100 percent emotion
Local ‘screamo’ band Oddman advances its efforts with new CD release
The reality of Chico’s live-music history is that most bands have had to struggle just to survive in a small-town environment which may provide a warm venue but not always much of an audience. For all the community’s devotion to the arts, it’s pretty well understood that financial success for artists is fairly limited by a small population and isolation from larger cultural centers.
This story is true for longtime Chico noisemaker Oddman. With a sound that incorporates punk, metal, noise-rock and “screamo” (the inspired blend of emo and screaming) and pretty much anything else that is loud, Oddman has nurtured its brutally strong sound for several years now. And, despite only a modicum of success, the band is ready for progress.
“It’s tough to be a heavy band in a small college town,” shared drummer Cayle Hunter recently. (If that name sounds familiar, Cayle’s father, Cal Hunter, used to be the head news anchor for KRCR Channel 7 in Redding.) Hunter continued, “It’s not really a problem, it’s just tough. We realize that, and we manipulate it in our favor. Every single show we do has to be an event.”
The band is hoping that its upcoming CD-release show at the Brick Works (with fellow Chico bands Red With Envy and Reverse Order) will be occasion for celebrating. The band has changed its lineup in the last year, and the additions of Matt Pedri on guitar and Zack Ahem on bass to the core group, comprised of Hunter, guitarist Justin Godfrey and highly energized lead singer Scott Wallace, have just begun to jell.
“We’ve been working on our stage show,” Hunter enthused. “We’re the strongest now we’ve ever been.” With the addition of the new guys, Oddman has spread its sound out a bit, adding backup vocals for the first time and combining “more layers” overall to its big sound. “We get along with [the new members] better than anyone we have in the past,” Hunter pointed out.
The new release culls the strongest tracks from each of the two previous Oddman releases, adding three more newly recorded songs to the demo the band uses to help its ambitions for moving members’ musical careers toward new locales and opportunities.
When asked if Oddman’s members plan on sticking around Chico to realize their rock-'n'-roll dreams, Hunter admitted to being unsure if they’d be able to make it work in Chico. “Staying? That’s a good question,” he said. “We’re talking about that right now. We just want to have an opportunity to make a living playing music.”
With all of the band members originally moving to Chico from less culturally active areas in the Northstate (particularly, Redding and Oroville), it’s only natural that the band eventually look beyond Chico to continue its reach for success. “We want to get this demo, our new lineup and live show out to as many people as possible,” Hunter stated.
While Oddman is certainly hoping for success, Hunter stresses that the band doesn’t have “stars in their eyes” or ambitions for rock stardom.
“Emotion is 100 percent what we do," Hunter stressed. "If I didn’t play music, I’d probably go crazy."