IME’s Latest Addition, “One Ton Project” Blends Rare Elements with Classic Influenc

"...here’s a group that effectively delivers a singular sonic offering. When it comes to lyrics, OTP engulfs the listener with sagacious storylines; enabling an even deeper appreciation for their musicianship.”
By: Itchy Metal Entertainment
 
May 23, 2011 - PRLog -- Away from the bright lights and bloated tourist traps of The Strip, tucked into a soundproofed corner of the Las Vegas Valley, lies a small collective of seasoned and serious musicians known as One Ton Project.

Stepping into “OTP Studio,” one gets an immediate sense of how dedicated these guys are to their craft. Almost comically squeezed in amongst a myriad of unorthodox instruments not typically associated with rock music, they finish rehearsing “John the Clown,” a new song they’ve written for their upcoming full length debut CD, One Ton Project’s first official release. “I think we need more African percussion instruments in here” chides guitarist and founding member, Brandon Desmond, standing awkwardly between a full size set of marimba and two large djembe drums. “I almost whacked my guitar on the vibraphones,” referring to an ancient looking metallic xylophone behind him. “Well quit rocking and moving around so much,” remarks lead vocalist, Travis Mercer, annoyed, “it’s just rehearsal.”

The quintet seems uncomfortable at first practicing in this tight environment, but the deeper into rehearsal they get, the more a sense that they wouldn’t have it any other way begins to emerge.

“When you take into consideration the diversity of our roster, One Ton Project’s inclusion is not only welcome but almost overdue,” states Ed Fassio, President of Los Angeles’ Itchy Metal Entertainment, an indie label known for pushing boundaries and introducing new concepts. Fassio continues, “In music, everyone talks about influence but here’s a group that effectively layers those experiences into a singular sonic offering. When it comes to lyrics, OTP engulfs the listener with sagacious storylines. This is a very weighted band which enables an even deeper appreciation for their musicianship.”

“Three vocals, three guitars, heavy bass, and virtuous drums, crazy time signatures” says drummer and multi-instrumentalist, Daniel Fuller, looking me in the eye. “That’s how we roll, but we can’t just do it the regular way! It seems like everyone in Vegas does the routine rock, metal or punk thing, we’re inspired by music that goes in strange directions and has different instruments coming at you.” He’s speaking, of course, of One Ton Project’s unique progressive rock-influenced style. “This town needs something different, they just don’t know it yet.”

Fassio describes his initial experience with the music. “Immediate directional change; there was an instant emotional re-calibration when I first heard them. Not the norm, and not what I expected. The rhythms stand apart and combined with the amazing tone in Mercer’s voice, this work is vividly soulful.”

After practice, guitarist Joe Munoz and bassist Adam Sage begin flipping through an impressive collection of vintage vinyl. “I’m putting King Crimson on,” says Munoz, pulling out an old copy of “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic.” “Nah, let’s keep it mellow,” Sage asserts, handing Joe a beat-up Miles Davis record, “Birth of the Cool.”

Warm, vintage jazz filling the background, Sage laments: “We’ve played most of the major venues here in town – and don’t get me wrong, those were great, fun shows – but the stage crews look at us like we’re on crack because we’ve got too many singers, too many guitars, and our drummer has some extra percussion he uses.”

He looks over at Daniel, then back to me, “They don’t care what we sound like, you know? They aren’t listening. It’s like; we’re expected to dumb our shit down so they don’t have to work as hard, when we’ve been working our asses off to give our small but loyal fan base the best show we can.”

Travis interjects; “We’re subhuman to them. Just another local band.” Fuller says, doing damage control, “Look, we just want to be us. This is what we love. We’ve been doing this for 8 years now and we are basically a family here. Not only do we share good times making this music, but we also share the fact that what we do isn’t what everybody else does. It’s ours and there’s nothing like it, you know?” Nodding, Brandon adds, “And I think we just wanna be respected for that.”

With a combined mission to share “something different” with the world, OTP’s new relationship with IME is poised to bring forth creative innovations from both camps. Initial plans include a global release through digital distribution, supported by an aggressive promotional strategy. Audiences can expect great things from this joint venture.

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Itchy Metal Entertainment is a Las Vegas, NV - based music production company, specializing in artist dev, talent scouting, music recording, producing and distribution as well as internet marketing campaigns and strategies. Visit www.itchymetal.com
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