Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ryan O'Conner of Outbreak

I recently got to get to know the band known as Outbreak on a tour that we did with them this winter. Some nice guys in that band and a band that is held together by a killer work ethic and energy that many can't really match. Ryan sings in Outbreak we got to hangout some and get to know each other pretty well on this tour. He's someone that will only say things that are worth saying and that is very condemnable in this day and age of ass patters and ball lickers.

1) Why do you still get in the Van/Bus to play shows around the country/world?
Money! No, not really. Money would be awesome though. Outbreak has been my release for several years now, and I don't like the idea of letting it go. If I wasn't able to use the band to let out my frustration I probably would have gone on a shooting spree by now.

2) The most tense moment you've experienced while on a tour?
There's been plenty of tense situations, coming from all angles. I've been punched by a drunken idiot while on stage (which pretty much turned into a near-riot), I've seen people pull out guns, I've been on tour with bands who have gotten their vans stolen, I've seen members quit mid-tour, and the list goes on. I sort of have a bad memory too, so I'm sure there's plenty of things I'm forgetting. Just recently our guitarist got the unfortunate news of a family member passing, and he got the news while he was behind the wheel - not a good situation! As you know Rory, the road can be a scary place.

3) In your memory what is the most recent moment where you felt like, this is it, this is why im still here? Explain as much as you can.
When you've been touring for more than a few years, it's easy to become jaded and forget why the hell you're doing what you're doing. I'll admit that I've had it up to my neck at certain points, and have definitely wished that I was doing something far away from the touring life and music industry in general. Things can get hazy, local bands start to blend together, the kids at the shows all look the exact same, you know, that sort of thing. But then something comes along and snaps you out of it. When I picture humans in cubicles, who wake up at 7am every day, I slowly start to remember that I don't have it that bad for playing a 30 minute show and sleeping till noon every day. To give you a specific memory, on this current tour that we're on, we played a show in Spokane, Washingon. The show was booked at the last minute after another show was cancelled. We had never played Spokane so I really didn't know if anyone would care - I tend to go into most situations with zero expectations as it's more difficult to be let down. Anyway, the show was insane. People were packed up in front of the stage, yelling every single word, and generally going a city we had previously never been to. After our set, one kid told me that I was his idol. I said "really?". Some kid in the middle of fucking Washington idolizes me - how can I take that for granted and be bitter?

4) What do you think the biggest misconception there is about a band of your stature?
If you're referring to the average person, it would probably be the assumption that because we're in a band we make all kinds of money. We've put out records on established record labels, have toured the world, and played with some bigger bands, but the fact is that we're not getting rich off this. It blows my mind that the average person thinks that because you're in a band, you automatically have money...maybe some bands, but not most of them. I'd say one in every thousand bands actually leaves the local bar and ends up turning a profit. I'm at the point where if I hear someone's in a band, I automatically assume they're struggling. When you consider all the expenses on the road, it's hard to make a good living. We scrape by, and that's fine with me. I'm not complaining.

5) Best skatespot you've shredded while on tour?
I wish I could skate more on tour, but my body is so annihilated that it's no longer something that I look forward to all the time like I use to. My body feels like a trainwreck after our shows, so destroying myself on a skateboard is usually not my idea of icing on the cake. I blame years of skateboarding when I was younger ...ollieing off of stuff that's way too high for a four foot punk haha. I seriously think I have the body of a 60 year old at this point haha. Most of the times that I do skate on tour are when I'm influenced by dudes in other bands who are skating. Carl from Misery Signals is a sick skater, so every time we go out with those guys I know that I am going to be tempted to throw myself off sets of stairs every day haha. To answer the question, I'm the type of skater where you can put a decent ledge or bank in front of me and I'll be good to go. Sometimes I appreciate that sort of thing more than an entire park. I'm not much of a ramp guy. I like to cruise around parks sometimes, but after I do my three tricks on a quarterpipe it tends to get old haha.

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