Female fronted hardcore band Outright are hailing from Melbourne and ripping the hardcore scene apart right now. Recently I spoke to vocalist Jelena, who took the effort to make some spare time to answer my questions. We spoke about how it came together, how they got their name and Brenton’s drunk behavior.
So what’s happening lately?
We’ve just recorded our 7” and our last few shows have been supporting Mindsnare and Strike Anywhere.
So what started all this, how long you been playing tunes together?
We’ve jammed for over a year and a half now, in between our other bands, tours, jobs and real life. What really got the ball rolling for us was having our mate Aaron move from Canberra to Melbourne and bring his drum kit with him. That’s when it all came together to create what we’re doing now.
Arguments, are they common during rehearsals?
Every one is fairly laid back so arguments aren’t all that common. I think we all feel pretty comfortable enough to speak our minds and trust each other and thankfully each idea gets considered and discussed pretty respectfully until we all come to a consensus or can just move on.
So why the name, what does it mean?
Outright is the title of an Arms Reach song from their Within Reach 7″. Not only is it still one of my favourite 7″s of all time because they were such an aggressive, fast, fun and uncompromising band, but this track in particular represented such succinct and direct ideas that don’t apologise for living against gender stereotypes. It spoke to me personally on a whole other level whilst growing up in the hardcore scene.
More broadly, I think the word itself is honest, unapologetic, direct, up-front and wholehearted which represents a lot of what we think hardcore is about and how some of us try to live our lives so I think it’s useful for a hardcore band to speak from that premise.
Where do see the band in 5 years time?
The band is nothing but the people that comprise it and these people lead such varied and full lives that there’s no possible way of knowing where we’d be! If we get the chance and time to keep doing what we’re doing it would be awesome to keep playing around Australia, maybe head to NZ or Asia at some point for a few shows and get a full length album happening. As long as we keep things fun and interesting I think we’d be pretty happy to just cruise along and make the most of whatever comes our way.
What shows are coming up?
There are some local shows in the works for the months ahead and we’re working on hooking up a run of shows up the East Coast and in Adelaide to launch it. Keep an eye out for more info soon!
Any LP/EP ‘s coming out soon?
We’re finalizing our 7” over the next couple of weeks so hopefully we’ll have that out into the world in the not too distant future. It’s sounding strong and pretty well-rounded so we’re looking forward to getting it out there.
Any video clips online we can check out?
I’ve seen a couple of our live tracks filmed before but they don’t speak for real life. Chuck a google if you feel like it but we hope you’ll come see us at a gig too and say hi.
Who is you’re fav band you’ve shared the stage with, so far?
I think I could safely speak for us all when I say that supporting Mindsnare on one of their rare yearly shows is always going to hit the top of the list of honours that we’re grateful for. What other band can appeal to so many styles of hard music fans, maintain unstoppable energy, continually pump out creative and intense song writing, remain underground, push their audience to hilarity and demonstrate such solid longevity over the years than our local heroes? We all have the utmost respect and absolute passion for the music they have created over the years. The support and encouragement they’ve shown by asking us to join them just means that they have the heart and good spirit to match. Definitely our favourites.
Got just one funny story you care to share from the road?
So far our funniest stories haven’t come from the road. Our guitarist, Brenton, does his best drunken clown work at home it seems.
What about an embarrassing one?
There’s the time where I thanked my partner Brett on stage in Sydney but apparently called him Brad instead. Brett was filling in for us on bass and I had just finished saying that Brad couldn’t play with us that night so I proceeded to get my names mixed up in front of hundreds of people. Yep, not good form when you’ve been in a relationship together for 9 years and your friends heckle you for the rest of the night (and following year) about it.. But if we can’t laugh at ourselves in those situations we lose the opportunity to always be entertained, right? haha!
So who writes the lyrics and what do you guys mainly sing about?
I write the lyrics and try to share positive messages of empowerment or express the importance of identifying and combating injustices as they cross our paths. I strive to motivate, challenge or just vent. If this can create a connection with others then that’s an incredible bonus we’re honoured to experience.
Most people don’t like to be fit into a genre, but if you had to place your music in a CD shop, where would you put it?
Hardcore/punk/comedy (thanks to Brenton’s drunken antics and Aaron’s impeccable story telling ha!).
Is anyone in any other bands, are those bands similar in style?
We all come from quite different subgenres within the hardcore/punk community. Aaron plays guitar in I Exist who cross gloomy stoner rock riffs with hardcore beats and growls. He also has a heavy side project with Rohan from Extortion and Fuller from Blood Duster called Burn the Hostages and has started playing with the Adelaide dual-drummer spectacular that is Sex Wizard from time to time.
Brad plays in singalong punk heroes The Gun Runners who combine punk jumps, melody and fast guitars with a rad sense of party and fun.
Brett has some punk and D-Beat projects in the works which we look forward to hearing soon.
Got any shout outs you want to give?
Thank you Nick for the opportunity to contribute, our interstate friends for helping us out on tour, our inspiring mates in bands and labels around the country proving the high and powerful standard set by Australian Hardcore, and especially our local friends, venues and bookers for always showing us incredible support and kindness.
Please follow our facebook page for updates, photos, upcoming shows and a free download of our demo from 2011: http://www.facebook.com/outrightmelbourne
Merch is available from our online store at: http://www.outright.bigcartel.com/