THE LASH OUTS – Validation Song (interview)

Sweet Sweet Music talked with Joey Holbrook and Ralph Thompson about The Lash Outs’ new release Validation Song.

“These songs merely express a common dude’s observations on consumerism and spoiled young people combined with the familiar themes of fear, anxiety, and social ineptitude.”

Find out what else they have to say about this Punk-Power Pop – Rock gem.


What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?

Joey:  We drove to Oklahoma to record with Stephen Egerton again.  He’s very detail-oriented which is one of the main reasons why we keep going back to him.  The fact that he’s an extremely gifted songwriter doesn’t hurt either.  We always have a good time when we go up to visit him.
We also spent a lot of time in the hotel room watching Mr. Show on DVD.  That was fun.

If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?



Joey:  I’m more of an “album guy” than a “song guy”.  If I had to pick just one song then I would say “State of Excess” (the title track) because it exemplifies the general theme of the album, or at least the second half of the album.


Ralph:  I’d say check out “Don’t Know Why” as it demonstrates the progression of the band wrapped up in a tight, two and a half minute nugget.  Who doesn’t have two minutes to spare?


The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?


Joey:  As a music fan, the Internet has not only given me access to new music but some amazing old music as well.  I’m in my late twenties now so I’ve been using the Internet as a resource since I was a little kid.  It takes very little effort to get your music online and available to the public and I’d much rather e-mail a link to a publication, radio station, etc. than mail a tangible product and press kit.  From a financial standpoint, it costs us virtually nothing to take the digital route.
I’m pretty introverted and I can be shy when meeting new people.  The Internet allows me to network without having to leave the house or make an awkward phone call.  It’s great.

We don’t make much money from digital sales and streaming music, but we’re just glad that people are listening to our songs.  If we were “in it for the money” then we wouldn’t be playing rock music.  We would have implemented a drum machine or a ukulele by now. Gotta stay current, you know?


Ralph:  The model for “local” bands now allows a little band from Dallas, Texas to reach folks all over the globe, yourself included.  We’re grateful it allows us to connect with bloggers, podcasters and fans who enjoy similar music.  There’s nothing not to like about this model – like Joey said, we aren’t focused on making money.  We’re more interested in reaching people who enjoy our stuff.


Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?


Joey:  We played a gig with Mugen Hoso a few months ago and they put on one of the best live shows that I’ve ever witnessed.
I don’t listen to a lot of modern music these days, which is unfortunate because I’m sure that I am missing out on a lot of good stuff.  For the past ten years or so, I’ve been habitually revisiting old music maybe every six months; but in the last year I’ve pretty much immersed myself in old blues.  If deceased musicians are allowed then I would have to namedrop guys like Mississippi John Hurt, Henry Thomas, Blind Boy Fuller, Sleepy John Estes . . . the list goes on and on.  These players directly or indirectly influenced every style of western music that came after them, but to this day their contributions are still being overlooked.
It’s some of the best music ever recorded and a lot of these dudes (and ladies) incorporated some pretty dark or risque themes into their songs.  When I listen to a standard pop-rock love song now, there’s a part of me that sort of resents the person who is singing the song.  After hearing someone like Charley Patton sing about spending time in jail or surviving the worst flood in American history, the whole “Oh, baby / You broke my heart / Please don’t leave me” thing just seems trivial.

I digress.

She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mix tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?


Joey:  I’m married now and have been with the same girl for eight years, but I’ll try to pretend that I’m making a mix for a friend in need.  This ultimatum is pretty out of line though.  Honestly, I’d probably just tell my friend to forget about this girl.  Go play video games or read a book instead.

1.  The Toms – Better Than Anyone Else
2.  The Descendents – Cheer
3.  The Gants – I Wonder
4.  Dolly Mixture – Will He Kiss Me Tonight

5.  The Ramones – I Want You Around

Ralph:  To answer this question correctly I’m going to have to take myself back to college….

1. The Promise Ring – Happiness Is All The Rage
2. Weezer – Devotion
3. Paul McCartney – Every Night
4. The Mr. T Experience – I Just Wanna Do It With You

5. Weston – New Shirt / Heather Lewis


What’s up for the next couple of months?



Joey:  Hopefully, more writing and home demoing.  I’ve heard musicians say that they try to write a song every day.  That’s unfathomable to me, but I wish that I could do that.  It takes me about a month to write a song and demo it before presenting it to the rest of the band.  We’ve got a few new tunes in the bag though.

Check the website for updates or buy here

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