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UCLA Daily Bruin interview with Ozma - October 2002

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Original article (archived by Wayback Machine): https://web.archive.org/web/20021229161318/http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/news/articles.asp?ID=21406

Ozma, loyal fans rock Knitting Factory during October run


Rock band Ozma will finish its month-long residency at the Hollywood Knitting Factory tonight.

By Kathleen Dunphy



It would be difficult to find "Rockstar 101" listed within UCLA's course catalog, yet many students find time to pursue their love for music – even between midterms and Tuesday pint nights.

Among these students are Bruins Ryen Slegr and Daniel Brummel, both members of the rock band Ozma. The two will return to UCLA during winter quarter after taking time off to concentrate on the band.

Presently, however, Ozma has perfect attendance at Hollywood's Knitting Factory where the band spent October in residence. Every Wednesday features a show consisting of new material, and tonight the band concludes the run with the seven-year anniversary of its first show together.

"The first (October residency) show was a little rough for us, and the fans. It's tougher to play for a smaller amount of people than just a sea of blank faces," Slegr said.

"We'd never played most of those songs live," added Patrick Edwards, drummer.

The band is set to begin recording its next album, due out next spring, and will follow with what the band hopes to be a monumental tour. This year included many days on the road, especially after the band joined the Warped Tour this summer. It turned out to be more of a challenge than some might expect.

"It's definitely more fun and easy to play for people who already know our stuff – our audiences – rather than trying to win over someone else's audience," Brummel said.

While the Warped Tour does incorporate various genres, punk is easily the front-runner. Ozma has been called many things, and show-goers have even been seen moshing, but "punk" is not a word that leaps out when listening to the band, making them a different flavor for Warped audiences.

The band is generally affable, and Slegr's humor so dry that more jokes probably slipped into the night than were caught and appreciated. The most disappointing falsehood was that he's putting together a compilation from demos that other bands have slipped him. Ozma fans show such dedication it wouldn't be surprising if such a CD sold out immediately.

"(Our fans) are usually pretty nice. They bring us cookies and things on the road. They're really wholesome kids – to a fault sometimes," Slegr said.

The members of Ozma have grown up while out on the road, changing in similar ways as college students away from home for the first time.

"When we were playing I'd never drink, just trying to be a good kid. Definitions of goodness change," Edwards said.

More than one of the fans at last week's Knitting Factory show bought tickets to all the October shows, showing a rabidity often seen in Weezer (and sports) fans.

With all they have accomplished, Ozma's future looks bright. Aside from some of the members returning to school and the band's new album, Ozma hopes even bigger things lie ahead.

Ozma plays at the Knitting Factory tonight with Smile, Dopamine and Service Group. 7021 Hollywood Blvd. (323) 463-0204.

See also