By. SD Liz
Happy New Year! â€˜Twas the season to cherish memories, and now itâ€™s time to start the New Year! NUG Magazine is checking in with Stoopid Recordsâ€™ Outlaw Nation, a reggae/rock band from New Orleans, Louisianaâ€¦and more recently, Miami, Florida. With members residing from both cities, the main man behind the 3-piece band is SIMEON, the guitarist/vocalist originally from the South, but who now resides in Florida. Next to him are his bandmates, Danny Woolen on bass and (currently) Kevin Offitzer on drums, who both still reside in LA. The band was originally founded by the Silverback Music and Management Co. back in 2001, and they later signed to Stoopid Records in 2002. With seven CDs out and an EP, their most recent full album, Back in Babylon, was just released late last year, and it was reason enough for them to tour the West Coast just last month. With JÃ¤germeister as their sponsor, the guys started their â€œBack in Babylonâ€ tour in their hometown of LA and travelled along the West Coast to Washington State. This month the boys are showing some funky soul to the Midwest.
NUG Magazine caught their stop at Winstonâ€™s Beach Club in Ocean Beach, California. It was a cold and chilly night back in December, but that didnâ€™t stop their soulful reggae/rock from warming up the night. Outlaw Nation started with â€œWell, Wellâ€. Next, they played a song that sounded similar to Tom Pettyâ€™s â€œMary Janeâ€™s Last Danceâ€. Other songs included â€œCool Mon Vibesâ€, â€œBeautiful Womanâ€, â€œLove & Musicâ€, and â€œHonestyâ€. Their skankinâ€™ riffs mixed with rock music and soulful vibes from the South brought a new spin on the current reggae/rock scene. It was nice seeing this band get down while sticking to their Southern roots, especially with the soulful lyrics. Also, some of their music sounded like it might have been inspired by King Yellowman from Jamaica. Irie!
Itâ€™s great to hear that reggae/rock was inspired by the original Sublime band. Of course, that inspiration is what is driving many affluent bands that are currently HOT in the reggae/rock scene right now. And, we must not forget where reggae has its roots â€“ not only in the land of Jamaica, but in good olâ€™ blues, rock, and soul. With such bands as the original Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Pepper, and now, Rebelution, Silverback Music and Management Co. has been there to help pave the California reggae/rock road. And now with these bands from the South, including funky band Dumpstaphunk, and Outlaw Nation as a funky, soulful reggae/rock band, both from New Orleans, itâ€™s no wonder why all of these guys are still making waves!
NUG Magazine chatted it up with SIMEON about being part of the Silverback and Stoopid family, his thoughts on the current reggae/rock scene, what inspires the band, and if nugs will be legal within the next 10 years. Read On:
How does it feel, as a band, to be with such notorious people as Silverback and Slightly Stoopid?
I was stoked of course. I am a real fan of Slightly Stoopid; not just because they have helped us, but because they are great musicians and songwriters in their own regard! I think we have some of the same influences, which kind of seep their way into our playing and writing.
What is your message to fans? What do you think you are bringing to the scene?
The dirty New Orleans Funk scene on top of the reggae! We bring a different flavor and spin to the genre because of our roots not being from Southern California. We bring the vibes from the DIRTY New Orleans Funk scene and spin the reggae on top of it.
What do you think of the reggae/rock scene, especially the current scene?
The staples are, of course, 311 and Slightly Stoopid. Fishbone has been the blueprint on which you try and build your vibes. The kids today are really doing amazing things with the music and keeping it vibrant! SOJA, Rebelution, and The Dirty Heads are definitely sick!!!
What do you think of the original SUBLIME band?
They are the guideline in which you must follow to be a great band in this genre. They are the ones who started it, ya know!
What are some of your favorite SUBLIME songs?
Brad wrote some of the most amazingly infectious songs ever!!! â€˜Badfishâ€™, â€˜Date Rapeâ€™, â€˜What I Gotâ€™, and â€˜Santeriaâ€™ are among my most favorite! I was more into his radio-friendly stuff; though, that was about me being into some really catchy writing!
Who originally inspired you guys?
Danny and myself are huge Police fans, as well as Fishbone and Bad Brains. Reggae has been a big part of our musical growth!
What inspires your lyrics?
Just life, ya know! Things that everyone laughs, cries, or bitches about. Wherever it comes from is what I takeâ€¦usually a riff or a groove held makes me think of the words and lyrics.
How is the reggae scene in Louisiana?
Not big at all. There are a few bands who are trying to push the vibes, but more ska bands than anything. Stoopid and Rebelution come through the area and crush all the time!!!
How about in Florida? Howâ€™s the reggae/rock scene there and along the East Coast?
Itâ€™s been good. There are quite a few bands killing it in FL. Hor!zen is one, and, of course, The Supervillians.
So how does the band practice, seeing that you live apart?
We get together 2 weeks before a tour and work out what we want to play on the tour itselfâ€¦and practice heavily!
Who did the art for your â€œBack in Babylonâ€ tour?
A guy named Eric Swanson out of Illinois. That was the first CD cover he has done. He also did the work for some of our t-shirts.
Do you believe in the legalization of cannabis?
Hell to the Yes! Legalize it all the way man!
What do you think prevents its legalization?
I have no idea â€“ I guess they have not figured out how to tax it or to control the cultivation of it. Itâ€™s all BS though! Let people do their thing!
Do you think it will be legalized within 10 years?
Any favorite strains?
Sour Diesel is my ISH!
Finally, tell me some most memorable acts!
311, English Beat, and, of course, all of the Silverback and Stoopid Family! Easy Star All Stars and John Brownâ€™s Body have also been really cool to jam with and roll out with!
Outlaw Nation is currently on tour this month in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Utah, and Colorado. For more information, visit them on www.facebook.com or www.reverbnation.com while they get their website â€œrevampedâ€. Also, check out their music collections on iTunes, including their EP that was just released last month titled, Another Day. Soulful!