Wednesday, July 06, 2005

the outside children

the trio 'outside children' are quite unlike most bands in the new orleans area, musically diverse and always sounding like a 4 or 5 piece instead of 3. they never settle for playing their instruments, but would rather work them, using every part to get the sound they need. these guys take chances with their music. not content to be stuck with a lable, (which is kinda hard to do in less than 10,660 words), 'the children' like their style just fine, thank you, without any sort of mis-leading interpretations.

watching 'outside children' at work in the studio is a little like visiting romper room for the mal-adjusted out to lunch. the interplay within the band, both on a musical and personal level, is pretty unique. the atmosphere around them is always loose, with an undercurrent of tension.
ben waugh, the children's vocalist and guitarist extrdinaire likens them as "the shakiest band in town". it's not as if they're undependable or anything like that, you just never know what to expect from them at any given moment. incidents such as the now-famous halloween block party have only confirmed that this group would prefer to have people speak about them than say anything themselves.

mr. waugh is 'the children's' main songwriter and just so happens to be one of city's hottest guitarists. his onstage antics, like impromptu rapping, stoned ramblings and audio re-creations of historical events such as the fire bombing of dresden, have made him the toast of the town and put him at a great demand for every party and social event til the turn of the century. owing much to growing up in sub-urban metry, ben's musical taste varies from the subtle to sublime. anyone from miles davis to captain beefheart, or xtc to the golden paliminos and the db's, or the the and the soundtrack for the film 'attack of the mushroom people', can be found on mr. waugh's hi-fi at any given moment. his technique on the guitar shows styles as diverse as the music he listens to. if asked for an infuence he invaribly yells out, "jimi hendrix!!!'. and that shows in the knowledge of his instrument, the effects he uses to achieve the sound he wants, and his dedication to the music. and like jimi, ben feels himself a cast-off of society, (hence the name of the band!). the boy really does have the knack and should good far in this business.

mr. carlo nuccio is also somewhat notorious for his extra-curricular activity around town, in and out of bands. his 'atomic' drumming is the back-bone of 'the children'. using his gretch set and linn drum unit in sync is something that turns heads when they appear, sounding like an african war tribe on mardi gras day.
carlo's influences? you can hear the stewert copeland off beats, mitch mitchell's power kick in the bluesy originals and as carlo says, "i like buddy rich , 'cos drummin' made buddy rich". and the jazz is there, in a subtle manner, but that really can't be helped, playing music in new orleans and all that.

mr. lenny jorns, of bass and a 2 1/2 octave range voice, seems to hold things together, both on and off stage. he is the perfect foil for mr. waugh, singing melodically to ben's cracked, machine-gun-like vocalizing, using the bass to enhance, and sometimes take control of the whole feel of a song.
basically a quiet sort of fellow, lenny has been known to fly into fits of dressing up as silly animals and run around bothering people, (and getting paid for it!).
lenny's a real fun guy, but the music always comes first. playing with a number of local bands
in the past, (in fact he is also plays for another local act which will remain nameless), lenny is surely one of the city's premier bassists. he seems to be everywhere on the bass at once, (those who have seen mr. jorns, know from where i speak). and he will no doubt sweep the votes as 'nice guy of the band' , (he's got mine).

like many other groups in town, 'the children' aren't too concerned with playing a whole lot of dates in the near future. they want to concentrate on recording, (carlos is in the process of moving his '1st take sudio' in with 'pace sound'). they are also throwing together a 6 song e.p. to shop around, (they have a few connections that they asked to keep under the table for now, so i will, for now).
they say all this with the bitterness that comes from playing the same few clubs. tired of bickering with owners who act as tho no one is worthy of playing their club on a saturday night without a top ten hit, ridiculous, huh?

after only a few gigs in the area 'the children' have gotten a great response, mostly word of mouth, but positive none-the-less. and they deserve it, because these guys are the making some of the best and innovative music around these parts.
ya know, jobs in town like opening for 'the red hot chili peppers' at jed's, (which they do on the 11th of this month), will only help these guys convince people in town that there is alot of great music here, and that the outside children are an up and coming force on the local scene.
that is unless they have to leave here to do it first.
let's not let them do that. . .
(reprinted from the 1984 x-mas edition of 'background noise', thanx tim and penelope)

p.s. 'the outside children' did move to cali around easter of '85, looking for some fame. ben came home often, usually missing the simplicity he was trying to get away from, and, i guess looking for the comraderie .
he died on all-saints-day 1985 in metry, after a kick-ass show by a children splinter band outta l.a. called 'the shite god squad', from circumstances of an odd nature, (i won't go there now).
the band disintegrated after that, but they left behind some unfinished demos recorded in l.a. from the fall of '85 and a handful of songs done for the e.p. in '84. . .
i play them often still. . .and i miss ben more than god will ever know.

the outside children ep (via yousendit):
hey l.a.
america (redman)
jeanne marie
fade away
ghost town
repeat and fade
(and a bonus,for those that care)
icy blue (undone l.a. demo)
(all these songs are highly advised as they're very good)


Blogger griff le riff said...

thanks for bringing us more tales from the grass roots section of the sleepy archives.

the children remind me of firehose (especially ben's voice on ghost town) - or rather, Firehose sounded like the Outside Children, as they predated them by a year or two!

4:00 AM CDT  
Blogger sleepybomb said...

thanks griff, i always thought the children to be a few years before anybody, still do!

12:26 PM CDT  

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