In the last couple of years rock and roll has fallen out of the mainstream and has become a lesser known genre. Hip hop/rap and pop music have taken over the music charts with new albums debuting at number one almost every week. Today’s ‘stars’ are nothing more than video created characters that rely too much on flashing lights, back up dancers and video editing to make them look like they’re actually singing and much much more. Bedazzled by the mainstream fans are thankfully returning back to rock and roll.
I was turned on to Irish rock and roll band, Gasoline Outlaws by their press extraordinaire, Rob Town. Let’s be honest… it seems that so many recent rock bands try to sound like an affectation of 70’s “Zoso” mystique- circumcised Led Zeppelin… Don’t get me wrong.. I get it.. but its starting to bore the shit out of me! No one is a bigger sucker for 70’s rock than me… and Gasoline Outlaws are just incredible! It was love at first listen..
Formed in 2014 in Belfast, Gasoline Outlaws left the gate blazing with their “booglarized” infused debut “No Rules, No Laws,No Regrets”. “Light Up The World”, their long awaited follow-up album will bring them to the attention of the mainstream rock fans. Every song grapples to maintain a healthy balance of “prog rock” and metal..The first three tracks work in perfect tandem; with compelling lyrics and stellar guitar solos.They have an art for mixing it up with perfect harmonies and musical interludes. The title track, “Light Up The World” won us over immediately. “Better Days Coming”, which features the addition of Amy Montgomery on vocals aims to dazzle with Adam Parkin’s guitar virtuosity. Like me, you’ll say “fuckin’ ehh”! . G.Os’ hit a sweet spot (my fave song on the album) with their power ballad, “Where We Started”.. when it comes to melody and production they really make their own mark with true sonic ecstasy. The album’s second half is where the true synergy of Gasoline Outlaws evolves… rocking songs with convincing riffs, catchy melodies and lyrics that are surprisingly insightful. Vocalist, Matt Fitzsimons at times may appear confounded with familiar political themes reminiscent of mid- 70’s classic rock… but there is a patina of fanciful glam mixed with dollop rock and roll… Boogie on!
We had an opportunity to interview with guitarist, Adam Parkin…
Rock Bands of L.A.com: Great metal albums always have a central theme…Maybe a concept album? I love albums that tell a story…What is the story behind the theme of “Light Up The World”?.. Is it political? Is it mystical into the future?
Adam Parkin: The album isn’t essentially a concept album. But there are a few themes which run through the songs. Lead vocalist Matt would be the main lyricist for the band and he draws upon his own life experiences for a lot of the lyrics. But also the news, social media and the world we live in. The album’s title, Light Up The World can have a double meaning. Light it up i.e make a difference/make It better or Light it up as in burn it down, there’s no hope. It’s cool letting the listener make up their own minds as to what each track means to them.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:What were your musical influences? I hear traces of Queensryche… Dream Theater… and Tesla.. At times it has a bit of a “prog” sensibility…
Adam Parkin: We have varying musical influences, from the heaviest metal to the cheesiest of pop. If it has a cool melody or hook, we can draw inspiration from it. Which is why I personally feel that the album is quite refreshing. Every song is slightly different, the listener wont know what’s coming next. You’re not the first person to mention the ‘prog’ aspect of it, but i’ll be honest, that was never a conscious decision. The song is king, and if it takes us down the path of a certain genre then we just go with it. We have an acoustic ballad on the album called Executed, and that could be classed as a country tune. And surprisingly it is the one track we have received the most feedback about. People seem to dig it.
Rock Bands of L.A.com: The band is from Ireland… what tis’ the music scene there? Is it as competitive as London and America???
Adam Parkin: As I’m sure you’re aware, Ireland has produced more than its fair share of great rock acts over the years. The scene over here is fairly quiet now to be honest, which is why we try and get over to the mainland UK as much as we can. There is a much bigger scene over there and plenty of places still left to play in. But travel costs are a major factor as you’re already playing catch up financially due to the cost of ferries and/or planes. The only downside to it all.
Rock Bands of L.A.com: I have to tell you…. All these bands want to sound like Led Zeppelin… You know who I mean! It’s one after the other…Who can sing like Robert Plant… all these copy bands are good and trust me they are hugely popular… But, Matt’s vocals are so different and refreshing… a friend was asking me about the band… he asks, “Who do they sound like?”.. My reply, “Well, they sound like Gasoline Outlaws”….
Adam Parking: Ha ha. Yeah I know what you mean. People ask me who we sound like and it’s so hard to tell them. Due to our wide range of influences as mentioned earlier, it’s very hard to pigeon hole us. But I like that. Something for every one. And right from the very start I was never scared of writing in different styles because I knew that the tunes would have that one thing in common, Matt’s voice. His voice ties the tunes to being Gasoline Outlaws tunes. As soon as he sings you know it’s us. And that’s cool.
We at Rock Bands of L.A.com wants to thank Adam from Gasoline Outlaws and their press person Rob Town…