As it nears the end of the cycle for 2008's "All Sides," O.A.R. is starting to plot out its next album, which saxophonist Jerry DiPizzo says will try to blend the mainstream accessibility of its first Top 40 hit, "Shattered (Turn the Car Around)" with the more expansive kind of material on which the Ohio quintet staked its reputation.
"We want to make a fan's record next time," DiPizzo tells Billboard.com, adding that there will still be a place for more commercial songs in that scenario, too. "I think what we're going to try to do on this next record is carry on that momentum and that style of writing but maybe twist it a little left of center. Where ('Shattered') kind of hit right down the middle, maybe we can pull radio towards us this time."
DiPizzo says that O.A.R., which will be on tour through the rest of the year, is writing for its seventh studio album and reports that "it's coming in a real natural, organic way. We're going to take some time off the road hopefully around the first of the year and then get serious about (the next album). That was the plan as of 10 minutes ago, at least..."
He adds that O.A.R. enjoyed working with producer Matt Wallace on "All Sides," as well as having Rob Cavallo involved in the post production of "Shattered" and tracks such as "This Town" and "One Day." "I think we had a good formula on the last record," DiPizzo says. "I imagine there's going to be some sort of variation on that formula, but hopefully both of those guys are in the mix again."
Before a next album, however, O.A.R. will be releasing a live album this fall. The as-yet untitled and unscheduled package will be a four-disc set featuring a pair of June shows at Chicago's Northerly Island recorded in their entirety -- the second during a heavy rainstorm. DiPizzo says only two songs were repeated at each show, while a rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain" with Robert Randolph from the first night will also be included.
"The two shows were almost night and day performance-wise, and I was really surprised by how much of that came across on those tapes," DiPizzo says. "So people are really going to hear a wide variety of what the band's capable of. Everything's getting mixed right now and it sounds great, and we're really excited for it."