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Interview with Tony Lewis
 

Vocals / Bass

The Outfield

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 2011


Brian Rademacher: Hello Tony and welcome to RockEyez.com.

Tony Lewis: Hello Brian, and hi to everyone at RockEyez.com and all your readers.

Brian Rademacher: Congratulations on the new release "Replay"?

Tony Lewis: Thanks, it took a while but John, Alan and I feel very proud to have made a great album.

Brian Rademacher: The new CD is amazing you guys still have one of the best sounds in music today. Does it amaze you when you go into a store and you hear a song by THE OUTFIELD piped through their speakers?

Tony Lewis: It is quite surreal to hear your music blasting out of any public place. Itís still quite a buzz.

Brian Rademacher: When you recorded "Your Love" and others did you expect them to be as big as they were?

Tony Lewis: We never dreamed that a song like "Your Love" would still be as popular today as it was 25 years ago. The same goes for "All the Love". We seem to be able to connect with people and thatís what worked for THE BEATLES. We owe a big part our success to THE BEATLES.

Brian Rademacher: Do you feel MTV was a driving force behind your success?

Tony Lewis: I think the video of "Your Love" got us well known but we have never based our music around image. Videos can break bands and MTV has been great for us and several other bands that need a profile. Weíre just about the music. We are just three guys from East London who worked hard and got where we did with our music.

Brian Rademacher: What was the feeling like going back in the studio to record "Replay"?

Tony Lewis: Going back into a real studio again was just like the old days but fifty times better. John, Alan and I all agreed that we would not make music unless it was for fun. We asked Alan to play live drums on some tracks and it ended up being 12 plus!! We just wanted to make an album together just for us and for our fans.

Brian Rademacher: What would you say was your favorite THE OUTFIELD record and why?

Tony Lewis: Itís hard to pick your favorite record because itís like picking out your favorite child. When weíre playing live I still get a fantastic feeling watching our audiences going crazy when we strike up the first few bars of "Your Love". That song just gets the crowd going everywhere we go. Itís hard to follow a song like that.

Brian Rademacher: Was there any like B-side or songs from the early days of THE OUTFIELD that could surface one day?

Tony Lewis: Well, funny you should mention that. The final track on our new album "Replay" is called "Sandman". That was written before "Play Deep". It never made the album but I always liked that song. I told John and Alan that I wanted it on our album and they agreed it could work as the final track. All the way back from 1984!!

Brian Rademacher: Tell me how the very first rehearsal for, "Play Deep" went?

Tony Lewis: Well, picture this. Our first day of rehearsals for our very first US tour promoting our album "Play Deep". Very exciting times, new guitars, new amps, new drums. We were like kids in a toy shop. Very nerve racking at times but the best kind of nervous I know.

Brian Rademacher: In the 70ís you were in a band called SIRIUS B did you record any material and is it available?

Tony Lewis: All our demos were recorded on cassette and I donít think Iíve got any of those tapes anymore. Funny enough, I didnít sing with that band. Sadly and gladly that period was just a blur. John wrote some good riffs. We played a few local pubs and got some weird responses. Punk music came along and blew SIRIUS B out of the water.

Brian Rademacher: You got signed by Columbia as the band THE BASEBALL BOYS because of a demo. How many tracks were on that demo and what was your reaction when they contacted you?

Tony Lewis: There were three tracks on that demo tape. The original demo of "Your Love", "All the Love" and "Taking My Chances". We recorded those songs into the early hours of the next morning and had to go to work straight from the studio. We were amazed by the response of CBS. They signed us on the strength of the demo tape and a black and white photo of the three of us!!

Brian Rademacher: What was your reaction when "Play Deep" went triple platinum?

Tony Lewis: It must be a mis-print?

Brian Rademacher: In 2006 you came out with "Any Time Now" reading reviews which was all positive, why did you wait another six years for "Replay"?

Tony Lewis: We didnít wait six years, John and I never stop writing and recording songs. "Anytime Now" was a good album but John and I felt deep down that there was something missing. There had to be an element that made our first two albums work. We were missing Alanís drums that played a vital role on "Play Deep" and "Bangin" John and I started recording ideas in 2007 and we used drum loops and programmed the drums. We had recorded quite a few backing tracks with finished vocals. John asked me if I would mind getting Alan back to record a drum track to one of our songs. I thought it would be a good opportunity to get back together as friends and just make music together with no pressure. Alan agreed so we got together, booked a studio, recorded a drum track and it just grew from there. We even wrote some of the tracks in the studio and rehearsals.

Brian Rademacher: What is a typical day for now from waking up in the morning until you go to bed?

Tony Lewis: The same as everyone else I guess!! I play our album constantly in the car. I love to record at home and I call John every day. We just talk about everything and anything from football, TV, news and of course The Music.

Brian Rademacher: Will THE OUTFIELD do any upcoming show in America?

Tony Lewis: Weíre just taking this one day at a time. We set out to just make an album just for us and our fans. Anything else on top is just a bonus. Johnís health and well-being is on the top of our list. We have no intentions of doing anything without him.

Brian Rademacher: What would you say was the most unusual thing a fan did to reach you?

Tony Lewis: We have great fans and we always try and give them as much attention and respect as we can. A typical fan would think nothing about driving 4 hours to one our concerts. They are the reason we are still around.

Brian Rademacher: How do you feel about autographs and what was the feeling the first time you gave one?

Tony Lewis: Itís a great feeling to be asked your autograph. I donít remember my first one. I think we appreciate it more now we are older and not in that "bubble" that sometimes bands get in.

Brian Rademacher: Will there be another THE OUTFIELD release before the next five years?

Tony Lewis: Who knows? All I know is that John, Alan and I like making music. We never plan anything. Itís not like a Boxer who retires so he doesnít get his head mashed in. Making music is the best past time I know. Mind you, it can mash your head in too. Ask John!!

Brian Rademacher: Looking back what was one of your best tour riders?

Tony Lewis: We were happy with anything. We are not high maintenance. Clean towels, after show pizzaís and nice cold beers and weíre happy.

Brian Rademacher: What band treated THE OUTFIELD the best and why?

Tony Lewis: We donít have favorites. All the bands weíve met have been great. I still canít forget Phil Lynott. He was a character who was so charismatic. God Bless Him. I was a major THIN LIZZY fan (as you can tell).

Brian Rademacher: You have any regrets?

Tony Lewis: I regret missing the birth of our first child. I was in New York City doing promotion for "Play Deep" and about to start our first tour. I didnít see our baby until she was six weeks old. That is my only regret.

Brian Rademacher: What would you say is the favorite thing that sticks out the most as a musician?

Tony Lewis: I would say that playing live and hearing your fans singing back your songs has got to be the best feeling in the world.

Brian Rademacher: Tony once again the new CD "Replay" is amazing. Just wondering what you thought of our review?

Tony Lewis: Thanks for the album feedback, interview, and thanks for a great review.

Brian Rademacher: Wish you continued success and congratulations on the new CD. Would you like to say anything in conclusionÖ?

Tony Lewis: Weíve had over 25 great years in the music industry. Some highs and lows, but weíve enjoyed every minute. If weíve managed to inspire anyone out there to go out and make music then thatís just a bonus.

Thanks again for a great review. We hope "Replay" connects with a lot of people.

All the best,
Tony

 


 
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