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O.A.R. has the Olympic spirit

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

O.A.R. has caught the Olympic spirit.

The Columbus, Ohio, rock quintet signed on with Duracell to record "Champions," an anthem that will be used during the company's ad campaign during the Summer Olympic Games in London. The quintet teamed with urban hitmaker B.o.B. on the track, which saxophonist Jerry DePizzo says "is a tune for the underdog and a tune to kind of get you pumped and get you excited and motivate you towards your goal. You can put it in an athletic context but also in an artistic mind, too. It's about hunger and the drive it takes to succeed in anything in life."

But the song -- which is available for free download on Duracell's Facebook page -- will not get O.A.R. across the pond to actually attend the Olympics.

"There was a shot, but it didn't end up happening," says DePizzo, 33. "We would've loved to have gone, but we're a little part of it, at least, and I think the song will live past the campaign, too."

O.A.R., meanwhile, is setting up for a busy future. The group recently filmed and recorded a live album and DVD in Colorado that will be released this fall. And this week it started writing new material for a follow-up album, "King," which gave the band its highest-ever chart showing.

"We're excited about it," DePizzo says. "Everyone's got a bunch of ides. I think it's going to be five guys in a room, recording tunes, with...less emphasis on what we think other people expect. We'll just write a record from the heart. After 15 years of doing this we feel pretty confident that if we just write honestly, people will connect with it."

O.A.R. and Rebelution perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 21, at the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills. Tickets are $26.40 pavilion, $25 lawn with a $64 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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