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.
“‘Victim Complex’ is about a person I was friends with for 18 years. I learned a lot from him, and he was partly the reason why I got in Fit For A King. However, the same individual did a lot of shit. His personality is extreme, and a lot of people can take it or leave it. Eventually, everyone left. He has a ‘Victim Complex,’” says O’Leary.
Off Road Minivan, whose lineup is rounded out by Evan Garcia Renart, Miles Taylour Sweeny, and Mike Planko, came to life in 2018 with the Spiral Gaze EP. On its heels, 2020’s full-length debut, Swan Dive, immediately captivated audiences. Throughout the past three years, 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.”