The athletes from Russia may not enjoy competing under the “Olympic Athletes From Russia” or “OAR” designation as a result of a doping scandal.
But for the band, O.A.R., there really couldn’t have been better timing.
They just released a new single and are planning a tour — and all of a sudden have seen an incredible uptick on Spotify according to the Washington Post and in Google searches according to the Boston Globe.
The band’s lead singer, Marc Roberge, spoke to For The Win on Wednesday about the surprising ride.
What’s it been like being the surprise hit of the Olympics because of the OAR (Olympic athletes From Russia) athletes?
I mean I honestly when I heard they were using the name, I thought ‘OK we’ll have one or two funny jokes out of this or maybe we’ll have one or two mentions.’ I had no idea this is where it would go and I’m completely game. I think it’s fun and every single day I have a curious run in with somebody and it’s become quite interesting.
I know it has to end here shortly, so I’m going to enjoy it while I can.
Have you been watching the Olympics much?
I do. I’m always up very early and fortunate for us, around 7 a.m. every day we seem to get a really good event or some sort of amazing coverage. My kids love it, so that’s been really fun. It reminds me of growing up and watching the Games with my family. So it has been a nice experience bringing us all together.
How do you watch it? What’s your routine?
I think now that we have this US-Canada women’s hockey game coming up (on Wednesday night), I’m going to make sure that I am front and center and yelling at the TV. I have a tendency — not to yell at the TV — but to offer my advice even though the last thing any athlete needs is advice from me. But I know that we like to sit around and Monday morning quarterback the competition. It’s getting quite funny.
What O.A.R songs do you think athletes should be warming up to or figure skaters should be skating to?
I would love — and I have seen some professional figure skaters skate to our songs because we’ve had the privilege of doing a show with them — but I think ‘Peace’ is the way to go and it would be super cool if I could see somebody compete under that song just because it would be ideal with the movement of figure skating, I think it would flow very well. Also ‘Two Hands Up’ I think would be a fun song when it comes to winning and if any athlete or team came out to that song it might pump them up a little bit.
Obviously you’re rooting for the US but are you rooting for the OAR athletes too?
You know, honestly, the more I’ve delved into this year and I’ve absolutely been paying more attention because the lucky name of O.A.R., but I’ll tell you what: When I watch I don’t care where an athlete comes from. I know every single human in these Games has a story — ups and downs and sideways — so I’m always pulling for everybody. But my allegiance is absolutely the US, I haven’t cheered against them once. In any event with and against, O.A.R., I’ve had to cheer against O.A.R. While I do really encourage and support all of these athletes for doing so much more than I could do, I do have to root for the US.
Are there going to be more drug tests for O.A.R. the band?
We hold our band only to musical standards. We don’t have any other standards. Musical and ethical and personal standards. We will never test a band member for anything other than being nice enough.
What would be a PED for singing?
I’ve had this conversation (with other singers), like ‘what do you do? Do you use Saving Grace? Or Jack Daniels with warm tea? And there’s all of these ideas and honestly what you end up with is just water. Room temperature water is the performance enhancing drug of musicians. Every other drug might be enhancing in some way, but I don’t know if it’s performance enhancing.
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