Formed from deep friendships that date back to before 2010 and in the trenches of 2020, “One Man. The Band” hit the Central New York music scene last summer with songs like, “IDK” and “Break the Loop.”
Taking their audiences on trips to lucidity, Logan Chesebro, Brad Butler, Gabriel Esparza and Joe Retrosi are cohesive contributors to the OMTB experience.
Influenced by indie rock bands and psychedelic tunes, OMTB flows with hypnotic sounds and lyrics. Original music is their game, and improv is their forte. Every concert gives the audience a taste of new medicine. Playing at dive bars, speakeasies and intimate venues across Central New York, OMTB is moving like a butterfly drifting from flower to flower.
The band expects to continue its trail of bright-eyed performances around the area this spring and summer.
The band’s upcoming performance, CatStock, is set to take place from 1 – 5 p.m. on May 16 at Nothin’ Fancy in Vernon. The cost is $15 at the door and all proceeds will benefit Finnlands Fosters, a cat rescue organization based out of Oneida. Other performers, including Shane Archer Reed, Char Dennis and Aaron Liedka will make appearances as well.
As live music has been experiencing a drought this past year, OMTB is excited to get the audience back in the groove of experiencing engaging performances. OMTB is big into their sound hitting just right, but they’re also aware of the importance of creating an enticing visual experience.
Chesebro, OMTB’s drummer, said the group wants their audience to experience the band by “not just listening, but looking.”
The band dubbed Chesebro as “the workhorse” of the group, due to his incessant marketing and scheduling to get themselves out there.
“I just try to keep myself busy,” Chesebro said. “I’m calling venues, messaging places and just trying to get ourselves booked everywhere. I think we’re up to seven upcoming shows, which I never thought was going to happen.”
Butler and Chesebro have been mixing and mingling in music together for more than 10 years. Last June they continued with their journey when Butler returned from studying music at SUNY Fredonia.
“Brad and I have been playing together…” Chesebro said. “…since we were 10,” Butler said, finishing his sentence.
Chesebro called Butler a “multi-instrumentalist.” Butler writes for the band, plays the guitar and messes around on the keyboard a bit, too.
“We’ve known each other forever,” Chesebro said. “We’ve been playing since we both liked emo music. We were playing that stuff, straightening our hair, he always had the hair for it.”
Throwing darts and not really taking names, Butler was playing with keyboardist Esparza before either of them even knew they’d become bandmates. Esparza ended up jamming with OMTB one day for three hours and became a key player in the group. According to Butler, a lot of the spice you hear from the band can be retraced to Esparza.
Butler met their bass player Retrosi at a previous job and also had previous jam sessions with him in his back pocket.
Retrosi and Butler performing. Image provided by Logan Chesebro.
“One day I was like, ‘Hey, Joe, uh, I see you have a base there. Can you play it?’” Butler questioned Retrosi. “‘Do you want to play it? In our band?’ And that’s how we got Joe on board.”
“Joe is a great instinctual player,” Esparza said. Retrosi is completely self-taught and picks up the music by ear really well.
Esparza said when they perform it can feel like they’re in outer space.
“It’s euphoric,” he added. “When we all play together, we become one.”
OMTB at a live performance. Image provided by Logan Chesebro.