Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Interview with Dave from New Jersey Straight Edge band, Outlast

One of my favorite bands at the moment is Outlast from New Jersey. The lead singer, Dave, was kind enough to do an interview with me. 

PMA Kid: Who is in Outlast and what do they do outside of the band? (school? work?)

Dave: Outlast is myself, Dave, on vocals, Shaun on bass, Ian and Tom on guitars, and Joe (nicknamed Jah) on drums. Outside of the band we all work, Tom and I are in college, and we all just like to hang out and do our thing. Typical stuff really, eat burritos and hang out.

PMA Kid: For anybody in the band (or for all of you guys), what are your three favorite books and why are they your favorites?
Dave: “Animal Farm” by George Orwell is probably my favorite one because it shows how power corrupts individuals. I remember reading it in high school and the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely” really stuck with me. Another favorite is Jack London’s “White Fang” because I’m a big fan of hiking, camping, nature, and just general wilderness type things. Finally, I’d have to say “Old Yeller” by Fred Gipson. I loved it as a kid and I think it has to do with the, again, the whole frontier/wilderness aspect of it. Something about that stuff really gets me.

PMA Kid: Same question about the books, but instead what are your three favorite songs and what is so cool about them?

Dave: This is a tough question since my favorite songs seem to change every now and again. Of all time, I’d say Saves the Day “The Choke” because they’re my favorite band of all time and I really connected with their records in high school. Next, I’d say “Lemmings” by Blink 182 because they were one of the first bands I got into in middle school and have been a favorite ever since. The lyrics are about being yourself and not following others, which is cool, but the song is so great regardless of the lyrics. Finally, I’d have to say maybe The Get Up Kids “Forgive and Forget” just because I’ve always really liked it and they’re a favorite band of mine for some time now.

PMA Kid: What is everybody's favorite song to perform live and why?
Dave: I can’t speak for everyone, but it seems like right now “Free Your Mind” is the favorite. It’s just a good song and has a lot of energy. We usually play it first or very early in the set so we’re not too tired out and go nuts.

PMA Kid: My dad and I bought three copies of your Take Control EP but my dad could not find a copy of your original demo.  (He did download the MP3 files.)  Do you have any idea where we can get one?
Dave: We’ve had a lot of people ask about copies of the demo, but as far as I know they’re long gone. Your best bet would be to hope someone puts one on ebay!

PMA Kid: I really like the song Take a Number on the Take Control EP.  What made you want to write that song?  The lyrics make sense to me, but what do they mean to you?
Dave: Incidentally, we’ve only played this song live a few times for some reason. I don’t even really know why. I like that song a lot. I wrote it about how people need to not be afraid to be themselves and if it means not giving into societal norms like drinking, then so be it. I think drinking and drugs are lame and I always have. I’ve seen what they do to people and families and I don’t want any part of it. The whole idea of being just another number instead of an individual is where the song title comes from.

PMA Kid: My dad says that you guys remind him of some of the Youth Crew bands he saw and listened to when he wasn't so old, but that you guys feel newer then some of the other youth crew bands he has heard. He listens to you guys ALL THE TIME. What bands (old or new) are your biggest influences musically?
Dave: We actually get that a lot from older guys. We’ve had tons of comparisons to Youth of Today and the like. Overall, we’re influenced largely by the bands that your dad probably grew up on and some other stuff. Youth of Today, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Side by Side, In My Eyes, and newer bands like The First Step.

PMA Kid: Are you going to play at the React Showcase in September?  We really want to see you guys play, but we live in California so can you come play here some other time if you are not going to play the React Showcase?
Dave: We’re not well known enough to play the React Showcase, I don’t think. I’ve spoken with Aram a few times and he’s a cool guy. We’d LOVE to sign with REACT! but right now we’re just doing our thing and hoping to put out music with whoever is willing to do it. We definitely want to tour out to California and the west coast. Maybe next summer since we don’t have a van anymore (it blew up on the way to Boston for a show).

PMA Kid: Do you have any family members that go to elementary or high school?  Are the schools in New Jersey having as hard a time as schools out here in California?  Do you volunteer at schools or help them in any way? My dad says that the guys in Mindset have been supporters of yours.  They were really nice and gave my school one of their rare EPs, which we auctioned and made over $150.00 for the school!
Dave: My brother is currently in college as are my cousins and whatnot, but they all live out of state. The schools in NJ are currently hurting because teachers have taken big cuts to benefits and salaries thanks to our new governor (who also pledged to do everything he can to block same-sex marriage). I feel that our public schools are hurting across the country and it’s very sad. I volunteer with a local drug and alcohol free youth group for high school kids in my town and am going to school to be a high school history teacher. I hope to do what I can once I graduate.

Mindset have always been very awesome to us and good friends. They’re the best band in hardcore and put their money where their mouth is when it comes to helping out. They’re great people.

PMA KID: What does maintaining a positive attitude mean to you?  Toby from H2O, my mom and dad, our friend Kevin Seconds, my teachers and my principal and lots of other people tell me to always try to be positive.  How do you keep a positive attitude - stay PMA - when things are really hard?
Dave: To me, being positive isn’t about always trying to be the super happy posi guy who never has bad days, but rather dealing with the hard times and realizing that there are those that have it one hundred times harder than you do. No matter what happens, things will almost always get better. The hard times that you work through make you stronger and make you grow as a person. I just always try and think about how I can improve whatever negative situation I’m in and how to make things different the next time. I think that’s the key.

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  1. Hey there was a European band in the late 90's who did an AWESOME cd called "positive hardcore, positive youth" well worth checking out - GO!


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