THE OUTTASITES, You ain`t cool (but I love you!), 1998Posted: March 5, 2009
Last week I´ve posted some odd German private pressings that I found in thrift-stores and that I hardly knew anything about. I have a lot more to say about the three odd German records that I post this week.
The Outtasites was my own band back when I was still living in Hamburg. I met Carsten at a Man or Astro-man? show in 1995. Seeing that I had been dancing like crazy, he smiled, handed me his beer and said: ” You must be thirsty!”
A while later I met Carsten again on the street in St.Pauli. He had just moved to Hamburg from the South of Germany and gave me one of his fanzines that he was doing at the time.
We talked about Chaos Days, the big Punk meeting that was going to happen in Hannover. We both wanted to go. Another week later we all packed up in his roommate Sebastian`s car and went to Hannover.
The two days at Chaos Days are pretty much a blur. We swam in a sea of thousands of punks, gathering on the streets, drinking and shouting, hundreds of Punks throwing beer cans at each other, Total Chaos playing in a park for free, lots of cops and then the riots started… We spent the whole night on the streets until the sun came up.
The next day, still hung-over and worn-out, we walked over to Hannover´s huge baroque garden and smoked grass. Carsten and I discovered that we were both huge fans of Surf music but also of bands like the Oblivians, Teen Generate and everything Crypt Records put out. While in the park we fantasised about starting a band. At the time I was smoking a brand of cigars called Nobel. I wanted us to be the Nobel 3. Carsten already played guitar. Sebastian had a bass guitar and I lied that I could play the drums.
Back in Hamburg the three of us actually got together in a rehearsal space of a friend. Carsten knew a couple of Surf licks and Sebastian and I enjoyed backing him. After we were finished I admitted that that had been the first time I ever played the drums. I was 29 years old, but I had always liked dancing. Somehow I had figured that if rhythm was the most important thing, I could do it.
We tried out a couple of people but an accordion didn´t really fit and we didn´t want to sound like Electric Frankenstein either. We were going for a sound that was much more primitive.
By coincidence I met Stefan at a Hardcore show and asked if he knew somebody who could play bass. He said: “Yeah, me”, and that sealed it. Stefan never really got into the garage sound. He was a Punker and he liked the more elevated emo/screamo stuff that (together with the crust and grind) saved the underground hardcore scene in the early 90`s. But he gave our sound a certain edge that the more retro-minded garage bands lacked. And I had a lot of common ground with him because I had spent the later half of the 80s in the Hardcore scene.
We called ourselves the Outtasites because by coincidence Carsten and Stefan both wore big-rimmed Ray Ban glasses. They looked like twins and sometimes people thought they were joking when they saw them together. Initially when we played I put on glasses too (without lenses) to match their look. Although Stefan mostly complained, we wore matching outfits that I made before every show. We wanted to be the hardest garage band in Hamburg. Which was not a very difficult task at the time, because most bands were occupied doing the pure 60s beat style. Carsten wrote most of the songs and lyrics and also sang. Live Ann-Kathrin would often join us for a couple of cover-songs by the Gories and the Trashwomen. I also sang on two of our songs. Because I really enjoyed our music, I was always smiling when we played. When Tim Warren saw us playing our first show, he called us: “The Benny Goodmans of Punk Rock”.
We were wilder and sloppier than local bands like the Bazookas, Painted Air, the Looney Tunes, the Sinalco Bums and the Cave Girls. Until we played with the Moorat Fingers. But they were from Bremen. A hard town in the 90`s. I loved that band!
From late 96 to early 98 we played with a lot of local bands mostly in St.Pauli but also made it to Bremen and Berlin. One memorable show was together with Dackelblut, a intelligent Deutschpunk band from Hamburg. Their merch-guy Riebe had invited us to support them at Köpi, the famed squat in Berlin. We travelled in the Dackelblut van and arrived at the site of the huge impressive ruin that is Köpi. We had not played at a place like that. Dackelblut was pretty much a German cult group and soon hundreds of punks filled up the place, the line going way outside of the area. We were scared. How would a bunch of uniformly dressed garage guys go over here? It didn´t help that the last band that had supported Dackelblut at Köpi, the much more prolific Blumfeld, had been booed off the stage by the punks.
When we went on the place was packed. Glue sniffing Polish punkers came in armed with plastic bags full of beer cans. After the second song they started a fight. We kept playing. The fight stopped. I always played standing up and put my drum set directly at the front of the stage. A older-looking very drunk Punker kept messing with me and tried to hit my cymbal with his hands. In between songs I calmly tried to reason with him. No reaction. After a while I had enough. I aimed closely and hit his hand real hard with one of my sticks. He was shocked for a second, but it stopped him. After a while the punks kind of warmed up to us and some were dancing. Now the drunk punker tried to sleep on my bass drum but that only made me hit it harder. In the end we had won the punks over. I thought that if we had made it at Köpi we could play anywhere.
In October 1997 I met my girlfriend Julia and decided to move to Berlin. The band stayed together for another couple of month and we managed to record this 45 in January 1998 at Ronny´s Alien Studio. I don`t remember much of it. I was drunk when it was time to sing my song “Faster”. I slurred the line a little: “I can`t wait to the year 2000” when it must´ve been: Faster, faster, faster -I can`t wait to live in the year 2000. The rest was all good and I tried to sing it as aggressively and over the top as possible: I wanna ride a space shuttle. I want my life to be artificial. I wanna live on the moon. I want my life to be a space cartoon.
Oh, well, that`s how it was pressed into vinyl for eternity.
Carsten had the records pressed and sent them out to some distributors and stores. That was it. I had a real good time in the Outtasites but after that I never played drums again.
At the same session we recorded another of our songs, a Surf-Instrumental kinda like Man or Astro-man? only sloppier, that was featured on the Motormania double-LP put out by Sounds Of Subterrania
Our frequent live guest star was Ann-Kathrin. She had a nice strong voice, great stage presence and impeccable taste in music. Of course she chose the Trashwomen cover. Sadly the Outtasites did not last long enough to recorded anything properly together with Ann-Kathrin in a studio but I recently found these two takes from a rehearsal.