“I couldn’t have imagined that OTH would be a thing 10 years later, but playing songs I love with people I love makes it pretty easy!”
Sporting two albums and a handful of EPs, local punk-rockers OH THE HUMANITY! are about to celebrate their 10th birthday. Bringing a sound full of just as much rebellion and free-spirited fun as when they began, the five-piece have built their thrashing sound and persona around throaty vocals, shredding strings, and electric live performances.
Despite the hard exterior, there’s a lot of love at the center of this band’s origin story. Pulling friends from different musical backgrounds together to form an amalgamation of their favorite genres, the band has mastered the art of creating good-time tunes with nostalgic lyrics that you can alternate between head-banging and swaying to. Playing their first show together nearly a decade ago, they’ve since overcome obstacles including navigating the Boston scene and releasing an album through a global pandemic, all while managing to bring some much-needed sonic catharsis to a year of stagnancy.
With their anniversary on Feb 17, OH THE HUMANITY! will commemorate the milestone with a show at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston. The bill also features Kitner, Blame It On Whitman, and SkyTigers. In advance of the show, we spoke with OH THE HUMANITY! vocalist Kevin Athas, who reflected on a decade in the scene.
Your upcoming OB’s gig is in recognition of the tenth anniversary of your first show as a band. Where was your first gig, and what do you remember most from that show?
Our first show was at Furey’s Cafe in Lowell. The most memorable part of the night was most definitely a wild set by our pals in Los Bungalitos. Their singer couldn’t make the show so we all shared the mic; it was a super fun sing along set.
You’ve played OB’s a few times over the years. What does it mean to have your 10th Anniversary show there? Was playing it at OB’s a deliberate choice?
OBs has always been our go-to spot to book shows in the greater Boston area. They have always been super accommodating and we have had some great times there. Playing there for our ten year anniversary was what we hoped for!
What are some of the most memorable experiences you’ve had as a band over the last ten years?
Most of the moments that stick out are related to traveling to play shows. Wild nights far from home with folks we just met. Specifically, partying/playing at Fest in Gainesville is some of the most fun I’ve had being in a band. We’re super fortunate to have made that trip a few times now and every year we come home with ridiculous stories.
Your Facebook bio mentions that OH THE HUMANITY! was formed to “be the band that…five friends from Massachusetts had always wanted to be in.” Does that still ring true today?
Absolutely true. I couldn’t have imagined that OTH would be a thing 10 years later, but playing songs I love with people I love makes it pretty easy!
What’s next on the horizon for the band? Working on a new LP or just focusing on playing shows for the time being?
We are definitely trying to play out as much as possible after so much time off, but we are also in the process of writing a new album and hoping to put some new music out this year.
Tickets for the Feb 17 show at O’Brien’s here.
Meg McCarney is a full-time, third year student at Lesley University studying Creative Writing and Communications. She’s interested in music journalism as a means to showcase the power of music in bridging cultural divides, addressing emotional wounds, and elevating voices and stories.