HRH favourites The Outlaw Orchestra have released a new mini-album, so it was a great excuse to catch up with frontman ‘Rocker’ Dave Roux.

Hi Dave, thank you for taking timeout to chat for HRH Mag – the new mini- album Powercut came out a few days ago, can you tell us more about it and how it came to be?
Throughout summer when allowed we’d get together, sit in a garden and jam acoustically like we always do before or after a gig. Pete and I started on some new songs that took shape then quickly became a handful of songs. I said “we should stick a mic in a room and record these like we’re in a dressing room at a venue. Lockdown then struck again so we had Ryan record drums in his garage studio, Pete did banjo, pedal steel and bass in his studio and I recorded vocals and guitar in mine. We mixed it online with our engineer/producer Dave Evans and said “This is us when folk have gone home, the chairs are up the lights are down and there are no amps, just us a few beers and our country roots”.

It was a session on Rattlesnake Radio, so you just decided to put the 8 tracks out as a recording?
We hooked up with The Rattlesnake 982.5 Radio which is in a one-horse town in middle America, the radio station shares its premises with a gas station, there is a diner that has one dish on the menu if you are sitting in and a penitentiary/correctional facility. DJ Rowdy Mike and Crazy Jeff wanted us to play a session for them so we linked up our new recordings with their great DJ introductions, together we made POWERCUT.

Last time I saw you Dave, you were roaming around the forest with your dog Ted, for the single ‘Send Some Whiskey Home’. I guess it was a dead cert for the new album?
We had previously released ‘Send Some Whiskey Home’ on the debut album Pantomime Villains but to be honest the recording on POWERCUT is how it was supposed to be when I first jammed it and sung it over in LA at a gutter party (that means beers and deck chairs on the sidewalk) I played and sung it and my friend Trish Burke sang harmony, that’s her on the recording, she is an awesome singer.

How is the adorable Ted?
Ted is awesome, he loves live music and wags his tail hard at gigs and always howls along with me, I don’t know if it’s complimentary but he only howls when I sing. There are some videos of him doing this if you join The Outlaw Orchestra Brotherhood on Facebook, this is the non-official band page with our friends and supporters. We all have a laugh there, share pics and have fun. We’ll be starting the Outlaw Wolfpack soon whereby we want pics of folk’s dogs in their Outlaw t- shirts….we’re huge dog lovers in The Outlaw Orchestra.

You are one of the few bands that play with lap steel and double bass on the current circuit. Are you surprised at the large number of ‘rock’ fans that enjoy your music?
We are now a trio and Pete and I share bass duties, Pete isn’t just playing banjo, he is playing bass with bass floor pedals and I have a split guitar/bass rig, it’s like patting your head, rubbing your tummy and juggling at the same time, we might sound like country-rock but it’s technical …someone recently labelled us HILLBILLY RUSH, that works for us! I think deep down all of us rock and metal fans appreciate roots music in blues and outlaw country. I reckon in the ‘90s, Johnny Cash could have played Download and he’d have been as bad-ass as the next guy, that’s our angle and who doesn’t love a cowboy bad-ass and a bar-room brawl even if you’re a metalhead thru to a Nashville guitar-slinger!

Not being able to play live, are you busy writing at the moment?
We never stop Diane, if you head to http://www.theoutlaworchestra.com you’ll see that we put out a weekly cover song on our videos page. We recorded virtually and covered anything from The Animals to Creedance Clearwater to The Rolling Stones to The Dukes Of Hazzard theme tune. You cannot let the voice or fingers get rusty and then we recorded and released POWERCUT and have already recorded six tracks for the new electric album that will be out in September. We’ve had plenty of play from Planet Rock radio to being a regular band on Roadhouse Radio Nashville…we’re keeping busier than ever.

One of your songs is called ‘Chicken Fried Snake’ would you eat Fried Snake if it was on the menu? What’s the most bizarre food you’ve eaten?
Great question, Pete and myself are vegetarian so we’d pass on the snake – Ryan however, will try anything once, he is a real foodie, he is a really great cook as well as being a connoisseur of whiskey, I have no doubt he’d put an entire snake into a baguette, lace it with a balsamic reduction add a pinch of cilantro and handful of crushed pecans and a side of Tahini which would appeal to his Texas-Egyptian palette! Most bizarre food eaten – a pint of juiced celeriac first thing in the morning…….how was it? Explosive, I’ll leave it there!

What else is coming up for The Outlaw Orchestra, do you have any gigs planned yet?
Lots and lots of gigs booked from June onwards (fingers crossed) plenty around Sheffield and Doncaster. A tour of Ireland in December and every corner of the UK should be covered by January.

What else have you been up to during lockdown?
Buying way too many instruments, making rock’n’roll jewellery for many Outlaw friends – I am a goldsmith by trade and still keep my hand in!

Have you any message for your fans and HRH Mag readers?
We are looking forward to getting back up to Sheffield, we used to say it was our second home but to be honest, it’s now become The Outlaw Orchestra home…we love it up there and we have so many friends in the city of steel. We can’t wait to rock out with our friends from the South up to Scotland not forgetting we are covering Wales and Ireland this year…..it’ll be a blast.

HRH have always been so damn good to us and helped us build a huge circle of friends in the north so we are forever grateful to you guys and its a pleasure to spend a little time chatting with you, we love you guys!

Interview by Diane Davies