Featured Artist: Inner Outlines

Welcome, welcome! Today I am featuring pop-punk/alternative band Inner Outlines from Jacksonville, Illinois. I played with these guys a while back at a show in St. Louis and not only were they talented musicians but they were all also super nice guys. After seeing how quickly they’ve grown and progressed as musicians and how good their music is, I knew I wanted to do a feature story on them.

The band formed back in August 2014 and since then has released two EP’s, released a brand new single featuring Garret Rapp of The Color Morale, and are in the finals to perform at Pointfest, a large outdoor music festival held in St. Louis, Missouri, by radio station KPNT. With all of the big things they have planned this year, don’t miss out on this band!

What’s the story behind the formation of Inner Outlines? Where did the inspiration come from to start the band?

The summer of 2014 Cody Walker (drummer) had inquired Matt Hall (vocalist) of starting a band after their previous projects had ended. After a month of being left on “read”, Matt had finally said “okay”. They met for the first time in Cody’s hometown of Carrollton, Illinois, and started making plans immediately. Even on the second time getting together they had brought in two more members Andrew Range (guitar) and Billie Dean Smith (bass) and started putting together shows as Inner Outlines. In November 2014 they lost their brother Billie and continue on today with the band name he came up with to honor his memory.

In July 2016 Matt contacted Dylan (guitar) to fill in on bass for a show at Outland Ballroom in Springfield, Missouri, then asked him to play guitar and put Caleb in the bass slot. In August we released our EP It’s Not Safe Here along with a music video for the single It’s Not Safe Here.

Your newest EP It’s Not Safe Here came out this past August…what has the response been like?

So far the response has been great! We have been told:

“I like that bass you was playing, hahhhhhhhh.” – Jonny Craig to Caleb

We always remained focused on what we do as a band and our motto: “I mean, we haven’t gotten any fan mail.” – Caleb

In all seriousness, the EP has been the soundtrack to our growth as a band, the people who have supported us from the very beginning are still here and the family keeps growing. We are just happy to have the opportunity to share what we create with so many people already, we can only imagine what it will be in the future.

What was the reason for choosing to work with Kevin Gates at REACH Audio for this EP? It seems like he has quite the resume, working with The Ready Set, Never Shout Never, and Secondhand Serenade.

We just really liked his work with other bands, and it worked out awesome because he is very personable and is really great to work with. He pushes us in ways we didn’t think possible and he’s a great friend. The only bad thing about him is that he’s a Dolphins fan.

Where did the title It’s Not Safe Here come from? What kinds of topics are explored lyrically on the EP?

“The title It’s Not Safe Here came from the song It’s Not Safe Here first. Chronologically, our song Good For Me was supposed to be on our first record Late Night Thoughts but was completed later due to a time constraint. Then came the title track, which I had been writing for at least a year. I had been coming into realizations in my life and knew that the only way to really connect with our fans is by writing about what we really think about and about topics that we don’t really talk about to our friends and family. It’s a gateway of expression for us. Writing for people gives me comfort and we do our best to give real life a chance to be understood. It’s Not Safe Here (the song) touches on myself wanting to leave the life I once had and create a path for my friends in the same situations I was in to escape as well.

The third track Our Generation was a full collaborative effort of the band. When you wanna be in music full time, you get a lot of backlash and really the hardest part of being a band is getting started solely because of heckling from some kids. I know plenty of people who want to pursue music as a profession who are talked down by their peers or themselves. This song is our response to those who doubt the ability of anyone in the world. We were nobodies two years ago and that all changed because we did what we loved to do and never strayed from the path. Long story short, fuck the haters.

Lastly, the final track is Feel Nothing.  Personally my favorite song on the EP, this song lyrically touches mainly on the idea that you can be forced to be anyone you aren’t comfortable with being because of a toxic place or person in your life and that it’s okay to break ties with those things if it betters you. Feel Nothing means not to be lifeless and numb, but to be invincible and confident in your choices to be a better person.

It’s Not Safe Here is our growth through our own lives and telling what we’ve seen and overcome and we’re not slowing down anytime soon.” – Matt Hall, vocalist

Congratulations on making it to the finals of the Road to Pointfest! What has that experience been like so far?

So far, so good! The last time we were in this competition we made it this far, but this time we are practiced. The songs sound great, we are confident, and no matter what the outcome is we are proud to be in this band. We’ve got a summer of plans we can’t wait to share with everyone and hopefully Pointfest is in those plans!

So, let’s talk about this new single…in my opinion, it’s the best song that you guys have ever written (and not just because it features Garret Rapp, who is my favorite vocalist of all time). What has the response been like on the new single?

Literally what you said. We’ve been told that Halo has been a favorite release to a lot of people. We’re ecstatic about the response! We have been working more as a unit when it comes to songwriting and Halo is the first of many songs that we’ve busted our asses to record and release as fast as we can! We plan on releasing maybe 2-3 more songs as they are completed before we disappear into the studio with Kevin Gates. We are not at liberty to go into any specifics, but we will say that we are in the works of a new full length album exploring our genre of music that is to be released this coming winter! We’ll give out more details when we can, but for now, Halo has really shown us that our fans are on board with what we are trying to accomplish and the support is nothing less of extraordinary!

Where did the decision come from to feature Rapp on the new single and what was it like getting to work with him?

Our drummer Cody Walker is one of the biggest TCM fans we know! He went out on a limb and came to us one day with the contact info and we knew we had to at least try to get Garret on a song. Garret was originally going to be featured on It’s Not Safe Here (EP), but we didn’t want to rush anything. If we were gonna put him in a song, we weren’t going to just throw him on one of our tracks. We wanted him to be a part of our music in his own right. We asked him to write his own lyrics for his part in the 2nd verse and it turned out fantastic! We have yet to perform Halo live with Garret, but maybe one day there will be a The Color Morale/Inner Outlines Tour to get that opportunity! Garret Rapp is a great guy with a giving soul and has inspired us to continue on our path with passion!

You can watch the video here (please do, this song is incredible).

Moving forward, what does the rest of 2017 look like for Inner Outlines? Any new music or tours?

New Full length Inner Outlines record Winter 2017

We are currently booking tours and getting set to deliver a new kind of Inner Outlines to the people. Our live show is only getting better and we may have a few tricks up our sleeves 😉


Anything else that you guys would like to mention that I left out?

Just a quick shout out to our homie Freddy D’Angelo! Check out Freddy D’Angelo Studios on Facebook!

Need a producer? Kevin Gates is our guy over at REACH Audio on Facebook!

And last but not least, GO LISTEN TO MOCKLOVE!!!

Inner Outlines released It’s Not Safe Here on August 6, 2016.

Check out Feel Nothing, also my favorite song from the EP It’s Not Safe Here:

Inner Outlines is (from left to right): Andrew Range (guitar), Dylan McCormick (guitar), Matt Hall (vocals), Caleb Elmore (bass), and Cody Walker (drums).

Thanks for reading!

Featured Artist: Boys Home

Welcome to a new artist feature! Today, I’m writing about my conversation with Christian Nichols from Boys Home (formerly known as Bruise) from Kansas. I played with these guys quite a while ago at a house show in Kansas City and they were awesome. They reminded me of some old, angsty Title Fight, which I’m all about.

The band formed in January 2016, and their debut EP Mary, Your Son Has Left Me was released in July 2016; now they are currently in the studio working on their new full-length album (title hasn’t been disclosed yet) and how excited they feel about it makes me that much more excited to hear their new music. Writing this new album, their main influences are Hum, Jimmy Eat World, and Smashing Pumpkins. With some recent lineup changes, a new record coming out and over 100 days of touring planned this year, you don’t want to miss out on these guys!

What’s the story behind the formation of Boys Home (formerly known as Bruise)?

Lennon (our drummer) and myself were in a band prior to this that started in 2009. Towards the tail end of 2015, we realized our tastes were changing and our desire to be out on the road and touring became something we absolutely had to stop putting on the back burner. Our happiness kind of depended on it. So we started what was then Bruise in hopes to write music that was incredibly honest with the goal of touring as much as we possibly could.

What was the reason behind changing the name from Bruise to Boys Home?

When we started Bruise…we were aware of a contemporary rock duo from the UK with the same name, but they didn’t seem as active. Right around the time we started Bruise, there was a hardcore band from Indiana that also started under the same name. After both bands began getting tagged in the wrong events and such, we felt it was smart to move forth with a name change. We felt Boys Home was the only fitting name after throwing around about a million ideas.

Your debut EP Mary, Your Son Has Left Me was released in July 2016…after having been released for a while, what are the band’s feelings about the EP as you are recording a new record?

The one-year “birthday” for Mary will be in July. That record was a “photograph” of a moment in time for us. We still believe in that record and we still love it. We’re working on a full-length right now and it’s quite a departure from Mary. It’s less pissed off and more optimistic.

What’s the story behind the title of the EP?

We wrote MYSHLM in a transitional period of our lives. It was just Lennon and I at the time. We approached everything on that EP from two perspectives: a very literal side of us that was struggling with the ideas of life, death, and a greater purpose, and a metaphorical side that was very much about the transitional phase we were going through. It’s about realizing you no longer identify with the surroundings that used to be so familiar to you.

It appears Boys Home has been busy trying to tour as much as possible, touring off the release of your debut EP last summer with two more tours following…does the band have any specific touring plans for 2017 after the new record is finished?

We have set a goal for a total of at least one hundred days on the road this year. We did just over sixty days last year. We are very proud of LP1 and want to properly promote it by being on the road as much as possible.

Any good tour stories from your tours last year?

Our first tour as Bruise we got to hang out with some homies in the OKC area. After the show we met up with them at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Someone ended up with a pretzel and it just so happened we had a baseball bat in our van. We ended up playing pretzel baseball and it was way tight.

Boys Home - Pretzel Baseball
Just a casual game of pretzel baseball between friends. Photo credit: Steinmiller Productions

What are you guys most excited about as you are recording this album?

We’re really just happy with the fact that we feel like these songs are completely genuine and really sincere. They’re very emotional and I think it marks an important period for us, personally, as songwriters. We poured a lot into this record.

The band recorded their debut EP with Cody Nichols at Revealed Studios in Chanute, KS…what was the reason you guys wanted to go back and work with him for your new record?

Because he kills it more and more each time, haha. He really knows what we’re after and he’s always doing whatever it is that he can to give these songs their own little world to live in. Sonically, the LP is the best sounding thing we’ve done in our musical careers, I think.

Anything you want to tell the fans about your new record? What can they expect?

Any previous fans are definitely going to find a couple of gems on the record that are extensions of what we were doing last year but it will also be full of surprises. It definitely has a more optimistic outlook than the EP.

They can also expect a shift in sound. We’re still the same band. We’re just trying to look at the world around us a little differently. I think that’s something you hear in the record. I also think listeners can expect a “moment” in almost every song. A moment that’s almost an epiphany in the story of each song. I think there’s at least a song for everyone on here. I don’t know…we’ll let you check it out for yourself!

Anything you guys want to mention that I left out?

We’re about to announce a cool run with our friends in Glacier Veins, so be sure to keep an eye on our social media pages for those dates!

Mary, Your Son Has Left Me was released July 7, 2016 and can be found at boyshome.bandcamp.com

As always, I’m going to leave you with my favorite track from the band. Here’s Lighten Up, Kid:


Boys Home Promo with Logo
Boys Home is: Christian Nichols (guitar and vocals), Lennon Nichols (drums and vocals), and Logan Herrera (bass and vocals) Photo credit: Jacob Gill

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow this blog for more great artist features!