DIAMOND DAYS ARE HERE
has finally sprung with that comes the smell of promise in the air
and the reminiscent sounds of summer. Ballparks across the
Country will once again come alive this week as
favorite pastime takes center stage.
Throw in a piece of Mom’s apple pie along with a brand new
record form eighties hit makers
and you’ve got yourself a summer’s day
triple play. The Power Pop trio from London’s East End
affectionately known as the
Boys of Summer are currently
in the 7th inning stretch of recording their seventh
studio album; which for the first time since the "Voices
release in 1989 will include the original line-up as Drummer
& TONY LEWIS.
This year also marks the twenty-fifth Anniversary of the “Play
Deep” album, which saw the
band knock it out of the park with their triple platinum vinyl
debut with the monster hits “Your
Love” & “Say
It Isn’t So”.
With the New Year in full swing all is good in
clubhouse with a healthy original lineup in tact the band is ready
to step up to the plate with a brand new disc.
The Rock Rapport
was fortunate enough to catch
THE OUTFIELD’S celestial voice
in between recording sessions from the
to discuss the excitement surrounding the new disc & the band’s
chart topping debut album.
Ross CAT -
great to speak to you. Thanks so much for taking time out for the
I know the band is busy putting the finishing touches on the new
- Same to you Ross thanks for
Seems we’ve caught up with you at
a great time as THE OUTFIELD
is in the midst of creating some highly anticipated new music
while celebrating the glory days of the “Play
Deep” album all at once.
- Well we certainly hope it’s
going to be as great a record; as you already mentioned we are
extremely pleased to have
ALAN JACKMAN back
playing with us once again on drums. ALAN is actually in the
studio as we speak laying down the drum tracks.
It’s really a great vibe being back in the studio with both
JOHN & ALAN; we really hope to capture the spirit of the bands
beginnings with these new songs.
- The Bands career is unique in the sense that your
popularity in the States surpassed that of your homeland. Bands
throughout history have coveted that type of success without
coming close; to what do you attribute the bands tremendous
success here in
- A radio DJ named Steve Barnes
once described our music as being “Evergreen”; I suppose growing
up and being influenced by bands like the BEATLES & ZEPPELIN had
something to do with it. Their formula of strong lyrics &
powerful melodies never die, so that’s what we set out to achieve.
For whatever reason we were blessed with that musical gift; it was
never a preconceived plan to make songs that would stand the test
of time; we were just writing songs from an organic place with the
innocence of our youth & passion driving us.
This year is shaping up to be a special one
returning to the line-up & most importantly the return to good
health of Guitarist/Vocalist and principal songwriter
I did want to mention I’ve received several inquiries
stateside in recent years in regards to
many fans were unaware that the band
was on hiatus while JOHN was battling cancer.
While THE OUTFEILD
is most recognizable by your ethereal voice; what is all too often
overlooked is the amazing Guitar work SPINKS lays down coupled
with the melodic harmonies he brings to the songs.
I couldn’t agree with you more, JOHN’S contributions to THE
OUTFIELD are immeasurable.
It really was a
difficult time as JOHN isn’t just a band mate he is a truly a
friend in every sense; it was quite a long convalescence for JOHN,
thankfully he’s back to one hundred percent and has been given a
clean bill of health.
He seems to have brought the same determination he used to
win his battle over his illness into the studio. Even before JOHN
was ill he was a very strong motivator within the group, the
driving force so to speak.
It must be thrilling to be
celebrating the twenty-fifth Anniversary of “Play
Deep” while in the process of
creating brand new material with
at the same time?
It really is quite an exciting time
for us to have all this positive energy surrounding us once
again. The patience & support of our fans really keeps us focused
while we attempt to create music that we feel is a worthy
representation of what this band stands for.
Do you feel
with cancer may have inspired this reunion of the original band
- I really don’t think it was
JOHN’S illness that lead us here; obviously he sees life through
different eyes after that humbling experience.
It was after a reunion tour back in 2000 that we just kind of
looked at what’s happening in the music scene from bands from our
era. There are very few bands out touring right now with their
original line-ups in tact for whatever reasons.
The thought process was since we are all still here & close friends if
this is going to be our last record we can at least give to the
fans through the same organic process that gave us “Play Deep” new
songs we can be proud of.
- What has the vibe been like in the studio for the band in recent
months, do you feel like a Bar Band just starting out again in the
- Yeah if anything it’s even
better then the old days it’s nice to have the Boys Club feeling
when walking into the studio; the outside pressures are off so we
are just making music for the love of it.
Back then it was Record Companies, Producers & Agents all
trying to dictate how you should present your music. At this stage
of our careers we feel very fortunate to have the luxury of making
an album at our own pace which is very relaxing during the
- The band has posted a couple
teaser tracks “Watchin’ You”
a free download you offered on the website this past Christmas,
the other potent rocker is called “Baby
I’m Crazy” which is in fact quite
You weren’t by chance a
part of the secret LED ZEPPELIN auditions held by PAGE & JONESY
last year were you? (Laughter)
No that’s news to me; JOHN & I have always
been huge LED ZEPPELIN fans; we had a song called “Main
Attraction” off the “Bangin” record which we sort of tried to
recreate their energy.
“Baby I’m Crazy”
was more or less for fun JOHN had this melody so we thought why
not give it a go; it’s not that we set out to make a LED ZEP type
of song it just evolved.
The other track you referred to “Watching You” is a totally different
song altogether, it’s more of a ballad with JOHN playing piano
while I sing. It’s strange because the songs were written in
different time periods, when listening to it you might even think
it’s an entirely different band.
Those songs are at the opposite end of the spectrum
musically, it’s a reflection of the versatility of this band.
Having been influenced by a band like the BEATLES taught us that
you don’t have to limit yourself to any certain musical style.
- Will the kick-ass track “Baby
I’m Crazy”, which can be heard on the
be included on the upcoming new release?
- At this point I would have to
say yes we’ve really gotten some amazing feedback on it so far.
We were a little concerned with the fact that it does have a LED
ZEP vibe but make no mistake this will be an OUTFIELD record.
When we were recording it we knew it had a place on the album
because it translates so well live.
The Love songs are nice but its really a great feeling to open it
up on stage, I think this is one of those songs that will allow us
to do just that when we take to the road.
- As a Vocalist you have one of the highest Rock Registers in
the business right up there with Steve Perry of JOURNEY & the late
great Brad Delp of BOSTON.
It really struck me
upon listening to the new tracks on the web site you haven’t lost
a single octave after twenty-five years, how do you manage to
sustain such a powerful voice?
I’m not quite sure, I do keep myself fairly fit which I'm certain helps. I do feel very lucky to still be able to perform
the early songs at a high level while still creating & singing the
The road does take its toll on a singer but for me the
adrenaline rush is what gets me through each show; sharing these
great songs with the wonderful people who attend our shows cures
what might be ailing me on any given night.
- Back to the new record do you have a working title for the
album as of yet?
- Funny you should ask, we keep
coming up with titles & then keep changing our minds. It’s almost
as difficult as coming up with a name for your first born.
The title seems to be the hardest thing to
come up with some days; it’s more daunting of a task then coming
up with lyrics for some of the songs on the album.
one of the tracks that will make its way into the starting lineup
on the new disc is called “California
you’ve mentioned that you really enjoy performing that song, tell
us about that particular track?
- It just has this freshness
about it both musically & lyrically when I’m playing it I can
close my eyes and envision the sun breaking through.
I really hope that translates the same way to everyone that
listens to it. That style of song epitomizes what this band is
all about, as you mentioned we’ve been referred to as the “Boys of
Summer” because of the obvious baseball theme and the fact that we
usually tend to tour in the summer months; “California Sun” most
certainly has THE OUTFIELD feel to it.
chance the title will have another baseball theme to it?
- Possibly, I think it’s safe to
say that it won’t be “Play Deep 2”. (Laughter)
Any band that enjoys the success we did on a first record and
thinks they can reproduce that again would be lying. To recapture
that same energy & attitude would be virtually impossible. That
record is what made us, that’s why songs like “Your Love” & “All
the Love in the World” still get played on the radio today.
It was a moment in time in our lives that we fortunately
captured through the music we made together.
We were different people back then that’s what makes those songs so
special to us; it’s an unbreakable bond we have with the people
who still enjoy hearing them today.
- Now that we have fans tantalized about a few of the new
tracks any idea as to when the record will be ready for release
and will a tour ensue?
- Nothing is really set in stone
as of yet we constantly have offers coming in to tour but right
now the focus is on finishing the record.
I will say that every single song has a great vibe and has been
exciting to work on in the studio; I can’t imagine we wouldn’t
want share that with fans in a live setting after the album is
obvious reasons the band has many ties to the baseball community
with players like Chicago White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham using
the song “Your Love” as his At-Bat introduction.
Does the band have a
particular team they follow?
We’ve been fortunate enough to attend quite a few baseball games
but we don’t really have a favorite team. We love the occasion
itself, the Hot Dogs & Beer and the family atmosphere its almost
like attending Rock Show as opposed to a sporting event.
Nicely done a very diplomatic
Before I let you go let’s touch on the
mega success of the song “Your Love”,
it still resonates over the radio airwaves not to mention several
Motion Picture Soundtracks & Video Games.
It’s also crossed over to
a newer generation of fans since its been covered by Katy Perry &
WyClef Jean to name just a few; did the three of you have any
inclination that you had something special with that song back in
Honestly Ross it was one of those songs that made the hairs on the
back on your neck stand up when we would listen to it; but we
never had any idea that it would become so big & enjoy the long
term success that it has.
enough it’s the only song on the album that doesn’t have a chorus
but that hook “Josie’s on a Vacation Far Away” is instantly
Ironically “Your Love” was released to keep the record on the
radio in January when we were off the road; “Say It Isn’t So” was
actually the first single released off the “Play Deep” album.
It is very exciting that the song has been rediscovered by a
whole new generation; If I’m not mistaken “Your Love” has 7
million hits on You Tube, that’s really a great feeling that
people continue to find pleasure in the song.
has all their viral bases covered you can follow them on
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter & MySpace.
You can also keep score with statistics on the upcoming new
The Rock Rapport
would like to Thank TONY
LEWIS for taking time to chat
with us, a special thanks to Brent Bitner for
hooking us up.
*******************PEACE & HARMONIES******************