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|O.A.R. (Of a Revolution)|
|Origin||Rockville, Maryland, United States|
|Genres||Alternative rock, indie rock, roots rock|
|Labels||Vanguard Records, Wind-up Records, Lava Records, Atlantic|
|Associated acts||Matt Nathanson, Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, Brett Dennen, Foxtrot Zulu|
O.A.R. (short for Of a Revolution) is an American rock band, founded in 1996 in Rockville, Maryland. The band consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Marc Roberge, drummer Chris Culos, guitarist Richard On, bassist Benj Gershman, and saxophonist/guitarist Jerry DePizzo. Together, the band has released eight studio albums, including their latest release, The Rockville LP, in June 2014. The band is well known for their live shows and extensive summer touring, and have released five records of various live performances to date. Four of the band members grew up in Rockville, Maryland and attended The Ohio State University where they met the fifth member, saxophonist/guitarist Jerry DePizzo from Youngstown, Ohio.
Formation and early years (1996–2004)
O.A.R. was founded in 1996 by lead vocalist Marc Roberge and drummer Chris Culos, inspired in part by Roberge's older brother, who plays drums for the band Foxtrot Zulu. They later recruited Richard On and Benj Gershman. In 1997 they recorded their debut album, The Wanderer, at Gizmo Recording Company in Silver Spring, Maryland with engineer/producer Gantt Kushner. Many songs from the album, including "Black Rock" and "That Was a Crazy Game of Poker", became staples of their live shows and are still played at most of their concerts today.
The four band members graduated from Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland, then moved to Columbus, Ohio to attend The Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, they met Jerry DePizzo, from Youngstown, Ohio. He joined the band as the saxophonist, completing the current lineup. In 1999, they returned to Gizmo Recording to record their second album, Soul's Aflame.
Unlike other similar bands, O.A.R. did not use much formal advertising/marketing plans to obtain an audience, instead choosing to rely on word-of-mouth alone. Throughout the next few years, the band played as many shows as they could, expanding from the fraternities and sororities of Ohio State to any audiences that cared to listen. This exposure paid off; their third album Risen debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard top internet sales chart. The following year, their fourth album In Between Now and Then debuted at No. 156 on the Billboard 200 chart. They received offers from various major labels, but ultimately chose to sign with Lava Records.
Mainstream success (2005–present)
In 2005, O.A.R. released their fifth album, Stories of a Stranger, which debuted at No. 40 on the Billboard 200. It produced the singles "Love and Memories," "Heard the World," and "Lay Down." "Love and Memories" was the band's first single to chart and receive significant radio airplay, peaking at 98 in the Pop 100, at 30 in Modern Rock Tracks, and at 18 in Adult Top 40. The music videos for "Love and Memories" and "Lay Down" received airplay on VH1 and MTV. The video for "Lay Down" received a "Woodie" award from MTV for streaming video. The new partnership with Lava also seemed to mark the beginning of a shift in the band's fundamental style. Many of the tracks on "Stories of a Stranger" and subsequent albums have displayed a willingness by the band to move away from the reggae, ska, and jam band inspired sound of their earlier albums, in favor of songs with shorter run-times, less acoustic instrumentation, and more pop-inspired arrangements.
On January 14, 2006, O.A.R. reached a new peak of popularity by drawing roughly 18,000 fans and selling out New York City's Madison Square Garden, which earned them a review in the New York Times. On October 5, 2006, a press release declared that O.A.R. had officially sold in excess of 1.2 million albums over their career. The band attributes much of its popularity to the recording and subsequent trading and downloading of their live shows.
On July 15, 2008, O.A.R. released their sixth studio album, All Sides. The first radio single for All Sides, "Shattered (Turn the Car Around)," was released for download on June 13. It surpassed "Love And Memories," peaking at 2 in Adult Top 40. In December 2008, VH1 named the music video for "Shattered" as number 18 on their Top 40 Videos of 2008. During the 2008 All Sides tour, the All Sides album was released on USB Wristband along with instant live recordings of their concerts. After the tour, O.A.R. released their fourth live album (Rain or Shine) on January 12, 2010.
In 2010, O.A.R. returned to the studio to record their seventh studio album, King. The band introduced several of their new songs during the 2010 tour, including: "Over and Over," "Fire," "Dangerous Connection," and "Gotta Live." King was released on Wind-up Records on August 2, 2011 and debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200, the highest-charting debut for the band so far. The album's first single, "Heaven", was released on June 7, 2011. The next single, "Gotta Be Wrong Sometimes", failed to chart. On May 8, 2012, O.A.R. released a new single as part of a collaboration with Duracell in support of Team USA in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. The song is called "Champions", and features rapper B.o.B, who contributed the vocals in the verses.
In an interview with Billboard magazine posted on January 16, 2014, Jerry Depizzo revealed that their eighth studio album would be released in May of 2014, and that the lead single would be "Peace" - a new song they played live many times on their 2013 summer tour. On March 21, 2014, the band announced via various social media sites that the new album, titled The Rockville LP would be released on June 10, 2014.
- Marc Roberge (lead vocals, rhythm guitar; 1996–present)
- Richard On (lead guitar, backing vocals; 1996–present)
- Chris Culos (drums, percussion; 1996–present)
- Benj Gershman (bass guitar; 1996–present)
- Jerry DePizzo (saxophone, rhythm guitar, percussion, backing vocals; 2000–present)
Full-Time Touring members
Part-Time Touring Members
- Jon Lampley (trumpet, sousaphone, backing vocals, 2011–present)
- Evan Oberla (trombone, backing vocals, 2011–present)
Charitable endeavors and other appearances
The band's Heard The World foundation was founded to support youth, education and sustainable programs both in the U.S. and abroad.
On December 14, 2012, O.A.R. performed with the Baltimore symphony at Strathmore Music Hall. The concert benefited the Heard the World Foundation.
In December 2009, Jerry DePizzo headlined a charity fundraiser for Music Loves Ohio in Columbus at The Basement.
The band teamed up with the large US defense contractor, SAIC, to raise money for the Paralyzed Veterans of America, a service organization focused on assisting veterans with spinal cord injuries and diseases, through digital downloads of the band's song "Light Switch Sky." Proceeds from downloads of the song through July 22, 2010 will support paralyzed veterans. The song was co-written by O.A.R. and its fans through a competition on Twitter.
In August 2010, members Benj Gershman and Marc Roberge appeared in two videos for Diet Coke's Stay Extraordinary campaign.
On October 4, 2012, the band headlined a "But for Ohio State: Rock the Oval" concert at Ohio State University to help raise money for the school that all the band's members attended.
O.A.R. and Phillip Phillips' 2014 Summer Tour benefited Habitat for Humanity.
- O.A.R. performed the theme song for the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. During a two-hour special that aired on December 11, 2005, they provided a street-side concert, including a live performance of "So Much", the Extreme Makeover Home Edition theme, in front of the newly redesigned Los Angeles Free Clinic.
- In 2006, O.A.R. Performed at the MLB's Home Run Derby at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Singing "Love and Memories" and other titles.
- In 2006, the band's song "Love and Memories" was featured in the movie She's the Man.
- In June 2007 the band's songs "Wonderful Day" and "One Shot" were used extensively by ESPN during its coverage of the 2007 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament and College World Series; "This Town" was similarly used in 2008
- In 2008, their song "Love is Worth The Fall" was featured on the deluxe edition soundtrack for the film Twilight. The song was also released as an iTunes single.
- On Oct. 16 2011, the songs "Heaven" and "Wonderful Day" were played during "iGenius," a documentary about the life and death of Steve Jobs which was hosted by Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of MythBusters.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|In Between Now and Then||
|Stories of a Stranger||
|The Rockville LP||
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Any Time Now||
|34th & 8th||
|Live from Madison Square Garden||
|Rain or Shine||
|Live on Red Rocks||
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Certifications
|2003||"Hey Girl"||—||—||26||—||—||—||In Between Now and Then|
|2004||"Right on Time"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005||"Love and Memories"||116||—||17||30||—||—||Stories of a Stranger|
|2006||"Heard the World"||—||—||24||—||—||—|
|2008||"This Town" (re-released to radio in 2009)||119||—||17||—||—||—||All Sides|
|"Shattered (Turn the Car Around)"||36||14||2||—||25||43||
|"Gotta Be Wrong Sometimes"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014||"Peace"||117||—||14||—||—||—||The Rockville LP|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart|
Compilation name (year, song title)
- Bonnaroo 2003 (2003, "Risen")
- National Heads-Up Poker Championship 2005 (1997, "That Was a Crazy Game of Poker")
- Rock For Relief (2006, "James")
- Mixclusives: Volume 6 (2006, "Love & Memories")
- The Target Red Room Volume: 5 (2006, "One Shot (live)")
- Kyle XY Soundtrack (2007, "Wonderful Day")
- Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur (2007, "Borrowed Time")
- For the Kids Three (2007, "Itsy Bitsy Spider")
- Serve2: Fighting Hunger & Poverty (2007, "Dareh Meyod" [*version from Live from Madison Square Garden])
- Serve4: Artists Against Hunger & Poverty (2009, "Lay Down" [*version from Rain or Shine)
- Twilight (soundtrack) (Special/Deluxe Edition) (2009, "Love Is Worth The Fall")
- Music For Action: Best of Bonnaroo (2010, "Delicate Few" [*version from Bonnaroo 2005])
- Sanneh, Kelefa (January 16, 2006). "A Scrappy Jam Band, but Hold the Jam". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Press Release (2006). "O.A.R. Makes History With Over 1 Million Sold" marketwire.com (accessed October 6, 2006)
- Chicago live album announcement
- She's the Man Soundtrack
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Alternative Albums". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Independent Albums". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Adult Contemporary". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Adult Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Pop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "O.A.R. Album & Song Chart History – Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- "RIAA – Recording Industry Association of America – Searchable Database". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 14, 2011.
- O.A.R. Official website
- Billboard.com Band Profile
- oarsa.org setlist archive, lyrics, and fan site
- O.A.R. The Rockville LP Review