O.A.R. (an acronym for the band's full moniker, Of a Revolution) transformed itself from an independent college band to a Billboard chart-topper over the course of a long, varied career. First, two of the band's demo recordings were hawked on university campuses. Then, news spread about the band's roots rock and reggae-inflected songs, which owed much to the jam band genre. Before long, O.A.R.'s website had turned into a highly trafficked Internet destination, and the group gradually left the college scene for the bright lights of national stardom.
Formed in 1996 in Rockville, Maryland, O.A.R. coalesced around lead singer/rhythm guitarist Marc Roberge, lead guitarist Richard On, saxophonist Jerry DePizzo, bassist Benj Gershman, and drummer Chris Culos. Roberge had known Culos since childhood; he also played in local bands with On and Gershman. DePizzo, who hailed from Youngstown, Ohio, met the other Maryland natives at Ohio State, and the band made its studio debut with the release of an independent demo, 1997's The Wanderer. Many of the songs on O.A.R.'s debut disc were written while Roberge and Culos were living in Israel, and the album was recorded on a shoestring budget in Culos' basement.
Two years later, the switch from student band to headlining act began with the arrival of an intensely popular song, "That Was a Crazy