Meanstreet interview with Ozma - April 2001

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Interview

Ozma

Idol worship. "It's kind of weird getting to tour with a band we idolized for so long." By Chris Whyte


"I remember back in the day joking. 'When we open for Weezer ...' and here we are," said Ozma's bewildered drummer Patrick Edwards during a phone interview from the Denver date of the Yahoo! Outloud Tour. "It's a dream for us. It's total luck that got us here."

The young Los Angeles band's luck began when they handed their CD to Weezer guitarist Brian Bell after a surprise gig at Spaceland. Soon after, they got a call from Weezer singer Rivers Cuomo asking Ozma to open a concert in Sacramento.

Cuomo was so impressed by Ozma, calling them his favorite new band, that he offered to give them the opening slot on Weezer's month-long Yahoo! tour with The Get Up Kids.

"We've all been big Weezer fans all our lives," bassist/singer Daniel Brummel added. "It's been kind of weird getting to tour with a band we've idolized for so long."

Ozma's strike of good fortune is even more amazing considering the band had never even toured for more than a weekend before, is unsigned and each band member is between the ages of 19 and 22.

However, Ozma is kind of the undervalued second cousins of the tour. They are the only band traversing the country in a small van, instead of a large tour bus, they haven't really been able to hang out with Weezer all that much and the crowds are, for the most part, wondering, 'Ozma who?'

"We're totally the peons of this tour," Brummel said, "but there's always a few people up front shouting out song titles. To not have any records in stores but still have people on the East Coast sing along is pretty cool."

Brummel says the few fans that have shown up are exposed to the band from the internet. Ozma's website is their main source of publicity and a big reason why the band has garnered a respectable local following.

Ozma's finished their newest release, The Double Donkey Disc, just in time for the Yahoo! tour. Brummel explains that the disc is a split personality album with the first five songs being centered on a Russian Theme (subtitled "The Russian Coldfusion EP") and the second five songs being centered around the idea of each member having a hip-hop booty alias (subtitled "The Bootytraps EP"). Of course a lot of the music on the Double Donkey Disc is very reminiscent of Weezer, but Ozma (who recently was asked to perform at this summer's This Aint No Picnic) also displays adept touches of Oingo Boingo eclecticism and They Might Be Giants geekiness.

"A lot of hardcore/rap rock is a little harsh," Brummel said, "There's a need for something more mellow."


On the web: www.ozmaonline.com

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See also