Oleander released Joyride

by , Editor on February 13, 2003 | genre: rock

Sacramento, California based rock band Oleander have been infused with a new creative spirit and the tracks on their upcoming release, Joyride, scheduled for a March 2003 release on Sanctuary Records, reflect this new energy. Upon writing the new album, vocalist/guitarist Thomas Flowers, guitarist Ric Ivanisevich, bass guitarist Doug Eldridge and drummer Scott Devours were blessed not only with a revitalized spirit that helped propel the group into unchartered musical waters but with a new record label devoted to allowing the band grow as artists.

Artist: Oleander
Title: Joyride
Release date: 04/3/03
Label: Sanctuary Records
Single: Hands Off The Wheel
Buy at: Amazon

"We're a rock 'n' roll band.
It's that simple.
You cannot lump Oleander in with general categories."

"We felt total liberation in the music we were making. It was a good time for a new change. We very much had carte blanche over the new music because we didn't have a label looking over our shoulder doing things like asking to hear rough cuts or wondering whether we were giving them a hit single," says Flowers.

"A lot of pressure was on us in the past, but it was much different this time. More relaxed and natural," Eldridge explains. "Whenever we write a new record, we know immediately what we like. We didn't go backward and use any leftover ideas on the upcoming album. Everything's new on the new record. We even worked differently this time. Instead of doing two weeks of preproduction on fifteen potential songs, we concentrated solely on four or five songs at a time. It allowed them to develop a little more, and we were able to focus better."

The Oleander story first began about a dozen years ago when Flowers and Eldridge first started playing together in Sacramento. Ivanisevich began playing with them two years later. Ultimately, Flowers, Ivanisevich, Eldridge and original drummer Fred Nelson Jr. named themselves Oleander after a poisonous wildflower indigenous to Northern California.

After building a strong regional following, the band independently released both a self-titled EP in 1996 and the full-length Shrinking the Blob in 1997. Hometown disc jockey Curtiss Johnson of KRXQ acquired a copy of Shrinking the Blob and began playing the single "Down When I'm Loaded," a remarkable break for an unsigned band. The song became a local hit, and the ultimate result was a record deal with Republic/Universal. Radio would remain an important band ally.

1999's February Son was Oleander's breakthrough. It went gold and the single "Why I'm Here" became a # 1 rock hit. Other significant tracks included "I Walk Alone" and "Stupid." Devours eventually replaced Nelson and Unwind followed in 2001, yielding two major singles in "Are You There?" and "Halo." Proceeds from the single "Champion" were donated to the September 11 Relief Fund.

Oleander has happily built its broad fan base the proven, old-fashioned way -- extensive touring. There is no question that Oleander, at its core, comes across best live. The albums sound great both in terms of performance and production, but the songs practically beg to be experienced live. "We are much heavier live than on record. The beautiful thing about rock 'n' roll is that it's meant to be heard live," says Flowers.

"Scott is a fantastic rock drummer, and thanks to that, we are a much stronger live band now. He's an animal!" Eldridge says. "We do tend to steer clear of our mellower songs live."

Oleander has been in the fortunate position of having its songs included on a variety of soundtrack albums, including American Pie 2. "Runaway Train" was prominently featured in the Showtime movie Bang Bang You're Dead, which examined the horrific problem of violence in America's schools. The video was in heavy rotation on MTV.

"I write from my perspective. I don't take myself out of the realm of what I know. Oleander writes music about what we live, and we have nothing but passion," explains Flowers. "Songwriting is cathartic for us. It becomes a journal. We write with absolute open-mindedness. But I do believe in that old adage that a song is good if it holds up when it's played on just an acoustic guitar."

With a new record company behind them and a fresh, reinvigorated attitude resulting from creative freedom, Oleander is poised to achieve limitless success.

Joyride Tracklisting
1. hands off the wheel

2. don't break my fall

3. fountain & vine

4. 30 60 90

5. rainy day

6. off & on

7. better luck next time

8. joyride

9. king of good intentions

10. leave it all behind

11. runaway train

"Joyride" by Oleander - release date: 04/3/03..

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