Introducing - OutblinkerBeing in a DIY band can be a whole heap of fun; hanging with your friends, creating music, playing, making new friends and fans, a festival here, a radio session there.....
There also incredible challenges and tough decisions to make - is it worthwhile travelling to play a show in Inverness, losing money and playing to 20 people? Can we all get time off to go on tour? Can we afford to go on tour? How do we organise a tour?!
Chris Cusack is the booker for independent venue Bar BLOC in Glasgow, helping bands from all over come to play in Glasgow. Chris is also in Outblinker; a fiercely independent band that have the ability and vision to create cinematic psychedelic grooves that take the listener on a journey.
The band are about to head off on a European tour to promote their forthcoming The Remains Of Walter Peck EP. In the meantime they have released a cover version of the Neu! song Halogallo.
The cover version is available to download at a price you name. The proceeds will go to Marie Curie under the guise of the Human Is Not Alone project - set up in memory of Robbie Cooper.
Robbie is someone I was introduced to by his great friend Chris. His intelligence, wit, charm, humour and views on life, death and the universe won me over in no time. Sadly Robbie passed away after a brave fight against a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. It is safe to say that Robbie is someone I will never forget.
You can view the video for Halogallo below.
I caught up with Chris to find out how the hell your organise a DIY European tour. Tour dates at the bottom.
Hi Murray. Yeah this will be our longest European trip, even factoring in some of mine and David's previous act Hey Enemy's bigger outings. It is of course very time consuming to organise these things and can often feel like a full time job in itself when you're in the eye of the storm. We started planning this together around February then it began to take shape in earnest in mid-August. I started the process and Luigi joined when things got serious. Meanwhile the other guys in the band handled peripheral things like bank accounts, insurance and boring stuff I couldn't face.
2. What do you enjoy about ‘being on the road’ the most?
3. What are the challenges?
4. What advice would you give to other bands/artists looking to do something similar?
Certainly touring bands will be all too familiar with cold-calling hundreds of venues and promoters when attempting to organise a tour but the response rate generally hovers between 10-20% if you are lucky. There is a much greater strike rate when you have someone who is knowledgeable about that specific territory putting you in touch with people more likely to be interested in your show. it saves the band/booker masses of time (and emotional energy) and ultimately creates a reciprocal sense of good will when time comes for you to visit their homeland.
5. Where are you looking forward to playing the most?
6. What can people expect from your shows?
7. All the proceeds from the single are going to charity. Can you tell us about this?