VAIL — In 2010, when not everyone was digging the mass production of DJ music via Mac Books consuming the party scene, Boulder-based band West Water Outlaws started doing it the old fashioned way: playing live rock music at house parties and local bars. The crowd dug it, and now, three years later, the band has sold out the Fox Theatre multiple times and has headlined the Boulder Theater with a local draw of more than 600 people. In pursuit of new ears, the West Water Outlaws ambitiously plan to rock more than 150 shows nationally before the end of 2013.
Members include Blake Rooker (vocals/guitar), Will Buck (guitar), Vince Elwood (bass) and Andrew Oakley (drums). People can expect to hear a mixed set list for tonight’s performance at Shakedown Bar in Vail, like songs from “Real Killer,” their 2012 EP, as well as songs from the group’s first full-length self-titled album, set to be released this fall.
Elwood took some time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.
1. Vail Daily: How did you guys get your band name?
Vince Elwood: Unfortunately we’re not very outlaw-ish. It was the creation of our lead guitarist; he liked the idea of the cowboys and the west, and it kind of came together.
2. VD: Where do you guys get your inspiration?
VE: A lot of different sounds. For example, our lead guitarist Will, he’s into Eric Clapton, plus a lot of reggae and more relaxed music. Then Blake, he’s into the more heavy stuff like metal. Our drummer Andrew is the old soul of the group, and the music master of jazz. I fall more towards soul music too, but I listen to a lot of Iron Maiden because of the strong bass sound. I even like classical music.
3. VD: After you guys started playing at house parties back in 2010, what did you learn about your sound and how the crowd responded to it?
VE: Generally, we would just jam on stage when we first started out playing the party scene. We’d do 40-minute improvisations and see how stoked everyone would get. You know that moment where a song can come out of a jam? You extract that and revisit it the next day.
4. VD: Have you guys ever been to Vail?
VE: Yeah, we’ve played at Samana Lounge before, and Agave over in Avon. I like the crowd a lot out there in the mountains. I used to be a ski bum myself, actually. The audience is always really receptive and into the music.
5. VD: If you had to be any animal, what would you be?
VE: I’d be the eagle from the YouTube video “Eagle vs. (Mountain) Goat.” Check it out if you’ve never seen it. No one would mess with me if I was that eagle.