AotW - Outline In Color

About The Band
My name is Nick Taylor, and I'm the drummer of Outline In Color. I hail from Portland, Oregon — as does our clean vocalist, KC Simonsen. Michael Skaggs is our bassist, and he lives in Denver, Colorado. One of our guitarists, Peyton Carvell, comes from just outside of Kansas City, Missouri, and the rest of the band — guitarist CJ Cochran and vocalist Trevor Tatro — live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Our band could best be described, I guess, as a "metalcore" band. Most often we're described as a band of contrast; KC Simonsen's melodies contrast often sharply with Trevor Tatro's no-holds-barred style of screaming vocals. We get the "Jekyll and Hyde" analogy a lot and I hope the rest of the boys enjoy hearing that one as much as I do.
Why did you choose music?
We get asked a lot about how we chose music, and the truth is that most of us have had music with us our whole lives. One of my earliest memories is of listening to music with my dad and my younger brother and that's never stopped. Everyone in this band plays guitar to varying degrees, and most of us started that young as well. We followed a passion. Fast forward to now, several years into this band, and that passion gets to be brought into every city we're lucky enough to visit.
What brought you guys together?
At its start, the band was based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At that time there were some different members, and gradually the lineup has molded into what it is now. Michael Skaggs moved to Denver and that has never been a problem for writing or practicing before tour. KC was attending Berklee College of Music in Boston before he was found on YouTube when the band needed a new singer. I joined with Peyton Carvell almost exactly a year ago after we were both superfans who had worked with Outline In Color in some capacity — Peyton recording with CJ for a band called To Speak in Whispers a few years back and my touring with Outline in my old band, Elenora. We're all spread across the country now, but we meet up as brothers and have a blast every time we get into the same room (or van) again.
What other people or artists inspire you?
One of the best parts about being in very different environments when we're not on the road is that we end up with a multitude of influences. We all listen to a ton of music, and though we each hover at round certain genres, there are a ton of things almost all of us enjoy. To name a few: Pierce the Veil, Bring Me The Horizon, a lot of trap/hip-hop/R&B stuff. At this point good music defies genre lines so our mix CDs for the van are all over the place.
I think you can really hear a lot of that on our new album, Struggle. We tried to bring out all of our musical influences during different parts of the songs, but when the album was written it certainly had an overarching theme. We almost second-guessed ourselves on titling the album but we wanted it to be very simple. We've been in bands and Outline has been a band for a long time. During that time, there have been numerous personal struggles with everything from addiction to depression — you name it, we've been there. Beyond personal struggles we've had to fight every step of the way to get to where we are now, and we wanted to make that clear.
What are your goals with your art/music?
Overall, we wanted people to know that we are there with them, fighting for perky and clawing tooth and nail just "to feel normal."
That said, I think the honesty is what really stands out the most on this record as compared to other releases. We wanted to leave it all on the line with this one, and we wanted in no uncertain terms to get real with our friends and fans. Musically, there's a shift as well; that's served to really bring the tone of the record into line with the ideas we wanted to express lyrically.
What do you think youd be doing right now if music wasnt a part of your life?
On the flip side of where we've been in the past, there's always the possibility of where we'd be without this band, both as individuals and as a group. To that I say we truly don't know. Hell — who knows whether a couple of us would even be around. We have never had backup plans. That's not how this works. For my life, it's only been as this has progressed that I've been able to plan for my other hobbies and other aspirations. Music has been my whole life for as long as I can remember and I know I'm not alone in that.
That said, though, and now that we are where we are, I know everyone has talked about what they'd love to be doing in the future. As a band we all want to be able to say we've sold a million records, sold out a stadium, saved people's lives through our art, helped people... The things U2 might mention in an interview. Really. Aside from that I'd love to write a hit pop song. A few of us would like to own successful businesses or clothing lines, or have a home that music paid for or have professional high-end recording studios or have cool cars. Quality-of-life stuff.
Any tips youd like to give to people who are currently in a Struggle of their own?
As cliche as it might sound, the boys and I would like to mention to anyone out there who's having a struggle of his or her own: you're not alone, at all; it gets better; and most importantly, there's someone out there that can help. We also try our best to be available at shows and after shows, so if there's something you want to get off of your chest or maybe you just need a hug, come talk to us.

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