Editor’s Note: On a personal note, I remember covering a show featuring August Burns Red with special guests Miss May I, Fit For A King and Crystal Lake. It was up at The Cabooze in Minneapolis, Minnesota and seeing Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary going absolutely crazy on the bass. There was a staircase that led up to a small balcony at The Cabooze and Tuck was using the railing of the staircase to hammer out these crazy bass notes. It was just crazy energy. Fans can expect that crazy and fun 90’s influenced energy on their recent Tooth & Nail Records release entitled “Swan Dive”. In this interview with Madness To Creation, Tuck of Fit For A King/Off Road Minivan discusses his new podcast called “Get Tucked”, “Swan Dive”, coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and mental health awareness. Fans can find Off Road Minivan at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Take us into the writing process for Swan Dive, it was released on May 15th, what were some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of creating this album?
Tuck: The challenging part is primarily our schedules. With everyone working and my travel in Fit For A King it can make writing/tracking difficult. We split up duties and recorded the album at a few studios but were very happy with how it came together. Melvin our guitarist helped to keep everything together by tracking the guitars/bass at his home studio.
Madness To Creation: What can fans expect?
Tuck: I think it’s a polished alternative rock record. There are moments that take you to Third Eye Blind / Jimmy Eat World. There are songs that feel more post hardcore meets 30 Seconds To Mars. There isn’t a clear agenda, it’s just a rock record by a rock band.
Madness To Creation: I love the concept of the album as it tells the tale of Hudson Valley and its stories, what was the most challenging and favorite stories to tell in the album?
Tuck: I think the hardest one to talk about is Swan Dive. That song is about a friend I knew growing up and it just sucks to think about BUT he was a rockstar and needed his own tune. My favorite story is probably “taconic”. Super fun song with a dark meaning. It’s really discussing the shift between people from the Hudson Valley and NYC. All the weekenders want what we had and vice versa. If you’re more interested in the story look up “There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane” on Amazon Video.
Madness To Creation: How have you adjusted through this Covid-19 pandemic?
Tuck: It’s been hot and cold for me. I started a podcast called Get Tucked! which helped a lot. I just haven’t been home this long in 6 years so it’s been a bit difficult. I like people and social interaction. It’s been nice to see that i can be stuck at home and not completely lose it but yeah it sucks. The joy of writing went out the window for a while. starting to feel better about writing now.
Madness To Creation: How have you adjusted through your social media accounts, meaning have you had shows, interacted with your fans, etc?
Tuck: The podcast has been cool because I ask for fans questions and we play a local or undiscovered artist every week. We haven’t done any performances but sometimes I play some acoustic songs for fun and just talk.
Madness to Creation: What’s the first thing you’re going to do when this is all over?
Tuck: Hahahaha my beard looks like shit so probably get that cleaned up. Other than that we just had our first practice in 3 months and that made me very happy!
Madness To Creation: Tell us about the very first Off Road Minivan gig, craziest memory that you have from that?
Tuck: We played at the Fuze Box in Albany, NY. It was with only sibling and daisyhead. Miles wasn’t in the band yet. Turns out wasn’t too wild but it felt good. I love that venue and we had some friends out so overall, a solid night.
Madness To Creation: At Madness To Creation, we cover mental health awareness, what helps you when times get tough and what makes you overcome life’s challenges?
Tuck: It’s a balance of proper influence and being by myself in order to reflect. I have some very healthy relationships and I think those people help me to stay even. We all face challenges and will continue to. For me I had to find the line between challenges I make for myself and the ones that come naturally. I feel like I’m learning to handle things better but I’m also 31 so it takes time.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add about Off Road Minivan?
Tuck: I just think Swan Dive is a record for anyone. There aren’t any defining lines, if you like catchy music, listen to it.
And there you have it! Check out “Swan Dive” by Off Road Minivan in its entirety via Spotify below: