So, I’ve never blogged before in my life, and with my new camera in tow to help illustrate the goings-on of my everyday fortunes/blessings/accidents/shit, I’ve decided to give it a go. I think this feeling of wanting to express myself as a real person could not have come at a better time. You see, most people are able to have a singular voice. Good or bad, it is theirs and theirs alone, and you can take it or leave it. But now that I’m playing in a band that has reached a place we’ve only ever dreamed of reaching, it has definitely come with its setbacks. I am no longer a singular voice. I am no longer just Kelcey Ayer from a small surf town in southern California with a crazy personality and an even crazier Colombian mother who creates new forms of profanity daily (shit-damnit, etc.). I am the keyboardist/singer(one-of) of Local Natives. I am not a person anymore, but something different. I don’t have the privilege of saying whatever I want or doing whatever I please... I represent something. Whatever I do, I have four other people that I carry around with me that people can see even when they’re not there. We are each like mutants with four other heads attached to our bodies, and in some way we have to figure out how to carry them. I have to walk differently to support the weight, I need an additional seat when I’m flying for the extra head-room, I need to cut extra neck holes in my sweaters and shirts for their comfort; adjustments must be made or else you just topple over. Or piss people off. Or rip head-holes in your sweaters or shirts.
Last week I did the one thing that anybody in a band can do as a sure-fire way of supremely souring the vibes of a live show besides just telling an audience to fuck-off. We were two songs into the set, I think we just finished “World News”, and I said, “Hello Vancouver!”. We were in Toronto. I can remember the feeling as the incorrect name came out of my mouth. It was one of those things where you knew that you were saying something wrong, something that would have consequences (like when you say something really out-of-line to your girlfriend without thinking, a joke about their weight or something (not that I’ve ever done that, I’m very nice)), and there’s this moment of disbelief that lasts for a portion of a second. Then the horror strikes. Right after I said it, I put my hands on my head in shock as I heard an amalgamation of cheering, laughing, and booing. I immediately stepped back from my keyboard and laid on the floor, a move that seemed completely appropriate from my mixed feelings of embarrassment and shame. Taylor then chimed in and greeted the audience with it’s actual city name and things moved forward. A few songs later I attempted a futile apology, but there was no way I was going to make up for this mistake. The damage had been done, and if people we’re going to take offense, no words of mine we’re going to change their minds. Hell, if I was watching a show where someone said San Francisco and I was at home in LA, the very least I would think was, “What? Yikes.” But I’m forgiving and always think positively to an absurd degree.
We’ve been touring straight for almost two years. It started slow, but as time went on we found it harder and harder to fit in breaks. This year I think we’ve spent a little under a month at home with all breaks added up. And in all that touring, even in places in Holland with names I could hardly pronounce, I have never said the wrong name. This was a freak accident. I even said Vancouver with such conviction and pride, my mind truly thinking not that we were somewhere else, but that there was here. It’s funny too, earlier that night, Taylor and I walked out of the Thai place we had dinner at and he immediately turned in the complete wrong direction towards the venue, sparking a conversation about how I pride myself on always walking on the grid of an atlas in my head. My dad is a pilot, and I like to think he shared some paternal bond of his navigational skills to me. But in reality, all of this doesn’t matter. These people don’t know my track record. They don’t know my father’s profession. They don’t know me. I’m playing to complete strangers every night who have no idea who I am, just that I am part of a combination of people in a band. People judge me all over the world based on the music we write. That’s the weight. But I guess it’s the weight that I wanted. And if you topple over a couple times, it’s understandable. You’re one man carrying five heads. I imagine that that is how some people go crazy in this business, or entertainment in general. Holding yourself up to having the strength of five men, or whatever the case may be, is delusional. You have limits. Caring not to know them is suicide.
I guess if the worst thing that happens in my career is that a few people in Toronto think I’m a jackass, I should be ok. What I did doesn’t mean I’m a jerk, just that I was dumb for a couple minutes when I’m usually not. But I’m sure I’ll have more fuck-ups in the future, so maybe it’s just another adjustment I’ll need to make. If I want to keep being human, being myself and not some cog in a machine, these mistakes will need to happen. I can only hope that people realize we’re people too. That’s it. So, I guess if you’re from Vancouver and reading this, I’m sorry. Just kidding Toronto. Too soon?