Outspoken Singer John Coyle on Their Upcoming Reunion Show, Influencing Younger Bands

Outspoken performing in Worcester, MA, 1993. (Photo: Christina Coyle)

It was recently announced that seminal '90s hardcore band will be reuniting for a live date. It's going down on March 16th at Programme Skate & Sound in the group's backyard of Fullerton, California.

For the performance, Outspoken will feature John Coyle, Travis Guichard, Mike Hartsfield, Jai Hansel, and Dennis Remsing, the lineup that appeared on their 1994 The Current EP. With the reunion show selling out in just a few minutes, it's clear that Outspoken still holds a place near and dear to hardcore heads.

When the reunion was announced, I reached out to Outspoken vocalist John Coyle to get his thoughts on the upcoming show, what led to it, and their influence on younger hardcore bands. If you're interested, I posted an extensive interview with the singer back in 2017 that you can read here.

Firstly, what brought on this reunion? Was it a longtime in the making, or was it more of a few conversations between the members and getting on the same page?

We’ve been talking for a bit. I really struggled to find the right reason to do it. I didn’t want to be part of a reunion and tarnish something that perfectly captured a moment in time.

I received an email from a friend mentioning that Outspoken songs meant the world to them. I quickly responded without thinking that they mean the world to me too. I had a different understanding at that moment. Outspoken is no longer just the 5 of us…. it is about everyone that it has meant/means something to.

This isn’t some ego trip, about money or trying to maintain some legacy it was about celebrating a moment in our life and to celebrate this current moment of our life. I hate the phrase "reunion" we see this as an Outspoken show. No different than 1994. 

Did it take some patching up old wounds and clearing out old grievances?

Yes and no. But we are all on the same page, which hasn’t always been the case.

READ MORE: Travis Guichard (Mean Season, Outspoken, Whirlpool) on His Life in the SoCal Hardcore Scene

Why was Programme chosen as the venue to play the reunion?

Number one reason is Programme is the epicenter of new hardcore, it is a special place. When we discussed playing a show it was the first and only choice. I am beyond excited about being in a room with 100 friends and just going off.

It’s not about ego or money but the love of something we were and are a part of. 

Outspoken in the '90s. (Photo: Dave Mandel)

What songs are you especially excited to play at the show?

I love playing "Blind Leading the Blind." It was the first song we ever wrote. I love "Current," and my favorite has always been "Spark," the last song we ever wrote. But I’m stoked for them all. 

How aware of you of the newer/younger bands that have cited Outspoken as a key influence? What are your thoughts on that?

I have had people reach out and talk to me about Outspoken. I'm stoked it still communicates to others like it does for us. What I find amazing is how it has come full circle and there are bands that I’m inspired by and they want to talk to me about Outspoken.

I find it humbling and inspiring that the band means something to them……all I can say is, "it means the world to me, too."


Outspoken will perform at Programme Skate & Sound in Fullerton, California on March 16th with Spark of Life.


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