Q & A With O.D.D.

Q & A With O.D.D.

Born from the desire to make an indelible mark on the world of rock and metal, O.D.D. was formed in 2013. Their collective desire to write heavy groove oriented songs combined with a melodic vocal layer is one thing that sets this crew apart from the hordes of others trying (but failing) to make a mark.

Based out of Atlanta, GA, O.D.D. is a no frills, in your face act providing an arena-like experience to audiences everywhere. Compared by music critics to Kings-X, vintage Metallica, and early Motley Crue, this band reigns true to the 80’s fun and energy mixed with today’s heavy modern standards in a sound that will have audiences out of their seats with fists in the air!

With their last EP, “The Disorder,” reaching #228 on the North American College & Community Radio Char and impressively having licensed their music by The Discovery Network, MTV, and NASCAR for the shows “Shark Week,” “Velocity,” “TLC,” “Ridiculousness,” and “Nitro Circus”, they have demonstrated this band is on an upward trajectory.

O.D.D. have carved a niche that lurks somewhere between hard rock and metal. Melodic vocals paired with heavy guitar riffs, pulsating bass and thunderous drums complete the experience referred to as a “Ride on a rocket propelled rollercoaster”. See what it’s all about for yourself and brace yourself for their debut album to be unleashed in 2018 by Pavement Entertainment!


XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – The latest news is the release of our EP The Disorder on Pavement Entertainment / Sony coming out on November 9th which we are very excited
about. We are doing a release show at the legendary Star Community Bar in Atlanta on November 17th. With the release coming out, we are working on our 2019 bookings
which we are planning to hit the road a bit.


XS ROCK: So how long has the band been together?
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – We’ve been together for about 5 years now. Dave “HDS” (Harley DavidSmith!) on guitar and lead vocals went thru a couple of drummers before getting
Kenny “The Muffer” Reaves in the band. Kenny and I played in a band together for several years back in the late 80’s / early 90’s and all three of us have known each other
since around that time although we never played in a band with Dave before now.


XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for originally starting or being in a band?
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – Sex, drugs and rock and roll of course!!! I mean when you’re 15 what else are you thinking about right?


XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – All 3 of us are pretty much from the rock and roll school of hard knocks. I had some bass lessons and played in the school jazz band and string orchestra
but that was actually after I already started playing with friends in my first rock bands. Past that no real formal training. Dave is just a natural musician in every sense of the
word. No lessons or anything and although he plays guitar in O.D.D., he is actually a kick ass drummer and can play bass better than I can!! He’s all by ear and feel which is
amazing. If he can hear it he can play it. Kenny just loves to hit things so he decided that hitting drums was probably the most productive thing to channel that energy to! He’s just
a rock and roll soldier. He may have had some lessons, I’m not really sure but if he did, they probably didn’t last very long as he’s pretty restless.


XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – Straight up, no frills rock and roll. What you see and hear is what you get. We don’t use any backing tracks or samples recording or live. It’s all us, real and
organic. I think that’s pretty clear whether listening to the record or seeing us live. Lyrically our songs have some personal meaning to each of them and are not about
superficial things. They all have a point of view from situations that have happened to us that we think the listener can relate to their own life. The music is heavy and sometimes a
little dark but the songs are not doom and gloom….well, maybe a little bit!


XS ROCK: What are your current music career goals?
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – To conquer the world and be the biggest rock stars on the planet!!!!


XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – Playing live is the main objective and the most preferable activity for all of us. That’s where it all comes together after the writing and recording process,
which both can be a bit tedious and challenging at times but live…that’s where it’s at!


XS ROCK: What are your songs’ lyrics about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – At the core they’re all about people and scenarios in life that piss us off and how we deal with them. Betrayal, regret, internet trolls, government
corruption…you know, every day stuff!


XS ROCK: What is the single most important thing to you as a musician?
Gunny – Bass / Vocals – It may sound cliche but that’s because it’s true but having integrity in what we write and play and doing it honestly. Individually being the best
player we can be and as a band being the best band we can be especially live on stage.


XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – Hmmmm, remembering those is the hardest part! LOL We’re all pretty sober these days so nothing really too outrageous from recent road trips. Off stage
we’re actually pretty tame. Now in our younger days…different story. Those stories usually involve being chased out of town or being threatened to be beat up in parking lots
by jealous boyfriends of girls where we played. The really outrageous stories I would prefer not to put in print to protect the innocent as well as the guilty!!! There was one
time in Alabama years ago we got booked at this place that was basically in a trailer park surrounding a big catfish pond. It was the first show booked by a new agent.
The provided “accommodations” were so bad we bolted and paid for our own motel. The club was empty but there were about 100 underage kids partying in the parking lot!!


XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – probably being asked if we could do any Blake Shelton songs!


XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of your choice to play in a rock band?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – Absolutely!! It can never be emphasized enough how much the love and support of our friends and families means to us being able to do what we do.
Without that it’s even harder. We’re sure they might get a bit tired of us bugging them to come to shows all the time though! LOL


XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands trying to get started?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – Do the work in the rehearsal room to hone in on your sound and get as tight as you can. Then get out and play as much as you can just about wherever you
can because that’s where you really get tight. Get out and support your local scene and other bands in your community as much as you can. That’s a great way to get to know
people outside of your usual orbit and gain new fans and supporters especially when starting out.


XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – I’m not kidding when I say all of them! We don’t play anything we don’t like because we can’t fake it. But specifically if we had to pick “favorites” I
would say “The View”, “Label Killer”, “Loud Fighter” and a new one not recorded yet called “Wasted”. Those 4 pretty much sum up the different aspects of our overall vibe as
a band.

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Gunny – Bass / vocals -For all of us initially as kids it was KISS for sure. That created the spark for sure. For David, it was specifically RUSH that inspired him to start playing
drums actually. For me on bass, it was Iron Maiden. The first time I heard “Wrathchild” I knew instantly I wanted to play bass. For Ken, his biggest inspiration is definitely Led
Zeppelin and John Bonham of course.


XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – O.D.D. / Rush / King’s X….not necessarily in that order!!


XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – Hopefully we haven’t accomplished that yet!! LOL. But really a few things actually. Our signing on with Pavement for our national release of “The
Disorder” EP is definitely a big one. Staying together as a band with the same members and still getting along after 5 years is pretty great too.


XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – probably in a chapeau shop or something like that…depending on the hours!!


XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – David plays Les Paul guitars thru Marshall amps with various effects pedals. I play Spector and Fender basses and use a Tech 21 Dug1000 amp thru
Ampeg SVT 8×10 cabinets and Ken plays Mapex Saturn drums and Zildjian cymbals. We all use in ear monitors as well.


XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – That’s a tough question. I believe there is still a lot of great new music being made, a lot of great rock music actually but it’s been pushed back down out
of the main stream except for the bigger bands that have already been established for years. It’s very difficult for new bands to break through because there are actually so
many bands out there clawing for attention and people have such a short attention span these days. Social media has helped and hurt at the same time. It’s a necessity for
promotion and engagement but there are so many bands promoting and engaging that it’s hard to stick out and grab that short attention. Oh, there is a lot of shitty music being
made as well!! Anybody can make a record in their bedroom and foist it upon the world.


XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – David is a phenomenal cook, Ken is a computer genius and I’m bald!


XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Gunny – Bass / vocals – Yes. Please check out our EP just released on Pavement Entertainment / Sony being distributed worldwide right now and be on the lookout for us
to come to your town in 2019!!


XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS ROCK!
Gunny – Bass / vocals – my pleasure. Thank you



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