The Outcast Band News

Damien was recently interviewed for BlahBlah magazine:

The Outcast Band were making successful records a few years ago and have recently reformed to record a new album after a considerable 'break'. What prompted this?
After reforming, we were really fired up by the new sound we were creating. New band members had brought in new ideas and it came together with such energy that we felt we had to get it down. The previous recordings didn't seem to represent us anymore. There was something fresher, a new dynamic, that we wanted to capture.

Rumour has it that new album is being produced by a bit of legend? What can you tell me about this?
We've known Phil Tennant from way back when we played with other bands who had worked with him. His reputation went before him in the musical circles we moved in. We approached him with some rough demos, which he loved, so he was the obvious choice to get involved with the record.

How is the new album coming along? Can you tell me what to expect from it? Are there going to be any surprises musically?
The album is in the process of being recorded. We've been working at Rockfield studios in Monmouth with Phil and his engineer Adam. We all have a great working relationship - Phil comes up with some really good ideas and Adam makes them happen. We are really pleased with the results we've heard so far. The sessions seem to have captured the energy we feel is such a part of our live performances in a much more pronounced way than our previous recordings. The album will include some of the cornerstones of our live shows over the last few years as well as some brand new songs only written since the band reformed. I think there are a few musical surprises - we have some very special guest appearances which have added another dimension to a lot of the tracks.

If you had to pick five words to describe your new sound, what would they be?
That's really hard to do without using dreadful cliches! Ok, five words... stirring, brutal, bleak, melancholic and austere.

Where do you think you draw your influences from and which musicians do you most admire and why?
I think most of my influences tend to be of a more lyrical nature, being drawn to Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Nick Cave... writers who can express such a profound sadness in their lyrics. Bands who experiment with instrumentation beyond the guitar/bass/drums format have always interested me. That probably explains why I love the violin and mandolin, so much - they add a texture to songs that provokes emotion. I really admire bands who aren't afraid to take songs to extreme levels of intensity. Gallon Drunk and The Retreat were purveyors of that art.

You are playing a lot of festivals and shows this summer in the UK. How does it compare to the gig circuit first time round?
Maybe it's a maturity thing but I think our sound is so much more honed and direct now and I'm enjoying the gigs even more this time round.

Have you got any plans for a tour? Is there one particular city or venue that you'd really like play?
Hammersmith Odeon... it's not even called that anymore, is it?

What’s been your best collective experience since the band reformed?
I think we'd all vote for Wychwood festival. We had a tough slot up against the Saturday headline act but we had an amazing audience and it was an incredible night.

What's your favourite Outcast Band lyric ever and why?
At the moment, it's probably "To The End". It's the newest so, lyrically, still feels very fresh but I think there is a bleakness to the imagery.

"This sack of bones we've hauled all of this way Of all the broken things we couldn't save And I'm so tired under all of this weight It wears me down, you wear me down."

The Outcast Band are a hard hitting rock band from Stroud, blending folk and punk influences.