BrooklynTheBorough.com caught up with local rockers Outernational a few times this year, most notably for an acoustic performance at Bar 4 in August. That acoustic performance and our interview with singer Miles Solay (pictured) turned into the premiere episode of our new video series profiling local musicians featured below.
“So check it out, as some of you guys may know we’ve been on tour for six months,” Solay, 29, told the Bar 4 crowd back in August, “we played 102 shows and we clocked 37,000 miles on the odometer, but we wrote all these songs down the block by coincidence.”
What we did not know at the time was that the guys would be previewing their acoustic set before heading to nearby Southpaw to share a stage with Shilpa Ray and Patti Smith & Lenny Kaye on November 11 for our evening to benefit FortnightJournal.com.
Outernational – which also features bassist Jesse Williams, guitarist Leo Mintek, with keyboards, harmonium and trumpet by Dr. Blum – are clearly influenced by a variety of genres, but in spirit – and fashion – the Clash is an obvious parallel. Solay specifically cites Joe Strummer and The Clash’s ability to inject “psychic soul and heart and meaning” into their songs.
In the vein of Fortnight Journal’s mentorship mission, the guys in Outernational were swooped up under the wing of one Tom Morello, of Rage Against The Machine fame after he and Solay crossed paths in New York City. Morello appears on “Fighting Song” on the band’s latest EP Eyes on Fire, which he produced along with their forthcoming full-length record. The band are currently seeking a label after severing ties with Warner last year.
“Tom Morello has been a big influence, we learned a lot about crafting songs from him, “ Solay says in the video below. “Whereas people think, ‘Oh, just like the politics,’ or ‘Oh, you guys are going to sound like Rage Against The Machine.’ You know, both of those things intertwine – I almost feel like our sound and our politics if people listen are different – but [on] song crafting we learned a lot.”
Watch the video below to meet Miles Solay and Outernational, and get a sneak peek at their acoustic performance ahead of their big gig at Southpaw on November 11.
Photo by Meijin Bruttomesso/ Video by Niger Miles/ Audio by TaeOne