With roughly 30 new tracks in the mix, O.A.R. is well on its way toward recording the follow-up to its 2005 Atlantic album “Stories of a Stranger,” according to saxophonist Jerry DePizzo.
“We literally finished ‘Stories of a Stranger’ on July 8, 2005, and by July 12, [singer] Marc [Roberge] was bringing new material to the table,” DePizzo tells Billboard.com. “At the time it was almost overwhelming, because we had just finished this thing and put it to bed. We went on tour on July 9 and Marc said, ‘I have a couple of ideas, you wanna work through them?’ I was like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I’m ready yet’ but we did. And we’ve been working on it ever since.”
At this point, DePizzo says the band is pretty much done writing; however, he did mention Roberge and guitarist Richard On are currently penning an island vibe roots-rock song, which is the band’s self-coined style. As for the creative direction in which the band is heading, a few of the songs have been road tested over the past year, like “Something Coming Over,” “The Fallout” and “Living in the End,” all share a common bond.
“I think for the most part we write these songs on the road, play them out live and right now, we’re playing arenas, large amphitheaters and large theaters so the music is going to lend itself to those venues,” DePizzo says. “A lot of stuff on this next record is very anthemic. It’s meant to be played in large places and I think that’s why large, grandiose songs are expected.”
The new project, which is currently untitled, has no timetable because DePizzo says the group refuses to attach a deadline. “The great thing about having such a jump on the writing process for this record is that you don’t really have any deadlines set to finish it,” DePizzo says. “So we’re just going to go in and work and when it’s done, it’s done. I think hopefully we’ll have something out by the end of the year, I would assume.”
There is also concert DVD talk from the Ohio State University-birthed band. It would be the group’s first such project, but DePizzo says there are no details to share just yet.
In the meantime, O.A.R. is soon to return to its bread and butter, which is touring. A short winter run begins Jan. 18 in Cincinnati and ends at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Jan. 27. After selling out the same venue this past January, the band is hoping its good fortunes there continue.
“Hopefully, we’ll repeat what we did last year,” DePizzo says. “It looks like we’re going to and that I think is even more of an accomplishment to repeat.” O.A.R. is expected to tour throughout much of 2007.