When the opportunity first arose to review Of Fate And Chance’s (OFAC) new EP entitled A Liar’s Monologue, I’m not quite sure what led me to volunteer, but I’m glad I did.
Comprised of only eight tracks, the music and obvious musicianship that it took to bring A Liar’s Monologue into existence led me to want to know more about the band itself. One thing eventually led to another and I found myself eventually contacting the band and asking if they wouldn’t mind answering some of the questions that were buzzing around in my head.
When all was said and done I found myself just as thankful for getting to know a little more about the guys in OFAC, as I was to have been able to experience and enjoy the music that they’ve created together.
In hopes of allowing even more people to join me up here on the OFAC bandwagon, here’s my questions and Ryan Bergamotto (bass, backing vocals) answers:
Where did the name Of Fate And Chance come from? Does it signify anything?
Fate and chance are two opposites. Fate is having your future already set out by a higher power. It is the belief that you don’t have control over whatever happens in the future. Chance is the belief that anything can happen, that you are in control of your life and what happens in the future.
When we were under a different band name called Partial Credit about 5 years ago, we really wanted to change it to something more meaningful. Ironically, Of Fate and Chance was one of the first names we came up with, however, we still wanted to take more time to think of the perfect band name.
After about 4 months of brainstorming, we decided on Of Fate and Chance because it characterized us pretty well. Fate and chance is what life is about, but it depends all no what you want to believe.
Who are the members of OFAC?
Sean Massaro, Ryan Bergamotto and Jon Fleck
When did everyone meet everyone? When did you guys decide to form a band together?
Wow, it's basically our life story.
Sean and I have been friends all our lives (no exaggeration). Our dads were already friends before we were born and were next door neighbors. So we grew up next door to each other. In second grade I moved to Tewksbury Township, New Jersey and about three years after that so did Sean.
In seventh grade Sean became friends with Jon because of their interest in skating. Soon he found out he played drums and so we all decided to just jam out for fun. After a few times of messing around we all decided to actually make it a dedicated band. We are currently in our second year of college and we've been together ever since with no lineup changes.
What was the first song you guys played together? Was it an original? Was it a cover song?
Our first song we ever did together was "The Kids Aren't Alright" By The Offspring. We actually had a recording of it and listened to it a few months ago, it was tight, but damn was Sean's voice funny.
What was the first song you guys wrote together?
The first song we ever wrote together was a cheesy hard rock song about some girl we all didn't like. Ah, seventh grade angst.
Do you remember how it felt to see a song go from an idea into a song that you could sit back and listen to?
If you mean about the first song we ever wrote, we just kind of laughed at it since it was supposed to be a joke.
However, if you mean about the songs we've been doing now, than it feels amazing. I come up with most of the ideas for the songs so I have a picture in my head what the song will sound like and it's weird because it doesn't always sound how you think it will.
Even though some songs didn't come out how I planned, I've never been disappointed with the turnout of the songs. But overall, it's amazing to see the pieces of ideas form into something you can listen to.
How long did it take you to come up with the songs that make up your EP A Liar's Monologue?
We used to take forever writing songs, but lately we've learned to write songs one after the other. To actually calculate the specific days that we worked on the songs and put them all together, I'd say about two and a half months
Why did you guys decide to roll with that song as the title track of the EP?
I've written all of the lyrics for the songs on A Liar's Monologue. It isn't exactly a concept album, But the lyrics are my confessions, ideas and expressions. The subject of most of the songs are my expressions of love for my girlfriend, but they are also so much more than that.
I try to generalize certain ideas of love. For instance In "Artwork Dancing", it is about meeting Jennifer, my girlfriend, for the first time and how amazing I felt, but I also talk about how I feel that everyone was born to be with someone else, that everyone has that special someone, but it is all a matter of finding them.
I don't believe that people who have never married were not meant to find love, but that maybe they never met the one who was made for them. Overall, I am the liar, and these songs are me speaking, hence they are my monologues and so the album's lyrics all together are my monologue.
When did you guys come to the decision that you might want to take this to a level where you found yourselves in a studio and actually recording your songs?
We have been a band for quite some time now, so we do have many other old songs. But then we started writing songs like "Artwork Dancing" and "Moonstrung Intoxication" and we just loved them more than anything we ever wrote. So, we decided to write at least another two songs and record a demo to give out to people. These were songs we wanted everyone to hear, we wanted to touch people in a certain way.
After a few months, we felt we needed to release something a bit more professional, so we began writing again around August of 2006 and then recorded those later finally releasing the EP in December of 2006.
Getting into the studio… what was that like? Intimidating? Exciting?
Before we went into a real studio, we had a lot of experience recording ourselves. However, it was really exciting, I'm probably the only one who was a little bit nervous. The place we went to record was really professional, but was still really laid back.
Okay. Let's talk about the songs that made it onto the EP for a minute. Some of them have "unique" titles, and I wondered how you arrived at them. For instance, the opening track "Thulcandra's Illness Silence," Artwork Dancing" or my personal favorite "Photo-Not-Graphing Emotions" — do they mean anything other than simply being "cool-sounding" titles? How do you guys come up with song titles?
We obviously want to have titles that sound cool, but most importantly I wanted to make titles that played on words and were different from most out there in the world.
The first track has a lot to do with a book I read by C.S. Lewis called Out of The Silent Planet. It was more than a story, it had a lot of philosophical ideas. In the book, Thulcandra is the "true" name for Earth. It also meant "the silent planet." The reason why we were known as the silent planet is because of our lack of guidance of good and evil, because there is not much belief in a higher power. So, we all go around fighting each other and killing each other because we don't have guidance. Hence we are silenced from guidance and so silence is Earth's illness.
"Artwork Dancing", like I said before it was mostly about meeting my girlfriend for the first time, and when we hung out. There was this time where we all (there was another guy and girl with us) started dancing in the parking lot which was really funny, but memorable. I always see her as a piece of artwork and so in the song she is artwork dancing.
"Moonstrung Intoxication" means an intoxication strung by the moon. Of course this isn't literal, I use metaphors and symbols all of the time in my writings. What this means is that I used to see my girlfriend only at night and I always loved seeing her, it made me feel amazing. So, if you put all of the pieces together, figuratively I would get a euphoric feeling at night when seeing her.
Your favorite title is one of the biggest play on words I've done. I was pretty happy with the results. If you take out the "not" the title becomes photographing emotions. What I did was split up the words into photo-graphing-emotions. The only thing is one cannot tell how someone is feeling in a photograph. We always are told to smile for a picture, and you might be feeling like garbage. But it also means you cannot tell how someone is feeling just by looking at them, you have to talk with them and ask them. Therefore, photos do not graph emotions. And with that you get "Photo-Not-Graphing Emotions."
Once the EP was finished and you were able to drop a copy into a stereo and press play, what did you think? Did it turn out the way you thought it would? Did the music sound as good on the disc as it does in your imagination?
We felt so enthused by the results. It exceeded our expectations and we couldn't wait to show it to everyone. When we listened to the songs on a stereo, we got a certain feeling, a certain emotion. That emotion was exactly what we were aiming for when writing these songs. We wanted the recording to capture that emotion and feed it to the listener and it definitely captured it.
What are you hoping to get across to people through your music? If you could have one moment to talk to someone as they are about to listen to your EP, what would it be?
We want people to be touched by our songs. However, that is not something you can force onto someone, but we feel that we could do that. Mainly, we would just thank people for taking the time to listen to us with an open mind.
At the end of this, now that you have had a chance to get to know OFAC a little better, I think their closing statement gives you the entire reason for my wanting these guys to be featured as a Band of the Week, here on Blogcritics.
It is one thing to be a young band making good music, but it is totally another to be making music from the heart that is able to reach out from your stereo and make you wish you were able to drop everything and go on a road trip just to see that band play their songs live.
In a few days my review of their EP A Liar’s Monologue will be posted, and if even a handful of people find themselves wanting to get to know these guys better through their music when I’m done, then I will consider the favor returned.
After all, they did the favor of giving me a piece of their lives and their hopes, in the shape of a shiny silver CD and in the words of this interview.
To discover a little bit more about OFAC, visit their MySpace page.