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The Outsiders

Mixing influences to make their unique alternative style, The Outsiders use their talents to make music that glorifies God.

By mysoundMusicPublished 2 months ago 5 min read
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Based in Maumelle, AR, The Outsiders are a group of talented young college students who make Christian music. Since their forming in 8th grade, they have made music and played at churches and church camps across central AR.

Their musical influences include artists such as ForKING&COUNTRY and Chris Renzema, as well as secular artists such as COIN, Coldplay, and Vance Joy.

Mixing influences to make their unique alternative style, The Outsiders use their talents to make music that glorifies God. (Spotify Bio)

Tell us a little bit about the band “The Outsiders”? Who are the members?

We are a band made up of college sophomores based in Central Arkansas that makes Christian music.

The members are Riley Williamson, Will McDonald, Ben Harrod, Clay McDonald and Connor Ward.

How long has the band been creating music together?

We’ve been creating music together for almost 6 years now.

May I ask how you arrived at your band’s name? Give us the scoop.

All of the members grew up in different church denominations, but we still came together and formed a band. We were all religious “outsiders” at the specific church we joined together at.

Do you have a preferred genre?

Our preferred genre is definitely contemporary Christian lyrics with an indie/indie rock sound.

You recently released a new album ‘Yesterday Today & Forever”, is there a special meaning behind the title?

There's a bible verse - Hebrews 13:8 - that says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever”. Knowing that our God is the one true constant in a rapidly changing world is comforting.

Were there any challenging aspects to writing and/or recording the album?

One challenging aspect was that we’re all in college and we had to find time to songwrite and practice amongst our busy schedules. We also had a limited amount of studio time to get everything recorded. Everything was recorded in just two 8-hour sessions.

In terms of the overall composition, do you have a favorite song on the album and why?

We all probably have a different favorite song, but some of our current favorites include Heaven, Change, and More or Less.

Do you have any other plans relating to this release? A video?

We’d like to travel around Arkansas next summer and play our music/worship wherever we can!

Do you create music for yourself or for fans?

It’s a little bit of both. These songs heavily influence our own faith journeys, but we truly hope they have an impact on others’ journeys as well.

What song do fans seem to favor?

We think More or Less. It seems to be the most popular of the album on streaming services, and we’ve gotten lots of kind messages about that song in particular.

Do you, or would you like to, perform live?

We played at a church camp earlier in November, and we would love to continue to play at other places given the opportunity!

Which of your songs is, or do you think would be, fun to perform live?

We think Heaven or I Don’t Deserve would be the most fun to perform live. Both of those songs have a certain upbeat energy to them that we think would translate really well to a live performance. We played Heaven live a couple of times and it was absolutely exhilarating.

Share a funny moment or positive experience that has happened during your career.

One of our favorite artists/biggest inspirations - Chris Renzema - put up a message on his Instagram story saying that he was selling one of his acoustic guitars. Not putting much thought into it, our guitarist Clay McDonald sent him a message asking if it was still available.

Chris got back to him saying that it was, and so Clay set up a time to meet him to pick the guitar up. We headed up to Nashville to pick the guitar up, but when we got there we didn’t hear anything from Chris. We waited for a few hours, and decided to just head back home, thinking it just wasn’t meant to be.

As we were heading back home, we finally got a message from Chris saying he was ready to meet us. So we made the crazy decision to turn around and drive two hours back to meet Chris. When we finally got to Nashville he was very kind and apologetic and ended up giving the guitar to Clay for free. So we not only got to meet Chris Renzema and get one of his guitars for free, but we have a crazy story to tell people about it too!

Are there any musicians who inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them?

We are lyrically and musically inspired by Chris Renzema and For King and Country. Also we are inspired by the sound of secular music like Coldplay and COIN. We especially love the way Chris Renzema and his band pushes the envelope of what Christian music can sound like, and we try to do that too.

What is your favorite/best outlet to connect with your followers Instagram, Spotify, FB, Twitter, iTunes? How would you want them to follow?

We love Spotify, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook in that order. We want people to keep up with us in whatever way is best for them, but we are most active on our Instagram. People can follow us on Instagram at @theoutsiders_music.

Are you currently working on any projects we should look out for?

We are working on setting up a row of gigs for the summer, and of course we’ll be songwriting throughout the spring semester. We’d really like to gain enough interest to do a mini-tour with this album in the summer.

Is there something you would like to say that I didn't cover?

We’re very thankful to everyone that has given us and our album a listen; we wouldn’t be anywhere without the people that support us and listen to our music.

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