Like a lot of people, Marc Roberge was moved by last year's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."
The singer for roots rockers O.A.R. channeled that inspiration into a song about the movie, and now "Love and Memories" is being released as the band's new single.
"I tried to put myself in the character and within three minutes described how frustrating it is to watch a woman, like, systematically erase you from her mind," Roberge said. "Like, if that were to happen, how would you capture it? So that's where the song came from."
For the video, O.A.R. and director Vem (the Click Five's "Just the Girl") also drew inspiration from "Eternal Sunshine." The clip features the band performing in a living room where the scene of a couple breaking up is happening over and over again in front of them, like a record skipping (which also happens to be going on in the room).
"I've watched 'Eternal Sunshine' maybe a dozen times, dissecting it down to the bare bones, figuring out why it worked so well, and this is what I've come up with," Vem writes in the beginning of his treatment.
"We're basically capturing that same emotion," Roberge said. "I think a lot of folks miss out on the art of things these days, so we're gonna try to find it."
"Love and Memories" is the first single from O.A.R.'s second major-label studio album, Stories of a Stranger, released Tuesday.
O.A.R. are road warriors known for their live shows (see "Dissing The Neptunes Hasn't Sunk Jam-Rockers O.A.R."), and for the first time Roberge believes the band has put those elements to tape.
"On this record we took that island vibe we enjoy so much, the rock and roll thing that we do live, with even some country, and everything is just slammed into this record in 12 songs," he explained. "I guess it's for like an [attention deficit disorder] mind. It's like the record just keeps changing over and over and over."
Stories of a Stranger was produced by Jerry Harrison, who besides being a former member of Talking Heads has handled production duties for bands like Live, No Doubt and the Von Bondies.
"My first memory of the Talking Heads is a 'Saturday Night Live' skit that made fun of them, so when I first met Jerry, I said, 'You know, you gotta be something for "Saturday Night Live" to actually make fun of you,' " Roberge said. "He said, 'Yeah, we felt that way, but at the time it wasn't so funny.' But he's a great guy, the Talking Heads are a great band. Even before that, he made another couple great records with [the Modern Lovers]. When you got that kind of creative mind working with you, it inspires you."
O.A.R. also collaborated on the album with keyboardist Bernie Worrell from Parliament, horn player Lenny Pickett from Tower of Power and singer/songwriters Matt Nathanson and Toby Lightman. The latter sings on "The Stranger," which is lined up to be the second single.
The group will launch a fall tour Friday in Memphis. The trek ends in November but is sure to be followed by more.
O.A.R. tour dates, according to Atlantic Records:
- 10/14 - Memphis, TN @ The Orpheum Theatre
- 10/15 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
- 10/17 - Houston, TX @ Club V
- 10/18 - Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Ballroom
- 10/19 - Austin, TX @ Stubb's BBQ
- 10/21 - Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Auditorium
- 10/22 - Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
- 10/23 - Phoenix, AZ @ Celebrity Theatre
- 10/25 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
- 10/26 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern LG
- 10/27 - San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
- 10/29 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
- 10/31 - Seattle, WA @ HUB Ballroom
- 11/1 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
- 11/4 - Omaha, NE @ Kiewit Fitness Center
- 11/5 - Ames, IA @ CY Stephens Auditorium
- 11/6 - Minneapolis, MN @ US Bank Theater at Target Center
- 11/9 - Kansas City, KS @ Memorial Hall
- 11/10 - St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre
- 11/11 - Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
- 11/12 - Niagra University, NY @ Gallagher Center
- 11/13 - Toronto, ON @ Opera House
- 11/16 - Portland, ME @ Cumberland County Civic Center
- 11/17 - Amherst, MA @ Mullins Center
- 11/18 - Syracuse, NY @ War Memorial @ Oncenter Arena
- 11/19 - Troy, NY @ RPI Fieldhouse
- 11/21 - Wilkes-Barre, PA @ F.M. Kirby Center
- 11/22 - Asbury Park, NJ @ Asbury Park Convention Hall
- 11/25 - Fairfax, VA @ Patriot Center
- 11/26 - Camden, NJ @ Tweeter Center