Since releasing their final album with Atlantic records, 2008's All Sides, O.A.R. has seen a lot of their lives come and go. There was a short-lived deal with Wind-Up Records that might not have gone as well as they would have hoped but ended on good terms, and there were the typical live releases that the band puts out every year or so. That's what they've done as a band. That's been troublesome for the band but somewhat insignificant in their grand view of the world. Before the release of the band's last album King O.A.R.'s frontman Marc Roberge had a family crisis with his wife being diagnosed with cancer. Her recovery and that very real struggle for Roberge not only had a profound effect on Roberge, but on the entire band. When something like that happens, everything else becomes a second, third, or even tenth priority. Especially for a band that's as close as O.A.R. Recently, Alternative Addiction talked with O.A.R. drummer Chris Culos about the band's tumultuous past two years since the release of King and about the band's new record The Rockville LP.
The past few years have been turbulent," started Culos. "That's both in our personal lives and professionally. We have a new label and we have a new management team and that stuff has changed for sure. But, a lot of things were going on in our personal lives over the past couple of years. Marc's wife had gone through cancer and cancer recovery. It was scary and there were times when he couldn't focus on the band. The band had to step off to the side while they healed and they got through that whole process. She's doing amazing now, but while they got their lives back together, we all just hit the pause button on life.
"Doing that really helped us all with this new album. That idea, hitting the pause button and finding that peace within yourself and within your life, that sparked the song "Peace." That's the first song that made the whole album process come together. That idea led the charge.
Finding that peace and the single jumpstarted the band's new album, but so did one other thing: the band's hometown of Rockville. Maryland. Rockville is where the band has their deepest roots, even deeper than Ohio State, where they found their chops.
When we go back to Rockville, everybody we know is pretty much back there so when we go back there everything's nuts. Last year, when we were home, Marc saw everything around us back home. He saw things from the perspective that we saw things from when we were young and that kind of stretched out to all of us. That idea gave us the shape of the album. It's about friends, family, places that are important with us. That's something that everyone shares. That connection obviously isn't just about our town, but to us that's what this is about.
The band just released The Rockville LP, you can hear the band's salute to their hometown and the place where they grew up on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3, and other digital retailers.