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Interview:
O.A.R. celebrating 20 years by looking forward
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK

Twenty years of O.A.R. has felt like "it just happened a minute ago" to frontman Marc Roberge.

Until, that is, he looks at some pictures from the group's earliest days.

"Yeah, then it's clear it was 10, 15, 20 years ago," Roberge, who co-founded the group in 1996 with school friends from Maryland (who all later attended Ohio State University), says with a laugh by phone. "But, thankfully, I think I've gotten better at my job, so I never really look back and say, 'Wow, I wish I was more creative or more this or more that.

"I feel really good now, creatively speaking -- more appreciative, more being in the moment. I appreciate every minute now, where back then I think we felt we were just riding something and thought more about the future."

Roberge tried to get some of these thoughts into "I Go Through" and "Follow Me, Follow Through," O.A.R.'s two new tracks on "XX," a compilation of favorite songs and live material to commemorate the group's first 20 years.

"We absolutely did not want to be out there reminiscing and getting all warm and fuzzy and write a song about it," Roberge, 37, says. "We wanted to write something in the moment about where we are exactly now, not looking back. We felt like, boom, we accomplished 20, let's see what we can do now.

"The next celebration will probably be a little more looking back kind of thing."

O.A.R. has more work to do before then, however. Roberge says the group plans to start a its ninth studio album, the follow-up to 2014's "The Rockville LP," later this year. The five band members will also be engrossed in college football season by the; All retain loyalties to Ohio State -- which they know better than to mention when they play in Michigan -- and they're used to being the target of other fans' ire around the country.

"Everywhere we go...I've been booed in airports probably five times, and not even in Detroit or Michigan," Roberge says with another live. "They boo us as if we represent Ohio State -- and I guess we do. And we're proud of it, so we'll take whatever they throw at us."

O.A.R., The Hunts and Stephen Kellogg

Thursday, Aug. 25. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.

Tickets are $79.75 reserved balcony, $49.75 GA in advance, $54.75 day of show.

Call 248-399-2980 or visit royaloakmusictheatre.com.


Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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