We were recently introduced to the Indiana-based band, Stay Outside., and immediately got the feeling they are going to be an indie band you’ll want to keep your eye on. We reached out to the band and managed to nab ourselves an interview with the lead singer and songwriter, Aaron Becker! Whether it was their new EP or the music that inspires them, we had a lot of fun stuff to talk about…
Lemonade Magazine: First off, congratulations on your fantastic debut EP, Okay, for Now! It is a wonderful representation of what indie alt-rock truly should be.
Aaron Becker: Thank you! We’ve put a ton of work into the album and it feels great to hear that people are enjoying and connecting with it.
LM: So how did you guys meet and decide on starting this, as you put it, “mysterious project that would become Stay Outside.”?
AB: Well, we all met in junior high school in the tiny town of Converse, IN. Garrett (guitarist) and I were in several previous bands together in middle school and high school. Sean was just a pal of ours who loved music. We needed a bassist, so we told Sean to learn bass. The next day he had his own bass and amp! Sean moved to Nashville to pursue recording/engineering after high school, while Garrett and I started touring with our old band, Midwest Ambition. Late last year Garrett and I sat down and decided we wanted to scrap what we were working on, re-brand, and start a new project that we could fully believe in. Sean moved back to Indiana to join up and thus, Stay Outside. was born.
LM: Your YouTube channel is amazing! I love artists that don’t take themselves too serious and can enjoy a laugh and your “Facebook Commercial” is brilliant. Who came up with that video concept and how many takes did it take to do the shoots without laughing through it?
AB: Our favorite artists are the ones that do more than just put out an album every two years. We love when our favorite bands put out funny videos that express who they are as people and not just the entity of their band. From the beginning we knew that we wanted to let our fans in on the fact that we are goofy, lovable guys that don’t take ourselves too serious!
That Facebook commercial was initially idea from our manager, Brandon. At first, we were just going to do a short one minute video parody of Ron Swanson telling people to like our band on Facebook. The more we worked on it, the more it escalated. We probably put more work into that video than we should have! I remember sitting with Garrett at our table editing at 6 in the morning so we could release the video that afternoon! Good times.
LM: Please tell me that there is an outtakes video somewhere!
AB: We definitely have hours of outtake shots that are pretty hilarious! But, we have yet to put together a video for it yet. Maybe someday!
LM: I also saw on your Facebook page that you are influenced by Manchester Orchestra. Our editor, Brandon Enyeart, is obsessed with them. What specific elements in their music inspired you the most?
AB: Manchester is collectively our favorite band, for sure. I can’t speak for the other guys, but I resonate with Andy Hull in almost every way. He’s a big, bearded guy who writes sad songs in a loud indie rock band. We’re both pastor’s kids who write about the challenges that can have, as well as questioning and talking about faith. His songwriting has changed the way I think about lyrics and melody. Hopefully one day we’ll get the chance to play beside them.
LM: Brandon (Enyeart) also wanted to know what is your favorite song and/or album by Manchester Orchestra?
AB: That’s a tough question! It changes depending on how I’m feeling. I love the melancholy ballads like “Colly Strings” or “Deer”, but their huge rock tunes, like “Shake it Out” or “April Fool”, are what made me fall in love with them.
LM: Speaking of favorite songs, “Braveheart” is probably my favorite on the EP, Okay, for Now. What inspired this song and what was the songwriting process like?
AB: “Braveheart” was the last song written for the album. I remember coming home after work around and noodling on guitar because my roommates were elsewhere. I wrote the chord and rhythm structure and the melody came pretty organically. Then I sat with my old notebook to find out what I wanted to say. The verses of the song are to a person (me) who keeps their inner demons to himself instead of reaching out to someone for help. A problem that seems to come naturally for me. I finished the song by morning, recorded an iPhone memo so I didn’t forget and then sent it off to Garrett so he could put his spin on it. This is how most of our songs come about.
LM: What are the plans for future tours and promotion of the EP?
AB: We just recently did our album release show at the Grove Haus in Indianapolis. That was a beautiful night full of people we love and have supported us through the whole process. We have plans to do weekend Midwest tours through the summer and then try to get on the road for the long haul in the fall!
LM: Thank you so much, Aaron, for taking the time to chat with us! Again, congratulations on your EP and we look forward to seeing you on the road!
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