Musicscan: I want to start things off by asking about your new album. What were the actual changes that you tried to bring forth on Failure?
Outbreak: It's still the same Outbreak formula, but we tried to make things a little bit more interesting. We were trying to make sure we weren't using the same recycled riffs over and over and I know that lyrically I didn't want to write every song about wanting to kill everyone. But like I said, it's still the same formula...it's still fast, it's still thrashy hardcore/punk, we just wanted to try and step things up a notch.
Musicscan: What bands specifically influenced Outbreak during the writing of Failure?
Outbreak: Hmm, we've been told that a lot of the new riffs sound similar to the Bad Brains, so that's cool. We all like the Bad Brains, but they weren't really a specific influence. I say this in every interview, but there are never really any specific bands that influence us. We all love hardcore/punk, but we're also into all kinds of other stuff, and all of it is brought to the table.
Musicscan: A thing I personally like about Outbreak is, that it's obvious that you guys aren't trying to fit into any particular scene…
Outbreak: Yeah we don't really care about any of that. Actually it makes me pretty psyched when someone who I wouldn't nesicarily think would be into Outbreak comes up to us and tells us they liked our show. That happens more than I would expect. We play fast, so a lot of punk kids can get into it, we have some solos so the occasional metal dude will like us, and we have the occasional mosh part for your average hardcore dude haha. We just write songs that we can get into, and if people dig it, than that's cool. If not, than oh well. It can sometimes work against you though, because you can't please everyone...sometimes we're not punk enough for the punk kids, or not hardcore enough for the hardcore kids haha. But going back to what I said, we don't really care about that stuff and if kids can get into our music, we're psyched.
Musicscan: As far as I'm concerned, the most interesting thing about Outbreak is your ability to make brutal music that you still can sing along and dance to…
Outbreak: Thanks dude.
Musicscan: Are you generally satisfied with the end result of Failure? Is there a concept or theme or anything around Failure? What is YOUR Failure?
Outbreak: For the most part, I'm satisfied with the end result. But I'm not going to lie, after every recording session I've been a part of, there are always the occasional parts that I wish I could do again! Failure was no exception. We had to rush in the studio so I think there is room for things to be better. Working with Jim was great though, I think he did an amazing job at producing our album.
Musicscan: As far as lyrical themes go, for anyone who's unfamiliar with them, could you give us a little insight into it? Were the any particular authors that influenced you when writing the lyrics?
Outbreak: I write about whatever is going on in my head. Usually I'm influenced to write when something fucked up is happening in my life, or if something in general is bothering me. That's usually the only time that I end up trying to write songs. If I try to write songs just for the sake of needing to fill up a new song with words, it always ends up being half hearted and meaningless. I'm not trying to say that our songs are metaphorical, but they certainly help me let loose and express myself. I think a lot of kids can relate to that, especially if they are still young and growing up like I am.
Musicscan: How did you guys end up getting into hardcore music? Do you feel like you're out to make a difference or more to make people more aware of hardcore music?
Outbreak: I got into hardcore through my older brother. We would both go to local shows that some High School kids were setting up. This is the mid-90's when Victory was a huge influence, so a lot of the local bands were really bad, but we thought it was sweet. We just felt like we were standing for something and it was setting us a part. So my brother started going to more shows out of town, and he was picking up CD's from touring bands for me to check out. That, and we were borrowing CD's from his friends. I had also ordered two Sick Of It All cassettes from a BMG catalog. That's kind of how it all began for me. The 90's Victory catalog (Strife, Earth Crisis, Warzone, Integrity) had me psyched on hardcore and being straight edge. Do I feel like I'm out to make a difference? I don't know, but I do my part for "supporting the scene", I know that. I've always done what I could to help local bands...whether it's adding them to shows, building them a website, or even putting out their record. I've set up quite a few shows too, so I like to think I've made more people aware of hardcore.
Musicscan: You are a busy band that tours a lot. What's the toughest thing touring has taught you so far?
Outbreak: That being away from home for an extended period of time can take it's toll! Don't get me wrong, I love being on the road. It's a great feeling to play a show every night and to meet new people. It's awesome to not have to work a normal 9-5 job and to generally not have to deal with the same bullshit as John Doe. But being away for too long can definitely make you jaded. If you tour more than 6 months a year, you'll understand a little bit better. It's easy to get sick of the ringing in your ears, not having a comfortable place to sleep and eating the shittiest food everyday. Touring has taught me that it's not the luxurious lifestyle that it's sometimes made out to be! From on the outside it can look like the best job in the World (and sometimes I think that it is), but when there are days when you don't feel like you can get out of bed because your body is too weak, you might reconsider haha.
Musicscan: Is it hard to balance your touring lives and home lives being out as much as you guys are?
Outbreak: Yeah, it can be. Especially at first, when you're not use to being gone all the time. It's hard to leave friends/families/girlfriends/jobs etc behind. But if you're meant to be on the road, as time goes on you'll get more adjusted to the lifestyle. "Some people just aren't cut out for life on the road."
Musicscan: Were there any other bands that you guys were previously involved in, or still are as side projects?
Outbreak: We were all in a bunch of local Maine bands that no one outside of Maine has probably heard of haha! So I won't bother listing them, but right now Nate and Chris play in another band called CRUEL HAND.
Musicscan: Last words?
Outbreak: When I'm not on the road (and sometimes when I am!) I help my friend Larry run a label called Think Fast!. In the last year, we've put out all kinds of great stuff. Make sure to check out Wake Up Call, Expired Youth, and Between The Wars, three great up and coming bands we've just done EPs for. We also just put out the LP vinyl versions of the new Sick Of It All, Ignite and Outbreak records, so things are busy. I'll end this shameless self promotion with some newer bands we're working with that make me really stoked. They are Ambitions, Bullet Treatment, and Hour Of The Wolf. If you haven't heard of them yet, you will! Thanks for the interview.