When O.A.R. decided to call its just-released sixth studio album “All Sides,” the quintet really meant it.
“I didn’t want to get caught up in the same musical style on every song,” explains frontman Marc Roberge, who came up with the title two years ago while he was writing songs for the album. “The point of each demo was to go down a different path, all to the same end of something we could play live and be effective with and that our fans would dig.
“We broke (the songs) it down to the purist form — ‘Can we play this live and kill this, live? If it doesn’t pass that test, then, no, we’re not gonna record it.’”
Roberge wrote “30 or 40 songs that came from different places” for the album before taking it into the studio with producer Matt Wallace (Maroon5, the Replacements, Faith No More) and another change for O.A.R. — recording in Los Angeles after working on its previous releases on the East Coast.
“We wanted to get out of the sludge of winter,” explains Roberge, 29. “I think the L.A. weather had a huge part in this record. It kinda kept us vibrant and happy. It was sunny all the time. I just felt rejuvenated.”
And, the singer-guitarist adds, “In L.A. we’d be (in the studio) around 9 (a.m.) and finish by 6 or 7 and go home. Every day we were working a long time, but always normal hours where I could go back at night and hang with my wife and be with my dogs and be normal. It used to be I’d ... work all night, but I’m not a late-night studio guy anymore."
O.A.R. and the Beautiful Girls perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (July 25) at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills. Tickets are $35.50 pavilion, $20 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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