Houston Music

Artist of the Week: Ozeal and the Eulypians

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

You know how occasionally you'll get a craving for a specific type of food? Like, sometimes we just wanna eat some orange Tic-Tacs, other times a cheesesteak from Philly Connection, etc, etc. We get like that with music sometimes too, and we're not exactly sure why (we suspect it has something to do with The Wire). About a week ago, we were really in the mood for some Michael Franti-type music. We Digged and poked and Googled and, lo and behold, actually found something: Ozeal and the Eulypians.

This local band is a soul-fusion quintet with a clear tilt towards earthy hip-hop and existentialism - we wouldn't be entirely surprised to learn they know all the words to Tribe's "I Left My Wallet In El Segundo" and Sun-Ra's "Calling Planet Earth." And since they so adequately sated our thirst, we asked them to join the ever-growing Artist of the Week coalition. They obliged, so after the jump, read about what a Eulypian actually is, Houston's poor concert etiquette and a sexual eruption or two.

[jump] Rocks Off: So tell us a bit about how the Eulypians came to be. Doesn't seem like the kind of band where you could just throw a flyer up saying, "NEEDED: SINGER, MUST HAVE OWN MIC, BE ABLE TO WORK THE PHRASE 'TANTRIC ERECTION' INTO A SONG ON CUE."

Ozeal: In late 2007, I released a 3-song demo as a solo artist. I've always gravitated towards live instrumentation so I decided to put together a band. I posted an ad on MySpace, [the current members] heard the music and were interested in auditioning. All it took was one rehearsal in my mom's garage and the Eulypians were born!

RO: What's a Eulypian? A European Olympian is the best guess we could come up with, but that seems a strange thing to name a band after.

St Clair: [laughs] "The Eulypians" comes from a Rashaan Roland Kirk tune, "Theme for the Eulipions." There's a nice little quote in the beginning of the tune about it: "He's calls himself a... Eulypian. He says his friends, the artist, the poets and the musicians are Eulypians too..."

So, I figure [that] sounds like us. We just spell it a little different in order to avoid any problems. You were pretty close on that guess, but I believe you're speaking of a Eurlympian.

RO: St. Clair's guitar work on "Rise" is dope. It just, um, it makes us want to run really, really fast, if that makes sense. Talk a little about what the intention was with that song. What are you all hoping to have the audience experience when they hear it? It's an unexplainable urge to run fast, isn't it?

SC: Well the song is all about elevating yourself, your mind, [and] your spirit, so it's gotta make you wanna get up and do something! Not to mention, I'm not sure if you were privy, but Houston crowds aren't really known for getting off their asses!

So we're trying to get those asses moving cause I know people wanna get down, there just seems to be some force - probably lurking out of Pasadena - that keeps them just sitting there. I mean, we would much rather people run in place or in circles than just sit there. DAMN!

O: I'm picturing a crowd of people doing the runnin' man during "Rise."[laughs] That would be interesting to see.

RO: Indeed. Tell the truth, bro: Dominique Sachse is the most attractive news anchor on TV, right? We saw her at Collina's in Meyerland once. By the way, it is not okay to just stare at someone in a small setting, no matter how famous they are.

O: Definitely! She's got it going on. I gotta show you the art of the "peripheral stare." It's perfect for small settings and famous encounters.

RO: Great. There's a section in "The One" where you say something like "romance her intellectual tongue when she speaks of Asian secrets of love, rediscover life like a baby touching a woman again for the first time." We gotta ask, what the shit are you talking about, man. Sounds like some Room 101 madness.

O: [laughs] That's one way to describe it. That particular line is about being enthralled by someone intellectually and spiritually. I like to say it's my poetic version of "Sexual Eruption."

RO: Got anything you want to plug like, oh, we don't know, your new CD or something?

O: Check out our recession-friendly EP, Joyful Struggle, available on our website for only $5!

See Ozeal and the Eulypians free at Cellar Bar March 14. They're also opening for Camp Lo March 18 at Warehouse Live. See them online at www.ozealmusic.com.
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Shea Serrano