Local Of The Month: Out On The Weekend

Interview by: Abbey Elliott
Photos by: Roxplosion


We say it often here at Aspire; we have some of the coolest local bands in the DMV and one of those is Out on the Weekend. Hailing from Northern Virginia, this four piece of Nathan Scholz, Jack Merline, Brian Donovan and Erik Lund is fixing to releasing their first full length Last Day In Paradise at the end of the month and we can’t wait. The band brings together the fun sounds of Dinosaur Jr., Built to Spill and Weezer with their own personal flare to create a distinctly quirky 90’s rock sound. Last month they released their first single of the album, Palmetto, that embody’s that 90’s rock sound we oh so love making us anxious for their new album’s release. I recently sat down with a few members of the band to talk about the bands history and what inspired them to create this album.


I know that you guys met at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg but how did you guys come together as a band?
Nate: So we’ve been a band for two and a half years at this point, which makes the story a little more complicated. Initially Jack and I met from playing at a church music group at JMU, and Brian and I already knew each other from playing in another band together called Forward Smash from JMU. Currently the band is kind of in a weird amorphous thing since I’m up in DC for grad school and Brian and Jack are both in Harrisonburg.
Since 2014 we’ve had a few change overs for drummers. Our last official drummer quit last fall and since then we’ve kind of just been taking it on a show/recording session basis. We ended up with six drummers on the album.But now we only have one, Erik, who was one of my high school friends.

 

Is there a reason behind choosing the name “Out On the Weekend?”

Nate: So way back in 2014 I wrote and recorded a bunch of acoustic songs and released the album under the title “Out on the Weekend.” When Jack and I started playing music together and wanted to actually turn it into a band we needed a name. Since some of the songs we put on the album were from my solo acoustic project. Plus, I’m horrible with creating band names so we just went with it because everyone liked it.
Initially I took the name from the Neil Young song. I was going through a big phase where he had a big influence on my writing and music and surprisingly no one else has used that song title as a band name, even though it’s one of his more famous songs. I don’t think the Neil young influence really comes across as much in the band’s music in a direct way anymore though, which sometimes confuses people because they hear the name “out on the weekend” and think we’re going be like a country rock like music. But we are more like a loud indie garage thing instead.

 

Did you all graduate? / Where are you guys based out of now?

Nate: Jack and Brian just graduated from JMU this past spring and are still down in Harrisonburg, and I’m about to enter my second year of grad school at American University. We’re kind a based out of nowhere since everyone is spread out, but I would also say we’re based out of DC cause that’s where we’ve mostly been playing shows recently and it’s where I’m going to be for about the next year.

Jack: Yeah. But I will be moving back up to NOVA soon and then Los Angeles in a few weeks.

So, you guys are releasing a new album on the 26th, what inspired you guys to write the album?

Nate Scholz and Erik Lund

Nate: Well technically we are having our release show on the 26th with album previews then. We plan on playing the entire album at the show to give people an idea of what the album will sound like. We will officially be releasing the album on the 29th.

So the new Album is called Last Day in Paradise. It’s honestly something of a swan song for us as a band because after we put this out we have no idea what’s going to happen with the band.  In the last year we have seen a lot of member turn over and a potential end to the band. Honestly, I think the album just tries to embody the spirit of “lets not think about tomorrow till it comes.” I think collects a lot of my past ideas and old songs with some new songs that fits together like a puzzle to embody that idea.

Jack: yeah and I helped with “Ain’t that a Shame” and wrote “Pretension”. But a lot of it was us jamming and trying to figure out how the songs would fit together and work well within the album. The only song that was written before we were a band was “Supposed To Be”.

 

Oh cool ok. Who did you guys record with?

Nate: Since I’m in the Recording program at American I recorded the majority of the album myself in the campus studio. My friend Gil Kline, another student in the program, helped me a lot with tracking vocals and some mixing/editing of the album. I also did a lot of stuff at home and at Jack and Brian’s houses in Harrisonburg. It was recorded in a kind of off and on fashion, song by song. We didn’t have a big “okay here’s the week we’re recording the whole album” kind of moment, which I think actually helped the songs to be better since we didn’t have to rush anything. It definitely isn’t a conventionally recorded album and I think that idea also embodies the spirit of the record some what, because every song we’d start recording would be like “alright, how much can we get done? If it’s good it’ll make it onto the record, if not oh well.” Ultimately this album both helped me develop more as a musician and writer as it did as a recording engineer.

 

That’s really cool guys! Any song off the album that is your favorite or proudest of?

Jack Merline

Jack: I would have to say that my favorite is Ain’t that a Shame. Hands down

Nate: Oh yeah it definitely is! Ha ha.  For me I would have to say is a tie between three songs. I love Palmetto because I think it was both one of my biggest success as a songwriter AND as a recording engineer. I also really like the title track (Last Day in Paradise), because I’m kind of a sucker for those slower power “ballady” rock songs. I also really like the closing track “Gentrification of White Converses” because it’s just this little acoustic rant about how millennials all suck including myself (Nate is chuckles at this statement)  and how growing up and starting to become a part of the actual adult world is kind of terrifying cause I don’t feel ready to be in that world still.

Brian: For me, on the album, I would have to say would be Palmetto, but my favorite to play live is Fade.

 

That is totally awesome thanks guys! Any shows coming up to promote this album?

Nate: Right now we’ve just got our big album release show at Jammin Java in Vienna on June 26th, It should be a great show. We’re also playing a show in Harrisonburg on July 20th at the Golden Pony. After that, everything is kind of in limbo. More shows will kind of depend on everyone’s schedules and how well the album is received by people.  I’m really excited to put this out and I think it’s going to take people by surprise, so don’t expect us to be quiet for too long.


Want tickets to their CD release party on the 26th? Click the picture!


Their first full length LP, Last Day In Paradise, is set to release June 30th. After hearing Palmetto I’m sure you are like me and can’t wait for its release. So until then, I think I will just be playing Palmetto on repeat.

1. untitled
2. Palmetto
3. Half Baked
4. Ain’t that a Shame
5. Supposed to be
6. Fade
7. Pretension
8. Last Day in Paradise
9. Gentrification of white converses

Like what you hear!? Make sure you give this band a like a follow. They are well worth it!
Are you in a band? Releasing music soon? Email Abbey at abbey@aspirepresents.com