Blending a multitude of sounds, Oso takes members’ different musical interests and backgrounds and creates a simple rock sound reminiscent of the more slow-paced, California groove-rock bands. The end result? The Beatles, Sublime and psychedelic rock all rolled into one.
Oso began as a three-person act in early 2007, with Mike Schaller, his brother Steve Schaller and current bass-player Mike Gordon playing small shows in the Philadelphia area.
The trio has since grown to be a four-piece band, now including drummer Josh Fullum, and has also started including horns in their shows.
“Our biggest influence would have to be The Beatles,” singer/guitarist Mike Schaller said.
But their influences don’t rest on just one particular band, he said.
“It’s tough to say because we all have different influences, and they’re constantly changing,” Mike Schaller added. Recently, members have been drawing inspiration from bands like Fleet Foxes and Dr. Dog.
Although the release of the band’s first album, The Bellringer, has helped them gain more exposure, they have yet to be picked up by a record label. They are not actively looking for a record label, but Mike said that if an offer came along, they wouldn’t push it away.
The band is currently working on a new album, which members said they hope to release by the fall. They continue to play most of their shows in Philadelphia but occasionally make trips to other cities along the East Coast.
Mike Schaller is going to Temple to earn his teaching certificate in music.
“I actually did an after-school program at a community center on Eighth Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue,” he said, adding that he used hip-hop music to teach kids the rudimentary skills of music, ultimately allowing them to record and edit their own songs.
“It was real successful, and the kids were really into it,” Mike Schaller said. “I really enjoyed it, and I thought it would be real cool to continue doing that kind of thing.”
Stephen Kimmerly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.