Beat logo

ONOFF Talk New Song, Upcoming Shows, and Much More

ONOFF's "What Matters Most" is out now!

By Meikhel PhilogenePublished 2 months ago 6 min read

With ONOFF’s single, "What Matters Most," out now, we took some time to hear more from ONOFF. Read below to learn more about ONOFF, the story behind ONOFF’s latest single, and what’s to come.

Hi ONOFF! Let’s start with how did you all come up with the group’s name?

Stevie: We used to be called the MoFo’s back in the day. The night before our first album was going to print, we received a cease and desist letter from a lawyer in Texas about use of the name as a Texas band already had that name. Because of the shortage of time, we turned MoFo backwards to OfOM, then Off-On, and then ONOFF rolled off the tongue a little easier. So, ONOFF was born, and the album went to print the next day.

How did you all meet?

Dave: Stevie our drummer is the only member remaining from the original lineup from all those years ago. He and Paulie (guitar/lead singer) met when their two bands were label mates and toured together. A position opened up right before the band went on tour with Fall Out Boy, and Stevie told him he could pay him in whiskey. He’s been with the band ever since. I joined 12 years ago and completed the line up after answering an ad they put up online looking for a new bass player.

What city are you all from and where are you all based now?

Stevie: Paulie and Dave were born in Dublin, Ireland. Whereas, I (Stevie) was born in Dundalk, just South of the Border in Ireland.

ONOFF now are based permanently in the Greater Sacramento Area of Northern California.

At what point in your guys’ lives did you all decide to pursue a career in music? How did you all get started?

Stevie: ONOFF have been a band since 2000. Things just sort of progress, one thing at a time. It starts off by wanting to get a first rehearsal, then our first show, then our first show out of town, then first show in a different country, to record your first song, then first album. Then all these years later you turn out to have played 39 countries, on 2 different continents, on your sixth studio album, living in Sunny California.

Has your guys’ upbringing played a role in shaping who you all are and defining your group’s sound today? If so, how?

Paulie: We all grew up in Ireland through the turbulent times there in the 80’s and 90’s. There was a countrywide recession as well as the instability of 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland. Everybody worked hard for the little they had, which is where our work ethic and commitment stems from no doubt. Ireland has one of the biggest emigration rates on the planet. At the time of our relocation to California in 2013, the rate was one young Irish citizen emigrated from Ireland every 8 minutes. That's a staggering stat. It is stated that nearly 100 million people in the world claim Irish heritage with a huge 40% of Americans claiming to be Irish alone.

How would you all describe your group’s sound to readers who may not be familiar with you all?

Stevie: If the members of Green Day, Foo Fighters, ACDC, and The Police were to all have kids and they started a band, they would be much better than us... But, we would like to be like them!! HAHA.

Do you all have any hobbies outside of music? What do you all do to stay creative?

Dave: We all enjoy staying fit, healthy, and exercising regularly. We're all husbands, fathers, and family men, which is what takes up the majority of our time when we're not playing shows.

Who are some of your group’s main musical influences?

Dave: We draw a lot of different aspects of influence from artists such as The Foo Fighters, Green Day, U2, Nirvana, The Police, Muse, The Living End, Thin Lizzy, and many, many more. All three of us have our unique influences that we bring into our playing styles respectfully.

What are some of your group’s future music career goals?

Paulie: Our new album has strings and brass stamped all over it, making such a huge racket... I think we would love to take some extra musicians on the road to replicate that sound live...

Now onto your release, 'What Matters Most.' What inspired this song? What is 'What Matters Most' about?

Paulie: Greatly inspired by the passing of a family member in the band, this string quartet driven rock anthem mentions topics of Love, Loss, Winners & Losers... The first co-written track produced by the band has a reminiscence of a Lennon and McCartney style contradictory lyric with the ying and yang in full effect... For an example, 'I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time, it can't get no worse.' 'What Matters Most' has an ambience of an early U2 eighty's guitar sound accompanied by the harmonious group vocals of The Police.

The inspiration for the song came after Stevie's (drummer) mother passed away. 'I came up with the initial concept for the song right after my mother's funeral a few years back. As I made a speech at the top of the altar, I looked down at a packed church. People were gathered outside as there was no room left inside. This was a testament to how much she was loved by everyone. In comparison, I attended a funeral the year before where the church was completely empty. The man was selfish and angry throughout life and treated people like sh*t. He also enjoyed a lavish lifestyle full of materialistic things. The contrast of these two funerals resonated with me greatly.'

In the end, all we have when we leave this world is people's memories and impressions of us. The materialistic things we cannot take to the next life. When it really boils down to it... as the chorus goes... 'What matters most is on the inside, what matters most is in your heart!'

What message do you all hope fans take away from your group’s music and from ‘What Matters Most?’

Paulie: Every song is different with the message being tailored to the inspiration of that song in particular... Once it's out for the people to enjoy, it's about the connection the fan makes. We love writing and creating, but what the fans take away from the lyrics and music is up to them... Everyone only hears what the heart and mind searches for... Isn't that the great thing about music...

What’s one of the proudest moments of your group’s music career so far?

Dave: We had the great honor of opening up for 'The Living End,' one of our favorite bands when they came to play in San Francisco in 2019. We're proud of what we've managed to accomplish so far as a completely independent band, and we realize how lucky we are to even get to do this in the first place. We don't take it for granted.

What would you all say are the greatest lessons that you’ve all learned so far?

Stevie: Don't be a d*ck! Be nice to people on the way up because you will meet everyone again on the way down. Don't count your chickens before they hatch, and don't eat yellow snow!

What’s next for you guys? Are you all working on any upcoming projects, or do you all have any upcoming shows that we should be on the lookout for?

Stevie: After 'What Matters Most' release, we have a busy schedule leading into March for St. Paddys Day. We headline the Opera House in Roseville, CA on Paddys Day with some other Northern California shows for the whole month of March. Full list of dates is up on our website.

Where can we follow you all on social media?

rockpop cultureinterviewfeaturebands

About the Creator

Meikhel Philogene




Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.