Having spent some time on the road, on local television and with recent EP still drawing fans' attention, Otenki have returned to their roots, to their hometown. And they happen to be performing at the best-sounding venue in town. Tomorrow night, the Houston-based six-piece will headline its first local performance since FPSF 2013.
Vocalist German Alexander, a well-known face for regular HOB concertgoers, came up with the idea.
"I was sitting around my house one day, and I was thinking on how great it would be to sell out House of Blues," Alexander says. "So I decided to hit up HOB and make it happen. I wanted to take control of the show and try to make it a successful one."
Alexander has seen plenty of promoters in town book shows at reputable venues but fail to garner a decent crowd. Besides using social media, the marketing du jour for bands, the vocalist and front man went old-school, handing out flyers totaling more than 5,000. He then made sure to put together a lineup worthy of his fans' time, who continued to spread the word.
Otenki has said that they will not be performing any material written since 2011's Kinetic this weekend, but will be introducing a few "new elements" into their act. Beyond that, Alexander and guitarist Enoma Asowata are tight-lipped.
"We really wanted to focus on presenting Otenki the right way this time around," Asowata says. "We are focusing on putting on a quality, high-energy performance, something we can leave old fans and hopefully new ones with a good sense of where we plan on going."
New material is in the works, however. No release date has been set yet, but the boys are keeping busy with it. To placate fans in the meantime, the group will be releasing an EDM-style remix EP, You Are the Energy.
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"There isn't a release date set in stone (for the next album) because we want to take our time with writing, selecting the right producer... and enjoying some of the new opportunities that have presented themselves to us in the past few weeks," Asowata says, suggesting that they may return to James Paul Wisner, who produced Kinetic, and whose resume includes Paramore, underOATH, The Academy Is and more.
The night won't be over after their appearance at HOB, though. Just a few miles away, Otenki will be hosting an afterparty at Club Ei8ht.
"It's a great spot and their crowd always comes out ready to party," Asowata says. "Don't be surprised if you see Fausto (Padilla, guitarist) in the DJ Booth spinning a little something."
"We are going to blow your minds off, I promise you that," Alexander says. "I really want everyone, not only in Houston but every part of the world to know that we are a big deal and that we won't stop while our fans and family are still cheering us on."
When asked whether this weekend's show is the biggest of Otenki's musical career so far, Alexander admits, "Well, I'm really hoping it is."
Otenki takes over House of Blues Saturday night alongside From Guts to Glory, Lion Among Men, the Anthemeers and Ashford Lights. Doors open at 7 p.m. and general-admission tickets are $10.
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