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June 18, 1970 |
|Occupation(s)||Singer, author, activist, musician|
|Associated acts||Fifteen, Crimpshrine|
Ott was born on June 18, 1970 in Berkeley, California. He was physically and sexually abused by his parents as a child and ran away from home at the age of 13. Ott then lived the life of a gutter punk and lived on the streets of Berkeley for 11 years. At the age of 9, he met future Operation Ivy vocalist Jesse Michaels and future Crimpshrine founder Aaron Elliot, both of whom Ott quickly became friends with.
At age 12, Elliot purchased a guitar for Ott and they founded S.A.G. (whom later came to be known as Crimpshrine) in 1982 with Ott on guitar/vocals, Elliot playing drums and Michaels on bass. Jesse Michaels left Crimpshrine in 1983 and was replaced by Pete Rypins. Since making his recording debut with Crimpshrine at the age of 17, he has released 27 albums and 7-inches under various names and groups. His most noteworthy groups included Crimpshrine and Fifteen, Phallucide, Phone Bill, The Tescoflex 7. As of the year 2000, Ott has been unwilling to endure a tour. However, he has toured and performed as a solo artist since then, albeit rarely and for limited durations. He is married and has two children and one granddaughter.
Ott's lyrics are politically influenced and he writes about such controversial subjects as racism, homophobia, misogyny, classism, drug abuse, needle exchange, and civil rights. Other topics frequently the subject of his lyrics include gender roles, homelessness, addiction, environmentalism, social injustice, political conspiracy, and rape.
Solo music and books
Since becoming a solo artist, Ott has traded punk's tearing guitars and rapid tempos for traditional singer/songwriter fare (i.e. a single acoustic guitar). His lyrical content, charged starkly with his removal of drug-use from his life, shedding metaphor almost completely for very literal meanings. His solo work uses many of the same songs and lyrical themes as his rock-band work.
Ott has released two albums under his own name: 1998's Epithysial Union, an album also featuring songs by Amanda Ketchum (billed only as 'Amanda'), and 2003's Will Work for Diapers, his most recent musical work to date. He also published two books. His first book, My World: Ramblings of an Aging Gutter Punk (ISBN 0-9677287-0-3) consists of excerpts from his self-published zine of the same name. His 2005 book Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Real War on Terror (ISBN 0-9677287-1-1), focuses on domestic violence, police brutality, sexual abuse, and how he sees these issues as more urgent and credible than the War on Terror. Both books are published by Sub City Records, a sub-label of Hopeless Records.