Classic American author Thomas Wolfe famously stated “you can’t go home again,” but don’t tell that to the members of O.A.R. on their eighth studio album, THE ROCKVILLE LP, the shape-shifting rock band found that returning home triggered a journey of creative renewal and inspiration.
“This isn’t about us going back to our musical roots per se,” says lead singer Marc Roberge, who founded O.A.R. in 1996 with his Rockville, Md. high school classmates, drummer Chris Culos, guitarist Richard On, and bassist Benj Gershman (saxophonist Jerry DePizzo joined while the group was at Ohio State University). “It’s about us getting inspired by the place we came from. We’d drive the same roads, visit the old haunts, and spend time with our people. Rockville was the catalyst then, and it’s the catalyst now.”
For the first time in a while, the band found that visiting their Maryland hometown gave them a sense of peace. For years, they had been pushing themselves to reach new levels of success, searching for their place in the world. Plus, turbulent times within their personal lives had led them to a slightly disconnected state. “I went home to Maryland many times while making this album and based these songs on all the familiar feelings that Rockville gave me,” Roberge says. “I tried to focus in on the simple things that always made this band so creative and driven. For everyone in the band, this was a restart. We’ve been hanging out, enjoying life, letting things go…The whole album is about a reboot.” THE ROCKVILLE LP, which was recorded in Nashville, Bethesda, Md., and Brooklyn, N.Y., features some of O.A.R.’s most diverse, intricate songs to date.