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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Transplants OHIOAN to play free show at Congress on Sunday


    They say the most interesting musicians are the ones who don’t sit still. Nothing could be truer of Ryne Warner, mastermind behind the Tucson-by-way-of-Portland band OHIOAN.

    A random sampling of Warner’s music online can yield anything from roots-country to Swans-like apocalyptic meditations, complete with as much droning and mystical-sounding lyrics as any music fan could hope for. Even Warner himself admits to his creative and personal restlessness, answering a question about the beginnings of the band with the tale of how he walked from Chicago to Portland.

    “I started playing in public when I left Chicago, just walking along and teaching myself how to play what songs I could remember from this gospel CD a friend had given me,” Warner said. “The first show I ever played was in this hair salon in Illinois. It was an innocent beginning.”

    After arriving in Portland, Warner said that the band consumed his life, crediting his desire to explore every aspect of creating sound and movement as merely “feeding the minotaur. I decided with OHIOAN I would just do any idea that came to me.”

    Although vocal about the extent to which OHIOAN’s sound has varied both live and in the studio, Warner maintains a very conscious attitude about his music no matter what he’s creating.

    “I’ve always been attracted to the mysticism of music. Depending on how you look at it, music can either be three chords or it can be magical. I lean toward keeping music more on the limitless side.”

    Citing groups like Brightblack Morning Light and Earth as examples of such mystical musicians, Warner said a major turning point for OHIOAN has been the opportunity to tour throughout January as a full band.

    “I always want to have a band when I play, because I just hear this full sound in my head. I feel like the solo acoustic troubadour role has been covered by the multitudes, so it’s just nice to do something more than that,” Warner said.

    Ever self-aware, Warner also notes that the experience he’s had with the full band has done wonders for his control-freak tendencies, something he still struggles with when it comes time to make his records.

    “I prefer live to making records, because playing live by necessity is this communicative experience, not just with the audience but with the band. Playing with these guys gives me moments to relinquish control.”

    According to Warner, it shows. Since kicking off its tour at SkyBar a few weeks ago, OHIOAN has been met with “oodles of love” everywhere they’ve traveled, prompting Warner and his bandmates to want to document the band’s set in a recording studio upon returning from the tour. As far as Warner is concerned, it’s just another phase in the band’s long and evolving journey.

    Having been in Tucson for 14 months now, Warner shows every indication of keeping up his musical education.

    “OHIOAN is really the only thing I’ve done so far,” said Warner, despite having recorded a remarkable amount of music under the moniker since the late 2000s.

    In addition to performing live, Warner cites a new full-length record, a country-rock band who “can show up at bars and play John Mellencamp songs all night,” and a full-on drone project as all in his immediate future.

    “The second I start exploring new ideas, it’s like looking into the wormhole,” Warner said. “There’s too much sound I want to make to keep it in one place.”

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