It’s just less than a decade after Stevie ’10 Bears’ Bogan and his fellow musicians at Irish rock trio ONOFF sold everything they owned and set off for a new life in California.
t was a big gamble, as he had a successful career in European, but it paid off and last week he released his latest single ‘Blah, blah, blah’.
Born and raised in Dundalk, Stevie moved with his family to Dublin at age 10, attended CBS and Fogart NS, and returned to live in Dundalk when he finished school at the age of 17.
He was interested in music from an early age, which he attributes to listening to his parents’ record collections.
“Between them they listened to everything like The Cars, Fleetwood Mac, The Police, Queen, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin etc. It was a good start, I think, then I started buying my own records, tapes and CDs was when I was older.”
His father, Gerry the Sorcerer, now ran The Bartender. for many years and he loved watching the band come and play.
“I first sat there on a drum set when I was 11 years old, when a band was coming to set. It was the kit of the late and great Geno Beryl. A Dundalk legend. He was a gentleman and I had the privilege of getting to know him when he was alive. I became good friends with his son Colin. After beating those drums that, once, I was hooked.. My dad played Danny Hughes at Blackrock shortly thereafter Bought my first drum set from
He began learning and playing as a pre-teen and was attracted to music, which reflected his interests.
“I fell in love with punk music. The fast tempo and energy gave me something to direct my anger and energy. I loved The Offspring, Green Day, Stiff Little Fingers, Bad Religion. I still love those bands Listen. He will fill a soundtrack of my childhood.”
He was just 12 years old when he first joined the band, which evolved into ONOFF.
The band made a profile not only in Ireland but in mainland Europe, where they toured for seven or eight years.
“We were touring there so much that we considered moving to Berlin full time,” recalls Stevie. “It was a toss up between relocating to Berlin and sunny California.. so we did what anyone else would do and sold all our gear, filled our suitcases with sunscreen and headed to the Golden State.”
They moved to California in April 2013 and haven’t looked back, even if it meant they had to start from the bottom again.
“Although we arrived with accolades and an impressive touring history, we had no equipment, no exposure to the industry, no vans or rehearsals.. Not even a pair of drumsticks!” they say.
“Within two weeks of landing we got what we needed. Started writing in the space of about 50 degrees and wrote a full album (REBORN) that put us on the map here. We took a van for ourselves and hit the road. But landed and never stopped since then”
Since then, they have played throughout the West Coast and beyond.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to be titled some of the most iconic venues here, Whiskey a Gogo in Hollywood, Slims and Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco, to name a few.”
“We are now backing some of the biggest names in the business: Gretsch, Fender, Orange Amps, Ernie Ball Strings, Pork Pie Drums, Gibraltar, TRX Cymbals and Roland. They keep us rock ready at all times, so big shouts mall.”
Stevie described the band as “a three-piece rock outfit that is committed to bringing rock and roll back to the masses. There’s no frills, no auto-tune and no bullshit”.
“It’s just three people who love music and love to play it loud. We play all kinds of shows. From sweaty ear drumming venues to loud outdoor festivals. We also produce weird acoustics when we Want to take it down. Play it.”
They also run their own festival annually here in Northern California for the past seven years. “We have bands from all over the West Coast come and rock our two stages over a two-day weekend.”
They were in the middle of a tour of the West Coast when the pandemic broke out.
“We didn’t know what would happen in the next 18 months. Everything came to a screeching halt! In a roundabout way, the lockdown helped us stand back and reflect.
Thinking outside the box, they managed to keep their festival going by hosting two two-day drive-in concerts.
“We had a hundred cars parked every night in front of this huge stage and we kicked off with our full stage production. We have a brass section and also a rapper with whom we collaborated on our last single ‘Closer’. We pulled out all the stops following social distancing. People were in need of something positive during that time, and we were more than happy to oblige. ,
Since moving to The States, the band has garnered a lot of media attention which continues to grow.
“Our tracks have been played on multiple radio stations across the US and we were voted the Top 5 Requested Song on 98Rock, California’s biggest rock station, in 2019. We have also made countless TV appearances at breakfast and daytime TV. , both perform on CBS. and Fox.”
ONOFF has just signed with SRO PR, one of the top 5 PR agencies in the US. They look after Ozzy Osbourne, Papa Roach, The Cult, Limp Bizkit.
Last week saw the release of his latest single blah blah blah, his upcoming album kicked off.
“It highlights the power struggle between people and governments. Especially during the pandemic, there seemed to be a lot of false narratives, propaganda and fear-mongering,” Stevie says. We took note of what we saw and wrote about it. It is a well-known fact that governments “sometimes” lie to the people in order to try to control the population. It has been documented over the years.. After all, propaganda is the earliest form of warfare. ,
Blah Blah Blah was recorded in Sacramento and mixed in New York and is also available on music streaming platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, etc.) and the band’s YouTube channel- ONOFFmusicTV.
Although Stevie’s home is now in California, he visits Dundalk whenever possible.
“My dad still lives in Dundalk as well as that whole side of my family. I have a lot of friends who I consider family as well.. I get back as much as I can when my schedule allows.” I was back with my wife and her family from California in November. I showed them around Dundalk, and of course made the obligatory trip to Oriole Park to see the play “The Town!”