It’s been three long years since Halifax punky fuzzsters or (fuzzy punksters?) OUTTACONTROLLER put out “Don’t Play Dumb” one of my go-to 10k records. I’ve run through side stitches to “Hydromorphone Love” and many times, just as I thought I was about to die, “Power Out” comes on and saves me with its perfect lyric: “please make the power come back on…Jesus Christ, gimme a spark“.
Don’t Play Dumb is a rock solid record of Ramones/999/Wipers fuelled power punk, hell, nine of the 16 songs are under 2-minutes long. I know I’m not going out on a limb when I say that OUTTACONTROLLER are one of the most promising young Canadian bands around. If you dig The Marked Men or Mean Jeans, these dudes will knock your socks off.
While we’ve been patiently waiting for the next long player – OUTTACONTROLLER released a smokin’ eight song (two live) limited cassette – Remote Control, with absolute killer covers of Ladytron’s “That Was The Way That You Found Me” and The Nerves “When You Find Out“. They also released a couple of split 7 inches, and a single – Stuck in the 902 – this past February.
I wanted to know when the next record was coming, because these guys can write a hook like it’s nobody’s business so we reached out to the boys.
Turns out that the new LP, Television Zombie was supposed to be released on Canadian indie label – Mammoth Cave (originally co-founded by Ketamines – Paul Lawton), but sadly MC folded earlier this year. However, TVZ will be released this summer on Southpaw Records, P.Trash Records and Young Modern, leaving plenty of time for it to slide onto my record of the year list.
Terry A’hearn, James O’Toole, Matt Grace, Chris Murdoch
People say we sound like….
Buzzsaw Guitars, Fuzz Punk, Garage Rock.
How did you become OUTTACONTROLLER and what’s with the name?
The name comes from the movie Mad Max. During the opening car chase scene the Nightrider proclaims “I am a rocker, I’m a roller, I’m an outtacontroller!”
We are originally from…..
Moncton NB, Wolfville NS, Miramichi NB, Dartmouth NS
What music has had an influence on your sound?
Too many bands to name. Some are obvious and some aren’t.
Tell us about your live show…
High energy set with no breaks. Very sweaty.
Why has it taken so long to release a full-length after 2012’s awesome Don’t Play Dumb?
A few reasons. The biggest being that we had a line up change. Will and Mike both moved from Halifax and so we had to find replacements. That’s when Chris and Matt joined the band. We didn’t want to make a record under 30 minutes and we wanted to have 16 tracks like DPD did. We also didn’t take the first 16 songs and consider it “done”. We recorded more than 20 songs to give ourselves some options. We’ve also released two 7 inches (Colt Summer/Trash On & “Outtawine” a split with Pink Wine) and a tape called “Remote Control” in between the LPs.
What’s the most difficult part of being in a band?
Scheduling and location — the east coast is pretty isolated.
What do you make of the music industry right now?
It’s hard to make a buck but there’s still a ton of good bands out there.
Tell us about the scene in Halifax.
There’s a lot of different things happening. We don’t play here much anymore.
How does the city’s musical history, or landscape influence your sound?
The isolation and intensity of winter always has some kind of influence.
What influences the band lyrically?
Girls. Nostalgia. Brews. Good times. Bad times.
Our most memorable gig ever was….
Ottawa at Babylon in 2013. One of first shows out-of-town. Fun as hell. Also Plan B in Moncton NB in 2013. Wild crowd that wasn’t afraid to go off!
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
New York 1975
Growing up, at home we listened to….
James – Like what my parents played? Country music and Cape Breton music exclusively. Terry – Classic rock and country music.
What tunes are currently on heavy rotation for you…
Terry – Warm Soda – Young Reckless Hearts, Flaming Groovies – Shake Some Action, James – The Beatles – Baby’s In Black, The Barracudas – Summer Fun
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
Black Lips. They have tons of energy and great tunes. One of the best bands we’ve seen live.
If you could only bring ONE record (you can all answer if you like) in the tour van what would it be?
Terry – Devo – Freedom Of Choice, James – Misfits Static Age, Matt -Replacements – Tim, Chris – Beastie Boys – Ill Communication
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
In the studio.
If you were abducted by aliens and asked to recommend one Canadian band/artist (besides yourselves) who would it be?
Terry – Elevator To Hell, James – King Khan And BBQ Show, Matt – Crossed Wires Chris – Chixdiggit
The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to our music….
What’s up for 2015/2016?
New LP Television Zombie, Touring, Hitting the studio to record LP #3.
Photo by Crissie Brenton & Andrew Donovan.