Deep Dive with Tony Lewis from The Outfield
One of the long-time musicians we’ve recently had the honor of working with is Tony Lewis. Many people are familiar with Tony and his work with The Outfield. The band formed in 1983 (originally named The Baseball Boys) and soon took the airwaves by storm with their infectious pop songs. The debut album, issued in 1985, included the songs “All the Love,” “Say it Isn’t So,” and “Your Love,” which peaked at No. 6 on the Top 40 chart.
Tony and fellow band mate John Spinks continued their career writing and performing until John passed away in 2014. At that time, Tony felt it was time to take a break from music. But he couldn’t stay away for long. Music is too much a part of his life. After deep reflection, he embarked on a solo career, playing instruments, producing and recording everything on his own.
We recently had a chance to sit down with Tony and ask him about this new phase of his musical career and what his fans can expect with the release of his album, "Out of the Darkness", in June 2018.
What inspired you to come back to music?
I spent three years away from music, thinking about whether I still had something to contribute to the music industry, but I started to miss recording and singing. I felt it was something I had to do. It’s like falling off a bike, you have to just get up and get back on. I couldn’t have done it without the love and encouragement from my family. They helped as my confidence grew and I began to feel proud of what I was recording.
What are some influences fans can look for in the new album?
My wife Carol has been highly influential in the creation of the music on this album. I had backing tracks that I had recorded, but I was getting frustrated with trying to put it together with lyrics. She saw my frustration and offered to help, and I quickly realized she was better with words than me. She is so talented at listening to people, hearing their stories and interpreting them into lyrics. It wasn’t planned at all, but we ended up working together.
How did you connect with Madison Records?
It all started with an email from Randy Sadd of Protocol Entertainment. He is a good friend and had promoted The Outfield for a number of years, and got in touch to see if we could meet up while he was in London. I gave him a couple of songs I’d been working on, and before I knew it things progressed to a record deal with Madison Records. It’s been a good opportunity. I had always worked in partnership with John on production, but this time I wanted to put my own spin on the tracks. Tanner and Wyatt at Madison Records have helped me create an album that sounds like the vision I had for my first solo project.
What is your favorite song on this album?
My favorite is “Loving You,” written by my wife about our granddaughter and unconditional love. I feel the song just wraps around you and takes you to a happy place.
What is the meaning behind the album title, Out of Darkness?
It is taken from a song on the album, “Into the Light,” and sums up my journey through the transition of loss and knowing that whatever happens, I am lucky to have a loving and supportive family.
You’re going on tour this summer with the Retro Futura National Tour to promote this new album. What are you looking forward to most about touring again?
First, I’m just excited to be playing live. It’s why I became a musician, to entertain, and playing live is an intrinsic part of my DNA. But also, I am very fortunate to have a loyal fan base from The Outfield who are all rooting for me. I would like to give them something back for all the messages of support over the last few years. I’m really looking forward to supporting my new music by performing live and reconnecting with the music industry.
Contact: Randy Sadd, Protocol Entertainment, Protocolmusic@aol.com