Article Written by Kyla Wyllie
Photography by Annika Cimas
There’s nothing more “California dreamin'” than being on the open road, traveling from beach town to beach town, perusing the much sought after dream known as rock and roll. However, not many people know what it’s like to just be at the beginning of a musical journey, because the fans only see the silver lining of the artist’s struggles. Before they were the legends we know today, our favorite musical icons started out as local bands/musicians.
But what does it mean to be part of the “local scene?” We asked a local San Diego band, Effe Emme, to answer these questions for us.
“I’d say being a local band means to be like, a congregation, of people who can get together and work together, which is pretty rare. I mean, for anyone to not feel so offended by each other. We kind of built up this friendship, it’s more about community I think,”says the bassist, Gavin Ramey.
Although they aren’t a very big band, Effe Emme has had their fair share of shows, playing crowds from two people to two hundred people. Micheal Lowry, the guitarist, tells us that “all the energy in the crowd at local shows is high, but when you’re on stage it’s sort of a weird kind of calm, it feels natural.” Some might say that performing provides a sort of nirvana for the musician, a calm in the middle of the storm. Music evokes, not only a relaxed sensation, but an alluring quality. “The first time I went to The Che Café, it wasn’t even bands that I knew or music that I liked, but it made me realize the power of the local scene. It gave me energy when I was not expecting to be interested at all.” That’s just what music does, it can bring the most unlikely people together, if just for one night (EPICALLY the local scene). All throughout the decades there are thousands of examples to prove this, from Woodstock, to Coachella, and even the humblest of local shows found everyday around the world. “Music just brings everyone together all and all, it doesn’t matter if you’re different, it binds us, like an unseen force, felt but invisible,” says Effe Emme’s drummer Dillon Sloane. Gavin goes on to add that music, and concerts, involve a lot of intimacy. Here you are, surrounded by complete strangers, all sharing a part of yourself with one another, it’s a powerful feeling. Songs hold so much emotion, it’s hard not to “Come Together” over something like that.
There’s always the ever-changing sounds that emerge from local music that you need to acknowledge. “I think the local scene totally has fresh air around us, and I like it because it’s always changing. There’s always somebody coming out with something, you know?” Gavin explains to us the ever-moving tides that this type of music provides. You can’t possibly get bored with the local scene, there’s always something happening, a show going on, a new song, or even a new band to hit the airwaves.
Despite the great diversities that separate all these great musicians, they all have one thing in common, a dream of making it to the top. “I plan on going sky high with that, with this,” exclaimed Gavin, with the other two members nodding their heads in full agreement. Whether small musicians want to admit it or not, that’s a universal dream that everyone shares. It’s an amazing thing, being appreciated for doing something you love. “People know me through music,” Michael tells us, “it’s hard to imagine who I would be without it.”
Music is most certainly a force to be reckoned with, it can change your life, for better or for worse. I hope that you all take pride in the music that comes out of your hometown, because it’s not just a song created by “some lowkey band,” it’s a part of YOU, your neighbors, your friends, everyone who ever set foot in that little spot on a big map. So next time you need something to do, check out a local show, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you find.