Building on Michigan’s storied rock and pop legacy, The Outer Vibe has long pushed the envelope for live performances with its ultra-animated stagecraft, audience-involving antics, infectious beats and never-ending supply of resplendent stagewear.
But behind the flash and flamboyance of one of West Michigan’s most sought-after live acts, there’s a serious, experienced pop project that goes where few bands have gone before.
Between them, the five band members – Nick Hosford, Lisa Kacos, Sean Zee, Andrew Dornoff and Jeff Brems – boast eight college degrees. The teen Rock Camps they established in 2009 have exploded in popularity, with budding young musicians from Detroit to the Lake Michigan shoreline lining up to soak up the group’s advice on showmanship, teamwork and marketing.
This is a band that built its own cutting-edge recording studio north of Grand Rapids just so it could further polish catchy pop and alternative rock songs which echo influences as far-ranging as Maroon 5 and Muse to Queen and Led Zeppelin.
It’s a road-tested band with rare business acumen that plays more than 100 shows a year, sharing stages along the way with the likes of The Tubes, We The Kings, REO Speedwagon, Local H, Electric Six and more. It’s a band that boasts a walk-in wardrobe full of colorful stage attire and a trailer packed with duplicate sound gear that mirrors the equipment in its state-of-the-art studio/rehearsal space.
It’s a band that eats, sleeps and breathes its musical mission, with group members even embarking on cross-country motorcycle trips together as the White Lightning Motorcycle Club – an alter-ego family affair that pays tribute to Hosford’s late father, “Wild Bill” Hosford.
More than anything, it’s a band that never stops exploring and expanding the boundaries of its own pop music. The Outer Vibe’s three independently released albums (2003’s “Pretty Good,” 2006’s “Games We Play” and 2009’s “Monster EP”) have earned regional acclaim, growing radio airplay, a burgeoning fan base and a street team numbering 1,500-plus in eight states and five countries.
The band's latest studio album, “Hoka Hey,” flaunts an even bolder blend of pop-infused alternative rock – unafraid of horns, vocoders, electronic drums … whatever each song demands and whatever keeps The Outer Vibe in that rarified air occupied by dynamic, hard-working artists with something refreshing to say.
The album title appropriately borrows from a Native American adage that means “it’s a beautiful day to die.” Because for this band, it’s all about attitude: Live life and play music fearlessly, to the fullest, as if today’s your last.
Meet The Outer Vibe: Quite literally a band like no other.
- John Sinkevics, Spins on Music