NI ROCKS Interview with Matt & Chris from GASOLINE OUTLAWS
The Gasoline Outlaws appeared on the local music scene only a few months ago but quickly established themselves as one of the best rock bands around and built-up a loyal fan-base in the process. Whilst the band may be new, the band members will be well known to anyone who has followed the local scene for any period of time and is familiar with Black Freeway, Pay*ola, Yellow Sam, Last Known Addiction, Sweet Taste etc. With the release of their excellent debut album “No Rules, No Laws, No Regrets” on 22nd June the band, in my humble opinion, secure their position amongst the best in what is already a hugely impressive and talented local rock scene. “No Rules, No Laws, No Regrets” will no doubt appear in many people’s lists of best albums of 2015.
I spoke to brothers Matt and Chris Fitzsimons about the band and the new album and this interview was broadcast on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 19th June along with a few tracks from the album. The Show can now be heard on our MixCloud site -
NI ROCKS – Matt and Chris, thanks for taking some time to talk to Rock Radio NI. Gasoline Outlaws release their debut album “No Rules, No Laws, No Regrets” on 22nd June. The band itself hasn’t been around for too long but all the members will be known to those that follow the local scene. Tell us who are the Gasoline Outlaws and where might people have seen or heard the band members previously?
MATT – Well basically Gasoline Outlaws has been around for just over a year now. The guys got together around the start of last year. I was away in Melbourne and when I came home I met up with the lads. There’s my brother Chris, who’d played with me in Black Freeway as I’d wanted to get together with him again. We got in Adam Parkin, who’s previous band was Yellow Sam and the drummer is Adam Callaghan who rocks with Pay*ola.
NI ROCKS – Was there any thought of keeping or resurrecting the name Black Freeway or was it always the intention to bring in a new name?
CHRIS – It was something that was spoken about. But we felt that with the style of the band and the way that we were wanting to go with it, that we fancied rebranding and starting something new.
MATT – Yeah definitely a new start was something we wanted. Wipe the slate clean. New songs, new image, new everything. Just have a crack at it from scratch again.
NI ROCKS – Where did the name Gasoline Outlaws come from then?
CHRIS – There were quite a few names considered before we decided on Gasoline Outlaws. We liked the 50s, outlaw theme which was what we wanted for the band.
MATT – I’m a big fan of Audioslave and the song “Gasoline” and I’d just thought the name Gasoline was really really good. I put the idea to the rest of the lads and it evolved and the Outlaws came in a bit later. We put the two together and went with it!
NI ROCKS – Where did you record the album and who have you worked with to get it mixed and ready for release?
MATT – We recorded it in Einstein Studios in Antrim with a guy I’ve know for a right few years, Frankie McClay and his son Luke. Two legends. They did a great job for us and the craic we had up there recording the album was absolutely brilliant. There was no hard work, just a nice easy atmosphere. They engineered it all for us.
CHRIS – It was all mixed and mastered there. Frankie himself depended quite a bit on his son Luke who had a great ear for listening to things that he may not have listened for. So between the two of them, they took the reigns and took it forward. They did an amazing job mixing and mastering it all at Einstein Studios.
NI ROCKS – How did the songs come together on the album? Were all the band involved in the writing process?
MATT – Yes. When we got together we all had a few ideas. It was only about a year ago we got together and we all had individual ideas. I wrote most of the lyrics. I had a lot of lyrics there, but they were always evolving. I got together with Adam who had all these riffs, and my bro had riffs and everyone came in with these ideas. The songs just evolved themselves with everyone putting their input in and they just came together. I was surprised how quickly and well they came together.
CHRIS – They came together quicker than we imagined. Myself and Adam were playing some of the stuff, just going over riffs when Matt was on his way home, so when he got here we were semi-practised on some of the songs and riffs. When Matt got home and we started putting lyrics together, the stuff came together really quick. A lot quicker than Black Freeway or any other projects we’ve been involved with.
MATT – I just think everyone was ready to go. We’ve four decent minds that were all thinking the same and it has happened pretty quick, so we’re all delighted.
NI ROCKS – We’ll play a track from the album now. Which one would you like to pick and tell us a little about it?
MATT – I think we’ll play our opening track on the album which we’ve just finished doing a video for and released as a single. The song is called “Nothing On Me”.
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NI ROCKS – For anyone wanting to buy the album where can they get it from?
CHRIS – We’re going to debut the release of the album at the Diamond Rock Club on the 20th June, so anyone who comes along can buy it there. Or anyone who wants to buy it online can do it through http://www.gasolineoutlaws.bigcartel.com/ - It’s all set up on the Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/Gasolineoutlawsband - the links are all there.
NI ROCKS – Apart from the launch gig on 20th June, what plans have the Gasoline Outlaws for the next months? Any more gigs you can tell us about yet?
MATT – We’ve just been selected, along with another band from here, Conjuring Fate, to go to Sheffield in September where we’ll be competing for a slot at either Hard Rock Hell, Hammerfest or Ibiza Rocks next year. It’s the Highway to Hell festival. If you win you’ve a chance of getting signed to Off Yer Rocka Recordings. We’re looking forward to that, which is a big gig for us. Local gigs are coming through at the minute. The main one is obviously the 20th June in The Diamond Rock Club. We’ve a few wee surprises up our sleeve which we’ll squeeze out in good time. We’ll get that gig out of the way then let people know what we have planned. Keep your eyes on the Facebook page.
NI ROCKS – Are you actively looking for a record label or are you content for the moment to do things independently?
CHRIS – For now we’re probably happy with what we’re doing, but as time goes on, with more recording being done down the line we’ll be looking for a label maybe.
MATT – We’re still finding our feet and we’ve just got the album recorded and are trying to create a bit of a buzz. I think in time, if we have the chance of getting signed we’d jump at it. But as I said, we don’t take ourselves too serious. It’s all a bit of craic. We’re going to have fun with this. That’s the way we’re going about it. If it goes somewhere, it goes somewhere, if it doesn’t we’re still going to be happy what we’re doing, having a bit of fun. As long as we’re rockin together and people are enjoying it and coming to see us, that’s all we want.
NI ROCKS – I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that you’ve more tracks written already for the next album or an EP or whatever?
MATT – We’re slowly but surely getting some new riffs and tunes written down and they’re coming together pretty well too. We’ve all sussed each other out in the band, and we know where it’s gonna go and what we’re going to do.
CHRIS – Everyone knows now who is better at doing something. Everyone has their own strengths in the band. We try to make use of that when it comes to writing.
MATT – The new riffs are coming together nicely and the ideas are flowing again so we’re very excited. Throughout the year we’ll be introducing new songs and letting people hear wee teasers and stuff.
NI ROCKS – Are you planning to play the whole album at the Diamond album launch?
MATT – We’re going to play the entire album, but we’ve a few other surprises to add as well. But definitely the full album in its entirety on the night of the launch.
NI ROCKS – Let’s play another track from the album now. Again, your choice and tell us something about it.
MATT – The next song we’d like to play is a song written about Northern Ireland. It’s a song called “Stand As One” and I think it portrays a great message to both sides of our country.
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NI ROCKS – I’ve known you both for quite a few years and I’ve often said to you that it was a travesty that the only record that you’d released was the Black Freeway EP. It must be nice from your own perspective to finally get a whole album out there, particularly Matt with your vocals on it?
MATT – Absolutely. The Black Freeway Ep was back in 2009. For various reasons we got held back a bit. Different members coming and going etc
CHRIS – We always seemed to hit brick walls with Black Freeway over the years.
MATT – That’s kinda the reason we didn’t want to go down that road again. We wanted to do something completely new and start over with new songs and make it fresh.
CHRIS – And to take it further, which is what we’ve done.
MATT – It’s just nice now to have something out again, after such a long time. We’re happy now we’ve done that, and may many more come.
NI ROCKS – A question now for both of you. Who were your influences when you were getting into music initially and who would influence you now?
CHRIS – The good thing about the band is that everybody has quite different influences. I think that is good when it comes to writing everyone brings in their influences and maybe imitate and play like their favourites. I personally am a big massive Who fan and I’m John Entwistle on the brain. That’s why and how I like to play bass.
MATT – I’d like to say that I’m a good bit younger than our Chris (laughs). When I was younger he definitely put me on the right direction with rock. I used to go to his bedroom and he’d be playing Guns ‘n’ Roses and Iron Maiden. I would say bands like AC/DC put me on the way. Though one of my favourite bands growing up would have been Oasis and they had a big impact on me. That got my juices flowing and it evolved into more classic rock and I got my eyes opened to newer things too.
NI ROCKS – What music are you listening to yourself these days?
CHRIS – I’m listening to a bit of everything at the moment. My tastes vary from one day to the next. From Black Label Society to Oasis and something totally different the next day.
MATT – There’s a few great bands floating about too. I was out in Melbourne and saw a great band called Electric Mary who played the Diamond Rock Club last year. They were on a UK tour and Derwin managed to get them over. They had a great influence on me, and I know my bro likes them as well. They definitely had an influence on Gasoline Outlaws. Watching that style of rock, that groovy rock ‘n’ roll definitely had an influence.
CHRIS – There aren’t that many bands playing that style of rock. There’s a nice wee niche there.
NI ROCKS – A couple of questions to finish that I always like to ask people – first album you remember buying and first gig you went to.
MATT – I’ll let the old guy go first! (Laughs)
CHRIS – The first gig I went to was Status Quo and I think it was the 21st November 1991 and my dad, my older brother and another guy I’ve known for years went down. I remember being on the front row and bashing my teeth off the barrier. I would have been thirteen. And my first album was Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” and I still have it. From 1986.
MATT – My first gig would have been The Verve at Slane Castle with the Stereophonics. The bus disappeared and we ended up sleeping in a police station!
CHRIS – True story Nigel. We slept in a room in the police station which was full of Yellow Pages and I spent the whole night ripping up Yellow Pages to make beds! That was Matt’s first gig and there was a crowd of about ten of us who headed down that I ended up making beds for out of ripped up Yellow Pages in the back room of a police station.
MATT – And I thought, wow! Is this what all concerts are like! I love this shit! (Laughs). My first album would have been “Definitely Maybe” by Oasis.
NI ROCKS – Matt and Chris, thanks for talking to us. Best of luck with the album launch on Saturday and with the new album. We’ll finish with another track which you can select and tell us about.
CHRIS – I’d like to pick “Heart & Soul”. It’s one of the tracks that for me is a bit more full on with the band giving it their all. It’s a track we all put a lot of effort into and it’s one of my personal favourites.
Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/Gasolineoutlawsband
TRIXTER – Crash That Party
GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Shrouded Wolves
Interview with Matt & Chris from Gasoline Outlaws Part 1
GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Nothing On Me
Interview with Matt & Chris Part 2
GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Stand As One
Interview with Matt & Chris Part 3
GASOLINE OUTLAWS – Heart & Soul
SLASH – The Dissident
ELECTRIC MARY – Sweet Mary C
IRON MAIDEN – Purgatory
OZZY OSBOURNE – Over The Mountain
ALICE COOPER – Feed My Frankenstein
MOTLEY CRUE – Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Last Updated (Friday, 28 August 2015 18:57)