Melbourne’s Outright are a band makes steady waves in the local hardcore scene. An impressive 7” release and a local spot supporting Refused marked 2012, now the band is ready for the year ahead. Killyourstereo.com caught up with guitarist Brad Fulton to talk music, the scene and this weekend’s Australia Day at the Rev show.
A few weeks into 2013 now, how has the year been so far for Outright?
So far the year has been good. We’ve been easing into it. We’re just continuing on with writing some songs and rehearsing for things like Australia Day and other upcoming shows, but at this stage it [the year] is going well and it’s on a smooth, steady pace.
And I know last year, those Refused shows you did must’ve been a pretty good way to send the year off.
It was ridiculous. I don’t think any of us could’ve expected that we’d even play those shows, let alone how well they were received. We definitely ended the year on a big bang there. Once the nerves and things were gone and we managed to reflect on it, it was absolutely incredible.
Just on that, 2012, you had a big year regardless of that with the 7” and all. How was last year?
Last year was excellent for the band. We obviously recorded the ‘Dedication’ 7” and then that one came out and on the back of that we toured around the East Coast, which was excellent – all the shows were terrific. We played everything from over 18’s shows in clubs to under 18’s shows in warehouses, the whole lot. It was awesome. Aside from that, we had a bunch of international shows we got to play with Punch and all those things. The year in general was just excellent. So many good friends getting to catch up on those tour. And just bands from other states that were in Melbourne, I feel like it was a really productive year. 2012 was a raging success.
My next question here, you touched on it a moment ago, in terms of this year are you going to be writing a lot of new material?
Absolutely. At this point, I believe we have maybe three or four songs ready to go and we’re going to keep writing. Our aim is to write an album and then release that this year and of course start the touring again. Even aside from that, things are starting to build up. We’ve got the Australia Day show then Break The Ice is happening not too long after that. And, then there’s the Tragedy show. So we’re looking into a couple more interstate things here and there. But absolutely, at this point our focus is to write new stuff and get it out there.
When you’re writing a full length, with more room to move and more songs, does it change at all how much focus you put into the writing process?
At this point it is great because we’ve found our feet with having the demo coming out and then writing for that 7”. And you’ve got people writing. Everyone in the band contributes. So when you’ve got a full-length coming there’s five people who are all contributing their own ideas. There’s more room of just having more varied songs and having more time to work on it. We haven’t set ourselves a deadline. At this point, it is just everyone bringing riffs and people throwing some vocals in and the whole writing process I find very exciting because of that – no time constraints and so many people putting it in and getting a varied sound as a result.
Also, once again another thing I was going to ask that you mentioned a few moments ago, with Break The Ice recently being announced on Triple J. That seems like a ridiculously good line-up for a local hardcore band to be apart of?
It is insane. I had an idea of most of the bands playing, but it wasn’t until I saw the flyer that I got the full extent of it. It’s such a solid line-up. Obviously the internationals hold their own when you’ve got Bane, Rotting Out and Cold World.But it’s such a solid line-up of locals [too]. The Weight, for me personally, are one of my favourite hardcore bands in Australian at the moment. Those guys are killing it. So many great bands coming from all around Australia. And not just bands, but the response you see on the net already, just people from all around saying, “cool, that week in April I’ll be there!” I think it’s going to be so much fun. I was talking to someone about it before and there’s going to be some areas to skate and a basketball court is quite available and lots of different vendors and baking stalls etc. I’m really, really excited.
Awesome. Obviously, so far we’ve talked about the shows and writing. But in 12 months time, do you have a checklist or anything you want to tick off in the next year or so?
I can’t really speak for the other guys, but I’m sure they’re in a similar boat. I guess, so many things have already been checked off. I know when starting the band, I didn’t join to maybe a year after they started, but I know a big thing initially was getting to play the Arthouse before it shut. That was an immediate tick off the list. And from there came just ticking off releasing something. So at this point, just being blown away by everything we get to do. That’s not to say we don’t have goals – to have an album out and tour more etc. But as far as a definitive thing we are trying to reach for, I feel we’ve ticked a lot of things and everything at this point is such a bonus.
Australia Day at the Rev coming up. Obviously, it’s a good initiative with the fundraising and benefit type angle to it. How did you get involved with that initially?
All of us have attended previous ones and one of my other bands has played and Jelena had a baking stall and that type of thing. We’re all really good mates with Tom Jenkins, who runs it. It just came together quite naturally. Tom, put the word out and gave a bit of background to the bands who hadn’t played it before or people who weren’t sure of the reasoning behind it. Obviously, straight away we were 100% keen without even seeing the line-up. But yeah, it’s such a good thing. He [Tom] said should this year go as well as the others, it will be in excess of $20,00 he has raised for such a good cause. But not only that, again the same thing as like with the Break The Ice I mentioned is just that amount of friends and great bands being in the one spot and having a celebration and doing it for a good cause and hanging out. I think the Australia Day thing was a bit of a no-brainer for us to say “absolutely” to [be a part of] because of those causes involved.
And because the day has taken shape, I don’t want to say in a negative way over the past couple of years, but some of the negative connotations that can be associated with it, to maybe step away from that, to create something that we all feel is a great representation of the scene and the people that are involved with it. I think it’s going to be a terrific couple of days. Tom, year after year now has killed it putting it together, it is such a well-run day (two days this year). It is so much fun and he has put a lot of work in and he is a really good dude, so we’re really stoked to be apart of it.
Yeah, like I said, it sounds like a good initiative. And a question I always like to get peoples opinions on from a band perspective is what your view on the local hardcore scene at the moment?
Personally, I think the hardcore scene at the moment is in a really, really good place. There’s so many young bands coming up, there’s so many bands releasing great things. But aside from that, there’s such a DIY spirit that seems to be going around at the moment. There’s so many zines and websites and people doing baking stands and people raising money by selling second hand t-shirts and all these things. I just feel it’s got a really, really strong community vibe at the moment.
Musically it is very exciting because there’s so many bands just doing their own thing and smashing it and releasing great albums, and seven inches and tapes and all that type of thing. But also, like I said it’s that DIY ethic and that community spirit. I don’t think it has been missing, but I definitely think right now it is extremely present.
You can go see bands play at old fruit shop in Preston (laughs) and then the next week you can see someone have a show in their house, in their lounge room and having that faith that people aren’t going to ruin something – it’s their responsibility. It has just got this really good flow and this good vibe to it at the moment and there’s more faces showing up at shows and more people just becoming friends through other friends. Very positive.
Yeah, I’d agree, I think it’s in a really good place at the moment. And, on the other side, if we were to get a bit picky are there any areas you still feel could be improved about the scene?
Personally there’s not something I can think of because I’ve felt such an overwhelming vibe coming of it [the scene]. That’s on the back of us doing tours and experiencing the different things that are up and down the coast. I mean, maybe if I looked harder I might find something, but from where I stand and from recent experiences, it is really, really good. I think everyone involved should be quite happy with it. I mean if I can’t think of something negative to say that’s probably a good thing. Like I said, there’s such a good vibe and people are just helping out each other. I t has taken a real step back to that DIY thing. I honestly can’t think of anything negative to say other than it’s excellent.
Fair enough. From a musical side of things, what are some of your biggest influences and inspirations at the moment?
A whole range of things. [It’s] all over the place to be honest man. Right now I’m thrashing The Smith St Band, The Bennies, Kill the Matador, Headaches, The Weight, Linc Le Fevre, Survival etc.
I get a bit flustered and always forget a million bands when I’m put on the spot but umm, I’m hanging for a new Paint it Black record if that counts (laughs).
That’s a good answer. And just before we wrap things up was there anything you wanted to pass onto readers?
Thanks to everyone who picked up a copy of the 7” or listened to it on Bandcamp. Thanks to everyone who came out to one of the shows in 2012 and already in 2013 the people who have come out and been supportive. Thank you for the interview and hope everyone has a great Australia Day down at the Reverence.
Awesome. Thanks for the interview Brad.
Thanks for that man.