Image of revelers in the crowd at the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival

An Interview With Ryan Hahn of The Local Natives

The Local Natives has shaped their place in the indie rock scene since the release of their widely received self-funded debut album Gorilla Manor in 2009, followed by their follow-up Hummingbird in 2013. With more then 360,000 Facebook fans, they are no longer struggling to get their music heard. Last year, they played three of the country’s largest music festivals — and are working on their third album.

FFW ~ What was essential to your success?

RH ~ Early on, we decided that we are the only people that were going to be able to make it happen, that are going to fight for us — ourselves. We took everything into our own hands —we made sure the music was how we wanted it to be, we did all the artwork ourselves, we reached out to basically every blog that we read, sent everyone our music and just tried to take our career into our own hands. That’s the advice I would try to give anyone else trying to start out.

FFW ~ Do you get more out of recording an album or performing live?

RH ~ There’s something about permanence, like recording, that we have a hard time with. We’re always figuring stuff out, especially playing the songs live now. For our third record, we’re going to write all the songs in a room, the five of us, jamming. We want to bridge that gap a little bit, keep the live feel on this album.

FFW ~ Are you satisfied with where you are right now?

RH ~ I’m happy in what we’re doing and I’m grateful for where we’re at but we still want to go further. We always want to push ourselves. We’d like to headline festivals, that’s a goal.

FFW ~ How are you going to do that?

RH ~ I don’t know if we’ll ever be that band that just acts stupid on Twitter to get everyone riled up, but hopefully by making the kind of music that we want to make, then we can keep climbing.

Follow The Local Natives on Twitter at @localnatives.