Interview with keyboard player Bobby Williamson, Outworld (January 3rd 2008) 

In November 2006, Texas based OUTWORLD unleashed their much anticipated debut CD “Outworld.” Featuring shred prodigy Rusty Cooley on guitar, “Outworld” took the metal scene by storm with outstanding reviews. With its unique and instantly recognizable sound, complex song arrangements, and unparalleled musicianship. No less than an authority other than Dream Theater’s John Petrucci raved: “The thing that stands out the most, however, is the maturity of the song structures. Really cool riffs, melodic hooks and a great mix have made this one of my favorite releases of the year.”

Hearing the CD again, I looked at their website and found out that they have started the recording of their second album. And I know that curiousity killed the cat, but still I had to know more about the band and their new album. At the moment the band has no label, but listening to new songs on it can only be a matter of time.

- What has the band been doing after the release of "Outworld"?

Bobby - For the first few months we were working on getting Carlos Zema, our new singer, over to the USA on a VISA. Once we got him here we started rehearsing all of the songs 3 times per week at least. After about 4 months we did a video of our song “War Cry”, and entered a Famecast video competition online. 2 months later we played 3 in Houston and two in Austin. One of the gigs in Austin was the final round for the Famecast competition where you have to perform live against all the bands that made the final round. We won and took home $10,000! It was interesting because during the two months we were competing online.In the competition, we knew we’d have to be flown to another city in the USA to compete in the final round if we made it that far, but we didn’t know which city. And we knew it was going to be within 2 days of our other gig, which was at NAMM. We thought we might have to cancel one of the gigs. When we found out the competition was going to be in the exact city as our NAMM gig, we just couldn’t believe the good luck! We felt it was absolute fate, especially after we won the grand prize! It was an amazing thing. I want to say thanks to all the fans out there that supported us during that competition, they came through for us and we had no idea our fan base was so huge! So now, Outworld works on the 2nd album!

- Who are in the band at this moment? Have there been more changes?

There haven't been any member changes since the acquisition of Carlos on vocals. Once we acquired him, we knew the line-up was whole and complete. 

- How important is Rusty Cooley for the band? Is he the bandleader?

Bobby - He's not the band leader so to speak, but he contributes more to the writing process more than any other. However, that doesn't mean he writes everybody's musical parts. Rusty brings a lot to this band in a lot of ways, one of which is his continuous mentions and articles in guitar magazines. I notice a spike in CD and merch sales whenever his face is placed in the's free promotion, we love it?

- At the moment you are in the Studio, what can we expect of the new record?

Bobby - At the moment we have 3 or 4 new songs up on our Myspace page, here are some comments that were left on our page: "Truely fucking awesome shit!! It's amazing how close Carlos's vocals get sometimes to sounding like The Ripper! The new material is monstrous, I hear that original Outworld sound and original twist of each player, Rusty...sweet riffs as usual! The first song bears resemblance to Symphony X".

There were hundreds of comments on our page. But I think I speak for the whole band when I say I think the next album will be one of the most intense progressive-power metal albums ever heard. With the addition of Matt on drums and Carlos on vocals, this new material is going to be a nice progression from the last. A new energy altogether, I'd say.

- Does the band feel more pressure, because people expect an even better album?

Bobby - Well, after getting the final line-up in place, there haven't been any worries about how the follow-up release will sound. Naturally you'd think there would be some pressure coming off of a debut CD, and having to replace 2 members.... but it's not there at all. We are excited how our 10+ songs are sounding. No worries!

- Who writes most of the songs, or is this a band-thing?

Bobby - It's for the most part a band thing. Rusty comes in with a kick ass guitar riff, or sequence of riffs, and we all help him arrange it as we work our parts in and around it. The basic formula is to get the drums and bass working with the guitar riffs. Then, once a good sequence of riffs is in place I start creating keyboards in and around it...which may or may not change the direction of the song a bit. A lot of times a lick that Shawn plays on bass, or Matt plays on drums will spawn a new idea to add into the song. Carlos helps a lot with the arranging of the parts, choosing what he wants to sing over and how long parts should be, and if they should even be there at all, etc. 

- Is the record again being produced by Gregg Gill?

Bobby - The demo was done over at Gregg's Diamond Recording Studio. However, we aren't sure where we'll do the production for the full CD. Since we are looking for a new record label, we aren't sure if maybe they would pick a producer for us, or leave it up to us. If it was up to Outworld, we'd probably record at Diamond Recording Studio, then mix and master at another place.

- Can you tell already something about the lyrics we can expect?

Bobby - Yes the lyrics will be along the same temperament as before, but just written to be a little more melodious. Carlos likes to write about phenomenon and science.. so it ought to be interesting. We are learning towards the next CD being conceptual. 

- Is Outworld a God-related band? I see His name several times in the thank-list.

Bobby - No, this is not a band based on religion. Every band member could probably tell you what their personal beliefs are, but understandingly, I wouldn't want to speak on their behalf.

- What's the strangest thing that happened last year?

Bobby - I think just having incredible good luck in the band. Carlos obtained a 3 year VISA merely based on what Immigration authorities saw as a successful Outworld. It’s strange enough since USA Homeland Security is really making it hard to be an immigrant here these days. You wouldn’t think they’d give a 3 year VISA and a social security number to a singer wanting to be in a band that hasn’t hit complete stardom yet. Also, of course, the phenomenal good luck with Famecast’s final round competition and the NAMM gig landing on the same weekend in the same city. Is that fate, or luck? Winning $10,000 dollars was strange because usually it’s not the bands that deserve it that end up winning. So all of these great things coming in a year that Outworld thought had lots of potential to be a bad year, is strange.

- You can take 3 albums with you on a year-long journey, which ones?

Bobby - Circus Maximus - "Isolate",  Symphony X - "Paradise Lost" and Lamb of God - "Sacrament".

- When does the band expect to release the record and are there touring plans, perhaps in Europe?

Bobby - There is no street date, because there is no label yet. We are searching for a new record label. This time we can't go with a small label, we are looking to step things up a few levels. We are doing this so that we can tour and get promoted like a real band should. When we get a good label that puts the band on tour, we would be happy to come to Europe.

- Complete the next sentence: In about 2 years Outworld is...

Bobby - ...headlining at Wacken. Why not shoot for the stars and believe in ourselves? Thanks to all the fans that came to read this, and we'll see you in your town in support of our next release! Take care!!

Interviewed by Reinier de Vries

Outworld - Outworld

For more info on bandet - click on the album cover.