Interviews no image

Published on May 9th, 1999 | by Gerry Galipault

0

Oleander finds an ally in rock radio

Here’s a rock ‘n’ roll story you don’t hear very often: An unsigned band records its indie debut, a program director for an influential FM station latches onto it and puts two songs into heavy rotation, then a major record company swoops in and inks a deal and the group has a bonafide mainstream rock hit.

Strange but true for the Sacramento rock quartet Oleander.

“There aren’t very many people as cutting edge as Curtiss Johnson, the program director at 98-Rock (KRXQ),” singer-guitarist Thomas Flowers said recently. “We gave the CD to a friend that works there; he loved it so much, he took it to Johnson, and if that’s not enough, he loved it so much he literally asked us how we would feel about him playing it on the radio. To which we said, ‘Uh, yeah, that would be cool.’ He believed in it so much that he started playing one of the songs, and it didn’t blow up right away, but he stayed with it. He really saw something. We’re extremely fortunate to be in the 1 percent.

“Curtiss Johnson had done it twice before. It’s kind of a little pet hobby of his to, once in a while, when he sees something he can honestly break. He did it with the Gin Blossoms and the Refreshments. He’s a respected P.D. across the country; he not only knows how to work his station, but he also knows how to do things to make other P.D.’s feel like, ‘Duh, why couldn’t I do that?’ “

Johnson now can add Oleander to that list, because it has a Top 10 hit on Billboard’s mainstream rock tracks chart with “Why I’m Here,” the first single off the band’s debut Republic/Universal album “February Son” (released Feb. 23).

Flowers and bassist Doug Eldridge met 10 years ago and drifted through several bands together before finding guitarist Ric Ivanisevich and drummer Fred Nelson Jr. Like all new bands, Oleander had lofty goals: getting a big-label deal.

“But it got to a point where we decided we were going to stop jumping through hoops for the labels,” Flowers said. “First of all, it’s embarrassing, and it’s probably the most counterproductive thing you can do, to worry about it so much.

“That’s when someone from Republic came out and saw us open for Sugar Ray. First off, it’s the personality and you have to trust the people you’re working with, and it was there from the get-go. Then we started talking about business and their ideas, which were very different from the rest of the industry we had met at the time. The rest of the industry was kind of schmoozing us and then letting us down. They made it very clear that their company was not like that and they were going to allow us the opportunity and the integrity of earning our status. They were very meat and potatoes in philosophy and I just loved it.”

Oleander then rerecorded its indie album, hooking up with producer Steven Haigler (Fuel, Local H, Jimmy’s Chicken Shack).

“Not many bands get this kind of opportunity,” Flowers said. “We plan to take advantage of it and feed it.”

Tags: ,


About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • BEST OF THE WEB

     

    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    April 9, 2021 » Taylor Swift, Cheap Trick, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, Merry Clayton, Fleetwood Mac, Parker Millsap, Peggy Seeger, Nick Waterhouse, Sweet Oblivion Feat. Geoff Tate, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Larry Coryell, Chris Cain, Frances, Vijay Iyer Trio, Jetty Bones, etc.

    April 16, 2021 » Paul McCartney, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, NEEDTOBREATHE, Fitz, Escape the Fate, Engelbert Humperdinck, Saint Raymond, London Grammar, Andy Stott, Midland, Liquid Tension Experiment, Julia Stone, etc.

    April 23, 2021 » Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Todd Snider, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Steve Cropper, Imelda May, Tracy Lawrence, The Immediate Family, Justin Moore, Pærish, etc.

    April 30, 2021 » Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Thomas Rhett, Birdy, MercyMe, The Dropkick Murphys, Guided By Voices, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, Róisín Murphy, Miloš Karadaglić, etc.

    More New Releases » May 7 and Beyond: Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Van Morrison, New Order, Nancy Wilson, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Aly & AJ, Travis Tritt, St. Vincent, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, Alan Jackson, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Blake Shelton, Olivia Rodrigo, twenty one pilots, Gary Numan, John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band, Mat Kearney, k.d. lang, Moby, Ashley McBryde, Texas, Shannon McNally, Rise Against, Black Veil Brides, Crowded House, Liz Phair, James, Tristen, Garbage, Wolf Alice, AFI, Cold Cave, Gary Kemp, Paul McCartney, Joshua Radin, Tom Odell, John Grant, Beartooth, Laura Mvula, The Wallflowers, Ida Mae, The Wandering Hearts, Maggie Rose, Candlebox, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: Pauseandplay.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love Pauseandplay.com? We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.




  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter