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The Bleeding Outlaw is an independent solo studio project by former Pagan Lorn guitarist Jos F. Kirps. Based on ideas originally developed in the late 1990s, the project slowly evolved within the past 10 years, and it is now in pre-production phase.

I consider The Bleeding Outlaw to be an independent solo music and art project, which means that I will do as much as possible on my own, without having to rely on other people and without having to sell my soul to any record company.

I will write the music, I will perform or program all instruments, and the electric guitars that I'll use on this record will be self-made guitars that I built using spare parts. I will record, mix and master everything in my own project studio that I built from scratch.

I will do all graphics and layouts, I will paint the cover artwork, I will direct the videos, I will program the CMS software powering my website, and I will also take care of the marketing, promotion, and distribution of my music.

This project is something I wanted to do since I left my last band Pagan Lorn in 1998, and the final record will in fact include a number of riffs that I already developed in the late 1990s. I couldn't finalize the project back then (the reasons for this will be outlined below), and I only revived the project in 2008, just to halt it once more as I started work on Jamplifier, which is another music-related project (see below).

I officially kicked off The Bleeding Outlaw in June 2019, and in the end, it will feature elements I developed in the timeframes of 1998-2000, 2008-2010, and 2018 until today. To me, all of this will also be some kind of an experiment, to see how far I can get all on my own.

It will be a pure studio project, which means that there will be no live performances. It shall also be a bit more than just a music project, and I also plan to integrate some plastic and visual elements.

The Bleeding Outlaw stands for the dying rebel, the dying spirit of rock 'n' roll. More details on what that means will follow at a later point in time. It will also be a political project in several ways, of course. Tom Morello (RATM) recently said that "All music is political, even Justin Bieber (...) Music either supports the status quo or challenges the status quo." Expect some surprises.

My first personal goal will be to complete a first album that shall feature 10 songs and a total of 12 tracks, with a total playtime of about 55 minutes. I intend to release it in downloadable format, but also as a CD and maybe even as a vinyl LP. If the project should turn out to be successful, then I will turn it into a trilogy consisting of three full-length records.

Right now the entire project is still in the pre-production phase, and about 90% of the songwriting is complete. The recording just started in mid-2019, but I can't tell when the final record might eventually be completed.

Background History (1990-2019)

I took a lot of notes during the past 30 years, and as people often ask questions on past developments, I decided to quickly write a condensed bio focusing on my music-related projects. Note that this will also cover stuff that's not music-related, but that had some impact on the development of my personal music projects. Enjoy...

I bought my first guitar in late 1990, when I was 16 years old, it was a cheap Strat clone made by Dixon. Getting started was not easy at all - I had never attended music school, I had never played an instrument before, I didn't know anything about music theory, none of my closest friends or family members was making music, and there was no Internet yet. I also couldn't afford an amplifier, and so I had to connect the guitar to my stereo to get a clean sound out of it at least.

In early 1991 some guy finally told me that a guitar had to be tuned, at that you could actually play more than one string at a time. This guy then played The Animals' House of the Rising Sun on my guitar, and I was determined to learn how to play that song. I went to town, bought a beginner's book and a guitar tuner, and I started practicing basic chords until I was finally able to play it a few months later. In the summer of 1991, I got a student job, and so I was able to buy some crappy no-name amplifier by the end of the year. My parents also started to support me by paying for some basic guitar lessons.

In late 1991 I joined my first student band, we called ourselves Burning Black and we must have been quite horrible, as none of us (except for the drummer) could actually play an instrument. We rehearsed in my parents' garage until the neighbors started to complain. But I had made some progress, and my parents gave me some money so that I could finally afford a proper guitar, a Fender Stratocaster.

In early 1992 I joined a different student band called The Backyard as a second guitar player, and this time everyone in the band had at least some basic idea of what he was doing. A few months later I was on stage for the first time, we performed Pinball Wizard and I'm Free in our high school's adaptation of The Who's Tommy musical. I got another summer student job, which allowed me to buy a Mesa/Boogie Caliber amplifier head, but I couldn't afford the 2x12" cab and so I built one on my own. I still have this self-made cab, by the way, I'm also still using it sometimes, and building stuff on my own would become quite a habit later on. By the end of the year, I left the band, however.

In early 1993 I sold my Fender guitar and ordered a Carvin instead, as I wanted humbuckers and a Floyd Rose tremolo. I formed my own Heavy Metal band called Black Reign, we must have been quite horrible and we only performed one single gig. By the end of the year, the band was dead, and I was quite frustrated as it wasn't easy at all to find the right kind of people to make music with. In 1994 it even looked like I might give up making music at all while I also had to focus on those stupid high school exams.

With Pagan Lorn at Beaufort Castle, Luxembourg, in 1996.

In mid-1995 I got in touch with a band named Pagan Lorn. They had some reputation as an underground metal band in Luxembourg already, and they had just fired their guitar player. I joined the band, we quickly started to work on new material, and for the first time, I also started focusing on songwriting. By the end of the year, we had recorded a first demo tape, and by now I had a Mesa/Boogie TriAxis and 2:Ninety, while I still used my self-made 2x12" cab.

Pagan Lorn had a close link to Luxembourg's art scene, and Luxembourg's most famous female painter, Patricia Lippert, encouraged us to record a CD. Patricia helped us financing the record, and in late 1996 we released our first album, named Black Wedding (she also created the cover artwork by the way). Luxembourg's most popular death metal band Desdemonia, who had been practicing at my parent's house in its early days, played their first gig at the Black Wedding release party by the way. I think the album was quite a mess, however, as we recorded it while we were in the middle of rewriting most of our songs, and so it was something like a collection of randomly selected tracks. Furthermore, it didn't sound as expected, and the engineer had to cover up all of our mistakes and our lousy playing during the mix.

We learned from our mistakes, we finetuned our songwriting and rehearsed like crazy, and two years later, in 1998, we recorded our second album entitled Nihilennium. But once again, we failed – while everything still looked great when we recorded the instruments, we completely messed up the mix and overdrew the budget by adding more and more effects, which drowned the entire sound of the record in halls and reverbs, and in the end, the entire album sounded strange and blurry. I quit the band shortly after the release of the album in late 1998. Pagan Lorn continued with two new guitar players for some time but finally disbanded in 2000. I still run the Pagan Lorn website and you may download our demo tape as well as both albums for free, although this may only be of interest for some local nostalgic fans of course.

After quitting Pagan Lorn in 1998, I decided to no longer play in bands, but to focus on audio, video and print production in the future. And then there was the internet now, and so I also added software to my list. I built my own amateur recording studio at my parents' basement and I had created a number of cover artworks for Luxembourg's biggest recording studio, I produced a few demo tapes for local bands, I worked on a first 3D animation video named Stag Wards (a Star Wars fan movie that has never been really finished, but the video is still online), I started to design and program websites for friends and associations, and I also started working on a solo music project named SoulTaker, a project that should later become The Bleeding Outlaw. I made no real money with all of this, of course, it was all part of a non-profit project named WobbleWolf, and so I started my career as an elementary school teacher in late 1998.

As managing websites became a more demanding job, I started to develop my own Content Management System (CMS) in late 2000, I named it OLEFA and the first website it powered was Mensa Luxembourg's new website (I had been one of the co-founders of Luxembourg's chapter sometime earlier, and I also served as a member of the board). In 2001 I added a few educational modules so that I could use it on our school's website too, and finally, it quickly evolved into Luxembourg's most advanced educational platform. The software quickly became popular in our country, and in mid-2002 I quit my job as a teacher in order to co-found an educational-centered company that would, among other things, distribute the software that should soon be used by more than 10,000 students and teachers. Unfortunately, this also meant that I would fully focus on software within the next few years, I had to quit playing music, I dropped my ideas to develop a multimedia-centered project that would also include music production, and I stopped working on my own music project.

In 2008, after having worked for 6 years in the software and internet business, I quit my job at the company I had co-founded as I was moving into a different direction and as I wanted to start making music again. I restarted working as a teacher and I began building my new recording studio (the one I'm still using now), I revived my own music project (still named SoulTaker back then) while I also started working on new software projects. After having developed Galaxiki, a community platform for science fiction authors that won several awards, I co-founded a non-project organization named Joopita Research to serve as a legal basis for my future projects. In 2011 we released Oli.lu, a new free educational platform that quickly became one of Luxembourg's most popular educational resources. I was licensed to Luxembourg's Ministry of Education in 2015 and it can now be used by more than 50,000 students and teachers, and an international version named morzino.com is still in the works.

At the same time, around 2008-2012, I started writing new songs for my own music project. The music industry had changed a lot during the past 10 years, however, and most musicians didn't sell a lot of records anymore. I always thought that the entire music industry was a strange kind of a business, however, and so I started to analyze the problems of the industry in order to find ways on how to become able to successfully produce and distribute your own music as an independent artist, without having to sell your soul to the music industry. I was taking notes, then I began writing a few articles I intended to publish later on, and finally, I turned all of this into a 1,000+ pages book that I released in 2019. It's called The Jamplifier's Manual – How To Become A Rock Star In The 21st Century, and I also created a corresponding web platform for musicians named Jamplifier.com in order to help independent artists to become more successful by greatly improving their songwriting, production, and marketing skills.

I had changed the name of my own music project into The Bleeding Outlaw in 2011 already, and in November 2011 I registered the domain names bleedingoutlaw.com and bleeding-outlaw.com.

One and a half years later, in April 2013, Danish band Volbeat released their album Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, which also mixed rock/metal and western genres and which even used the term outlaw, and I almost decided to kill off the project as I feared it would become too similar, but then this turned out not to be the case.

In 2019 I was finally able to really start working on it after I completed work on the Jamplifier Project and on Ghost Vortex's Black Strawberry Limes (a first album that I recorded, mixed and mastered in my new studio).

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Music influences

Everything from Chuck Berry and 1950s rock 'n' roll, over The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan, Hendrix, and Motown, to 1990s heavy metal, alternative and independent music, from Einstürzende Neubauten over Slayer to Radiohead. Which doesn't mean that The Bleeding Outlaw will sound like any of these, of course.

Political views

Highly influenced by Karl Popper when I was a teenager, and so I'm not supporting one specific political party. In favor of a cooperative and collaborative Europe and of open borders, but highly suspicious of the lobby-driven monster the European Union has become. I can't support politicians who don't respect the youth, society, and the planet.

Freedom of speech and human rights are more valuable than copyright.

I know that most artists will disagree, but I don't care. I am against all kinds of censorships, and I strongly oppose the current EU copyright legislation, especially articles 15 and 17 (formerly known as articles 11 and 13).

As far as I know, I was the only artist in Luxembourg to openly oppose censorship in 2019, while most well-known musicians from our country either openly or secretly supported the new law, including the implied risks of censorship.

The internet is not my enemy.

I do not share the views of most musicians, and I will not blame Google, YouTube, Facebook, file sharing or the younger generations if my records won't sell. If an artist doesn't sell, then in most cases it's because the music is crap. Read my book on this subject if you'd like to know more about that philosophy:

GEMA / SACEM disclaimer

In order to physically publish music in some EU countries, an artist is legally forced to be registered and/or to register all works with a government-mandated collecting society and performance rights organization such as GEMA or SACEM for example.

Which means that I will be legally forced to cooperate with such organizations, but I do NOT share their views and I do NOT support their actions. It's quite the opposite in fact.

I'm supporting…

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