Corey Philpot é a mente criadora do Outward, projeto que ele mesmo conduz e expurga seus sentimentos na íntegra.
Tudo é conduzido por guitarras, synths, loops e uma aura que mescla melancolia oitentista com uma certa raiva noventista. Ecos de diversos subgêneros são facilmente identificados na música do Outward, o que reflete o próprio Corey, de shoegaze a industrial, de new wave, a grunge, de pós punk a psicodelismo, tudo torna-se ingrediente neste caldeirão de referências.
A música do Outward, reflete fundamentalmente a a necessidade de Corey se expressar, e a música e sua salvação.
***** Interview with Outward *****
Realistically, Outward started when I was about fifteen in high school in the small town of London, Kentucky; except I wasn’t calling myself the title yet. I started making short instrumentals, recording guitars, electric drums, and whatever synths I could find into a single mixer in my bedroom through audacity. For me, it was the only way to escape the reality of a town (at the time) I hated. It’s extremely rural and southern there, where simplicity and normality seemed the only golden life for all; here I was wearing t-shirts of The Jesus and Mary Chain and Japanese horror exploitation flicks to class. Everyone thought I was weird for obsessing over a genre nobody has ever heard of (shoegaze, and still I’m pretty sure it’s the same boat today) and weird Asian or Italian b-films. I’ve since grown to understand and love London though, it truly is something special all in its own. I self-taught anything musically I could get my hands onto. After high school, I went to film school for a few years. Here I started to hone a sound a bit more as I’d scored my and others short films. I started to teach myself mixing and mastering a bit more, and decided instead of leaving the tracks as instrumentals to add vocals and make them full-fledged tracks. Everything I’ve ever done or played musically is self-taught. This is the time period I adopted the pseudonym ‘Outward.’ From there, I self-released two EPs and one LP; trying to craft some form of one man-band idea. The goal was to do everything myself; write, record, perform, mix, and master everything. It wasn’t till a move cross-country to Austin, TX though that I truly began fulfilling what my idea of sound should be sonically. Adding a little bit more musical equipment and live shows to my belt helped progress. As I’ve grown as an adult I believe my music has too in its own strange way. The core of the sound has almost always been the same, but my translation of it has progressed further and further… At least I hope.
Q: Who are your influences?
My first and foremost influence since I was probably five years old has been Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. He was living proof that you didn’t need a soul but yourself to make whatever you want; and it be unbelievably cool. I remember hearing ‘The Downward Spiral,’ for the first time and just nothing sounding even close to it. It was pure and raw. It was cool. Trent Reznor was cool. Till this day, 1994 is my favorite musical year because of that and so many other albums.
Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine is another huge one for me. In seventh grade, my best friend at the time showed me ‘Loveless.’ My mind was completely blown. I had no idea guitars could sound like that. It was like hearing a sound that I’ve always heard in my head and longed to hear externally, finally coming to exist. ‘To Here Knows When,’ literally dumbfounded me in the best way and inspired me to do everything I could to create my own wall of beautiful noise.
The Edge from U2 is one of those guys that’s always been a big part of my influences. His guitar playing is just beautiful. U2 were always one of the family bands; where its one of those things we all grew up with and kind of united us. Some of his guitar work is untouchable; stuff from like Achtung Baby, Zooropa, The Million Dollar Hotel OST, and the one off Eno-U2 project Passengers were big inspirations for me.
Lastly, Ken Andrews of Failure. Fantastic Planet till this day blows my mind each and every single time I hear it. The guitar tone crunch is everything I’ve ever wanted out of a guitar. The chorus guitar riff on ‘Dirty Blue Balloons,’ is one of the best riffs of all time hands down. On top of that, they’re amazingly sweet dudes. Kelli Scott is an amazing drummer and super super nice. They’re inspiring as just good peeps that know how to treat their fans on a ground level.
Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
1. Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile ; this album changed my life. So many days dealing with depression were met with this album. I remember hearing it when I was ten years old in ’99 thanks to my older cool brother. I was never able to turn back. Trent Reznor spoke in a video interview once about telling people there is nothing commercial on the record at all, asking to just give it a chance. That stuck with me. The album was made with pure heart and intent.
2. U2 – Achtung Baby ; given this album was released at the very beginning of the 90’s it’s insane to me the level of experimentation that was actually at play on this album; as well as it retaining a very commercially viable sound.
3. My Bloody Valentine – Loveless ; this album rewrote what I thought you could do sonically with a guitar. Till this day, it still does. Melodic noise at its finest.
4. Failure – Fantastic Planet ; Space-grunge… I mean what is better than that? The album is a stroke of genius from beginning to end; musically and conceptually. I was also lucky enough to catch them twice on their recent reunion tours and I have to say these songs live are pretty spectacular.
5. Nothing – Guilty of Everything ; even though this album is pretty recent, I feel like it was one of the perfect next steps for shoegaze in sound. I’d hands down put it as one of the best shoegaze albums of all time. Beautifully and depressingly lush in sound, this album is pretty damn near perfect in my eyes.
Q. How do you feel playing live?
I love playing live. It feels so interesting hearing these songs I play over and over in my bedroom and living room turned up even louder. I use a tiny little Marshal practice amp for my guitar live, and it’s always very surprising to the listeners how loud it gets and the tone it delivers. Besides that, it’s always interesting to see and hear what people think of my music; they seem rather surprised how different altogether my sound is as well that it’s all coming from one person. I love creating zones for people to enter and reside in; trying to find and create a wave that they can ride within themselves.
Q. How do you describe Outward sounds?
The sound to me is a mixture of every single genre I love and grew up with. Since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with shoegaze, industrial, grunge, dreampop, post-punk and practically every type of music I can get my hands onto. My sound is literally a cherry-picking of my favorite styles and combined. I lean more towards shoegaze in an overall sound, but mostly I want to remain a bit genre-less in terms of everything that’s being used and at play.
The music you’re hearing from me… is like… audibly dealing through my life. I play these sounds to make myself feel okay, safe, and that I’m still breathing. It’s a way to stay alive. What you’re hearing is me trying to find a peace within myself to be okay. The tones and feelings are what I’m chasing to feel; so I play them, to feel them.
Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs?
Most of my tracks seem to start with either a simple synth line or drum beat. From there its kind of sorting through hundreds of synth noises until I find one that resonates with me against whatever the first layer was. I continue building layer upon layer into whatever cohesive thing it becomes. Bass lines comes next. After that I’ll decide if that set of layers is a chorus or verse, then proceed to create whatever it’s not. Once those layers are built, I’ll play it through a PA and begin writing guitar parts to the track. I’ll record that. I’ll then mix and pre-master everything up to that point. After all the layers are in, I’ll do vocals, mix them, then master those as well. My songs generally are pretty heavily layered. The last track I finished ‘I Love Sometimes,’ has forty-nine layers; even though you’ll probably only hear the main obvious instrumentations.
Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
There’s a lot of bands I’d recommend, but I’m going to go with strictly current bands: Newmoon, Nothing, Jesu, Super Thief (they’re doing things in the noise-punk scene most bands would give a left hand to achieve sound wise!), Grivo, Iris, Lantlos, Gleemer, Alcest, Hollow Sunshine (the songs Bad Company and Coral are two of the best songs ever recorded imo), Anakin, Cloakroom, Whimsical, A Thousand Hours, Richard Buckner, Cheatahs, No Joy, Deafheaven, Lift to Experience, The Lees of Memory, The Cherry Wave, Unsane, Drab Majesty, Deafcult, and Roku Music.
Q: Which band would you love to make a cover version of?
At one point I was doing a cover of Talk Talk’s ‘It’s So Serious,’ but my laptop at the time fried itself. I lost a lot of material when that happened sadly. I’d love to cover quite a few different things though; even do a cover of George Jone’s ‘Choices.’ It obviously wouldn’t be country, but I’d love to turn it into something totally different. I’d love to do the Waterboys ‘Whole of the Moon.’ Maybe Tommy Conwell’s ‘Gonna Breakdown.’ I’m always intrigued to do covers that aren’t specifically meant for this sound.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
Right now, my big plans are to finish up recording my new album called ‘The Melting Bed.’ I’m so happy to announce it’ll be released on disc via the wonder Cali based label Vesper Records. I really think it’s going to be something special; at the very least it will be something very deeply personal from myself. On top of that, my wife and I are about to re-locate out of Texas and back to my hometown in Kentucky. We had a recent strain of terrible luck where we could’ve been very hurt by three accidents in one week that were out of our control; and later after that hell week my wife was held up at gunpoint at her work. We’ve decided we need some good clean air and surrounded by nature again to breathe it in. Once back in the bluegrass state I’ll be looking to start playing live again around there and Tennessee; wherever they’ll let me through the doors.
Q: Any parting words?
I want to thank you all at TBTCI for having me and willing to take the time to get to know me. Thank you for contacting me and thank you for checking out my music. I appreciate that with all my heart in the truest sense. For any eyes passing by, I say thank you as well for taking a read here. My album releases soon and it will truly be something different. If you’re looking for something that may not sound like everything else, but is oddly pretty cool, I promise it’s worth checking out. It will be music purely from the heart and soul. Lastly, I wish each and everyone the best of the best in life; I’m happy to share this big rock/ship called Earth with you all. Don’t forget to take a bow before the show comes to an end.