The Locust are a band formed in 1994 in San Diego, California. They are known for their unique mix of grindcore speed and aggression, complexity, and new wave weirdness. They take inspiration from powerviolence (Crossed Out, Dropdead), obscure experimental rock (Art Bears, Renaldo and The Loaf), and death metal. The Locust was formed by Justin Pearson, Bobby Bray, Dylan Scharf, Dave Warshaw, and Dave Astor.
The Locust was formed by Justin Pearson, Bobby Bray, Dylan Scharf, Dave Warshaw, and Dave Astor. After a number of personnel changes, they arrived at their current four-piece lineup in 2001, consisting of Pearson, Bray, Gabe Serbian, and Joey Karam. Originally a powerviolence band with a strong tendency towards synth-based passages, they have more recently stripped down much of their past sound, but retained the heavy distortion, synthesizers, screamed vocals, and intense stage presence. On the band's unique sound and live presentations, singer/bassist Justin Pearson has said, "I wanted to change the way people perceive music, or maybe just destroy it in general." Their music is complex, dynamic and fast-paced, often featuring abrupt and inconsistent time-signature changes. These erratic elements are, according to guitarist Bobby Bray, "a reflection of perhaps how our brains have to function in order to be able to do anything in the Western societies we live in."
The Locust have a unique stage presence: costumed in skin-tight, full body nylon suits (which the band refer to as uniforms), they have at times come across to first-time viewers as frightening. The last 5 different suits were designed and made by Ben Warwas. Unlike most bands, which normally have the drums set up behind the other members, the four members of The Locust are usually all positioned in a line at the front of the stage. The group recommends that in order to get the full impact of the music, one should see them live. The Locust boycotts Clear Channel Communications and refuse to play in any Clear Channel-owned venues. This boycott affected a 2005 tour with Fantômas as well as another tour with Yeah Yeah Yeahs. They also have a policy of only playing all-ages shows. The band's lyrics range from stream-of-consciousness poetry to satirical portrayals of mainstream ideas of sexuality to political commentary and critiques of religion.