A Conversation With The Outers
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ade (vocals) and Phil (guitar) from The Outers. We had a wonderful conversation, which started with the basics.
So to begin, how’s it going?
We are great, thanks, looking forward to the New Year. There is so much to be excited about and so much work for.
Give me a brief history of The Outers, how and why you decided to chase your passion and pursue music.
Phil: Well, there’s no magic behind our story to be honest. There’s no fantasy story. We all met online.
Ade: Myself and Phil the guitarist were the first to meet. I came from a different style of music, to what i am doing now. I didn’t feel challenged musically. I knew i wanted to be a part of something different.I was lost in my tracks and searching for my own sound and style. I put an ad on Find A Musician and met Phil.
Phil: I come from a small town in France and packed my bags one day to move to London. This now seems like a long time ago. There was nothing in my hometown. My passion was lost to the wind and I wanted to do music and London was not so far away. It was a struggle to find reliable players especially when you are meeting people online. When myself and Ade met we knew we wanted to make indie music. It was a no brainer. It was music we were both familiar with.
Ade: Being a black girl doing rock music has its challenges I must say. It’s also hard finding female indie rock singers to reference from. So at times you stumble on your journey trying to find what works for you. It would be nice to see the faces of all musical genres changing a bit. In saying all of this the passion to pursue music comes from doing what makes you happy and living your fullest life unapologetically and just wanting to create and share.
My conversation then moved to The Outers’ studio material.
I love the three tracks you’ve released through your Soundcloud so far. Can you tell me a little bit about ‘Strings’, ‘Lonely Town’, and ‘Departed’?
Phil:Thanks mate, glad you liked them. Although they are really old demos. We made it in the living room of a producer friend. It was our first time recording and we did all three songs in a day with no click track.
Phil: ‘Strings’ is a very metaphoric song about an extended concept of being enslaved by love whatever that love may be.
Ade: A part of the idea of the song is being in love with a person who makes it hard for you to love them. But not being able to get out because you are under the influence of love. Kinda like being a puppet of this machine and being bounded by it all.
‘Lonely Town’ is my favourite song because of the context. Living in a big city with so many people who you can have bad blood with and not see for years. I think this makes people become so disposable to each other. People have hopes and dreams and it can get easily crushed by the wrong lover or friend.
Phil: Everyone can be major narcissists and everyone gets dumped and left alone to figure it all out at some point. Also the city gets boring and life becomes a routine. It’s just a part of the dark side of living in London i guess.
Ade: ‘Departed’ is a typical love song about loss. You know, when you meet someone who is actually amazing. But you get too cocky and act dumb during the relationship and it’s not till they walk off that you wake up. realise how important they are once your finally alone with your thoughts and your misery.
Ade: We write all our own material and arrangements. Phil’s writing style is very metaphoric and theirs times he can get so lost in metaphors and poetry that sometimes it doesn’t bloody make sense! where as I am a more into telling it as it is and that can sometimes get a bit cheesy. So the blend of the two i think gives a good balance for writing.
Phil: Musically Ade tends to create the hooks and the verses. I mostly make the chorus and bridges. But it is mostly a collaboration. We tend to follow what our influences do such as Metric, Arctic Monkeys, Killers, The Strokes, MGMT, Blondie, The Editors, and more.
Ade: I’ve been picking up the synth a lot lately and we are trying to incorporate some synth based songs into our style just to give it a bit more edge and a new sound. But for future songs to come i guess.
Can you tell me a little bit about forthcoming studio material; is there an LP or EP n the works?
Phil: We are in the studio working on some new material and updating some old ones too. We have been doing a lot of writing but we won’t be releasing anything yet tho. However we will have some songs online soon for people to listen to. We are a new band so i think our main focus is towards building ourselves up and finding a manager.
My conversation with Ade and Phil moved on to the band’s live show.
I loved your show at The Good Ship a few weeks ago. Tell me a bit about The Outers’ live show, how much does it change in a live environment?
Ade: Wow! The Good Ship was such a trip!We arrived expecting to play to an empty pub. We started our set and after the 2nd song the dance floor was full. Literally full of the trendiest indie lot dancing to our songs. We are from East London, The Good Ship is a good hour or so on the train from us so not one audience member was a friend. So to see a packed venue dancing to your music and enjoying the live energy is one of the reasons why we do music. It defiantly boosted our confidence.
Phil: We are not boring to watch.
Ade: We are comfortable on stage. Its home for us. Of course we are still an unknown band and everyday we work on our craft to get better. we are not boring to watch.
What are your current touring plans?
Ade: We would love to tour.
Phil: We don’t have any plans yet though. We are just beginning our journey but it is something we definitely see in the near future.
My chat with Ade and Phil ended with a question about the broader state of the music industry.
Tell me your thoughts about the current state of the music industry and what advice you would give to young artists looking to break into it.
Ade: We don’t have enough insight on the industry to really answer that question correctly. Although looking from the outside in, it seems like everything has a domino effect.
Phil: If music venues are closing and no one buys music because they can download it for free then should there be a panic? The demand for music isn’t so high at the moment and the supply is too easy to grab.
Ade: If there’s a way for artist’s to be able to trade their art for a paycheck as easy as it was before the age of the internet then the industry will have a very long life. But then again I’m speaking on my opinion I am not an A&R guy. I’d say it’s good to dream.
Phil: But you gotta put in the work too. Take time learning how to write songs. If you are doing music to get the birds and blowing lines on the coffee table then forget it because its a long road to the top and everything that shimmers isn’t gold.
Ade: It’s definitely all about the songs. No one cares about you wanking around doing one hour solos. Make good songs and take time to perfect your craft. Work with people who are just as passionate about music as you are.
Many thanks to Ade and Phil for taking the time to chat.