The Mighty O.A.R.

The Mighty O.A.R.

What do you call a band whose twenty year-career spans sold-out stands at both Madison Square Garden and Red Rocks Amphitheater, millions of albums sold over the course of what will be nine full-length releases, and multiple chart-busting entries? In the case of O.A.R., two simple words suffice: “The Mighty.”

That’s the best way to sum up the Maryland quintet—Marc Roberge [lead vocals, rhythm guitar], Richard On [lead guitar, backing vocals], Chris Culos [drums], Benj Gershman [bass], and Jerry DePizzo [saxophone, guitar, backing vocals, additionally MikelParis [keys, backing vocals, percussion] and Jon Lampley [trumpet, backing vocals].

Since their emergence in 1996, the musicians have tirelessly delivered a signature brand of rock steeped in alternative scope, roots tradition, and pop ambition. Among many highlights, 2008’s All Sides yielded the platinum single “Shattered” and bowed in the Top 15 of the Billboard Top 200 a space they continually occupied with King [2011] and The Rockville LP [2014].

Beyond packing arenas and amphitheaters coast to coast, they’ve given inspiring performances on The Today Show, CONAN, the 2015 Special Olympics Opening Ceremony, the ESPYS, in addition to playing their hit song “Peace” at the coveted Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration on the eve of 2016.

“Richie Sambora announced us at Red Rocks as ‘The Mighty O.A.R.’ a few years back,” recalls DePizzo. “Those two words just stuck with us, and Marc suggested we use it as the album title. We have a great sense of pride in the career we’ve had up to this point. The term wraps up who the band is in 2019. It feels good to us.”

“Our hope is everyone leaves our show feeling better than when they got there,” says Culos. “We make that happen by playing together as a unit, playing with a pulse. Through that pulse, we tell our story. It’s about friends and family - our brotherhood. The Mighty refers to our foundation."

O.A.R. most definitely do that on their latest offering. They also tread uncharted territory. Rather than follow the same playbook and record during a set timeframe, they intermittently recorded throughout 2018, working on or writing a song only when inspired. Crafting all the songs simultaneously until the very last hours of the production deadline. In the studio, longtime producer Gregg Wattenberg would be joined by PomPom, who added a fresh take on the sound with an electronic sensibility and expanded soundscape.

“We used to rent a place for a month, go in, write music, take off for a break, and then record for another month,” says Roberge. “Thanks to Wattenberg, we now had access to a brand new studio and his guidance without the pressures of the clock. We could come and go when inspired, and fell into this comfortable experience. For the first time the schedule went out the window.”

“PomPom grew up around O.A.R. music,” DePizzo says. “To be able to bring someone into the fold who came up with your tunes and influence added a whole different perspective.”

Case in point is the first single, “Miss You All The Time.” Produced by Gregg Wattenberg and Derek Fuhrmann. Its lush keys and moving guitar riff uphold an orchestral admission, “I miss you all the time.” The emotionally charged send-off immediately resonated with fans as the official music video directed by Rudy Mancuso swiftly clocked over 5 million views on YouTube, and counting.

“Like anyone, we’ve seen tragic losses over the years,” says Roberge. “You have people in your life who are so important and influential, and then one day they’re gone. It happens quickly, and you’re left to pick up the pieces. We wanted to celebrate their greatness instead of mourn. ‘Miss You All The Time’ is a moment to honor those who aren’t with us anymore.”

Whether it’s the space and harmony of “Free”, the uplifting anthem “California”, or the addictive groove on “Knocking at Your Door,” O.A.R. ignite a bold, brilliant, and inspired next chapter.

“It’s a renewal of experiences,” says Roberge. “We’ve built the foundation, we’ve got the confidence to be who we are.”

And, who are they in 2019?

Well, they’re The Mighty O.A.R.

“We’re fortunate as hell to have done this for over two decades,” Culos leaves off. “We’ve done it together. We have each other’s backs, and we’re a family. There’s a feeling of freedom in that.”

The Mighty will be released March 29, 2019 on RED Music.

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

"I wrote a pop record and then she showed up." Andrew McMahon laughs, cradling his 6-month-old
daughter, Cecilia, as his wife Kelly lounges nearby with their dog, Doris. The young family is backstage at
the Stone Pony in Asbury Park relaxing before McMahon performs a sold out headlining show. McMahon
is referring to his new release, the self-titled LP, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.
McMahon has had a winding road to this artfully balanced life. This is a man who was diagnosed with
cancer at 22 years old, on the cusp of releasing his debut album (as Jack's Mannequin). Who wed Kelly the
following year and then took on an arduous schedule of touring and album releases. Who was nominated
for an Emmy Award for his song "I Heard Your Voice in a Dream" on NBC's Smash. Who sold nearly 2
million albums in a little more than a decade. Who, for much of that time, was struggling underneath the
weight of it all.
Despite these outward signs of success - beating cancer, getting married and an Emmy nom - McMahon
says the road to recovery was "a rollercoaster ride" that took the better part of a decade. "My body healed
faster than my mind and my heart. It took me years to realize that and do the work. I had to figure out
how to acclimate to the world post-illness. I decided to take time away from the business of making music
so I could pay attention to everything else. I left my label, my management and the name I had been
making music under for the better part of my 20s. I moved out of Los Angeles. It was a metaphorical hard
The time allowed McMahon to process what had happened and to renew his passion for songwriting and
record making, to refill the well of his creativity. McMahon also changed his mode of operation, taking the
critical step of physically distancing his work and home lives by retreating to a cabin - "a shack, really. It
had no running water," - in Topanga Canyon (CA) to hatch the album. He would spend the weekdays in
the canyon immersed in music and on the weekends travel the hour and a half back south to be with his
then-newly-pregnant wife. "It was important to me to be completely present when I was home.
Separating out the work actually created more space to live a life worth writing about."
In Topanga, Andrew was able to focus intensely on song craft. He poured his feelings into his work: the
anticipation and anxiety about becoming a father, excitement for meeting his new daughter, ambivalence
about entering his 30s. Soon after the Canyon sessions, McMahon began working with producer Mike
Viola, who McMahon calls "the album's spirit guide." In Viola's Echo Park garage studio, the two of them
meditated on a range of classic rock and modern artists.
At the same time, McMahon began to consider the might-have-beens of his life. "I found myself asking,
'What would have come next if I hadn't encountered that bizarre chapter of my disrupted 20s?' As I was
writing the new songs, I was able to revisit relationships that had evolved or been dismantled in the
vacuum of that disruption." He adds, "It's not that I wanted to erase my past. I wanted to explore it, to go
back to the point where I had lost myself, where my personal narrative was overtaken, and move forward
from there."
"High Dive" emerged from the sessions with Viola and is the most representative of this sort of Sliding
Doors exploration. "'High Dive' asks the question 'If I had never gotten sick, where would I be?'" says
McMahon. "My illness put a lot into perspective for my wife (then girlfriend) and I. With 'High Dive' I
imagined what it would have been like if we'd split up and she'd moved on. In a universal sense, it's about
letting someone go and realizing you were wrong, but it's too late." The song buoys McMahon's gentle
tenor, slowly building from a spare composition with a snapping, driving beat, 'High Dive' swells into the bridge ("Flashbacks get me close") and resolves into a viscerally satisfying chorus flush with other voices,
McMahon's piano wrapping around the melody.
Intimate details populate the album, with McMahon writing sometimes obliquely, sometimes frankly
about his struggles. "See Her on the Weekend," a literal recounting of his time in Topanga, drops the aside
"I drink more than the doctors say I should." "Halls" outlines self-sabotaging tendencies in service of his
career, "Cut my hair, and I found me a new girlfriend / Thought a broken heart could write a perfect song."
"All Our Lives" is particularly unguarded but even when he's singing about someone else, an old friend
with "a heart so gold, and words so blue / in a body home from hell," you wonder if he's not singing about
himself in some roundabout way.
The first single, "Cecilia and the Satellite" was actually one of the last songs written for the album. "A few
weeks before Cecilia was born, I was introduced to James Flannigan, a British songwriter and producer. I
knew I wanted to write a song for her, to show her who I was before she was born and my commitment
to protect her." While "Cecilia" details McMahon's love in high contrast with what he calls "the
impermanence of living," - its soaring chorus anchored by a kick drum like the steady thump of a
After seeing the impressive results of their session, McMahon asked Flannigan to join him and Viola to
help finish production of the album. The three of them bounced around LA in various production spaces
and studios until all the details had been tweaked and McMahon was satisfied that it reflected the journey
as a whole. "I had been dreaming about an album that sounded like this for years, but I didn't know it
until I heard it. It took all three of us. I realize now how important every piece of the process was - every
step on the path and every voice in the room."
If, as McMahon says, "music is a mirror to the adventure of living," then it follows that each new chapter
of life deserves its own title. As such, he decided his music would go forward under the name Andrew
McMahon in the Wilderness. "My wilderness is mostly abstract," he posits, "I forced myself into strange
new places on the hunt for these songs, and I met some amazing people in the process. The new name
carries the spirit of our collaboration."
There is a balancing act that permeates not only McMahon's life but his new album as well, mixing the
electronic and the acoustic, the modern and the classic. But even though McMahon may have created two
mini-masterpieces: an epic pop album stocked to the gills with anthemic songs and a healthy, bright, baby
girl with Kelly, there's no question which one he's more proud of.

American Authors

We express our experiences as a shared unit , through music and an agreement of sound. No one always gets along, but with lows come highs and fighting always has an end. we accept struggle and are passionate about the lives we lead. We create the music that comes naturally to us and we're not afraid of change. We have all made changes for better and for worse but whats done is done and we are thrilled with the present. We all have a story to tell and whether it's audible, visual, silence or motion, we cant hide the fact that we are constantly creating new moments to share. We are American Authors from Brooklyn, New york.

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