Modern Day Outlaw Interview
Listening to your tracks via your ReverbNation page, it appears that there are heavy Southern influences to your music. What inspired you to be influenced so heavily by that demographic?
A: Well it is by no coincidence that we have been inspired by many Southern influences. We grew up in the South; listened to Southern Rock, go camping, mudding, and play guitar by the campfire. So our music tends to reflect the product of five musicians, with similar interests.
Along with a Southern metal influence, your sound is very Metallica/Pantera; do you guys find that in the process of song writing youve looked towards these bands for musical inspiration? What other bands do you find youve been inspired by musically?
A: For any group today to say that they were not influenced by Metallica and Pantera would be a complete fabrication of the truth. Those groups not only inspired our writing, but shaped an entire generation of musicians. Others who have shaped our sound? Believe it or not we often look to country music to make the next great song. Often Taking from their song structures, melodies and connection with the audience. Music is relative no matter what genre you play; a good song is always a good song. And borrowing from your influences is part of writing.
What is your song writing process like? Do you find that its easier to write songs based on your personal experiences in life, or to write based on something else?
A: Truth be told, we seem to use a little bit of both. For Southern State of Mind we definitely wanted to draw from personal experiences. Today I Am Hate, confronts the issue of suicide. All members in the band have lost someone, and when Ron Brown came to us and said he wanted to do a song about the loss of his best friend, we thought it would be a great way to honour the memory of the ones we lost. Whiskey is about a bad day at work that turns into a great night with friends, and the one I am most personally proud of is Southern State of Mind. It is our anthem to the South. Just listen to the words and you will get the feel of what its really about, our tribute to all those who live South of the Mason-Dixon line.
Your music isnt the stereotypical metal… it also incorporates musical inspiration from, what seems like, a very blues background. How did blues find its way into your music? Is that where your musical background lies originally?
A: The Blues are the foundation to Rock & Roll, everything we ever learned from the beginning began with a blues chord. Tommy Monger has a blues background, as do I (Sergio Cesario). When we first started writing we said, lets take some blues and bring them into our music. It just seemed right. And thats how we began to shape our style. We just wanted to do something a little different from what everyone else was doing.
How did the band form and how did you guys decide on your name?
A: We formed quite honestly out of boredom. Ron and I wanted something to do and we always talked about playing in a band together, so we started by going to a rehearsal with a friend and just playing what was natural to us. Time went on we started writing good songs, added a few more members and decided to take it more serious. At that moment we knew we needed a solid name that stood for something. What are we? Well we dont play by the rules, have questions about morality and the system. Were Outlaws! And thus Modern Day Outlaw was born.
Given that you just recorded your debut album, do you find that you enjoyed the recording process more than playing live? What do you personally think is better in terms of sound quality and entertainment value for your band?
A: NO WAY! We love the stage! You can have a lot of fun in the studio, and it is an incredible experience, but we live for LIVE shows. A live MDO is something to see, energy, just pure energy. We give a lot to our audience, and demand more from them, we want to make sure that when people leave the show that Modern Day Outlaw is the band they are talking about.
Is it difficult getting shows in your home town, or is the metal scene there really encompassing when it comes to supporting local bands?
A: Traditionally it was hard for bands to find shows in South Florida, but I will tell you over the last year more venues are opening their doors to Metal music and the fans are starting to come. Were a long way from 300-400 per show, but the scene is growing. We have some great bands here and as of late we are seeing unification in the scene, which is also carrying over to bands who come to us from out of town.
Where do you see yourself down the track? What is the end game for Modern Day Outlaw when it comes to your music?
A: The endgame for Modern Day Outlaw is to play for 30,000 people and have them singing along to our songs. There is no better way to go out!
If you could support any band on tour, who would it be and why?
A: Great question. If we could support any band on tour I would have to say that it would have to be a toss-up between Texas Hippie Coalition and Five Finger Death Punch. I just see our music as similar to what they do as well as similar crowds taste in music. So Ivan, Big Dad Ritch, you need a supporting act that kicks total ass. Were available.
Who are some of your favourite musicians and have they shaped the way that youve grown as a musician yourself?
A: Man there is a huge list, but Ill give you a few from each member. As if you couldnt tell, Ron Brown draws his greatest influences from Phil Anselmo
Tommy he was inspired by Jimmy Hendrix and Rony Van Zant
Kevin Duran would have to be Maynard of Tool
Kirk Sarmento its Tommy Lee
Sergio Cesario pulls from Tommy Iommi and David Gilmour
Personally, out of your tracks I really enjoyed Acid Reign the most, it had that really dirty, mellow blues/country sound coupled with aggressive riffs and powerful solos is it difficult to write music which is so divers in genre? Like, going from Acid Reign to a track like Southern State of Mind which is so in-your-face, do you find it difficult to write music which is so eclectic in sound?
A: Not at all, we write what we feel. The advantage of having so many influences is that there is no limit to what you can do. Thats what we love most about Modern Day Outlaw were able to diversify and create something completely different. Trust me when I tell you that the new material we are working on now will totally knock your boots off!!!
What drove you to music in the first place, what was the defining moment in your life when you decided that music is what you wanted to do with it?
A: For most of us it all starts with that first moment where you get your first instrument, you play it, take lessons and start to understand the power of it. For me the moment that my musical career was defined was when I had taken nearly 4 years off from playing music. I decided that I wanted to grow up and become an outstanding member of society, and then an old friend calls me up and asks me to meet him at the studio, he had been itching to jam and wanted me to stop by. I started to make my way down, when I realized I didnt have a good enough guitar. So I stopped by the local music store, tried out a few guitars and by the time I picked up the tenth guitar, there she was waiting for me. The most beautiful Ibanez Electric RG series I had ever seen, that was my defining moment.
How do you think that being a 5-piece band effects your sound? Do you think that your sound is complete, or is there still more to be added to it?
A: As I five piece we feel that we have all the necessary elements to the equation. I love the dual heavy guitars with the right amount of harmonies. Although that being said a third guitar which fills in with duelling heavy/guitar harmonies would not be a bad addition to MDO. Ohh the possibilities.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to do this interview with The Metal Review! We look forward to seeing you out and about and kicking ass!
A: We want to thank you The Metal Review, for being such an incredible force of support to the metal scene. It is an honour to be interviewed by your publication and we look forward to kicking ass, touring the globe and Rocking your fucking faces off!!!