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Interview
The Outsiders

The Outsiders

date
Monday 9th August, 2010 1:17PM

We chat to Niam from The Outsiders on the cusp of releasing their new album The Words Will Write Themselves.

Can we start with some background info. How long have you been playing together as The Outsiders?

The Outsiders played our first show in July 2008, we released our Self Titled EP at that show that we had recorded as a three piece in the months preceding. Our first show was with our new drummer and we started playing a fair bit after that.

What is your current line up?

Daniel - Guitar and Vocals
Niam - Guitar and Vocals
Stu - Bass and Vocals
Dave – Drums

What other bands have you been involved in?

I (Niam) played in Ritalin, Dave and Dan played in Not Quite Right, Dave plays in No Love Lost, Dan has a solo Alt Country project as well. Stu was in Sommerset/Ritalin/The Offbeats/The Blistering Tongues and more I think.

What made you decide to form this band?

Personally I needed a new band after my old band broke up and was desperate to play and tour again, Collectively we wanted to do something that was different than the Punk or Punk/Hardcore bands that we had been doing that enabled us to bring more melody and freedom into what we were doing. It felt amazing to be able to do what we wanted and not feel confined to a strict genre.

Can you briefly summarise what the band has been up to since the release of your self-titled EP?

The Outsiders have toured New Zealand maybe 6 times I lose count, Australia as well as Mainland Europe and the UK. We have played with some great bands and met some amazing people. We have recorded this new album and drunk a fair few alcoholic beverages along the way, it's been pretty sweet.

What are some of the best things that you experienced on tour overseas?

Meeting new people and seeing new things is great and not been met with a preconceived opinions of what you are. Having fresh ears is really exciting and when you are so far from home inhibitions kind of go out the window.

Did you learn any hard lessons?

The hardest lesson I probably learnt was don't propose to your booking agent the first night of the tour when her boyfriend is in the band you are touring with umm lucky they had a sense of humour, apart from that nothing went terribly wrong - it all seemed to come together somehow. Our bodies were pushed to the limit by sleeping for very small amounts of time in our van/on floors and drinking all the free beer that we got given in Germany other than that I think we knew what too expect. Stu had toured extensively in Europe with Sommerset, Dan had been before we are old enough to know better.

Your debut album The Words Will Write Themselves is coming out his month. What can you tell us about it?

We tracked the drums at Trident Studios in Wellington with Darren Maynard, we record most of the guitars and vocals at home and then got it Mixed and Mastered by Andrew Buckton at Studio 203 in Auckland. Andrew has worked with bands such as The D4 and Sommerset and has a great knack of making recordings sound huge so the production sounds really great. It was a long process, we started recording before we left for Europe in August 2009 then we returned and added and changed a number of things we were not happy with over summer so it has taken a while and a lot of work to get something we are really happy with.

How does the band go about writing material?

Dan, Stu and I all write songs and then bring them to the band and work on them it is interesting because all three of us sing lead on different tracks as well as singing back ups in all of each others songs. We really try to make the vocals great and dynamic so we stick out from other bands. One of the ideas of the band in the beginning was to start a band that was quite agressive yet had really good vocal work.

Did you do anything dramatically different in the recording of The Words Will Write Themselves compared to recording your EP?

Everything was different - The EP had little to no budget while we spent money on this album. We used studios for the album instead of just at home, plus the Album is recorded with the line up we have now. We spent a lot longer on vocals for the album.

What are your thoughts on the finished product?

I think it sounds really good, the production is great and the artwork is amazing don't trust what I say though see for yourself…

I think if you like Alternative Rock/Punk bands such as The Replacements, Husker Du, Jawbreaker, Against Me - good honest punk influnced rock stuff then you will like it.

What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming NZ tour?

I love travelling and getting away from everyday life I kind of go crazy been in one place for too long, plus we get to see all our friends, make some new ones and have a great party while playing music, I think it is safe to say Music is fun.

Do you have a favourite town / venue to play in?

There is a really cool house type venue in Palmy called The Factory that is really fun. We have a lot of friends in Auckland that always make that a great time, Dunedin is good as it is a home town for me and Stu. Melbourne is probably the best city for the kind of music we are doing there is a great scene over there for Alternative Punk/Rock type stuff check out Poison City Records

What about a favourite band to play with?

I like playing multi genre shows mixing it up is always fun and exposes new people to music. Also NZ is too small to be genre specific a lot of the time.

What’s the best or most memorable gig you have played?

We played a sold out show at a place called Bitterzoet in Amsterdam we turned up and there were lines around the block it was surreal. We were supporting South Africas biggest band who kind of sounded like Coldplay they had just recently played the Presidents inaguration in South Africa to about 150,000 people. Suprisingly people loved us, we signed stuff, got lots of praise and felt like rock stars I had to keep it real by walking 45 minutes back to the van in the rain and trying to sleep sitting up.

What would be your dream collaboration?

Justin Bieber, Robert Johnson and Charles Bukowski.

What else does the future hold for The Outsiders?

We are going to be touring Australia again in the not too distant future and then hopefully head to Europe and America at some point when we can get some money together as we have offers in those countries. There is a phenomenon in NZ that if you get popular overseas people love you back home so maybe we will shoot for that or party to death along the way?

The state of music in NZ is….

Fickle....

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