In this week’s Featured Artist Friday we take a look at Chicago Rock N’ Roll band OUTDrejas. OUTDrejas’ four members are lead singer and guitarist David Drejas, keyboardist Onnie Jonas, bassist and vocalist Tyler Smith, and drummer Jake D.
The band was originally formed by David Drejas to enter a battle of the bands competition in which they ended up finishing second place overall. OUTDrejas draws influence from a wide variety of genres that include hard rock, blues, punk, classic rock, metal, and ska.
“I actually was watching a DVD called AC/DC Live at Donnington when I thought to myself, wow that would be a lot of fun to do!” said David. “The musicians that have been most influential on me are Angus Young of AC/DC, George Thorogood, Buddy Guy, and Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold. Personally, I don't think OUTDrejas sounds like any of them too much (which is good, right?).”
David serves as the band’s primary songwriter. The writing process will typically begin in one of two ways. David’s primary method will begin with a chord or guitar riff that he likes. Once those riffs and chords are built into a song structure that he is proud of, David will then write lyrics that he feels fit the melody that was written.
David will also begin writing a song by simply singing lyrics to himself. He will then build the riffs, chord progressions, and rhythm sections around how he wants his lyrics to be expressed. When building the songs with the lyrics first, David feels that he is able to write more memorable songs.
“I usually don't write too much down at first,” said David. “If I have a cool riff or hook, then I feel like I shouldn't need any help remembering it the next time I play. Once I find the right words, and that can sometimes even take a couple of years, then I have the final makings of a song. I try to write songs about different things. Sometimes there is some overlap, but I feel like it helps each song live on it's own if it's unique to the rest of our material.”
OUTDrejas recently released their singles “Promise,” “I Can't See The Stars,” and “Castle Walls” on Spotify, iTunes, and their bandcamp website. The band has another single that will be released before the new year, which will be titled “Something New.”
The music video to their song “Promise” was released this past October and has reached nearly 200,000 views on Facebook. OUTDrejas also participated in our most recent recording of our Whiskey Point Sessions with Audio Warrior Productions.
The Chicago based band performed a cover song and two originals, which included their single “Promise.” The first video will be released on Tuesday, November 28th at 8:00 am with the other two videos to be released at the same time on Thursday and Friday of next week.
“Some of the songs have a deeper meaning that I hope also raises a certain awareness to particular things,” said David. “But at the end of the day, people remember how you make them feel more than what you say to them. If our recorded music and/or live show makes people feel good, then we have done our job as a rock band.”
This year OUTDrejas has performed in over fifty different shows. Their next performance is tonight at Joe’s Live in Rosemont, Illinois. OUTDrejas will be in the Next2Rock competition sponsored by 101WKQX and 97.9 The Loop that will also feature nine other local artists such as Comfort Scarcity, Marina City, Punch Cabbie, and Brent brown.
Following the Next2Rock competition, their next show will be December 29th at the Trophy Room in Chicago, IL. Other artists that will be performing have not yet been announced. You can stay up to date with all of OUTDrejas’ upcoming shows and releases by visiting their website, fuckthepackers.com
“The main goal of every live show is to have a lot of fun and influence other people to also have a lot of fun,” said David. “Some people work all week at jobs they don't like for too little money so when they decide they want to go see a rock show, I'm hoping they have a good time while they watch us.”
Next week’s friday spotlight will be Springfield EDM artist KaBASS. If you haven’t seen our other releases of Whiskey Point Sessions already, then be sure to check out Whiskey Point Sessions with Brandon James and Abzu over on our YouTube Channel.
(From top to bottom) Lead singer and guitarist David Drejas, bassist Tyler Smith, drummer Jake D, and keyboardist Onnie Jonas. photo taken by James Charles.
Guitarist and lead singer David Drejas performing at the House of Blues in March. photo taken by Anthony Matozzi.
Bassist and backup vocalist Tyler Smith during one of OUTDrejas' performances. photo provided by Tyler Smith.
Keyboardist Onnie Jonas during OUTDrejas' performance at the House of Blues this past March. Photo provided by Onnie Jonas.
David Drejas during one of his solo's during one of OUTDrejas' performances. photo provided by David Drejas.