Touring With Friends To Re-Invigorate Creativity

1 March 2016 | 7:44 pm | Shane Pinnegar

"We're like just a bunch of kids out on the road."

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Roping in fellow country stars Travis Collins, Drew McAlister, Matt Cornell and Mike Carr, Adam Brand & The Outlaws’ self-titled debut album is a 14-track beast that reworks classic rock anthems such as Jimmy Barnes’ Working Class Man, Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl, Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls and Poison’s Nuthin’ But A Good Time.

For country music stars, that’s pretty rock'n’roll.

“I've always lived on that edge of country and rock anyway, with my music,” Adam Brand explains. “I didn't grow up on Hank Williams and George Jones and Merle Haggard - I grew up on Springsteen and Mellencamp and Cold Chisel and stuff like that. That's the music I love.

“The idea for how we chose these songs was, we just said, ‘you know what, it doesn't matter if they're old songs, new songs, if they're classic rock, country – it doesn't matter, just pick the songs that we love, and that we grew up playing in pubs'. I started out playing every week at The Raffles, every week for ages. Some of these songs were in my set list. They're a part of me. They're part of my musical journey.

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“The other guys, they cut their teeth playing pubs. These songs are part of them [too], part of the fabric of what got us to where we are. We play them in our style - we call it hillbilly rock'n'roll. We've got a version of Poison's Nuthin' But A Good Time. They're a ‘90s glam band, or whatever you want to call them, but the song is a cracker and we do it. On the recording, you'll hear a fiddle played through a stack of Marshall amps. We just make it our own sound.

“The shows on this tour consist of all the songs on the Outlaws album. Also, I play a couple of mine (solo songs), have a little chat with the fellas. Everyone finds out a bit more about the boys. Plus, the show is heavily weighted with Australian classic anthems as well. It's a fun and interesting show.”

With a 20-year solo career behind him, why a band at this point?

“Just because – for something different and a change,” he says with an audible shrug. “It's only for one tour and one album. It's not like I'll finish being Adam Brand, or whatever. It was just an idea, a project: something to do that was just different, to take us all away from doing what we normally do. Just to re-motivate, re-invigorate, do something different.

“The idea of this band is, first of all, five great mates, five individual artists, five singers, all singing songs that we grew up playing, or that we love, or that we'd have playing at our own parties. That way, everyone's going to sing along with us and we're just going to go out there, blow some steam off and have some fun.”

Brand says egos don’t come into play amongst The Outlaws: they’re friends first and foremost.

“You know what, you would think so,” he says with a hearty laugh, “but it's been absolutely the opposite. We're just having so much fun. We're all mates, we’ve all worked with each other in some way or another. We're just excited about it, because we're mates, it’s fun, different stuff. We're like just a bunch of kids out on the road, being cheeky, having fun, playing pranks on each other. Just loving every minute.”

Originally published in X-Press Magazine