I’ve been writing with Nashville Music Guide for about six years now and I must say talking with Chris Culos of O.A.R (acronym for… Of a Revolution) has been one of the most fulfilling interviews I’ve done.
Chris is the drummer and a lifelong, literally, I’ll get to that point later, member of the group. He shared some amazing stories of the birth and life of this phenomenal family of artists.
It all began in the basement of his mothers house. He and Mark Roberge, lead singer, became friends in kindergarten, that’s where the lifelong member comes in, and as they moved on through grammar school and junior high, met others who would also become lifelong members of the group.
In junior high they recorded their own music on tapes and sold them right from their back packs. After high school they made a pact to attend college together and all four of them attended Ohio State.
They had recorded three albums before finishing college, 6 studio albums by 2008 and 3 live double disc Cd’s to their credit. They have played sold out shows in New York at Madison Square Garden and as Chris mentioned, one of his most favorite, the outdoor Red Rocks Amphitheater just outside Denver Colorado. He said the amphitheater is cut into the rocks and the audience sit on the rocks during the performances. Each show is different and more exciting then the first because each sunset or skyline is different and it lends a huge feeling of truly being connected to the landscape. It’s magical and embodies the essence of the show.
O.A.R have over 20 million albums sold, over 20 million tickets sold, and they have 20 years of some of the most amazing music available in the industry today. This is not just a band or a musical artist, O.A.R are family.
Family is the backbone of the group, that, and their love of music. Each member is not only dedicated to the music but to each others families and lend support even during the toughest of times. When an inspiration for a song comes up they are on the phone, texting, calling, and connecting. They are a tightly woven fabric and I would say that’s part of the magic.
O.A.R will have a special guest with them on this tour, close friend and exceptional singer/songwriter, performer Matt Nathanson will be sharing in the fun for the “Just Like Paradise” tour. This tour kicks off on July 25th so be sure you make plans to catch a show.
“It feels like everyone could use a little extra summer fun this year, from ~Marc Roberge, lead singer~ “The song and tour really catch that feeling. We’re looking forward to getting out there, playing what people want to hear, and having as much fun as possible along the way.
Three songs were selected to feature for this interview and I must say that each one is a dynamic and exceptional piece of art.
“Peace” grabbed at me. It’s powerful and if you listen closely you can almost feel the pure raw emotion that has been put in to the song. It speaks of struggling through illness, tough times, and about keeping your head above water. Through it all you just want a little “Peace.”
“Shattered” touches on relationships with family, parents and loved ones. It expresses emotions of no matter what happens keeping in touch and staying connected is very important.
The last song is, “I Go Through” it is unbelievable. I have watched the video and listened to the song many times over the last few days. The words are true, make you think, cause you to stop in your tracks, straight from the heart of a parent or spouse……real life.
This song speaks about family and what we sacrifice to provide for them. It speaks of the love we hold so dear, of obstacles and trials and tough times. It expresses the feelings and emotions of missing our family when we have to spend so much time away from them. I know hundreds of musicians and even our military men and women who can relate to this song with a whole heart. But it also speaks of courage on both sides and how together we “go through it”.
My daddy told me politicians
never learn the golden rule
Do unto others as you’d have
them do to you
You go round and around it
You go over and under
I go through
Their music is inspirational, motivational, and inviting.
Marc Roberge, Chris Culos, Richard On, Benj Gershman and Jerry DePizzo…….O.A.R. Jump on board your gonna love the ride.
Photo credit: Josh Goleman
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