Outline In Color are a 4 Piece Post-Hardcore/Rock band from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The band recently released their sublime EP 'Imposter Syndrome' on July 10th and is arguably the bands greatest effort in their eleven-year tenure.
We caught up with Michael Skaggs to chat about 'Imposter Syndrome', his insane productivity during the pandemic, how Outline In Color are are tearing down the genre walls of music and we see THE GREATEST PHOTO OF SKAGGS DURING HIS SCENE DAYS AND WE CANT EVEN COPE...
"I’m the kind of guy that goes insane with idle time to myself, so I’ve really thrown myself into music to get me through this time. After completing 'Imposter Syndrome', I immediately began work on more tracks. By the end of October we’ll be sitting on about 20 produced tracks for 2020."
Firstly, I have to ask this at the moment, how have you guys been coping in the lock-down, what kind of things have you been up to since the lock-down came into effect.
Well, crazy enough we had actually wrapped up on 'Imposter Syndrome' just a few days before the lock down order. I’m the kind of guy that goes insane with idle time to myself, so I’ve really thrown myself into music to get me through this time. After completing 'Imposter Syndrome', I immediately began work on more tracks. By the end of October we’ll be sitting on about 20 produced tracks for 2020.
Let’s be honest 2020 has been a weird year so far and things will probably be weird for a while. As an artist, especially an artist with your new EP ‘Imposter Syndrome’ which released on July 10th during the pandemic. How has this affected your rhythm? This is the time you would be out their promoting the tracks and the EP!
We got super fortunate and we signed an agreement with a private investor prior to COVID. Our investor has been following the band for a very long time, and while the lock down and lack of touring prospects has been a bit of a drag; our investor has believed in our vision. He’s given us the tools and freedom that we need to make the most of this situation.
Typically we’d be supporting our release with touring, however despite the lack of shows 'Imposter Syndrome' has been our largest release to date. (And with half the tracks of our normal full length release)
Final question on the pandemic I promise. With the release of ’Imposter Syndrome’ on July 10th during the pandemic, would you do anything different with the release in hindsight?
To be honest no, we were incredibly fortunate to be ahead of the curve (sheer luck), but we didn’t go through the “what do we do now” phase when COVID hit. We were already on a creative roll, and we just really leaned into it. It’s the most productive we’ve ever been as a band.
"The fundamental difference between IS and our previous works is, we didn’t write anything before we entered the studio. Everything was fresh and written during the time we were recording. This really allowed every band member to make their mark on the music. Making this the most collaborative work the band has made to date."
How did you get into writing and creating music? Was there a decisive moment or event that you remember that made you stop and think, wow, THIS is what I want to do with my life?
I went to a junior high school that required one year of band. Between that and my dad trying to put a guitar in my hand since age 5 on, I got bit with the bug early. After a few years of school band, word got out around school that I played drums. A local band asked me to jam at their practice. I ended up joining the band, and playing shows with them. The ﬁrst show I knew this is what I wanted to do.
How did the band get together?
We were all part of various local bands in Tulsa, OK. We identiﬁed each other as the hard workers in our respective groups. We all individually wanted to go much farther than we had been able to take it with our bands. We decided to join forces, and the rest is history.
Your latest release ‘Imposter Syndrome’ was released on July 10th. Can you go into the creation process of the EP a little more? When did you start writing music for the EP?
We got to work with long time friend Andrew Baylis on this one. The fundamental difference between IS and our previous works is, we didn’t write anything before we entered the studio. Everything was fresh and written during the time we were recording. This really allowed every band member to make their mark on the music. Making this the most collaborative work the band has made to date.
"With 'Imposter Syndrome' we really wanted to attach every angle. There's something on there for you, even if you don’t like hard music. We really tried to write lyrics anyone could relate to."
‘Practice What You Preach’ is an absolute belter of a track and has already received massive critical praise. Is it always the ambition of the band to always push the limits of what the deﬁnitive Outline In Color sound can be?
Thank you! I don’t think its always been our motion to push the limits, however it very much is now. We have committed to making whatever kind of music we feel like making. We just did a collaborative track with Dropout Kings and a hiphop artist called BLUPILL. Its a wild track and unlike anything we’ve ever done. We also did a track with an EDM artist called Rated R. Its a grungy dub- step track you’d never expect from us. We are just doing whatever the hell we want and having fun with it!
With everything still up in the air, what do you think the rest of 2020 will look like for you as a band?
Like I said above we’ve been super busy. We’ve got 2 covers coming out, a collaborative track with DOK, an EDM banger, another EP (ready to go), and we leave for Nashville in October to record some more stuff with Andrew Baylis and Joey Bradford from The Used.
‘Practice What You Preach’ shows new unheard depths in your sound and just how far your sound and musicianship has come even in the year since the release of your self-titled album In 2019, was this a conscious choice or a natural evolution of your sound?
Absolutely! With 'Imposter Syndrome' we really wanted to attach every angle. There's something on there for you, even if you don’t like hard music. We really tried to write lyrics anyone could relate to.
If you had to choose one song from the Outline In Color catalogue that you feel encompasses the bands signature sound for a new listener, which song would you choose and why?
Good question. I would say 'Breaking The Silence' or our next EP single “Poison Prescribed As Medicine” both songs have the heavy and lighter elements we are known for fusing, but also demonstrate the new direction.
Can you tell us a fun fact about each member of the band?
Skaggs: Passionate medical marijuana cultivator.
CJ: Nocturnal gamer/streamer/hookah aficionado.
Austin: Culinary overlord and fellow hookah aficionado + purveyor of Your Mom’s House
Podcast Jonathan: Fancy, Saucin, the coolest, and flyest member of OIC
What is on your playlist at the moment?
Haha, I have been listening to tons of new mixes of our new tunes haha. But Rap Caviar on Spotify is on my daily rotation usually.
Finally, as we are called Not A Phase, were you guys scene kids when you were growing up? If not, what kind of music were you rocking out back in your formative teenage years?
I will attach photographic proof, 2007-