Thursday July 19, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The origin of the North County band On The Shoulders of Giants is as uni versal as air: A couple of guys who like music get together, play together and decide to start a band. They recruit some friends, and they become a band.Guitarist Izzy Alive, 15, of Clarksburg, re called transferring to the Berk-
shire Arts and Technology School in Adams in the spring of 2011. Story Body:

PITTSFIELD -- The origin of the North County band On The Shoulders of Giants is as uni versal as air: A couple of guys who like music get together, play together and decide to start a band. They recruit some friends, and they become a band.Guitarist Izzy Alive, 15, of Clarksburg, re called transferring to the Berk-
shire Arts and Technology School in Adams in the spring of 2011.

"One of the first friends I made there was Joe [King of Williamstown]," Alive said.

King, 17, now is a guitar player and singer with OTSOG, one of the top 10 vote-getters in The Eagle's recent Facebook poll of the top local bands.

Alive is a vocalist and guitarist in OTSOG; King was recording a private music project around that time and invited Alive to participate.

He did so.

"When we started listening to it, we both said, ‘Hey, this is pretty good,' " Alive said with a laugh. "We said, ‘We'd better put a band together to play this.


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Alive knew Chip Kirchner, 17, a bass player from Pittsfield.

"And Joe knew Jerad [Neville, 15, of Clarksburg]," Alive said. "So we all got together and started playing together. (Neville is the drummer.)

En route to band practice recently, Alive shared his thoughts with The Eagle about everything from the band's name to their musical style.

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Q: That's a great name. What's the idea behind it?

A: It's part of a quote from Sir Isaac Newton. "If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." It just kind of came to Joe and one of the guys who does our sound, and he said, "This should be the name of the band." And we agreed.

Q: How long have you guys been together?

A: We started practicing in the summer of 2011.

Q: How would you characterize your style of music?

A: It is rooted in pop-punk. But we add a lot to it because of our individual musical backgrounds. There's a lot of classic punk rock and metal, too. I guess people describe it as alternative pop-punk.

Q: Do you have any specific influences that creep into OTSOG?

A: Bands like My Chemical Romance, and a lot of the older punk bands like The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and The Clash.

Q: Black Flag played in North Adams years ago. A little before your time.

A: Yeah, I remember hearing about that.

Q: Do you play cover songs or do you write your own material?

A: In the beginning, we obviously did a lot of cover tunes. But now we have a lot of our own stuff.

Q: Does OTSOG [I love that acronym] have any projects on the horizon?

A: We have a 13-track CD coming out, called "De fine, Hero?" These two local guys, Brad Martin and Joe Bourdon, have a studio in Adams, Silverwing. We recorded it there.

Q: When is your next gig?

A: We're talking about a month off, and then we're in the process of setting up a CD release gig on Aug. 5. At this point, we're trying to line up Chameleons [in Pittsfield].