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GET TO KNOW: Outlaw Boogie


Photo: Michael Dent


Following on from a flurry of bold and enticing releases throughout the year, London-based artist and songwriter Michael James Dent aka Outlaw Boogie is now capping off his 2021 with his latest captivating cut 'Eyes Wired Shut'.


Bringing back more of that rich and atmospheric direction her has cultivated for himself these last few months, 'Eyes Wired Shut' sees him return with a wonderfully woozy delight. With its glittering textures, warm hooks, and laid-back vocals layered throughout, we can't wait to hear where this journey takes him next.


So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and influences over the years.


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What was the first band or artist you fell in love with?


I was always exposed to music in our house from a young age, and I remember my dad playing a lot of Led Zeppelin in those times. However, they never really made a big impression on me, and it was actually the heavier music of the time that really grabbed me. Metallica were probably the first, and I still love their 80s output. I’m not sure if it was the aggression, the lyrical depth or just their killer riffs, but they made the biggest impression.


Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like?


I’ve always been very into the idea of making music with anyone who will allow me to join in, and I first formed a band with some school friends when I was around 14. I was the lead singer, and we were called Mind of Sorrow… if you didn’t like Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden then you definitely couldn’t hang with us, and that’s probably why I wasn’t very popular in school.


What has been your primary inspiration in writing music?


Writing music has always been my big thing, as well as recording and production. In terms of musical influences, I hardly ever go in with a specific inspiration. I have a bit of a scatterbrain, and I’m always coming up with silly ideas like “what would it sound like if someone wrote a whimsical Paul Simon-esque number, but in the style of shoegaze?”. I usually find that it sounds awful, so I try to just let anything I come up with on an instrument guide the way for me, and just try to slyly throw in some cool ideas I’ve pinched from another record. The main inspiration is just to become a better songwriter and musician in general.


What is a song you wish you had written yourself?


There’s way too many songs that I wish I could call my own, and even then, would they be nearly as good if I had sung them? I’m always super jealous of the vibe of a recording or an album, so for that I really wish I had made Abbey Road (The Beatles), As If Apart (Chris Cohen), Light Up Gold (Parquet Courts) and Aja (Steely Dan). They are just cool fucking records.


If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be?


I’m very very lucky to have actually ticked off some things from my own musical bucket list, and everything at this stage is just a very lovely bonus. Playing the main stage at Green Man Festival 2015 was amazing, writing The Circle was also a big moment for me. I wouldn’t want to relive any of them, though. Those moments are beautiful because not only can you tick off that achievement, but it also gives you that drive to go even further, which you never thought was there.


Which artist would you most love to share a stage with?


If he’s reading, I would be the best support act Paul McCartney could ever ask for, because I’m not that shit. There’s a lot of bands/artists I’d love to open for. To be honest, I’m more into the idea of playing certain places than playing with other acts. Get me on the line-up for End of The Road, or book me a tour of Apulia, Italy.


And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well?


Again, there’s so many artists that I would love the opportunity to get in the studio with, but I would really like to work with someone a bit more leftfield to the music I make. Get me in a room with Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains), Thundercat and Donald Fagen (Steely Dan).


Where do you see yourself in five years time?


It’s hard to really say! I would really like to have done a couple of Outlaw Boogie albums, and whilst that goal is rooted in my brain, I need some kind of reason to do it that isn’t just self-indulgence. I’m very happy with my independent profile right now; I get to release music whenever I want and I’m not stuck to any deadlines imposed on me, so I get to make Outlaw Boogie an exact interpretation of my own personality, which is quite important to me. I’m getting the whole live experience going in Spring next year, with my new EP also due around the same time, and whilst I don’t want to commit all my life to touring, I hope I can create a show that will be entertaining in it’s own right, and will manage to progress in a natural way.


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Outlaw Boogie's new single 'Eyes Wired Shut' is available to stream now. Check it out below.