Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spotlight Artists: The Amish Outlaws

Our next spotlight artist is The Amish Outlaws. If you are looking for an Amish cover band, look no further than this band straight outta Lancaster. Rock, rap, hip hop, country, reggaeton...you name it, they play it. Formed by real life Amish men that never returned from their Rumspringa, The Outlaws are popular and hard working musicians that regularly gig in the northeast, from Connecticut down to Maryland. Founding member and bass player Brother Ezekial answers our questions below:

photo by Alex of PLaRawkstar.com

Ishmael L. Cool J on guitar.
Jakob the Pipe Layer on drums and bonds.
Amos Def on keyboards and vocals.
Big Daddy Abel on lead vocals and guitar.
Hezekiak X on lead vocals.
Eazy Ezekiel on bass.

How long have you been performing? How long in NYC?
The band's been together since 2002. We played our first show in July of 2003. We started off as another band called "Elephant's Gerald" but grew from an elephant into The Amish Outlaws.
Our first New York City show was in 2006. Thursday, January 25th, 2006, so today is our 5 year anniversary of our New York City debut. Do they make cards for that?

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
I was Joan of Arc in my former life. Members have been in a few different bands. Ish was in The Monkees for a few years. They were a big influence on The Beatles. He was like the Pete Best, until he punched Micky Dolenz in the face. Abel has good solo rock and roll he does. You can find it out there if you look. The rest of us have been in a few different bands, but not much of note. Amos and Hez and I grew up Amish, so to say we had a limited musical childhood would be pretty on the money. It wasn't until we got out here in The World that we dove in to music head first. We still haven't come up for air. Just sandwiches.

Favorite venues to play:
Oooh, so many. Looney's Pub in Bel Air, MD is always looney. Pun intended. Seacrets in Ocean City, MD is also a trip. You know, in the good way. Both are HUGE, always packed, always fun. The Hudson Water Club in West Haverstraw, NY is so great, especially in the summer. We play right out on the deck near the water and they treat us so well there. Cancun Cantina West in Hagerstown, MD is like stepping into a cowboy blender, but without the carnage. People are really into us in Maryland. It is nice! Glenrowan and Burke's in Yonkers, NY are both like family to us by now, the staff and the patrons. Vintage in White Plains, NY is the same way. That Declan... he is always ready with a hand shake and a scotch. I could go on and on. Really, we are lucky enough to be at a point now where we like just about every place we play.

Musical influences:
Since we are a cover band, it is hard to say... other bands that are in the same line we are and do things well definitely influence us to keep on top of our game, as much as we can. The Nerds are the first and the best. No one does it like they do and no one ever could. There are some newer bands like Mashwork Orange that are pushing the envelope. They do all mash-ups, like a DJ would play. A band like Johnny Drama are great musicians and are incorporating a lot of visual elements into their show, which is great. There are original bands like Fishbone that I know inspire me. The energy they put out in a performance is insane. You can't go to a Fishbone show without leaving with a big, jaw-cracking smile.

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
Our web site mostly. AmishOutlaws.com. It has the skinny on us. And the fat. And our shows. We play all over... lots of places in New York, but up and down the northeastern coast.
website: AmishOutlaws.com
facebook: The-Amish-Outlaws
Youtube: AmishOutlaws (But search for the band name and loads of videos come up from other folks.)
Twitter: @amishoutlaws
Myspace: amishoutlaws
fotki: amishoutlaws

Where can we buy your music?
We don't have any for sale right now. We may have a live CD at some point... it's been in the works for a while.

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live in NYC.
Hez isn't the greatest driver in the world. He knows it, so I am not making mean by saying it here. Anyway, one time that we were playing in the city we were heading to the club and it was a real white-knuckle ride. Jakob was in the back, I was shotgun, Hez was at the wheel. I think he ran at least two red lights straight up. Changed lanes a few times without signaling. Drove on the median. Made a right on red... in addition to the two red lights. Anyway, we are getting close to the club and are going down this two-lane road with a walkway or sidewalk in the middle. On the walkway, we see a guy with long, curly brown hair and shorts and tube socks. I look. Hez looks. As we pass him by, we realize it is Lips from the band ANVIL. Look them up if you don't know them already. Hez screams, "It's LIPS!" and immediately starts to panic, trying to find a way to turn around and get back to him. There is NO way he can do it without it being illegal or dangerous so I start screaming, "Hez!! Stop!! No!!" and he goes, "BUT IT'S LIPS!!" He was right, but I finally got him to stay the course. I kind of regret it though.

Oh, and Hez made a New Year's resolution - no more tickets and, to his credit, he has been driving a whole lot more sensibly.
Photo by Anna Sawin

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Give it everything you have, no matter if there are five people watching you or fifteen hundred. And remember, it's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice. And don't take any wooden nickels.

Upcoming Shows:
You can catch the The Amish Outlaws at several shows in the NYC area, including:
Thursday, January 27 - Burke's - Yonkers, NY
Thursday, February 3 - Doyler & Dunney's - New City, NY
Friday, February 4 - Vintage - White Plains, NY
Thursday, February 10 - Glenrowan Tavern - Yonkers, NY
Sunday, February 20 - Rory Dolan's - Yonkers, NY
Thursday, March 10 - Burke's - Yonkers, NY
Friday, March 18 - Bar A - Lake Como, NJ
Saturday, March 19 - Willie McBride's - Hoboken, NJ
Thursday, March 24 - The Red Lion, New York, NY

Below is a video of The Amish Outlaws performing in Vegas. More videos can be found at:

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