-share with The National at Red Rocks back in 2013). We got in touch with Kelcey & Nik recently to answer a few burning questions and the band was kind enough to put an exclusive playlist together for us, and more importantly, you. Enjoy.

What are 3 things you always have with you on the road?

  • Swim trunks. Even if it's a winter tour in Alaska, you never know when a swimming opportunity might present itself on the road! Always gotta be ready.
  • A magazine or a small book. Something non-electronic to read. There will inevitably be a time when your iPad is dead or you can't use your phone for 20 minutes during the take-off of a flight.
  • Reusable water bottle. Much smaller plastic footprint when traveling and you have water whenever you want!

How do you pack for touring? Any travel hacks?

Kelcey was the first among us to do this and now we've all become the annoying person offering the unsolicited traveling advice of... "you know... you should really roll your clothing rather than fold it." Less wrinkles and compresses everything to make more space in the suitcase. It's a bit more of a controversial topic within the band, but half of us have even started using the soft compartment cases to separate underwear from shirts. When you're opening, closing and legitimately living out of your suitcase for weeks, organizing makes your life way easier. The romance of traveling is all gone when you're digging through a suitcase on a sidewalk outside your tour bus on a rainy street in Edinburgh and you just want to find a pair of socks as quickly as possible.

What's one thing you miss about being home when you're on tour?

Honestly, making my own food. Trying new restaurants and food is super fun and we've been fortunate to befriend some incredible restaurateurs on the road and look forward to certain coffee shops on the road. But making your own cup of coffee in the morning is a calming ritual. Listening to a Neil Young album while making dinner will always trump eating Postmates alone in a hotel room for the 15th night in a row.

Favorite place you've traveled?

Tough to pick just one. Shibuya and Sicily top my list.

During our Hummingbird tour, Ryan and I were essentially homeless. We knew how much we were going to tour that year, so we gave up our apartments, to not pay rent for a place we'd be at 5 weeks total in a year. We played Fuji Rock Festival in Yuzawa, Japan and had over a week until our next show, Lollapalooza in Chicago. The rest of the band went home for the week, but we had nowhere to go so we just stayed in Shibuya, Tokyo for a week and fell in love with the place. Incredible design, amazing food. Gorgeous, historic mixed with modern architecture. And this beautiful combo book store/record store/cafe/reading room we went to almost daily.

We played a festival in an ancient Sicilian city in 2013 and by the luck of the touring schedule, had two days off before our next show. We all ate pasta and fish, jumped off rocks and swam in a bathtub of a sea every day. All of these can be found in our tour/music video for Ceilings.


Author/artist/musician that has influenced you the most?

Way too hard to pick just one person, so here's a list:

  • Joan Didion
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Paul Simon
  • Cy Twombly
  • Barbara Kruger
  • Frank Ocean
  • Marvin Gaye

Listen to their curated playlist here:

Local Natives' Picks

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