Street Sounds: Little Big League

Philadelphia’s own Little Big League talks cassettes, genres and tour life.


The partier, the rebel, the baby and the wildcard.

That’s how the members of Little Big League describe themselves. The band is comprised of guitarist and lead singer Michelle Zauner – the baby, guitarist Kevin O’Halloran – the wildcard, bass guitarist Deven Craige – the rebel, and drummer Ian Dykstra – the partier.

Having recently released its first full-length album, “These Are Good People,” Little Big League is leaving on a tour that will cover the eastern half of the United States on Nov. 25. On a few dates of the tour, it will be playing with the bands Paws and Lvl Up.

THE TEMPLE NEWS: How did you all meet?


KEVIN O’HALLORAN: [Zauner] and I took classes together, and I was in her old band, Post Post, and then we met [Craige] at a Post Post show up in Brooklyn when he was playing in Golden Ages. We kind of reconnected after Post Post broke up, and we were looking for a new band and then we met this kid [Dykstra] at a party.

TTN: Your album came out recently, right?

IAN DYKSTRA: August, yup.

MZ: Really? No, Sept. 6.


MZ: It doesn’t really feel like it was then.

KO: Because the record’s been done since January.

MZ: It was just sitting there waiting for a label to pick it up.

TTN: How’d you go about writing and recording the album?

MZ: The nine songs were written in varying ways. Some of them were songs I had written in my bedroom and then we picked them apart and restructured and then others were more collaborative, which we did in the studio together.

KO: “Settlers” in particular was more collaborative.

MZ: And then we recorded at our friend Craig’s studio, which was in the Berks Warehouse.

ID: It was a locally made record.

TTN:  Are you excited to be touring?

KO: Yeah, I need to get out of town.

MZ: I think we all do.

DC: Got a couple warrants.

TTN: What are some of your musical inspirations? Or really any inspirations at all?

MZ: Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about how [O’Halloran, Craige and Dykstra] have more early 2000s emo, pop/punk backgrounds, which was more of something I associated with the East Coast. I’m from Oregon originally and I feel like a lot of my influences were more rooted in the Pacific Northwest indie rock, so it’s a real meshing of inspirations. There were a lot of common bands we really liked though.

TTN: So I see you have some cassettes there?

ID: One of these days we’ll have CDs too.

KO:  I don’t know, will we? We only have tapes, records and the Internet.

TTN: Why?

KO: It’s cheaper.

MZ: I think that it just doesn’t make sense anymore.

KO: Like who owns a Walkman anymore? Or a Discman?

MZ: People want the music in something that will represent the band.

ID: A CD is just a bulky download code.

MZ: I don’t really like CDs and I don’t really know people who buy them. I think it’s just something that faded out of the scene.

ID: Records sound good and they’re archival, so there’s every reason to buy a record of something you totally love, and tapes are, like, throw away. It’s really an aesthetic decision to buy a record or a tape.

TTN: What genre do you consider yourself? Or how would you describe your sound?

KO: I think that’s the one thing we can’t describe. Not in an annoying way, like, ‘I’m a beyond a genre’ but I guess what I’ve learned is you don’t really have control. It’s not what I think it is, it’s where we get put – and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We’re getting brought under the rug with a lot of the emo revival, and I never really thought of us as an emo band.

MZ: But I’m learning that emo is such an enormous umbrella. It’s basically hardcore music that focuses more on the vocal melodic content. I think – well, at least I hope – that’s what people are including us in. I think one common thread is that we all liked ‘90s indie rock bands. We like melodic music that can be both hard and soft and that can keep you interested. We’ve also been called indie rock.

TTN: Do you have any shows in Philly on your tour?

ID: Yeah, it’s right in the middle of the tour.

DC: Nov. 13 at the Barbary.

ID: It’s one of our rare all-ages shows.

KO: Yeah, so that’s exciting.

Jamie Schoshinski can be reached at

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