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The Esoteric Artistry of Outsider

The Esoteric Artistry of Outsider

Photo Credit: Paudie Bourke

The Esoteric Artistry of Outsider

Outsider is the creation of Seán Ó Corcoráin, presenting multi-layered, vibrantly melodic songs that captivate the spirit and set the imagination in flight.  Karma Of Youth is the name of Outsider’s debut manifesto, and the artistry contained within will surely enrapture fans of diverse bands such as Arcade Fire, Joy Division, and even Depeche Mode.  Obscure yet compulsively listenable, Karma Of Youth by Outsider is destined to become a sonic addiction to many adventurous music aficionados. Highwire Daze recently caught up with Seán Ó Corcoráin for an indept interview about the makings of Karma Of Youth and the thought provoking world of Outsider.  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Outsider and how long the band has been together.
I am Outsider. It is my alter ego. I write all the songs and play all the instruments since the beginning, about three years since my EP release. My producer has become a band member recently… he wrote Saturn’s Return… So.. one year as a two piece maybe, but a one man show before this!

Where are you based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
Dublin! Hmmm local music scene… I never really understand what a scene is… Ireland is small so it does not have a music scene like America, which is so vast. It is small and most of the people are sycophantic in my opinion. It’s just the truth. I have tried many times to involve myself in it, but the energy lurks…it’s passive aggressive.. I prefer a Muay Thai gym where the aggression is honest. Hmm yeah.. I am an Outsider by name and nature.. Some cool venues… seen some great shows.. But artistically.. Eh… maybe I am too close to it.. I can see right through the Dublin scene. Great music is the scene. So yeah, music, people, sharing moments, sharing energy. We need individual artists creating pure art who are not afraid to challenge one another. We need individuation, not some collection of ‘in-crowd’ sycophants. I love big groups of people connecting through pure passion and love of Art. Do we have that? Yes! But it has nothing to do with any ‘scene’. Hope that makes sense.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Karma Of Youth album title?
Yes, it is related to Saturn’s Return. When your Saturn return happens, it’s time to pay the Karma of your youth.The Saturn’s Return is when the planet Saturn comes back to meet your natal Saturn. It takes about 29.5 years for Saturn to return to where it was when you were born. The Saturn’s return hits in the late 20s and its impact is felt into the early 30s.

The artists Goya and Ruben both have spectacular paintings of Saturn coming to devour your youth… definitely check those out. I felt this whole album is related to my Saturn return, the Karma of my youth. So yeah. That’s the reason for the name and yes it is a concept album in that sense.

Select two songs from Karma Of Youth and what inspired the lyrics.
Saviour – Kundalini Awakening inspired the lyrics, however the awakening happened after the song was finished. So the song was a premonition.

Revelation Night Drive – Inspired by Astral Projection, an out of body experience. I was not aware that this is what I was speaking about at the time, but now I know. Taking my soul on a revelation night drive. I astral project at night. Oh and at the time, I was a self-loathing, chain smoking, borderline alcoholic.

Who did the cover art for Karma Of Youth and how much input did you have on it?
Hmmm, my manager knows… My first EP was National Geographic Award winning photographer Hiromi Kano. That is worth checking out. Annie Tidyman did the Artwork for this but then I changed it slightly. I really just scratched it digitally until the original photo was half visible. I needed it to look damaged. I needed it to reflect order and chaos. A disfigured beauty.

What has it been like to release an album right in the middle of a worldwide pandemic?
It is interesting. I mean no tour, no human contact. I love speaking to interviewers, especially American music journalists. They are so open-minded. So doing press in a pandemic is interesting. It is almost like a psychotherapy session. I am not holding back anything. It has been beautiful. I did an interview with INSTINCT magazine and both the interviewer and I cried at separate stages. So it’s very cool actually. We know this is real. It is a very good reminder of how much we all need one another.

If Outsider could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I have already opened for The National in Mannheim, Germany which was incredible.

That is a very tough question. First choice would be either Depeche Mode or The Waterboys.

Depeche Mode because of the band’s relationship with spirituality. I think the fact that I am kundalini-awakened would be a source of interest for them. I am not sure if any of them are…. nevertheless, we would have endless phenomena to talk about. Oh and I love their music.

I love The Waterboys, so does my manager. I feel like I would have a lot to talk about with Mike Scott. He has a song on This is the Sea called The Pan Within. Pan is well known to be the God of the Underworld and many people say they have met with Pan when astral projecting and through an out-of-body experience. My album Karma Of Youth has a song about astral projection too. Mike Scott is deeply spiritual and has lots of hints towards his interest in mysticism in his work. Although they are discreet, someone who is spiritually awakened will spot them. I would not bat an eyelid if Mike Scott told me he is kundalini awakened.

Photo Credit: Paudie Bourke

Outsider is invited to participate on a tribute album to Depeche Mode. What song would you cover by Depeche Mode and why?
I would choose It’s No Good. When I was a kid, I used to watch an awful Top 30 hits Irish music countdown program. The Top 30 in Ireland is awful. Really cheesy shit like Barbie Girl or Robbie Williams. So I am watching this with my brother and then this anti-hero appears. Dave Gahan.. The video for It’s No Good. I mean, he looked like a dark, wrecked, and wretched human being to us…in the midst of all this fakeness.. We were obsessed immediately. It was like they had made a mistake.The way he sings ‘It is written in the stars above’ while he looks absolutely defeated.. It was just powerful.. His defiance…. They shot a different video than this one original is super out there .. I don’t know why they changed it. That blew our minds. Oh and the synth grooves. Dream song to cover.

Is there any story behind the band name Outsider?
Yes. I just felt a strong intuitive draw towards the name for years.. It is influenced by a controversial book called The Outsider by Colin Wilson.

Bowie loved that book too I have recently discovered. When I was 4, I went to school and I used to just walk the playground alone and would not speak to anyone. I felt the name fit me and it stands to this day. I am an Outsider in many ways. Many artists are.. Wilson would say there are many types of Outsider – the romantic outsider, the mystic outsider, etc etc If you feel like you’re alienated from most of humanity and that nobody speaks “your language” or thinks or feels as you do, and if you truly mean this, and live your life alone most of the time, then this book is about YOU.

Any chance of Outsider making their way here to the States to play some shows after the world opens back up, and have you ever been to the States before?
I have been to California to visit my sister. I love America and yes I want to come here. My manager and label have mentioned it. So yes it is on the cards!

What’s up next for Outsider?
I will change the world forever.

Any final words of wisdom?
Workout daily. Get the heart pumping, Meditate.. Any meditation.. Atheist meditation.. Anything .. just do it…Get into Carl Jung. Start your individuation process as soon as possible. Keep an open mind… always.. Many worlds will open up to you then.

Always try and find love in the situation, no matter how negative. Not forced positivity.. Love.

Your vibe always attracts your tribe.

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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