The Outsiders

MaineList Article: The Outsiders

The Outsiders

Visualize with me for just a moment if you can that "The Misfits", "The Ramones", and "The Sex Pistols" were all rolled into one person. Then "The Stray Cats", "Elvis", and "Carl Perkins" were rolled into another person and hypothetically they were to.. bear a child together.

If you’re still with me and haven’t gotten stuck or sick, what do you think that this child would be? What would it sound like, look like? Would it be punk or would it be rock-a-billy? Do you think that this child would have genes from both parents and be a little of both, like punk-a-billy?

Stepped Out of a Time MachineWell I think that I saw this child and it would have to be without a doubt, "The Outsiders". This is a no f’in around, play some serious rock ‘n roll music, get every part of your body moving, punk-a-billy band from Southern Maine, and they do not play around when they get on the stage to play!

I met these guys for the first time tonight and was told by my associate "Billy McDaniel" beforehand that they were a really fun band to watch and listen to. But what he failed to mention was that they bring certain electricity with them to the stage, unique electricity that you will not find in one other single band in Maine.

Sure other bands have their own energy, but it’s nothing like The Outsiders. I know of no other lead singer that looks as though he stepped out of the Delorean time machine from 1955 looking like a cross between "James Dean" and "Soda-Pop Curtis" and onto the stage complete with short sleeve button-down plaid shirt, rolled up jeans, and a sparkling silver metal-flake guitar that creates a shine you can see across a club no matter how big the place is.

Who Is Elvirus?How many other rock bands do you know that actually have an upright bass as well as an electric bass guitar? Ok, I can think of one, but we’ll talk about "The Murder Weapon" later on.

The Outsiders, so named for the book by "S.E. Hinton", is lead by the silvery-sparkled, guitar-wielding "Elvirus" also known as "Tim" who also sings lead vox.

Elvirus told me to never ever call him Tim though. "Tim is the guy you speak to on the phone to book gigs and collect the money etc." But Elvirus is the guy that in its walking, talking presence “The Outsiders”. He is the man with the guitar and the voice.

Elvirus is one of the original members and the only remaining original member of The Outsiders, the band that formed in 2002.

On electric bass guitar is “Gunshot” Drew or as Elvirus so lovingly referred to him as, “Drewchebag”. Drewchebag started playing with The Outsiders in April of ’06 and the name Gunshot actually comes from having been shot in the face when he was young. He pulled open his cheek and showed me a hole big enough to drive a car through.

Band Members of The Outsiders

Band Members of The Outsiders

On a very small drum kit that exploded with power is Adam “Red” Steele who also plays drums for and sings in “Jodi Explodi”. He could do some very cool things with that little four piece kit but we’ll talk more about this later.

Stand-In Stand-Up BassThe one instrument that I was in complete awe over (when I could tear my eyes away from the silver sparkle of Elvirus’ guitar) was Derek on the upright bass, who is just a stand in because his regular band is actually "The Murder Weapon", who happens to be one of the only other punk-a-billy bands in the state of Maine and share many gigs together with The Outsiders.

I thought that he would have been pretty stationary because it’s a fairly sizable instrument, but on the contrary, he was extremely animated the entire time he played including standing and balancing himself on it for moments at a time.

When The Outsiders were set-up and on stage ready to rock they began by playing a Misfits tune, they stopped part of the way through and then said that it was only a warm-up.

Over the P.A. at the time “Bang Your Head” by "Quiet Riot" was playing and they then started to play right over it complete with Elvirus singing verse for verse, it was awesome!

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More About ElvirusI did get the opportunity to stop him for a few minutes eventually to talk to him and learned that Elvirus is twenty-eight years old and is really just a simple guy whose hobbies are rock ‘n roll, cars, and beer.

He has always sang for as long as he can remember, and speaking of the Delorean time machine, one of his major influences was “Michael J. Fox” in his role for the movie “Back To The Future” when Fox’s character performed “Johnnie B. Good” at the high school dance towards the end of the film.

Elvirus’s parents always listened to oldies while he was growing up and he liked listening to them as well. His first band was "The Screamin’ Demons" in high school for three years, next came a band named "Elvirus and the Rebel Angels. He got the name Elvirus from the guys at the garage that he worked at as a mechanic, because his look resembles Elvis so he had that nickname first, and then because his last name rhymes with the Ebola virus.

Finally, when I asked him if they had toured out of state anywhere or with anyone.. he did mention that they did with the "Koffin Kats" in the spring of ’08 and will be going on tour with "Werewolves on Wheels" in January. So keep your eyes open, they may be coming to a town near you!

I spoke briefly with twenty-four year old Red Steele whose name comes from his long copper colored locks. He has been with The Outsiders for two to three years and like I stated earlier he plays and sings for "Jodi Explodi" and has been with that band for six years.

Red SteelePlaying for two bands sounds pretty difficult, not to mention that both bands have completely different sounds from one another! While performing, he plays fast and furious, so his long hair covers his face and he kind of ends up looking like “Cousin It” from “The Addams Family”.

When I asked fan Sasha Doughty about what she thought of the band, the first thing she said was that “Red Steele should cut his hair because he would be much more handsome, and that Derek kicks ass and he can play a real bass!”

Trying to watch Red play proved to be dizzying, his hands just move too fast for you to watch. He also said that he sometimes looks at his hands and thinks about what he can do with them and it just kind of makes him think, “Wow”.

Red also had a few other things to offer up about himself, like the fact that he worships "Jon Bonham" of "Led Zeppelin" and that he is like gold to him. He was influenced by punk and classic rock like "Led Zeppelin" and "Iron Maiden", both of which to him are the best bands in the world.

"Mike Patton" from "Mr. Bungle" got him started with playing drums at 15 and he learned how to read sheet music in high school where he learned how to play the baritone. His brother, Jason Ingalls, plays in an indie band named "Baltic Sea" and says that he is the best drummer that he knows. His other brother Rick plays for a doom metal band named "Stasis" and they book a lot with The Pubcrawlers.

More About DerekDerek really seems to be out of control while playing, but he’s just having a good time doing what he does and doesn’t sound a bit out of control! I would have to say that he is the only guy that I have ever seen sweating just as much or more than the drummer. His bass looked old and beat up painted in red and black with a spider web on the body and a skull for a scroll on top of the neck, but it had character. It fit perfectly and sounded awesome!

Everyone kept telling Derek all night that he needed to consider staying with The Outsiders permanently, but his dedication is with The Murder Weapon and has been for four and a half years.

Derek is twenty-five now, began playing guitar when he was sixteen, and has been playing the upright bass for the past four and a half years or so. Most of his influences were early 90’s alternative like “Bush” when he was more into playing the guitar and “Stray Cats” when he changed to the upright bass.

When he started to play the upright Derek said, “It was because it was a bass, yet it sounded like percussion and I liked that.” He also plays in a little band called “The Side Scrollers” and they basically play your everyday run of the mill Nintendo songs like the "Mario Brothers Theme Song". What? I would go to see them.

Gunshot Drew“The Reliable One”, Gunshot Drew, or “Drewchebag”, whichever you prefer, was the first guy that I spoke with because he was the first one there! He’s twenty-nine and plays the bass in The Outsiders but originally plays guitar and would much rather do just that.

Gunshot Drew grew up in a very religious house and therefore did not get any influence there. But he did sing in his high school chorus and joined a band with two of his friends. He played in “Don’t Hit Your Sister” the late 90’s to the early 00’s played with “The Leftovers” most recently before The Outsiders, and left because he was just too busy for it. That band ended up going national after that.

“AC/DC” with “Angus Young”, “Delta Blues”, “ZZ Top”, “Bad Religion”, “Ry Cooder”, “B.B. King”, and “John Lee Hooker” were some of his major influences but his all time hero is “Billy Gibbons”. He has a huge fetish for Oldsmobiles, and owns two ’67 Cutlass’ and an ’85 Cutlass that he has converted to a four on the floor.

It really sounds like he not only rocks on the stage but on the street as well! He played excellently, but kind of hung out back and sang some vocals while he jammed on his shiny black Stratocaster.

Stray Cat StrutThe guys ended the night out by doing some pretty crazy stuff, not that the rest of the night wasn’t crazy or anything. It started with Red Steele quickly moving his kit to the dance floor to finish out playing the last few songs there, and then he later told me that does this for every single show, mainly for the shock value.

The rest of the guys seemed to be getting bored and moved onto doing a few cover songs, of which they really don’t know many of, because they are an original band, so it turned out to be pretty fun.

They did play an incredible rendition of “Breaking the Law” that would blow “Judas Priest” out of the water any day! They started to play “Mother” by “Danzig” but had to stop when Elvirus couldn’t remember the lyrics. He then went on to say, “We are the musical cock-tease of the northeast.”

As the night came to a close and they wound things up, they did end up playing one of the songs that came directly from their birth-mother. That’s right you guessed it, they played “The Stray Cat Strut” by “Brian Setzer” of “The Stray Cats”. But again it wasn’t quite the same, they kicked it’s ass and tore the roof off the place all at the same time. Brian would be proud.


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