Ozma

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Ozma
Ozma-Band-2.jpg
Background information
Alias Trail Gate, Irregardless, Paper or Plastic
Origin Pasadena, CA
Years active 1995 - 2004
2006 - present
Label(s) Tornado Recordings (1995–2001) Kung-Fu Records (2001–2004)
About A Girl Records (2007–2009)
Website Now defunct website
MP3.com
Yahoo! artist page
LiveJournal
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook
Current Members
Ryen Slegr
Daniel Brummel
Jose Galvez
Star Wick
Kenn Shane
Former Members
Katherine Kieckhefer (1996–1998)
Patrick Edwards (1995–2004)

Ozma is a rock band from Pasadena, California. The band's sound is a mix of new–wave-influenced power pop and rock with Casiotone-driven melodies and heavy guitar riffs. Ozma has collaborated with Weezer on many occasions and cites them as a major influence. The complexity of the Ozma's songs grew considerably during their initial nine-year history (1995 - 2004). The band announced they were reforming in early 2006 and have remained since then.

History

Early years

The band that would later be named Ozma was initially formed in 1995. Initially dubbed "Paper or Plastic," the lineup consisted of Ryen Slegr (vocals/guitar), Jose Galvez (guitar/vocals), Patrick Edwards (drums), and Matt Herman (vocals/bass).[1] Herman departed from the band shortly after its band's formation, reportedly due to creative differences. Daniel Brummel, who met Galvez through the internet while looking for a band to join, was introduced to the other band members by Galvez in September of 1995. The band went through various names during this year span with their new bassist, such as "Sheriff Bob" "Power Cool" and "Cosmic Egg," but in 1996 the band officially changed its name to "Ozma." Said Slegr, "I took a Wizard of Oz book from the bookshelf at Patrick's parents' house and opened it up to a page and put my finger on a word without looking and it was 'Ozma'."[2] Late that year, the band was joined by Katherine Kieckhefer on keyboards, rounding out the quintet.

From 1996 to 1997, the band recorded the cassette demos of Cuatro and Ocho and distributed them to friends. In late 1997, they recorded their first studio work in the form of the First Strike EP. In 1998, the song "Iceland" appeared as the first track on the compilation album Hear You Me! A Tribute to Mykel and Carli, which also featured Weezer. Kieckhefer departed the band later that year, leaving Brummel to fill in on keyboards for the singles "Lorraine" and "Los Angeles". Near the end of the year, the band was joined by Star Wick on keyboards, who has remained as a central member since.

Ozma put out Songs of Inaudible Trucks and Cars in early 1999. This collection of demos, live tracks, and songs was initially released on homemade CD-Rs, but the songs would later be republished on MP3.com as Songs of Audible Trucks and Cars (named so due to a character limit). On January 1, 2000, Ozma released their first proper album, Rock and Roll Part Three. By Brummel's estimation, a few thousand copies were pressed by the band's own Tornado Recordings label. During these early years, Ozma played almost anywhere in the California state area, garnering a strong regional following.

Big break

Ozma with Weezer and the Get Up Kids on the Yahoo! Outloud Tour.

Ozma's first real break came in July of 2000 when Weezer asked the band to open for them on the Yahoo! Outloud Tour. A month prior to the tour, Galvez had given Rivers Cuomo a copy of Rock and Roll Part Three when he saw the band perform during their storied comeback on the Vans Warped Tour. Galvez and his bandmates eventually got reports that Cuomo loved their record and was singing along to every word.[3] The band would tour with Weezer on the latter's "Yahoo! Outloud Tour". In addition to Cuomo's blessing, Weezer fans themselves expressed a strong interest in having Ozma open for them: Ozma received the most votes on polls conducted on Weezer's official website asking for suggestions of opening bands, alongside the Kansas City-based band The Get Up Kids.[4] [5] [6] [7]

During the tour, Ozma self-released their second studio album The Doubble Donkey Disc, which would later be reissued on Kung Fu Records a year later. With this release, Ozma experimented with incorporating alternative instruments, including the flute and a traditional Russian instrument called the balalaika, creating a sound they called "Russian Coldfusion." The disc was split into two imaginary concept EPs: the first five songs (including the Russian folk song "Korobeiniki," more famously known as the Tetris theme) revolved around Russian themes, while the second half created a more dance party atmosphere the band dubbed "Bootytraps".

One year later in 2002, Weezer invited Ozma to tour with them again on 2002's "Hyper Extended Midget Tour", which featured also featured the band Saves the Day.

Kung Fu years

In late 2001, partly as a result of the exposure gained from touring with Weezer, Ozma signed with Kung Fu Records, which led to a mainstage appearance on the 2002 Warped Tour. Over the next two years, Kung Fu put out remastered and enhanced versions of Rock and Roll Part Three and The Doubble Donkey Disc. Ozma's third proper album, Spending Time on the Borderline, was released in 2003. This record saw Ozma mature their sound and expand their musical outlook, moving away — at times significantly — from the keyboard-driven, so-called "video game–themed" rock of the earlier albums. During this 2001–2004 period, Ozma toured the US numerous times, with well-known acts such as Nada Surf, Superdrag, Piebald, The Format, and Rilo Kiley.

Trail Gate

On January 11th, 2002, Ozma played as the band “Trail Gate” at the No Future Cafe in Pasadena, California. Ozma has been closely associated with No Future for their entire career. The band had recently returned from its tour with Weezer, but they headlined this show with a full bill including Running Late and Up In Arms.

Notably, this was the last official Ozma performance at No Future, though the band members' side projects have frequently performed at the club since that date. These acts have included: Daniel Brummel's solo shows, Yes Dear, and a CafFiends cover of "Battlescars" that featured Galvez and Slegr.

Split

Ozma disbanded on July 23, 2004. In a message posted on their official website, Ryen Slegr cited deteriorating relationships between band members which affected the "creative and professional facets of the band to the extent that no one [felt] like continuing…"[8]

Brummel moved to New York City to pursue a more folk-heavy style, independently releasing the solo album Speak Easy on September 27, 2005. Patrick Edwards helped form the short-lived band Acute. Slegr and Galvez formed Yes Dear with ex-members of Arlo and Teen Heroes. The majority of Yes Dear's recording projects were completed with Billy Burke at Loveless Motel Studio in Sierra Madre, CA, where Ozma eventually recorded their next release, Pasadena.

Irregardless

On December 3, 2005, the former members of Ozma, minus Edwards, played the Troubadour in West Hollywood—billed as Irregardless (not Regardless). This opening slot for The Wrens included five songs from Ozma's albums, as well as the Spending Time-era outtake "D Song". Introduced as a "new one," the song had in fact been played live before though never officially released. "D Song" would later be renamed "Underneath My Tree" and see release on Pasadena. Both Kenn Shane and a friend of the band named Gerardo[9] played drums during the set, marking the first time Shane had ever played live with the rest of the band publicly. This sparked feverish rumors among Ozma's fanbase about a possible future reunion, particularly with the news that Brummel had moved back to Southern California. When prompted about the name Irregardless in 2021, Slegr admitted it was just a silly name the band had come up with while unable to use the name Ozma for "booking reasons".[10]

Reunion

On January 9, 2006, Ozma announced that the band had fully reunited — again without Edwards — to play new shows, new songs, and put out new records. The absence of Edwards led many to believe he was partly responsible for the split, in addition to the on-stage quarrels between Edwards and Brummel. The band posted the following message on their MySpace page :

WE: Star Wick, Ryen Slegr, Jose Galvez, and Daniel Brummel, do hereby declare our full and true intention to reform, reunite, and otherwise reanimate the rock group OZMA. Manning the drum kit for this incarnation of OZMA will be Kenn Shane, formerly of Addison. After rehearsing and working on new material since September 2005, we will play our first reunited concert on Sunday, March 12th, 2006 at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood, CA. Tickets to this concert will be made available on January 14th, 2006. Announcements regarding future OZMA releases and tours will henceforth be made at our official website OzmaOnline.com.[11]

The band continued to showcase new songs at various shows, in addition to playing unreleased songs dating from after the release of Spending Time... In September 2006, the band uploaded two demos of new songs they have recorded to their MySpace page. The songs, entitled "Straight Flush" and "Barriers," were recorded over the summer of 2006 along with two other unreleased songs, "Beyond The Fire" and "To The Leader of The Band".

During July and August 2006, the band opened for The Rentals for their "Return Tour," with Slegr (now an official member of The Rentals) performing in both bands. During the tour, Ozma rotated many new songs through their setlist. In September, the band announced that they would be touring the nation again in October, along with the band Hellogoodbye.

Pasadena

On Valentines Day 2007, the band announced via a MySpace post that their newest album would be released on May 15, 2007 through About A Girl Records. The name of this album would end up being Pasadena, (named after the band's California hometown). On March 17, 2007, a new video[12] was posted on YouTube and the first glimpse of the tracklisting for Pasadena was released. Information about the new album remained sparse for about a month, while various YouTube videos showcased bits and pieces of it. On May 7, 2007, the album leaked on the internet. On May 11, 2007, Ozma made an agreement with MySpace to stream the whole album on their homepage.

The album photos and artwork were shot at the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena.

The album included guest appearances by Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), Will Noon (Straylight Run, Fun), Rachel Haden (The Rentals, That Dog), Ben Pringle (The Rentals, Nerf Herder), Eric Summer (Get Set Go), and Benjamin Chadwick (New Maximum Donkey). Allmusic referred to Pasadena as "the strongest work of their careers," rating it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Crabs

In 2009, Galvez and Slegr joined members of the band Teaneck in a Weezer tribute band dubbed The Crabs. They played two one-night shows that same year, one being an Green Album tribute night and the other being a Pinkerton tribute night. Songs covered during the shows included "I Do," "Waiting on You," and "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams," with Star Wick singing lead vocals and Brummel playing keyboards on the latter. The Pinkerton show opened with Ryen doing a full electronic rendition of the Ozzy Ozborne song "Mr.Crowly." Along with these shows, there exists a full live studio recording[13] of the band playing "Knock-down Drag-Out" in preparation for the Green Album show.

The Weezer Cruise

In 2011, Rivers Cuomo invited Ozma to perform in a music festival hosted by Weezer onboard a four-day cruise from Miami to Cozumel. Other bands slated for the cruise included: Sebadoh, Gene Ween, Dave Dreiwitz, Wavves, Antlers, Yuck, Free Energy, Boom Bip, J. Mascis, Lou Barlow, Keepaway, The Nervous Wreckards, The Knocks, and Sleeper Agent.

On November 26, 2011, Ozma performed a show in preparation for the Weezer cruise at The Glasshouse in Pomona, CA. This was the first Ozma show in over three years. Moses Campell and Body Parts performed as opening acts. During their set, the band played Rock and Roll Part 3 from start to finish to celebrate the album's 10-year anniversary. During the first encore, members of The Rentals - including Matt Sharp - joined Ozma on stage to play three songs: "Waiting," "Getting By," and "Friends of P.". During this encore performance, Sharp talked about a possible Ozma/The Rentals tour which sparked rumors of a proper Ozma reunion that would extend beyond the Weezer Cruise, possibly including a new album.

Boomtown

In 2013, following the first Weezer cruise and six years after their last album, a new project from the band was announced. This project materialized as the 2014 album Boomtown, an album completely funded by fan donations. Rewards for these financial contributions included lessons from band members and private shows performed at a donor's house. After raising over $20,000 on Pledge Music, the song "Nervous" was released as a .flac single to only those who had donated. Notably, usual frontman Daniel Brummel only has writing credits on three of the album's songs.

20th Anniversary's

During the next few years, the band remained silent regarding future plans while remaining active on social media. In October of 2019, the band re-re-released The Doubble Donkey Disc after it had been removed from streaming services the prior year. On December 19 and 20 of that year, Ozma, along with the band Cheekface, played two sold-out shows at the Troubadour celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of Rock and Roll Part Three. On August 22, 2020, the band re-released their demo album Songs of Inaudible Trucks and Cars through their Bandcamp page. Later that year on December 11, 2020, Rivers Cuomo released the digital demo bundle Weezma: Daniel, Ryen & Rivers on riverscuomo.com, comprised of demos from Cuomo's songwriting sessions with Slegr and Brummel from 2014. In January of 2021, the band conducted a Zoom interview with fan-submitted questions[14] for the 20th anniversary of The Doubble Donkey Disc. Later that same year, the band launched an official channel on the video platform Twitch,[15] consisting primarily of short streams of Slegr on piano and guitar. On July 9, 2021, Ozma released the live album Ozma - Live Acoustic Set - July 12, 2000 through the music distribution platform Bandcamp, nearly 21 years after it was performed. On August 6, 2021, Ozma rereleased the demo compilations Cuatro and Ocho on Bandcamp as Cuatro y Ocho. On September 29, 2021, Daniel Brummel did an interview with Piebald tour manager Dana Bollen in which he talked about wanting to tour with Ozma in Europe and Indonesia post-pandemic.

Popular Culture

Icon-Wikitext.png This article or section lacks formatting. It may require cleanup to meet Weezerpedia's quality standards.
  • A person in the crowd in the film Napoleon Dynamite can be seen wearing an Ozma t-shirt.[16]
  • A person in an MTV segment from 2005 can be seen wearing an Ozma t-shirt near the end of the video.[17]
  • In the music video for the Piebald song "Part Of Your Body Is Made Out Of Rock", one of the animated band members can be seen wearing an Ozma t-shirt.[18]
  • Ozma is mentioned in the 168th issue of "Wizard: The Guide to Comics" magazine.[19]
  • The song "Rocks" can be heard in the Nickelodeon teen sitcom iCarly, in the 2008 episode iMight Switch Schools.[22]

Discography

See Ozma discography

Studio Albums

Live Albums

Singles

Year Title Notes
1998 "Lorraine" b/w "Los Angeles" Self-released cassette single of some of Ozma's earliest studio recordings. Notably produced by Rod Cervera.
2001 "Domino Effect" b/w "Apple Trees" Named Songs From Rock and Roll Part Three. Included a ‎promotional radio edit of Domino Effect released by Kung Fu Records. Several hundred self-released CDs were given out at live shows.
2002 "Korobeiniki" b/w "The Business of Getting Down" UK 7" single. Only 1,000 copies produced, by small UK label Falsetto Records who procured the rights for a one-off release.
2007 "Eponine" b/w "No One Needs To Know" Promotional radio-only single released by About A Girl Records, never commercially available.
2014 "Nervous" Boomtown single for Pledge Music donators.

Interviews

See also

External links

References

  1. Daniel Brummel’s Humble Mumble. Tone Def Sound. 18 August 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20211017025324/https://tonedefsound.com/daniel-brummels-humble-mumble/
  2. Slegr, Ryen (ozmasoundings). Discord. 30 March 2019. File:Ozma name story.png
  3. Brummel, Daniel Go All the Way! A Literary Appreciation of Power Pop "Is Weezer Power Pop?" https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/File:DBPowerpopbookrrp3torivers.png
  4. Karl's Corner - 12/05/2000 https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/Karl%27s_Corner_-_12/05/2000
  5. Karl's Corner - 12/15/2000 https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/Karl%27s_Corner_-_12/15/2000
  6. Karl's Corner - 12/30/2000 https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/Karl%27s_Corner_-_12/30/2000
  7. Karl's Corner - 01/04/2001 https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/Karl%27s_Corner_-_01/04/2001
  8. Ozmafanforums 2006 https://web.archive.org/web/20210630223559/https://www.ozmafans.com/index.php?topic=2014.0
  9. Galvez, Jose Facebook comment 2020 https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/File:Joseirregardless.PNG
  10. Slegr, Ryen (ozmasoundings). Discord. 2021 https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/File:RyenIrregardless2021.png
  11. Ozmafanforums 2006 https://web.archive.org/web/20210630223559/https://www.ozmafans.com/index.php?topic=2014.0
  12. OZMA - PASADENA PHOTO SHOOT https://youtu.be/Nnjknv5SMmk
  13. The Crabs - KNOCK DOWN DRAG OUT https://youtu.be/j1ofbb_5W4c
  14. Ozma - Doubble Donkey Disc 20th Anniversary Fan Interview https://youtu.be/Kr9QaGKiihI
  15. OzmaOfficial on Twitch https://twitch.tv/OzmaOfficial
  16. Napoleon Dynamite 2004 https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/File:Ozma_Tshirt_in_NDyn.jpg
  17. Conversion - Think.mtv - Grease Not Gas https://youtu.be/zjh9yiVM81s?t=42
  18. Piebald - Part Of Your Body Is Made Out Of Rock (Official MV) https://youtu.be/z1lXaWgQ79E?t=95
  19. Ozmafanforums 2005 https://web.archive.org/web/20210630223203/https://www.ozmafans.com/index.php?topic=1391.0
  20. Ozma Live Journal https://web.archive.org/web/20211002232655/https://ozma-lj.livejournal.com/tag/ozma%20sighting
  21. CSI: NY "Heart of Glass" https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/File:OZMACSINY.png
  22. iCarly streaming services https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/File:Icarlycredits.PNG
  23. Zoey 101 live broadcast https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/File:Zoey101live.PNG
  24. Zoey 101 streaming services https://www.weezerpedia.com/wiki/File:Zoey101streaming.png