So this time it wasn’t painful for you?

No not at all. Matt Wallace was the producer and he certainly helped those feelings. We’ve been a band for almost 12 years now and we go out almost every night of the year and play music together, but we’ve only made five or six studio records. We’re not a band that spends a lot of time in the studio so I think it took us a long time to figure out who we are and what we’re trying to accomplish. And I think on this record we finally got it right. We finally figured out, ‘This is who O.A.R. is.’

And it only took you 12 years!

That’s the beauty of artist development, I guess.

How do you think it changes the outcome of a record when you actually enjoy making it?

It depends. People react differently under different circumstances of pressure. For me, I like to have a good time. Our music is not rocket science. We like to make people feel good when we play. There’s not a crazy formula to it. I imagine you have to convey that emotion. So when we’re not under the gun and we can take time to enjoy things and be ourselves I think it comes through. Our audience wants an honest representation of who we are and what we’re capable of and I think this is the record that gave them that.

When you make a record how much do you have to consider the fact that you’re really a live band and the songs need to be able to translate to the stage?

I think we worried about that more on earlier records. ‘How is this going to work live? How is the audience going to like this live?’ That kind of thing. I don’t think we asked ourselves those questions too many times on this record. It was more, ‘Let’s make the song, let’s make it the best it be, and let’s record it in a way that best conveys the song.’

After doing this for 12 years I know there’s certainly a difference between a live version and a recorded version. The two are completely different. Most don’t work the same way in both circumstances. So we didn’t worry about it this time. We went into a practice space and learned the songs and knew they would take on a life of their own live and we would let them be what they are.

Is it hard for you to know which songs will end up being great live songs?

I think you can gauge it, but it’s not even something we worry about anymore. At least it’s not something I worry about. You just go out there and play and the fans will tell you what’s going to be good and what’s not.

All Sides is available now. Catch O.A.R. at the House Of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ, on Oct. 25. For more info, visit

Photo Credit: Danny Clinch

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