"Going Sky High" – Insight Into The Local Scene, An Interview With Effe Emme

Interview by Kyla Rain
Photography by Annkia Cimas

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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 the age-old question. 

“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.

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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.”

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That’s just what music does; it can bring the most unlikely people together, if only just for one night. Throughout decades there are thousands of examples to prove this, from Woodstock to Coachella, and even the humblest of local shows playing everyday all over 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 (the bassist) 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.

“I like [the local scene] because it’s always changing. There’s always somebody coming out with something, you know?” Gavin continues to explains the ever-moving tides of the local scene, and that you can't ever possibly get bored with it. There’s always something happening; a show going on, a new song, or even a new band hitting the airwaves.

Despite the diversities separating 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 this,” says Gavin, his other two band members nodding their heads in 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, “and 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 worst, and I hope 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, and everyone who ever set foot on 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

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