The Outfit. Courtesy photo.
The Outfit. Courtesy photo.

D enver rock band The Outfit has had some big lineup changes and the latest crew -- Eric Johnston on guitar and vocals, Mikael Kilates on lead guitar, Mike King on bass and RJ Powers on drums -- is readying an EP. We talked with Johnston about the EP, its first single, cassette tapes and inspiration from a gorilla.

For anyone who might not know the band yet, can you get us up to speed?

We've got one full-length album and we're looking to put an EP out this summer. We've been doing a lot more travelling this year than we have in the past. We've got the most solid, I guess, lineup that we've had. We did a little tour down in the south and went down to Austin for South By Southwest. We're booking throughout the summer.

You released a single, "Caeser," not too long ago. Is it a one-off or part of a new record?

Yeah, that'll be on the EP and we're looking to put on probably four more tracks, so a five-song EP. We recorded it at Mammoth Cave Studios and Tim Gerak produced it. With Tim, we were kind of just searching around for different studios and he's been really incredible to work with. He's just getting started in Colorado. He got started in Ohio. I think his one-year anniversary here in Denver just passed. I'd recommend him to anyone.

Do you feel like the EP turned out very different from the full-length?

It's definitely a different band, so the vibes are a little different. We've got new people on every instrument, except for me. But this culmination of the band is where everyone is on the same page and everyone wants to do the same stuff and give the band a go.

It's been smoother in terms of recording and touring and getting stuff done. On the whole, I think this EP is going to be a little more raw and more garage-y than the last one. We wanted to keep it more high-energy. "Caesar" is probably the most low-energy song on the EP. We wanted to put it out just because we were really into it while we were recording.

Why release it on a cassette?

We wanted kind of something different. Mike King, our bass player, had some cassettes and we thought it was a cool idea and that it'd be an interesting thing to have, specifically for South By Southwest. It's kind of a funny story -- we released a song called "Caesar" and went down to Austin on the Ides of March and played a place called Shakespeare's Pub.

And while I'm asking merch questions, what's with the gorilla on your new shirts?

We went to a local print shop in Denver, just called A Small Print Shop. It's over on Larimer. They have kind of an in-house designer that'll just work with you. On the way back home from Texas, we were hanging out and driving. That drive's kind of ridiculous. I was just looking out the window and saw a billboard with a gorilla on it and it inspired me.