Hudson Valley, NY-based quartet Off Road Minivan, featuring Fit For a King bassist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary, will release their second album May This Keep You Safe From Harm on June 23 via Tooth & Nail Records. Pre-order it here.
Today, the band has shared the visualizer for “Basement.” Watch and listen here.
“Basement’ is a song written about and dedicated to a dear friend — Alex,” says O’Leary. “Through our lives and struggles, we always forget how short our time here really is. When the worst happens, we assume and hope things will just get better until we are too late. Alex was a brilliant mind and amazing friend. Though we wish we had more time together, writing this song has brought back such incredible memories and connections. It feels right to start the album and release off by paying homage to him.”
Off Road Minivan, whose lineup is rounded out by Evan Garcia Renart, Miles Sweeny, and Dave Trimboli, came to life in 2018 with the Spiral Gaze EP. On its heels, 2020’s full-length debut, Swan Dive, immediately captivated audiences as “Vampire” surpassed 1 million streams and counting. Of the single “YOU,” FLOOD raved, “‘YOU’ is nearly just four minutes of heavy breakdown, pivoting from heartfelt verses to its aggressive dream pop chorus.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the band members wrote and sent ideas back-and-forth. Simultaneously, they stitched together a throughline carried by the real-life interviews with members of Tuck’s family.
“I’ve been secretly recording my family for at least a-year-and-a-half, including the voice clips from my grandmother, who was the first,” Tuck says. “I’d listen back later and find the right part I needed for the album. I essentially wanted to preserve these moments forever. I got my mom, dad, sister, grandmother, brother-in-law, nephew, best friend, and wife on tape. Now, I’ll have it all on vinyl format for the rest of my life.”
As for the album’s title, it’s also rooted in the familial.
“When my grandfather joined the military and was going off to war, my grandma gave him a bible with a metal cover,” reveals Tuck. “On the front, it said, ‘May this keep you safe from harm.’ Even if you got shot in the heart, the bible would protect you. When I first started touring, different family members gave me mementos to feel safe on the road. The bible was from my grandmother. Now, I’ve got it tattooed on my chest, so I don’t have to bring the original with me. All of this is about preservation of time. It’s a way to document some of my most fragile moments and share the delicate, untouched vulnerable side of myself maybe you haven’t experienced from Fit For a King. It’s the other swing of the pendulum.”