O.A.R. (aka Of a Revolution) converted from an Ohio State frat band to Billboard chartbuster and headliner at major venues across America. First, college reps hawked the band's two demo recordings to people and servers at universities. Then, word-of-mouth news spread about the band's roots rock and reggae-inflected upbeat songs. Before long, the band got thousands of hits daily on their website at www.ofarevolution.com.
O.A.R.'s third CD, Risen, was produced by John Alagia (Dave Matthews Band, Ben Folds Five) and recorded in summer 2000 at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ, and at Dumbo Studios in New York City for the group's independent label, Everfine Records. The CD debuted at number 11 on February 24, 2001, on the Top Internet Album Sales chart in Billboard.
O.A.R., likened to Dave Matthews Band, consists of lead singer/rhythm guitarist Marc Roberge, lead guitarist Richard On, saxist Jerry DePizzo, bassist Benj Gershman, and drummer Chris Culos.
O.A.R. formed in 1998 at Ohio State University. Roberge had known Culos since childhood in Rockville, MD, where he also became friends and played in local bands with On and Gershman. DePizzo, who hails from Youngstown, OH, met the others at Ohio State. O.A.R. first recorded The Wanderer independently as a demo in 1997. Many of the songs on O.A.R.'s debut disc were written while Roberge and Culos were living in Israel. During their stay in Israel, Roberge and Culos in 1996 and later Gershman in 1997 visited the Masada, where 900 people committed suicide rather than die at the hands of the ancient Romans. They also hiked to the Dead Sea.
Two years later, the switch from student band to headliner started with the arrival of their popular song, "That Was a Crazy Game of Poker." A lot of the lyrics for the band's songs came from Roberge's interest in literature, particularly Stephen King's novel The Stand.
The group went back into the recording studio for a second demo, which was released independently as Souls Aflame in 1999. Both The Wanderer and Souls Aflame were reissued in 2001 on Everfine Records.
With the success of Risen, Roberge began writing songs for a new CD in late 2001. To appease their dedicated fanbase, they released the live Any Time Now in the spring of 2002. The album went on to sell 100,000 copies. In Between Now And Then appeared in spring 2003. ~ Robert Hicks, All Music Guide
Written by Robert Hicks