A local Buffalo band, Optic Oppression, shared information about their musical journey, advice for emerging musicians, and ways the community can get involved in the local music scene
By Kayla Michael and Vanessa Shevat
Special to NFP
Music is a part of everyone's daily life; it is all around us. Whether in the car, at the store or at home, music can reflect a mood or feeling.
Music fans tend to gravitate toward popular bands, but there are lesser-known musical treasures hidden in your very own city that deserve to have your support.
Optic Oppression is one of those bands. It's an electronic rock group with vocals by Kendall, Mike the drummer, Arrow the guitarist, Tony the bassist and Greg the keyboardist. According to their website, www.opticoppression.com, their sound is, "Combining musical influences ranging from hard rock to industrial, synth pop to electronica ... with a dark, electronic writing style that has been described as 'innovative' and 'more than industrial.' "
Optic Oppression, a Buffalo-based band, shared this idea of music being a part of our daily lives during a recent interview. The band members grew up with music in their homes, playing instruments and having musicians in their families.
"I grew up with having music around. My dad was a guitar player," Tony said.
Playing a musical instrument was not the only thing that inspired Greg to want to be in a band. While running a talk show at Buffalo State College, he was able to interview local bands and found a deeper passion for music. Being immersed in the music made him realize what he wanted to do for a living.
"I want to run a show. I want to be in a band and it kind of snowballed from there," he said.
Music can be an escape for people. "The first time I ever felt like myself. The first time I ever felt that rush. I love immersing myself in it," Mike said.
"Music helps me connect to what is going on in my head, sort of to my physical body," Arrow said.
Many bands are looking to be the next best thing in the music industry but, many times, that does not happen. Optic Oppression would like such recognition and are working hard for it, but they want their music to make someone feel something.
The band's advice for artists and bands trying to get in the business was "Definitely network as much as you can, talk to as many people - even if they are just all local, other local bands. It's not just the people who have seen you on stage; it's the more people that know you," Greg said.
Mike added, "Play with as many different people and as many different bands as you can. When you play with better people, that makes you better."
Kendall said, "Surround yourself with talent."
Some other tips for up-and-coming artists include: Give respect to the people who are on stage performing or showcasing their art. Those artists worked hard to be there and a trying to achieve the same things you or your band are trying to achieve. Be on time and respectful of other people's time. Be respectful of everyone and make sure your fans know that you appreciate them.
Local music enthusiast Marissa Elgie said she enjoys going to local band shows because, "I've met some of my best friends and discovered some of my favorite bands at local shows. Out of all the concerts that I've been to, the crowds at local ones stick out the most to me. There is just something special about being in the crowd with all of your friends and singing along to a band you love and have watched grow from the beginning. Buffalo has some really great bands and, although our scene is small, it's a pretty neat thing to be a part of."
After asking the band how its community can support it and other local bands, Arrow said, "Go to random shows; don't just wait to be invited on Facebook or Twitter. ... Look at a flier."
Tony said, "Tell a friend about a band. ... People are always scrolling through Facebook looking for new music."
"Live entertainment is still there and still very much enjoyable for people who want to get off the couch," Kendall said.
Optic Oppression is doing what they love and performing the music they love.
"I want to experience the world in my own way - every little aspect and dynamic about it. I want to write it down; I want to feel it; I want to experience this reality. Music is a fantastic way to do that," Kendall said.
For more information about Optic Oppression, visit their Facebook page and website in the links below. Also, you can see them live at their upcoming show on April 28 at Studio at Waiting Room.
For more information on Optic Oppression, visit:
For more information on local bands in the Buffalo area, visit:
Watch: Optic Oppression talks: