Five minutes with The Rank Outsiders

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Five minutes with The Rank Outsiders

These four seasoned musos love nothing more than the sound of vintage guitars played through fine amplification, a little denim and a smattering of facial hair… we sit down with Matty Orchard from The Rank Outsiders.

Hey Matty thanks for chatting to Forte. First up can you give our readers an intro to the band – how did The Rank Outsiders come to be?
Well, The Rank Outsiders are four seasoned musos cobbled together from the big smoke of Melbourne to The Great Ocean Rd. Luke Gale carved up guitar duties for national touring act, Custom Kings in the early-mid 2000’s. Paul Winstanley has been the bass player from hot Melbourne bluesy institution, Spoonful, for a couple of decades. Adza, the rock solid back beat of the organisation has kept time for coastal stalwarts, Pressed Rat And Warthog, for many years and I’m a working muso from Apollo Bay, and have played more than 3000 gigs all over the nation since moving there in 1999. We love nothing more than the sound of vintage guitars played through fine amplification, writing and playing bluesy, rock’n’roll tunes…and a little denim.

You’ve just released your debut album, can you tell us a bit about it?
We like to think of it as a wicked combination of tunes with a little something for everyone. Blues, rock’n’roll, Texas boogie, Aussie rock, rockabilly, funk, country, you name it, it’s in there. It’s an amalgam of all of our influences. Music played on real instruments, by real players and has been described on occasion as ‘good time rock’n’roll drenched in classic R’n’B roots’.

What’s your process like with its creation, was it in the works for a long time?
You could say it’s about 20 years in the making, in that Luke and I started sharing our love for this kind of music in a band called The Lounge Hounds in the 90’s but had never actually recorded together. Essentially however, the album has been morphing into shape for around 18 months. Once the boys stood in a room and played together, everything moved very fast. A natural fit of four like minds with one common goal and it has been extremely musically satisfying.

Talk us through the recording in Apollo Bay. Does the coastal setting influence your sound at all? Was there a particular reason you chose to record here?
A few years ago, in my capacity as a music teacher at Apollo Bay P-12 College, I was given the opportunity…and the budget, to create a fully-fledged recording studio at the school. I basically rang my long time friend and insanely awesome sound engineer, Mat Gearing-Thomas (MGT), and said, “Here’s a serious amount of coin, go and set up the coolest studio you possibly can!” We named it The House Of Rock and have had the pleasure of seeing excellent emerging acts such as The Fillmore Bros., The Refuge and Cat Richardson all do their first serious recordings in there. I would recommend that room to any band wanting to get away, knuckle down and cut an album in a fine location….nudge, nudge, wink, wink, call me!! The South West coast of Vic is our home ground. We all love the space, the salt air, the ocean, the people, the vibe, the countryside and the lifestyle so, all things considered, it was a no-brainer deciding to record it in Apollo Bay. Fortunately, MGT was able to come along for the ride and help us realise the beast.

Where do you guys draw your music inspirations from?
We all cut our teeth, transfixed by the incredible deeds of SRV, early ZZ Top, Freddie King, Clapton, The Allman Bros, Jimi Hendrix, Los Lobos, Georgia Satellites, the original (Peter Green’s) Fleetwood Mac, Stray Cats, Black Crowes, Thin Lizzy, Rolling Stones, Magic Sam, The Band….KISS even (my dirty little secret!) And this is to name but a few.

You just went out on a little tour. How was it? Did you take anything away from those gigs?
It was a luxury to be able to go out and blast through the record at three excellent venues on three consecutive nights. We were chuffed to celebrate the milestone on our little coastal roadshow by bringing along acts that meant something to us. The aforementioned Fillmore Bros., The Refuge, Cat Richardson joined in the fun, as did Ted and Fitzy (from the Vasco Era and Localles ) and Georgia Howell, all of whom have called Apollo Bay Home. Santa Fe Driving Range, a band with strong links to Aireys Inlet, also rolled an excellent set at that venue on night three.
It’s always a pleasure to be onstage, playing tunes that a fair percentage of the crowd have never heard before, and still get ‘em up on their feet. It was mission accomplished for us.

Where do you guys want to next take your music?
Our plan is to keep up the momentum, sell a few units, and get to work on the next album. We have the bones of a dozen new tunes and are itching to get them up and running. We’re also hankering to move into the festival circuit, play some support gig for higher profile acts and make plenty of new friends along the way.

Are you guys more at home with your music live on stage, or just casually jamming together?
There’s a quote from Brad Whitford of Aerosmith from the film, The Making Of Pump, where he says, “We like so much of what each other is doing” and, quite honestly, we all simply love the sound that this band makes. There’s always those magical, never to be heard again, moments in the rehearsal room but really, we all hang to play in front of an audience and everything that goes along with it, the buzz, the volume, the spontaneity. All of it.

Thanks for chatting, any last words?
We hit the stage at 2.15pm, Sun 17th March at Aireys Open Mic Festival on the Aireys Pub Marquee stage and will be bearing a stash of CD’s and limited edition vinyl for sale. You can also nab a copy online at our brand new website: We’d love to see you there…..and don’t forget, like us on Facebook! Thanks Forte. ROCK.

The Rank Outsiders self-titled album is out now. You can listen to it here