Get to Know Richard On, O.A.R. Guitarist
O.A.R., short for ‘Of a Revolution,’ is an American rock, jam band that has been making music since 1996. Throughout the years, the group has recorded eight albums, and is renowned for its intense, vibrant live performance and the communal feeling shared with its fans. With each studio album, the band has sought to achieve that sense of intimacy. With a new album, The Rockville LP, the band is back touring to share some of O.A.R.’s most diverse, intricate songs to date.
Lead singer Marc Roberge, founded O.A.R. with his Rockville, MD high school classmates - drummer Chris Culos, guitarist Richard On, and bassist Benj Gershman. While attending Ohio State University, they met saxophonist Jerry DePizzo who also joined the group.
O.A.R. will take the stage at Hershey Theatre on Tuesday, February 9 for an intimate performance. Leading up to the show, we had the opportunity to talk to guitarist Richard On and ask him several questions. Read on for some interesting facts.
- As a child, what was your favorite family vacation?
Richard On (RO): Lucky for me, my favorite family vacation happened every year during our annual trips to Bethany Beach, DE. I have so many great memories of crabbing, fries with Old Bay and vinegar, building sand forts and exploring the salt ponds. I plan on taking my kids every year or until they are too cool to hang out with me anymore.
- When you travel, do you prefer to fly or drive?
RO: Traffic in the Washington, DC area has ruined it for me. I hate driving.
- What is one experience you try to do in each new place you visit?
RO: I try to find food or a restaurant unique to the area and then burn it all off by going for a run. There’s no better way to explore a new city than by food and foot.
- What is your favorite Hershey’s Chocolate?
RO: We go through bags of Hershey’s Miniatures Chocolates on our bus. The two piles of empty wrappers you’ll find in my bunk are Krackel and Mr. Goodbar.
- Would you rather spend the day getting pampered at the Chocolate Spa or riding rides at Hersheypark?
RO: You can find me at the Chocolate Spa.
- What is your must-have item(s) with you when you travel?
RO: Sudo Revolution 4000i Hair Dryer. Don’t judge me.
- Describe the feeling you get when you hear your songs on the radio.
RO: There’s something about the spontaneity of the radio makes it really special. I’m always surprised and tend to roll the windows up and start singing harmonies.
- What’s your go-to food while on tour?
RO: Chipotle gave us these amazing VIP Burrito cards personalized with our names on them. I use it every chance I get on tour when we don’t have catering. Even if it wasn't free, Chipotle would be my go-to.
- Are there any pre-show rituals you do before hitting the stage?
RO: Before every show I sit down with my guitar and go over the set list. Then, a vocal warmup with fellow background singer Mikel Paris. Then, I brush my teeth.
- If you weren’t a guitar player, what would you be doing?
RO: I’d be a broke guitar player.
- If you could pick one person - alive or dead - that you’d like to have a beer with, who would it be and why?
RO: I don’t know if he’d drink his beer, but I would love to sit down with the great Martin Luther King Jr. I’m not sure what I’d say to him, but just to be in the presence of someone with so much love, perseverance and courage would make me happy.