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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Fact: If Will Smith makes a movie, we are going to watch it. It could be about anything. It could be a six-hour-long 3-D movie where he plays a cowboy in outer space that's been sent forward in time to stop a crime from happening that he perpetrates against himself. And he could speak Japanese the entire time. And there could be no subtitles. Whatever. We're going to watch it. Because his name rings out like that. If he's involved, it's probably going to be strong. And that, in part, is why Omotai is the latest pick for Artist of the Week. In the Houston indie scene, Melissa Lonchambon's (of Sharks and Sailors fame) name rings out too. And as soon as we heard that she was involved in a new project (hat-tip to B. Zabak), we set to getting them pinned down for an interview. After the jump, read 2/3s of Omotai's official take on Ninja Assassin, angry-man shouting, Motley Crue and which local bands they'd like to go to war with, courtesy of Lonchambon and guitarist/vocalist Sam Waters. Rocks Off: It seems like this is a question that has to be asked: The other night we watched this movie called Ninja Assassin. It's about a ninja that goes around killing other ninjas. So here's the question: Why isn't every movie written around that plot? We mean, we watched Men Who Stare At Goats a few weeks back. There wasn't even one time where a guy got his head lopped off. Weak.
Sam: Totally. So much wasted possibility, cause there's no problem a ninja couldn't solve. Or start. Every crappy movie I've ever seen could have benefited from a ninja injection. I can only imagine the sweet satisfaction of watching Jar Jar Binks get disemboweled by a katana. Or watching Ashton Kutcher get hit by 300 throwing stars at the same time. Or watching the entire cast of The Happening getting all the teeth knocked out of their bitch heads with some wicked chopping action. Killer plants? No problem, sucka, tell that pussy Shyamalan to send in the ninjas.
Melissa: I haven't seen either of those. The last movie I watched was The Muppets Take Manhattan. Swedish Chef could do some damage, though.
RO: So, Melissa, Omotai is your new thing, huh? Can you talk a little about that. How is it different from what Sharks and Sailors was doing musically?
M: Omotai is a completely different beast; more angry-man shouting, less sexy-time prog. The bands do have an overlap in musical taste and influence, though.
S: We're louder, we use way more distortion, we shout more, and we take the odd-time schtick to an extreme. We're definitely not danceable. We try to be pretty at-your-throat, though.
M: Although, based on our last show, it's danceable if you've had enough alcohol. RO: Did you leave Sharks and Sailors completely?
S: I was never in Sharks and Sailors. Assholes never asked me to join.
M: No. [Sharks and Sailors] has been hibernating. We're back starting this weekend for the sIngs CD release at Mango's and some other ones, including the Free Press Houston Summer Fest. [Ed. note: Find out more on Sharks and Sailors' hiatus later this week.}
RO: So what happened with Sharks and Sailors anyway? Did you guys have it out? Oooh, better yet, did one of you get super pissed at the other two guys and take to lopping their heads off? Band Member Assassin has a kind of cool ring to it.
S: God damn it, I said I'm not in that band. Watching Mels decapitate someone would be pretty rockin', though, no denying.
M: Basically, our drummer Phil's muscle flexing and breakdancing careers took off, so that got in the way of [Sharks and Sailors'] practice schedule.
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S: Let's say, hypothetically speaking of course [wink, wink], you were the Band Member Assassin. Who would you set your head-lopping-off sights on?
S: Jesus, don't even get me started. I'd probably dig up Jerry Garcia and reanimate him so I could re-kill him. After that, probably every member of Metallica. Poison. Motley Crue. After that, the sky's the limit. I'd be drip-dryin' a lot of motherfuckers, I can tell you that.
RO: [laughs] Which Houston indie band (or indie band member) would serve as the best supervillian in your movie? Room 101 seems a good choice. We mean, he wears that gas mask and whatnot. That's a little intimidating. Or maybe Andrew Lee from the Wild Moccasins? He's always seemed so docile and harmless. Wouldn't it be just perfect if he was this ruthless, ruthless killer? He'd probably wear an all-white suit in the movie, like some sort of Asian death angel. Oh man, this movie is shaping up to be incredible. Sam: How bout this: Pit us against every Houston band; "There can be only one" and all that. Then we could franchise that shit.
See Omotai May 14 at Walters with Cavernous and May 22 for the Girls Rock Camp Houston benefit show (venue TBA). Their first EP will be out in May or June. Come to their shows and buy their records. It'd help their self esteem. See them online at www.omotai.bandcamp.com.