There’s a new country supergroup in town – and they’re called the Outlaws. Well, Adam Brand and The Outlaws, to be correct. Made up of Brand, Travis Collins, Matt Cornell, Drew McAlister (of McAlister Kemp fame) and Mike Carr (the creative genius behind musical comedy character, Buddy Goode), they’ve been stirring up trouble all over the place. What more can you expect from the Outlaws? Here’s what the main man had to say for himself.
Firstly, congratulations on the success of The Outlaws. Everyone seems to be really embracing the idea. I read that you’ve had this idea in your head for ten years or so – why has it taken so long to finally make happen?
It’s one of those things, to get five guys all with a little bit of a break from their schedules all at the same time, it’s a pretty big ask! I suppose it just had to wait to the point where it happened all very naturally, where everyone was like, ‘Yeah, I’m free, I’m free…’ That’s how I kinda knew that okay, it must be the right time.
Taking five talented artists, all with their respected fan bases, you must have been thinking the idea really can’t fail?
[Laughs] You would think so, but you just (don’t know) these days. I think at the end of the day, you’ve just got to do something that you really believe in and that you love to do, then let all that other stuff hopefully take care of itself. We’ve just gotta have fun and enjoy doing it. That’s the nucleus, that’s the foundation of it.
Where did the name The Outlaws come from?
It’s kind of a little bit of a tip of the hat to the original outlaws back years ago. Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Paycheck and Johnny Cash, and all those guys who were outlaws in their time .
They were a little bit rock and roll, a little bit outspoken, a little sort of “ruffle the feathers” of the establishment. Look, we’re not legends by any stretch of the imagination, but we kind of do a little bit of that ourselves. You know, we ruffle the feathers of the establishment, we play a little bit too loud occasionally and all that stuff, so we kind of felt like we’re got a bit of outlaw going on so it’s a bit of a band – a band of outlaws. (That’s) how the idea of the name came up.
How did you decide who you wanted to put in the band?
We’re all buddies, we’ve all got connections, we’ve all worked with each other at some point, in some way. Whether we’ve played in bands, whether we’ve written songs, whether we’ve toured together, there’s kinda like a nice common thread between all of us and that’s what bound us together.
Last time we spoke you said that you always want to evolve as an artist, so is The Outlaws a natural progression, something that you want to continue, or are you still going to do your solo stuff afterwards?
Everyone’s doing their own solo stuff, definitely yes. The Outlaws is something that’s only just a project for one album, one tour and it’s more like a realisation of a bit of a dream, really. Getting these guys together, my mates, and forming this band, but going out and singing fun songs that were important to us in our musical journey, that was the idea.
Just classic anthemic songs that we all loved to sing along and party to maybe when we all started out, or our parents played us. So it was really that kind of thing where we just wanted to take a break from being us and go out as a band, just have a ball and have fun.
We all do have our own individual careers. So, this was just something we wanted to do for some fun and as an idea. It’s not something like, ‘okay, well we’re not doing our own things anymore, we’re just gonna be a band from now on’ Nah. It really was, ‘this is an idea. Let’s go and do it because we’ve got a break from our normal things.”
And I’m actually already deep into making my next album, which will come out this year as well.
What kind of sound is the new album going to have?
I like to evolve, I like to change it up. So this one is definitely gonna have a bit more of evolution going on. It’s gonna be kinda a bit dance floorish mixed with a country – dance-floor, rock maybe a bit of boom beat going in there. There’s a bit of fusion going on in my head at the moment.
Adam Brand and The Outlaws has quite a rock sound to it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you haven’t really explored a rock-influenced sound on an album since Blame it on Eve. Is it nice to get back into more of a rock sound?
Yeah, there’s been elements across the albums, I guess but as you say this album certainly has got a hillbilly rock theme rocking all the way through it. And that’s just part of us just blowing out the cobwebs and having a blast!
We got together as a band and went together in a rehearsal studio, and we just started jamming on all these songs (trying) to find our sound. Because we were doing classic songs, you can’t really re-invent each one of them individually. We just want to go, ‘when us boys all get together, what’s our natural sound?” and the sound that you hear on the album is where we all fell to naturally. It’s definitely the rocking edge of country type of sound.
You guys are touring at the moment, and I don’t know if you’ve heard the ‘Good Day for the Outlaw’ on the radio, but if the song comes on do you each sing your respected parts?
(Laughs) If we hear it on the radio, we all sit there grinning ear to ear. Or singing along to every word. And that’s what the shows are like too!
We’re all singing every song together, we’re swapping lines and versus and choruses and harmonies. It’s just a great fun. You’ve got five guys all singing and that’s what we want to happen at the shows. We want that to be contagious. We want all the crowd singing along with us.
Will you all be singing your own solo songs on tour as well?
There’s a little bit of that, yep. There’s a few of my songs and I get all the boys to do one. There’s a bit of crossing over and a few surprises in there as well. It’s certainly a very full show. No opening act, we do the whole time, two halves. It’s great fun for us. We’re really enjoying this different sort of format.
Does that mean there’s less pressure on one, as everyone gets a turn?
Totally, cause when you’re on your own touring the buck stops with you. With this, if someone (has a) crook voice or whatever, you know you’ve got guys backing you up. It’s a really nice thing.
I imagine there’s a lot of tomfoolery, and utter chaos and mischief that happens as well, is that right?
(Laughs) Ah, yes. That would be an understatement. It’s totally what you would expect when five mates walk in together, and just start egging each other on. That’s what’s happened on stage too. You just get this vibe that “Hang on a minute, you boys are having too much fun”, you know?
You’ve posted some videos of you guys stealing a couch, and then Dorothy the Dinosaur, as well. It looks like you guys are having a lot of fun!
Yeah, yeah. If it’s not nailed down, we’re probably gonna try and steal it!I don’t know if you saw it on Facebook but we flash mobbed in Federation Square during The Aussie Open the other day. We’re just having fun. We walked into (McDonalds), walked up to the counter and turned around and started singing. If we’re walking along one guy will go, “Hey listen, yeah, yeah let’s just do it” so we’re kinda daring each other. We just to go and do things.
Well I have a little game for you, if you’re up for it?
I’m always up for it.
I’m going to ask a question and you have to answer ‘which outlaw would and why?’
Who would take the last beer without owning up to it?
(Laughs) Ooh. Which one would? I would say that would be, I think a few would actually … I’m gonna say Mike Carr. He’s got an alter ego. His alter ego is a bloody good comedian. So that’s him and he’s won two ARIA awards and stuff. You just never know what he’s gonna do, so he could either steal the beer and not own up to it, or he could replace the beer with something else. You just never know what is going to happen.
I don’t want to imagine what he’d replace it with …
(Laughs) Yeah, apple juice.
Who would be most likely to dress up in women’s clothing on a dare?
Matty Cornell. I mean, he’s the fitness guy, he works out, he eats good and everything, but he’s got a shady side. Definitely Matty!
Who would be the most likely to cheat in a poker game?
Cheat in a poker game?! Ooh. Drewsy‘s honest – he’s married, got a couple of kids, he’s that real sort of family guy, but I reckon that there’s probably a little side of him that no one ever sees. I’m gonna pick Drewsy, because it’s always the unexpected one. It’s always the quiet one. So I’m gonna put it on Drew, because no one would suspect him, you see.
Who would be most likely to pull an all-nighter?
I’d say Travis. He’s the youngest outlaw, so he’s probably got more energy than all of us. So I’m gonna say Trav. The pup.
Who’s the most likely to steal a girl’s heart?
Oh, there you go! I’m gonna own up to that one. Put it on me. Why? Because I’m a hopeless romantic. There you go. I’m lost for words.
At least you’ve owned up to it.
You’ve lost me for words. Sorry. It doesn’t happen much.
Who would be most likely to blame it on Eve?
Probably all of us! (Laughs) All of us would blame. If we were all sitting in, if there was the last beer, as you said in the first question, sitting in the middle of the table and it’s gone and you said, “Who did it?” we’d all point to each other so, yeah, we’ll all cop it.
Who is most likely to skip out on a restaurant bill?
I don’t know if any of us would actually. We are outlaws and we are cheeky buggers and all that kinda stuff, but we’re good-hearted as well. I think what we’d probably do instead of skipping out on the bill, we’d probably leave a nice tip for the hard working waiter or waitress.
And sing a song as well, I’m sure.
Yeah, you know what – that is most definitely a possibility!
That’s probably the best tip ever.
Yeah, and we’ve talked about that. You’ll probably see us pop up at a restaurant and that will happen.
Adam Brand and The Outlaws is out now, and touring around Australia until March 19. For more information and tickets, go to www.adambrand.com.au