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| 4 March 2016 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

Adam Brand
With 14 country music Golden Guitar awards on the mantelpiece representing a stellar career spanning ten solo albums, no-one expected Perth expat Adam Brand to form supergroup The Outlaws, but that’d exactly what he did. Roping in fellow country stars Travis Collins, Drew McAlister, Matt Cornell and Mike Carr, Adam Brand & the Outlaws bring their travelling self-titled album release party to his hometown this weekend, playing Mundaring Weir Hotel Saturday, and The Ravenswood Hotel Sunday, before closing the tour in New South Wales later this month.

Friday 4th March 2016 Old Mill Hotel, HAHNDORF SA
Saturday 5th March 2016 Mundaring Weir Hotel, MUNDARRING WEIR WA
Sunday 6th March 2016 Ravenswood Hotel, RAVENSWOOD WA
Thursday 17th March 2016 Dubbo RSL, DUBBO NSW
Friday 18th March 2016 Club Mudgee, MUDGEE NSW
Saturday 19th March 2016 Rooty Hill RSL, ROOTY HILL NSW

With 22 gigs already under their belt, Brand couldn’t be happier with the response the supergroup have been getting.

“This tours going great!” he says enthusiastically of the busy two months tour schedule. “I think because it’s five artists in the band, we had to condense the tour into a shorter amount of time, because everyone’s got their own careers and projects they’re doing. We just thought, you know what, book it in and get out and do it.”

With such a great solo career behind him, why a band at this point in his career?

“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.

“We’re all mates,” he continues, “we’ve all worked with each other in some way or another.”

Adam Brand & the Outlaws

After so long doing things his own way, is there a risk that living out of each others’ pockets for two months will lead to ego clashes or stretch those friendships at all?

“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. If you added up all the gigs that all five of us have done… I mean I don’t know how you’d do that, but we sort of started to mess around with sort of figures of how many gigs we would have done [in our careers] and you’re probably looking at 15,000-plus, because some of us have been touring and doing gigs for 20 years or more.

“You’d sort of think, yeah, at that stage of your career you could be a bit jaded. You could be bit blasé, taking it all for granted, that kind of stuff. It’s like, ‘oh, you know, another show, another gig, whatever,’ but this tour, you would think that this was our very first tour. We’re just excited about it, because we’re mates, it’s fun, different stuff. We’re like just a bunch of kids.

“It’s totally the opposite of what you could imagine,” he continues, “some of the horror stories you’ve heard with other artists, when they get together and tour together, and egos and clashes, and blah, blah, blah, blah. We’re like a bunch of kids out on the road, being cheeky, having fun, playing pranks on each other. Just loving every minute.”


“Oh, dude, it’s happening every day!” Brand says with a schoolboy’s laugh. “Someone’s always doing something to somebody. It’s just fun – we’re just lads enjoying something that should be enjoyed. I mean, let’s face it, you’re living the dream if you’re playing music for a living. If you’re doing something that you love for a living, then you’re very lucky. It’s not about how much money you earn, all that kind of stuff. There’s billionaires out there, or millionaires, who are unhappy, because they’re not doing something that they love. We get to do something that we genuinely just love doing and so it should be enjoyed. We are really living the dream. It’s a cliché man, but we’re living the dream!”

Brand says that the pranks are just good natured blokey shenanigans.

“It’s just simple things, [like] you’re unplugging people’s guitar cords, and you’re pouring water over someone’s head if it’s a hot, outdoor gig. Just all those fun stuff, you just get a kick out of it.”

Adam Brand & the Outlaws 03

The album is a 14-track beast that sees the famous five reworking classic rock anthems such as Jimmy Barnes’s 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,” 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. My music’s always been on that verge anyway, and the guys as well.

“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 [Hotel], 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.

“The other guys, they cut their teeth playing pubs and doing those week in, week out gigs. 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 Nothin’ but a Good Time – everybody knows the song. 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.”

Brand says they never considered writing original songs for the album.

“No, it was always going to anthems. Just big, classic anthem songs. The idea is, five guys, all singing, the five singers in one band, all singing songs that everybody knows and loves. That’s contagious, then the whole crowd just come along and they don’t have to think about it. They don’t have to think twice, they just sing along straight away. The first five seconds of the song, they know it and they’re singing along.”

After six weeks of solid touring, have the guitars come out backstage or on the road and some writing taken place?

“Not yet. There’s too much eating, drinking and playing planks to play guitar!”

Adam Brand & the Outlaws 02

That sounds like living the dream, right there.

“Exactly!” Brand agrees. “There’s no plans for anymore, because I’m working on my next album and the boys are all working on their next thing – but you never say never. Maybe sometime in the future, we might do that, I don’t know.

“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.”

Brand is especially looking forward to bringing the gang home to Perth – and not only for the nostalgia of playing to a hometown crowd.

“100% mate. I just love coming home!” he laughs. “Obviously I get to see Dad and the brothers and sister. It’s just a feeling for me of, it’s comfortable for me, I grew up there in Perth. It’s a really nice feeling. The boys in the band, when I’ve toured, they’ve been with me there before. They all went to my Dad’s house, because my Dad’s Italian, he makes his own sauce and pasta and stuff, so the big thing when we come back to Perth is always, ‘well, are we going to your Dad’s house for dinner?’ It’s fun.”

So will he have family packed down in the front row?

“They usually hang in the back row,” he laughs again. “Closer to the bar, mate. Yeah, exactly!”

This interview was first published in edited form in X-Press Magazine’s 2nd March, 2016 issue

Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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