Where it all started....
Max, Ryan Roxie (Lead Guitar, Alice Cooper) and CJ at 2015 Motley Crue Tour in Charlotte.
WHO IS IN CJ BROTHER MAX & THE OUTBACKS?
The band was started by CJ (Rhythm/Lead Guitar/Bass) and Brother Max (Lead Guitar/Lead Vocals) in 2013. Aidan (Bass/Guitar/Vocals) joined us in 2015.
We learned to play the guitar (meaning full songs) around 2008. We were 6 (Max) and 7 (CJ) years old at the time. We initially taught ourselves. We took some lessons when we were 10 but realized that we learned more from the internet.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START?
We got our start playing "Guitar Hero". Our dad promised us an electric guitar once we completed a song on expert. We learned a song by Cheap Trick called "Dream Police". We ended up getting a starter electric guitar which was a Jay Turser, but it was enough to have us hooked for life!
WHY DO YOU LIKE ROCK 'N ROLL?
We like Rock 'N Roll because it is "Real". You actually have to have talent in order to play, especially live concerts. Also, apparently only music from the 70's, 80's and early 90's was available to be licensed on the game "Guitar Hero". As a result, we heard the same classic Rock 'N Roll tracks over and over (literally thousands of times).
WHEN DID YOU PLAY YOUR FIRST CONCERT?
We played our first live concert in December 2012 at a private event in NJ. In 2014 we played 12 concerts in North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, New York and as far west as Nevada and California. In 2015 we played 17 concerts, and in 2016 we played 20 concerts. We will be doing 17-25 concerts in 2017.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU PRACTICE?
We typically practice between 1-2 hours daily (or more), and try to work with our other band members when everyone is available. They all practice the same amount by themselves as well. We tend to practice new material alone, but we also collaborate pretty well together once we have our parts down, so we tend to be more efficient during our group practice sessions.
HOW DO YOU PICK YOUR SONGS?
We pick and write our songs based on genre, overall feel, lyrics, and beat. The music you play best are the songs where you connect. Rock 'N Roll classics from the 70's, 80's and early 90's are amazing, and many times our audience has never heard songs like "Hotel California", "Black" or "Turn the Page" which are all favorites of ours. When we started, we only played covers. So if you come to one of our concerts you will hear a lot of songs by: G&R, Bon Jovi, Tesla, The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Poison, Def Leppard and Motley Crue. We started writing our own material 2014 and started to play originals including "Never Again", "Lies", "Cross The Line" and "Give Me A Shot" during our shows.
WHAT'S YOUR CONNECTION TO THE VETERANS?
We owe these men and woman everything for protecting our country and the freedom we enjoy. Ever since we were born our country has been at war in the Middle East. We grew up in Middletown, NJ. Per capita, Middletown suffered the largest loss of human life for first responders than any other town in NJ as a result of the 9-11 attack. So talking about war, acts of terrorism, our country's involvement, our troops and the returning veterans is pretty much a daily theme in the media, among our friends, at school, and at the dinner table. If we can inspire people do something to help in their own their communities, especially in support of our active duty troops and returning veterans, then we have achieved our objective.
WHY DID YOU PICK POST TRAUMATIC STRESS AS A YOUR PRIMARY CAUSE TO SUPPORT?
Our focus on Post Traumatic Stress Injuries was a result of a benefit dinner that our parents attended in 2013 called the Patriot Gala in Charlotte, NC. During the event they presented a specially trained service dog to a veteran who had contemplated committing suicide multiple times and was suffering from severe PTSD. When they came home they told us that story and we immediately realized that we could make a direct impact ourselves. We really love dogs, we were really moved by the story, and it immediately "clicked". We decided that we could play concerts, raise money, and buy our own service dogs to give to a veteran with PTSD. And guess what? We did it 3 years in a row! It's an amazing feeling to make a small contribution to those whom have defended our country and our freedom.
DO YOU HAVE ORIGINAL MUSIC?
Yes, we first started performing our original "Never Again" in 2014 and have several new songs in our set including "Give Me A Shot" , "Lies" and "Cross the Line". More originals are on their way. We recorded "Give Me A Shot" in June in the studio and it is available on Amazon, Google Play, I-Tunes and other music distribution platforms.
WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS?
We are grateful to have a few friends in the music industry including Ryan Roxie, the lead guitarist currently touring with Alice Cooper. We really appreciate Ryan's time and guidance. He has a great outlook on life, is passionate about guitar, and shares many of the same values we do regarding the concept of "Pay it Forward".
CAN YOU SHARE SOME FACTS UNRELATED TO MUSIC?
CJ, Aidan and Max are on their school's Varsity wrestling team. CJ, Max and Aidan love to fish for trout and bass!
WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR NEW GUITARISTS?
Practice as much as possible, feel the music, and have fun! If it's not fun, you won't practice. Also, play as much as possible in front of an audience. There is no better feeling than when you can feel the audience's energy.
HOW CAN WE BOOK YOU?
The best way to contact us is via email firstname.lastname@example.org
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR CONCERTS?
We suggest a $400 minimum donation to Patriot Charities for a three hour set. Depending on the song list and venue, that amount may vary. All performance related donations are made directly to Patriot Military Family Foundation which is a registered 501(c)3 organization in exchange for our live performance.