Shout Out Out Out: They’ll make you dance, dance, danceby Talk Rock To Me on Oct 14, 2011 • 8:31 AM No Comments
Nik Kozub, Jason Troock, Lyle Bell, Will Zimmerman, Clint Frazier and Gravy are Shout Out Out Out: six rock-and-rollers turned DJs, turned Juno-nominated dance-punk hit-makers. Although they started the band as an excuse to toy with synths and sequencers, their earliest releases – Nobody Calls Me Unless They Want Something (2005) and Dude You Feel Electrical(2006) – garnered immediate, faithful airplay on national college radio and CBC Radio 3. During a break from recording new material, Kozub talked about the band’s unique line-up and how their infatuation with all things electronic in the studio makes for a heavy load on the road.
When – and why – did you start the band?
We started seven years ago now. We’d all been playing in rock and punk bands but had gotten pretty heavily into synths and this project would allow us to play with those toys. People seemed to like it, so we kept at it.
Your music is described as a ‘damn good time’ but it has a darker edge…
Yeah, I’m not comfortable writing about getting sexy on the dance floor, you know? I’m more interested in writing songs that mean something to me. But it’s not like I’m talking about things that are exclusive to me. I talk about being in debt and getting lonely and having friends moving away; things that can happen to anybody.
Why two drummers, four bass players and five synths?
The number of synths has actually grown (laughs). We started with one drummer and then our other drummer caught wind of what we were doing and really wanted to be a part of it. We told him we had a drummer but he was persistent (laughs). The four bass player thing was an accident, too. They’d all been in bands that had come through my recording studio – because my day job is producing and recording music – and it just turned out that the guys that I got along with the best were all bass players (laughs).
Does this unusual set-up give your sound an edge?
I think it does. We play dance music and the rhythm section is really important in dance music. We’re not the only band that has two drummers but we do have a distinct sound that comes from writing songs around the bass line and the rhythm.
How do you haul all that gear around?
It’s the worst part of the job (laughs). It’s almost impossible for us to fly anywhere because the freight charges are just too cost prohibitive. But we started the band so we could play those instruments – and they’re all oddball and rare – so they’re coming with us.
What’s your live show like?
It’s really fun music to play so we have a great time. The crowd shows up expecting to dance and sing along and chant, so we have a lot of crowd involvement. When you have six guys on stage and two drum sets and everybody’s jumping up and down, it’s pretty energetic.
How does the live experience differ from your recordings?
Our studio process is probably quite different from a lot of bands. Our writing process is often part of the recording process and our live shows are just us trying to recreate what we’ve done in the studio. Ideally, I like the live songs to sound exactly like they sound on the record…just louder.
So do you prefer the studio to playing live?
Playing live is such a huge release and such a fun part of the job but – maybe it’s because I am a studio guy by day – being in the studio is just as gratifying if not more so. I love taking the time to get the sounds just right.
With the glut of new bands found online, how do you get noticed?
It’s hard to say…it’s almost arbitrary. There’s no guarantee because there’s so much out there and so much of it is good. We’re completely blown away to get the response we get. We’ve played in bands before and this is the first time anyone noticed or cared, so it’s a huge, wonderful surprise.
And you’re working on new material?
Yeah, we’re actually in the studio right this second. We’re hoping to release two long EPs: one in the late fall and another in the spring. We get deeper into the synths and there are a lot of ambient, space-y sounds, with slow, natural builds. But it’s still very dance-y.
Is this you evolving?
Sure (laughs). It’s different from what we’ve done in the past – and it’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly how – but I do know it’s better (laughs).
Shout Out Out Out’s complete catalog, including their two LPs, Not Saying/Just Saying (2006) and Reintegration Time (2009) are available here. For the latest news or to view their videos, visit www.shoutoutoutoutout.com.
*Originally published under ‘Interviews’ on MyTelus.com.