Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Peter Danzig – Vocals and Guitar, Kyle Luck – Guitar, Jon Carr – Drums, Chris Danzig – Bass Guitar
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Down and Outlaws? How long has the band been around?
We were all in various local bands around the SF, Bay Area. Some of them included Outshined, Gavilan, and The Sam Chase. The four of us have been together with Down and Outlaws for about four years at this point.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
We were simply looking for a name that would give someone unfamiliar with us an idea of what we’re all about. When we first started, our sound was a lot bluesier than it is now. We were thinking about things in that wheel house and aesthetic. Someone had watched Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Down by Law’ and that kind of got the thought train rolling for what eventually became ‘Down and Outlaws.’ We’ve never changed the name. Bands grow and develop and I think sometimes the name can almost become arbitrary after a certain point. Unless the were to become so random that it was detrimental to the music, I don’t think we would change it.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
We write the songs together. We tend to build them up brick by brick. Someone typically comes in with a riff, groove, or we just play until we find one little gem that feels interesting. From there we try and find the next piece of the puzzle and start building. I (Peter) typically write all the lyrics and that happens during this process. The songs on our upcoming EP Bad Radio are basically about inner struggles involving my own identity and the struggles of people close to me. Each song is inspired by a specific feeling or event and then purposefully blown out of proportion. The topics of our songs will definitely change over time. I think they have to in order to keep striving to be more honest in our music. Many of the songs we’ve written since the recording of ‘Bad Radio’ have taken a shift towards reflecting and processing what’s going on in the world instead of being so introspective with myself.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
There are always so many. Let’s just list a few...All Them Witches, L.A. Witch, The Kills, Kurt Vile, Reignwolf, Wax Idols, Flaural, Kera and the Lesbians, Death From Above, The Black Ryder. The list could go on and on. Sometimes the best inspiration is just being at the right show when you need it the most.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Yes. I’m pretty sure we each have our own individual story, but mine was Sleepy Sun at the Great American Music Hall in 2008ish...sometime around then. I’ve always been the musical rookie of our group and never played in bands growing up like the other guys. So even though I was late to the game, that show was definitely life changing. They just had this mesmerizing energy on stage that I’d never experienced before. It was the kind of show that makes you tear up just from being so overwhelmed. I’ll never forget that one because that’s the kind of thing that you experience less and less the more involved in music you get. Don’t get me wrong, it still happens, but the feeling evolves and never really catches you off guard like the first time.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc ...
We like tequila.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
There have been a number of amazing moments. I’m pretty sure we all have our individual favorite shows. Playing Outside Lands would be on the list. Same goes for opening for Reignwolf in Portland. There’s something pretty great about playing to a ton of people who have no idea who you are and totally winning them over. We’ve also had some pretty great recording experiences; including going to Vancouver to The Warehouse Studio and Studio 606 in the Los Angeles area.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I think we would unanimously say Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Black Angels, All Them Witches and The Kills. Is there anything else you would like to add? Stay thirsty my friends.