I Don’t Do That Podcast (With Ocho)
In his teens, Ogar found his calling playing drums. His aspirations to greatness have granted him proficiency, and an appreciation from a wide audience. He played for years, always practicing and improving. He went on many tours and recorded many albums. Then, something inside him told him it was time to stop playing entirely, all at once. Listen to find out more!
Ocho: Welcome to the “I Don’t Do That” Podcast with me, Ocho. I get to talk to lots of people about all the things that they don’t do, and you get to hear what they say
[theme music plays]
“na na na na na yeah nah I don’t do that, no I don’t do that. You know it’s alright; you can ask, but I don’t do that, no I don’t do that. I don’t do that. I don’t do that.
Ogar: I am the source of my feelings, and I understand that, and I’m not expecting someone to read my mind and understand how the thing that they are gonna say is going to make me feel.
Ocho: Episode 4 is I don’t play drums. We’re in the studio with Ogar, who does not play drums anymore. Ogar identifies himself as male and Caucasian. He’s in his mid-30s and he lives in a small town in Minnesota. Ogar, I’m happy to be talking with you today. Thanks for coming on the show!
Ogar: I’m very glad to be here. I’m a big fan of what I’ve heard of the show so far. So you asking me to be a part of it is something I’m really exited about.
Ocho: I hope you’ll be a fan of this episode too
Ogar: Unlikely. I like to talk, but I din’t like to hear myself talk.
Ogar: So we’ll see.
Ocho: Maybe you’ll never hear it. So you don’t play drums”
Ogar: That’s correct I no longer play drums and I would say like there’s certainI…ll play hand drum. I’ll play a djembe and, you know, jam out at a drum circle or that kind of thing. I might even try out a cajon, but that’s as close as I would get to like a trap set anymore.
Ocho: ok but you were playing the drum kit before. And you quit. Can you tell me about the history of that? How it started? When? What were your thoughts and feelings at the beginning? What was your motivation at the beginning?
Ogar: So to take it slightly before I started playing drums, I grew up playing music like piano and trumpet from the time I was like eight-ish probably. And then I began playing guitar around 13 and a friend of mine played bass and we started like we were going to start a band and I thought this was so cool and that was like, the coolest thing in the world to me and then we wrote a song that was our own song, and I’m sure it was absolutely horrendous, but I got really like, into that, and then by the time I was like 14, 15 we were playing shows or we’d like try to play a show when we were 13 but you know what 13 year olds do…anyway so then I got really into that over the next few years and I really was like this is the path I want to take in my life and I kept, you know I was playing guitar and played other instruments and then I really wanted to try out drums and I was like…
Ocho: Were you doing some rock music at that time?
Ogar: Yeah I started out playing like a lot of like pop-punk kind of stuff. Very blink-182 influenced, with a little bit of like influencer a couple other bands like rage against the machine, red hot chili peppers, a couple other things, but really blink-182 focused. And then yeah I really wanted to try out other instruments. I was working a job and obviously when you’re, you know, in your mid teens like you don’t have any bills and so I was working a job full-time in the summer so always money that I nothing to do with so I was just buying musical instruments and gear and all kinds of stuff like that so eventually convince my mom to let me buy a drum set and have it in her basement, and play drums in her basement. So I bought a drum set, and I think that was when I was, I mean, I generally say 17 but it may have been when I was when I was 16. I think it was probably 70 but I’m not 100% sure…either way that’s what I got a drum kit and as soon as I started playing the drums I was like “oh yeah this is this is the instrument”
Ocho: You found your calling.
Ogar: Yes. So I’ve always had like a mathematically-oriented mind and I love patterns, and like solving puzzles, and in my mind drumbeats are these like patterns and coming up with, you know, like song structures and then like the way to respond to what other instruments are doing and fills and all those things, those are all puzzles that lock into a pattern in my head. And like, you know, I learned how to read music so young that I kind of have something similar to sheet music rolling in my head when I’m playing, like I can not see, but feel in my mind what the patterns are. And like, I so like, when I know a song, I feel those patterns rolling through and that feeling is okay on other instruments, but I really connected to it with drums. So that, really, the rhythmic aspect, the kind of mathematical way that I approached it, that was very satisfying to me
Ocho: It’s all about counting.
Ogar: Yes. Absolutely. It’s 100% about counting and it’s about subdivisions and it’s about syncopations and it’s about, you know, what can you do with 1234? Well, it turns out pretty much infinite things. Especially when you start to get multiple limbs involved and all these things…so there was, from the time I started playing music with my friend at 13 I decided “I am going to be a musician, and that that is what I am going to be” and when I started playing drums I decided “I am going to be a drummer and this is, I’m dedicating my life to this. I just was, like, boom!
Ocho: As a career?
Ogar: Yes. That was my intention. Then, because, you know we all like strive for external validation, I wanted to keep being, like, “I wanna play better than other people around. I want to play faster than other people around.” I started gravitating more and more towards faster and more technical more…music that require more proficiency to play in that brought me to extreme metal like brutal death metal and around, you know like, 19 or 20 years old after I’d been playing drums for a couple years I got really in the super brutal death metal, and playing really really high tempos, fast double bass, blast beats, all that kind of stuff and I got so into that, that I kind of locked myself out of ever being able to make it a career.
Ocho: Yeah, I was wondering about that…
Ogar: Yeah, that was the problem.
Ocho: Technical death metal is not, it’s not easy-listening music,
Ogar: It’s not going to pay the bills either. Yeah,
Ocho: It doesn’t have a very wide audience.
Ogar: Super niche, yeah.
Ocho: So it would be hard to make money at it.
Ogar: A hundred percent. Yeah, I did not.
Ocho: In fact, I mean, I think maybe you’ve told me that really nobody does.
Ogar: I would say the number of people making money playing death metal is extremely small. Like, when people ask me about it, the example I like to give is: Suffocation is one of the bands that created the genre of death metal. Helped create it back in the late 80s/early 90s. They’re the kins of the genre; they’ve been around forever. There are literally subgenres of Death Metal that were spawned off riffs written by suffocation like it’s insane how influential are. Their singer quit the band within the last several years because it was too much of a hassle to take time off of work to go on tour. This is the guy that’s been in the band since the 80s. Yeah, I’d like that’s the level of like…
Ocho: They have fans all over the world.
Ogar: Yes, they really are a massive band. And yeah, I mean, like he didn’t want to keep taking off time from work. But they had to get a different singer.
That is insane to me.
Ocho: Yeah, it really shows how hard it is to be an artist and make a living at it. Even if you’re incredibly famous. I mean, way more famous than me, right?
Ogar: And you, so, have to be commercially viable, right, and I wasn’t doing something commercially viable.
Ocho: Did you know that was happening? Did you start to have a different mindset of like, “okay, this isn’t going to be my career now”?
Ogar: Um, I did a pretty good job throughout, especially in my early and mid-twenties, of deluding myself.
Ocho: You could be the one.
Ogar: If you would’ve asked me in a logical way, “are you gonna make money at this,” it would’ve been really hard for me to say yes, but I was not willing to allow myself to really look at it logically at the time, I don’t think.
Ocho: You were following your heart. You wouldn’t take no for an answer. You…
Ogar: Well, I also had, and I think we’ve had conversations about this before about like, you know like, that drive for like artistic integrity and things like that. And I was so, just rock solid on this idea of like “I am going to play what I want to play, to the note, and no one will ever convince me to play a note I don’t wanna play”. Much less a song I don’t want to play…whatever. So like…
Ocho: And you are successful in that regard, am I right?
Ogar: Yeah, but it didn’t get me anywhere, right? And that was part of what ended up moving me towards disillusionment.
Ocho Hmm. So you got somewhere. But at some point wherever you got, you started thinking about giving it up, right?
Ogar: Yeah. I would say like probably into my early 30s. I really started realizing, after, because I had because I had a pretty good run from about 2010 on, with a band that I was really happy with. I saw more success with that band than any other band I had been in, or probably ever have been in.
Ocho: Is that Face Of Oblivion?
Ogar: Correct. You know we toured and we put out albums on labels I had heard of before they tried to sign…you know what I’m saying, like it was…I felt like we were really getting where I wanted to go and it felt like success was right around the corner and so I had a really good run with that.
Ocho: Did you want to plug any of that? Can people buy those records?
Ogar: I mean, yeah, you can go to Comatose Music, was the label that we put out two albums as Face Of Oblivion and, the songs are out there on streaming services and things like that. I don’t know who’s going to necessarily be interested in this brutal death metal stuff, but if anybody is, you’re more than welcome to check it out.
Ocho: I was the audio engineer for the drums on the second album.
Ogar: It’s true! Cataclysmic Desolation is the name of that album and yeah, I recorded the drums with you. Yeah, here, that’s true. We did it in this building, in this very domicile. Yeah and that was an amazing experience. I really liked being in that band, but there was a tour that we did where it became very clear that there were issues in the band, and so then another band was formed out of members from that band, and then people started getting upset and feeling left out, and then there was this whole falling out thing, and the band basically fell apart, and then we tried to get this other band going. But like different people had different ideas for what they wanted to do with that band. In terms of…
Ocho: That was Septicemic. And that had members of Face Of Oblivion in it?
Ogar: Yes, so face of Oblivion was five people. Septicemic was three of those people. and then when Face Of Oblivion really fell apart, the fourth one we didn’t really want to leave behind, because we love the dude. So we added him to the band. And he’s amazing. Like it was like a charity thing where he didn’t deserve the spot that we gave him in the band. Obviously, he’s more than qualified to do it. Anyway so I guess we had different ideas about what we wanted to do with it and I started realizing like, what success actually looks like in a death metal band. It’s not really a lifestyle that super appealed to me.
Ocho: That’s like the touring and that kind of thing. Or what is it?
Ogar: Touring, for sure is. I always feel like when you go on tour like you spend, like for every week on tour, you come home with about an hour of fun stories. And the rest of tour—which obviously a week is a lot longer than an hour—is pretty terrible. I mean, you have the good experiences and I look back on…I mean there’s a tour that I went on in 2016 that I will still to this day consider the best week of my life. Because it was just a little over a week and it was still like, the things of the people that I met, the friendships I made, the experiences I had…probably one of the, yeah, I’d put it up there is the best week of my entire life. However in that experience, in that time dealing with the things that I was dealing with during that week, not so great. Looking back on it I can see the positive in everything, but dealing with it not so much. And then the other thing was
Rose-colored glasses. Looking back
Yes. Well, I have the benefit now, like I can look back on that hour or two of fun memories, and really value those things, and, you know, whatever, but now I don’t have to think about the hours in a van driving from city to city, I don’t think about the people that, you know, were not enjoyable to deal with. You know what I mean, I get to choose which parts of that week I think about.
Ocho: You could tell bad stories.
Ogar: Yes I just choose not to think about them. So it would be tougher for me to remember them.
Ocho: That’s a pretty common phenomenon in human memory anyway. And it’s it’s good, or we’d probably just hate our lives even more than we do. So what success is in a death metal band is not what …that doesn’t really appeal to you.
Ogar: Yeah I mean it got to the point where it’s like “oh you’re gonna get to play out of the 10 biggest festivals in the country every year, you’re gonna get to play 3 to 5 to sometimes even more of them, in that year right? So you’re like on the biggest festivals in front of the biggest crowds and that should be success. Sometimes, I mean, we headlined a massive festival one time. It was amazing! But that weekend, everything other than a half hour on stage, was terrible. Like that weekend where we headlined the festival was one of the worst weekends of my life. Especially that period of my life. And then you know, with Septicemic, I love those guys I don’t ever wanna sea anything bad about them. I have nothing bad to say about them. And I don’t wanna make it sound like I have any negative feelings towards them or anything they wanted to do, or that they were in any way in the wrong. But for me I felt like when we would play shows we would take shows that I knew were the correct shows to take for the band…I didn’t look forward to doing them anymore. You know like, we got a really sweet offer to play these shows in Chicago and Minneapolis, ok? Well I live in rural Minnesota so I’m spending eight hours driving to Chicago to play a show only to spend you know 7 1/2 to 8 hours to drive up to the Twin Cities to play another show the next night, and then drive two hours home after that show. Like that’s not fun. Like it’s so much money. And if you still are in love with the music, and with hanging out with people and all the other things to go along with it? Sure, it’s an insanely positive experience. But it got to a point where it wasn’t for me anymore
Yeah, I can imagine how that could be thrilling. And it could even be thrilling for years. Maybe after a wile, the thrill wears off and the work is still there that you have to put in. So all of the driving…I suppose the fact that it’s a niche kind of a genre means that you have to go far away to get to the next place. Otherwise you’re playing the same venue all the time. And that wears off for you in for an audience too. I’m sure it needs to get up in front of new people. And traveling you’re either in the car by yourself for a long time, and sometimes just being close to other people can just be too much. I mean, that can wear on you in itself.
Ogar: No matter how much you enjoy being around your friends, there is a certain amount of time where you want some time away from them. And like when you’re on the road, even sometimes when it’s a weekend thing, it can be really rough.
Well, people get that with their families, yeah.
Ogar: A hundred percent. I mean, you can get that with your significant other sometimes, if you live together. Sometimes, you just need time to yourself. This isn’t me trying to speak for anybody else, but that’s been my experience.
Ocho: Yeah, so I imagine too as a drummer, because I’ve been one, you also have a more work to do when you get to the show, and when you’re done. So if you’re on a stage and you’re sharing a bill with it with another band which I’m sure you almost always are, then you have to get on and get off sort of quickly, so you can get on pretty soon after the band before you, and you can play your whole set, and you don’t set a night back, right? And then you have to play the set which requires lot of energy from you, and then you have to take down all your drums, and get them off the stage. Did that enter into it?
Ogar: Absolutely. And when I really realized, like there was a moment, and I remember the show, there was a moment when I was loading my gear out of my car into the venue. And it was stressing me out. I was so stressed and I was so angry, I yelled at someone who had done nothing. There was absolutely no logical reason why that person deserved to be yelled at, and I yelled at them. I was like, “what kind of person am I now? Am I really that kind of person who goes around yelling at people? Because that’s not the kind of person that I want to be. I don’t want to be around people like that, and I certainly don’t want to be a person like that. So getting stressed out to that level over something that is supposed to be my hobby that brings joy into my life, and that’s how I’m feeling about it? That’s what it’s turning me into? That was very much a wake up call for me and I really felt like I needed to make a change that point and I had been having thoughts about that for a long time up to that point, but that was when it really kind of crystallized for me, and that’s why I remember that moment pretty specifically. Like pulling stuff out of my trunk, and being like, “I totally just yelled at that dude.”
Can you tell me the circumstances of that? Under which you yelled at him? I know he didn’t need to get yelled at…
It was nothing. It was, another band had put more gear on the stage than apparently I thought that they should at that time, to check the system. And I yelled about being mad about another band having their stuff when there were other bands that were performing before them, so why do they have their stuff on the stage? Well, obviously they were going to pull their stuff off of the stage before..like, this was hours before the show started. It was more than enough time for them to do what they were doing and get their stuff out of the way for everybody else to get their stuff on and they were not doing anything that inconvenienced anyone. And I got mad about it. For no reason. That was completely illogical, and it made no sense, and it just made me look like and feel like a total jerk.
Ocho: Yeah we all have moments where we get in our heads, and we don’t see things clearly.
Ogar: I mean, it took me all of 45 seconds to realize like “that was really stupid.” Because I was like, walking out of the venue and I yelled about it and then by the time I got to my car to pull more stuff out of my trunk I was like, why do I just do that?
Ocho: Well, I’m sure you weren’t really used to having that kind of lapse with reason. You probably are more even-tempered than that almost all the time. So that was strange to you. So at that moment, you remembered reconsidering your pursuit of playing the drums?
Ogar: Well, like I said, I mean It was something I had already been thinking about. It was a thought that I had had for a long time of like, how much fun am I getting out of this? How much money am I spending on this? Is it worth it? Because I’m never going to say that hobbies aren’t worth spending money on. Because they absolutely are. But I just felt like the amount of money I was spending and the emotional toll it was taking on me, the mental toll on me, the amount of time I was putting into it…all of these things… if you’re not enjoying the thing that is supposed to be…why would you pursue a hobby that makes you miserable? Right? And there was quite a long time where…So that moment wasn’t a moment when I realized I didn’t wanna do it anymore. That moment was the moment where I realized continuing to do it was so detrimental for me, that the things keeping me going weren’t worth continuing for.
Ocho: And what was keeping you going? Was it still fun to play the music? Or what was keeping you going?
Ogar: A combination of the camaraderie with band mates, because I mean, there are people who because of my playing music with them, they will forever be cherished part of my life. People that I love, and will love for the rest of my life because of the time spent in bands together. I know people that I was in band with for a decade and I will do anything for those people, right, and I didn’t wanna disappoint them, I didn’t want to put them in a position where they needed to replace me. You’re always agreeing to shows, you’re always booking stuff you know, and when I have got a show coming up in two months, or a month or whatever, and you know it’s like, do I do the thing that I want to do for me and quit the band? Knowing that they are going to have to either cancel that show which no one? Or they’re gonna have to find someone else to replace me? And not to like, toot my own horn, but brutal death metal is not an easy thing to play, so finding someone else who can play the stuff is not gonna be just a snap of the fingers. If you’re in a rock band in a metropolitan area, and you just need a guitarist who can you know play a Journey song, you’re gonna find somebody. But if you need…if you’re in a smaller area of Minnesota and you need someone who can play 300 BPM blast beats, you’re gonna struggle. And again, that’s yeah whatever. So that’s what happened. That was something I knew that it made me feel bad to even consider putting my my friends and my bandmates in that position.
Ocho: So there was a consideration for others.
Ogar: Yes, very much.
Ocho: Mmm. Yeah, that’s kind of what kept you going at the end.
Ogar: That kept me going for a long time and then like I said that one moment just realizing how stressed I was. And the toll it was taking on me, I really realized I couldn’t keep up with it.
Ocho: Was there a combination of that camaraderie with something else? Was it with obligation or was it …?
Ogar: Yeah, no. It’s definitely like feeling obligated. And then also the part of it too, like a big reason why, in retrospect, I can see that a big part of why I got into playing brutal death metal was that, the level of skill required to play that music, the level of difficulty, made me feel like, well, if I get good enough to play this, then people will tell me I’m cool. People will tell me I’m good. Like, whatever. To get that kind of external validation.
Ocho: That must have worked. I mean, you blow my mind when I’ve seen you play drums. So, I can’t be the only one.
Ogar: But do you know how many compliments I got that I remember? Not a one.
When you have that psychology where you’re always seeking validation, and then you get the validation, you’re like “meh, that it wasn’t enough.”
And then it just goes away. And then when somebody says something negative, it’s like “oh, but I’ll hold on to that for the rest of my life!”
Ocho: Sounds like an addiction.
Ogar: Yeah, it is.
Ocho: I can’t get enough of that. Compliments.
Ogar: Right. Right. It is! I mean well yeah, when you’re addicted to a drug, you don’t remember the hit that you took a week ago. All you’re worried about is where am I going to get the next one?
Ogar: And yeah it was very much like that. And you know realizing that about myself, you know as I’ve been getting older and you know, getting in my, you know, like I said I was in my 30s already, and coming into my mid-30s and stuff and just kind of trying to be a little bit more introspective, and make better decisions, and make my decisions for better reasons. And I mean, this isn’t really a good reason to do all of this. And like I said, a lot of it was obligation to others, and not wanting to disappoint other people. And again like this whole like, you know, like, seeking validation thing…you don’t wanna disappoint people right? I’ve been a people pleaser a lot of my life because…
Ocho: I can see those two things going hand-in-hand. You want people to appreciate you. So letting them down would hurt you as well.
Ogar: Yeah, very much so.
Ocho: But so it does seem like it’s kind of about the juice and the squeeze at some point. It’s like there’s a lot of squeezing and you’re not really getting any juice inside you to keep it going and sustain yourself and, that all makes sense.
Ogar: I mean the pandemic kind of is what made it really easy for me. As the pandemic happened, obviously no more shows are booked, we’re not practicing, and then once the topic came up of like “hey we should maybe start thinking about practicing again” I was like “this is my moment” I gotta choose right now because either I’m honest and I say “hey guys I’m really sorry I don’t wanna do this anymore,” or I put myself right back in the situation and then I’m back in a loop that I don’t know if I’ll ever have another opportunity to get out of, without hating myself for it. Which isn’t to say that I don’t have negative feelings about making the decision that I made, but it would be a lot tougher if I would’ve gone back into it so I just had to make the really, really difficult decision to inform all of the people that I was in bands with, because I was in multiple bands at the time still, and I had to inform all those people. Because I felt it everybody deserved a personal like “hey, you know this isn’t about you this is about me, and this is like…I value you, I value the relationship that we’ve had, I value the things we’ve done together…” You know all those kind of things, and just kind of trying to tell everybody, you know, shoot a message to the band chats and say like “hey like, I love you guys but I just can’t do this anymore.”
Ocho: How many people was that? Between all the bands? How many people deserved an actual personal message and discussion?
Ogar: I don’t know if I messaged everyone personally directly, but I know that I messaged…
Ocho: Even in a group chat, I mean, everyone is there so everyone can talk back and have a dialogue.
Ogar: So I was in two very active bands of the time: Septicemic, and Glutton For Punishment, and I love all of the people that I was in those bands with. And I did not wanna do anything that would have any negative impact on them, but it was the decisin I felt was the only right decision for me, so I did message…I don’t know, maybe septicemic, I messaged the guys individually, I don’t remember for sure. And I may have messaged some of the glutton for punishment guys individually before sending something to the band chat…I don’t remember exactly how I did it all, but soon as the decision was made, I did kind of like…because there was one band mate from septicemic who was like “hey could we start practicing again?” and I had to be like “OK you know what? I’m just I’m just gonna tell you right now I think I’m done” and then tell everybody else in the band and then Glutton For Punishment, I had to tell them, like, it’s over for me.
Ocho: And I imagine more offers kind of trickled in, because you’re a bit “for hire” right? Like you were playing with other groups off and on, that kind of thing, and with people, you’d have side projects and things like that?
Ogar: Yeah, and I mean you know, anytime somebody wants to put a death metal band together in the Midwest, they’re looking for a drummer. And when you’re known as a drummer who plays death metal in the area, within a state or two of someone who’s trying to put a band together, if they don’t find someone in their immediate vicinity, they’re going to start widening the search area. And eventually it’s gonna bring them to a point where they’re going to reach out to me, you know, pretty quickly if they’re in the Twin Cities. Maybe take a little longer if they’re, you know, in Kansas or something. But eventually though if they need someone and they can’t find someone, they’re gonna keep widening that area and asking people that they know play death metal on drums. And especially like, you know, I was getting offers like that fairly regularly. And then after I kind of said I was done, and then I made a big public post on Facebook about being done to just kind of let everybody know this part of my life is over, and I’m moving to other things, I did still, you know…I mean I would get friend requests from people, and accept a friend request, and immediately get a message like “hey I know you play drums. I’m putting a band together, do you wanna join my band? Can I send you some songs and you can tell me if you’re interested in playing?
Ocho: What’s your reaction to that? Like emotionally?
Ogar: It got to a point—Something I struggled a lot with was feeling like people only wanted me around because I played drums. And wondering like if I stop playing drums, will these people want me in their life? Do they actually want me in their life, or do they just want somebody who can play this on drums in their life? In their band?
Ocho: Well, someone who hasn’t met you and is just looking for a drummer probably just want someone who plays drums, right?
Ogar: Right. And so, I’m already feeling that way about people I’m extremely close with, and I’ve known for years and years, and see all the time, and spend an enormous amount of time with and have deep bonds with, I’m already feeling that way about them, and having those questions having those thoughts, you know, somebody that I’ve never met before, doesn’t know anything about me other than I play drums, and they know the name of a band or two that I’ve been in, you know, sends me a friend request and shoots me a message, and that’s what they’re looking for, that definitely feels like “cool, this is my value in the world.” and that’s not…
Ocho: Because it pokes at that thing you already have going on emotionally about how…Because, so, do you think that was mental, or empirically, did people shut you out of their life after that? I mean, I would know that you don’t, like…obviously you’re not gonna spend as much time together if you’re not in a band anymore, right? But do you think that? how credence do you give that? Or how much do you just like chase away like “no…”
Ogar: The amount of contact that I have had with people that I was in bands with that I considered extremely close friends, the amount of contact that I’ve had with those people after no longer playing drums is extremely minimal. There are a couple of exceptions that I communicate with more regularly, and then there are a couple people that I know just kind of keep to themselves in general anyway. And part of it too is I’m not the best reaching out to people so like I don’t necessarily initiate a lot of of contact but they’re not an initiating contact with me either…
And they’ve got lives and they…
And they’re still playing music, and spending their time trying to chase their goals
Ocho: They’re probably talking to people who are helping them with that and becoming friends with them and that kind of thing….
Ogar: And I mean, I’m not present in their lives anymore, right? Like, everybody. I was in bands with, I lived a significant distance away from. It’s not like these are people that, you know, a 15 minute drive, and we could be hanging out on the weekend. It would take hours of driving each way to see any of these people, and people have kids and families and always other obligations. Full-time jobs…
Ocho: So it doesn’t mean that they don’t miss you, or they don’t like you or value you otherwise, it’s just…
Ogar: It can feel that way. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true.
Ocho: But you still got to miss them. Like you don’t have the contact that you had before.
So was it worth it? Do you have any regrets about it? or…
Ogar: There are things that I do very much miss about being in bands with people. And seeing people, and working towards a common goal, and achieving something, and sharing that achievement with people. You know, like when you write a song. that feels great. When you play it for the first time all the way through, that feels great. When you perform it for the first time, that feels great. When you record a group of songs and you release it, and it gets a good reception and people buy it, and yousee people posting about listening to it, and you see people share it, independent of anything to do with you, and those kinds of things…
Ocho: Wearing your T-shirt…
Ogar: Yes. You go to a show that your band’s not playing, and you see people wearing your band’s t-shirt. That’s all that feels amazing. I remember…
Getting picked out when you don’t know somebody, and they want to talk to you… l
Ogar: There are a lot of those things that I miss for sure. But knowing that the only way I can have those things is to put myself back in the place that I was in? I don’t think that would be worth it for me. I think that there’s too much negativity that went along with that and it was too much work. It was too much money, it was too much time.
Ocho: It seems like you were kind of at a breaking point, like you weren’t going to do that anymore.
Ogar: It would have been extremely unhealthy.
Ocho: Right. So it must have occurred to you that you could scale it back somewhat? Like maybe being one band or something like that. Or do something that was more part-time, or do something like that”
Ogar: I tend to be a very all-or-nothing person. This is something I struggle with in a lot of areas of my life. I’m either 100% in, or I’m just not interested, and I’ll move on to something else.
Ocho: That explains why you wanted to play this very difficult style of music very well… So you wouldn’t really just do it a little bit because that’s not you.
Ogar: Well, that would be part of the issue. The other part is, in order to play the style of drums that I want to play, I would have to be putting in a very significant amount of work especially after not playing for an extended period of time, just to get back to where I was would require a lot of work.
Ocho: It requires practice.
Ogar: Yes, requires a lot of work. And then maintaining that requires a lot of work. And I’m also the kind of person where, I’m not happy if I’m maintaining at a certain level. If I’m not improving, if I’m not gaining, if I’m not adding to what I can do, then I don’t feel fulfilled. I feel like I’m failing. So, not only would I have to put in the work to get back to where I was, and there’s an amount of work in maintaining that baseline. But I wouldn’t be satisfied, so I wouldn’t allow myself to do that. So I know I’d need additional on top of that to continue growing and learning new things and being able to develop new skills that I didn’t have previously. And the amount of work necessary to do that…That is like, was the problem and was creating stress in me. And so even if if I was to like…because I’ve had people recommend to me “you could still play and you could just do session work, so you never have to travel for shows.” ok, but I’d still have to be able to play the stuff that people would want me to record. If I don’t play drums for two years, I can’t be like “hey, I’ll record drums for your band and then just go into the studio and do it.
Ocho: Yeah, it sounds like it wouldn’t do it for you; just practicing and playing occasionally wouldn’t do it for you? I mean, it doesn’t get you the kind of rewards you get from being in a band and from that like all the stuff we talked about getting recognition.
Ogar: Well, I mean performing is such a huge part of what makes being in a band enjoyable, for me. I like getting on stage and showing “here’s what I’ve been doing with my time. Here’s what I’m able to do.” Writing a song that is extremely difficult to play and getting it down, and then being able to take it out and show it to people. Yeah, there was a lot of internal reward for me in that.
Ocho: And I feel like when you’re pursuing, and always trying to reach something better, there’s always diminishing returns, it may be you’re just at a plateau. Like, where are you going to go from there?
Ogar: Yeah, well, it’s 100 % diminishing returns. Like when you first pick up drumsticks and you play a drum, playing your first beat. That feels amazing.
Ocho: It’s a million percent better than anything you’ve ever done. Right?
Ogar: And then, when you’re trying to get into death metal and you first figure out how to play clean 16th notes on the kick drum? Oh my God that’s a nirvana of a moment, right? Like it’s unbelievable. And then you learn how to play blast beats. Wow, that feels amazing. And then you take the blast beats from 190bpm to 240 bpm and like yeah that feels kinda cool. And then you take it from 240 to 260 and that’s cool, but that’s not that much faster, and then you go from 260 to 300, and like that’s cool, but other people can do that too like, you know, and it’s, whatever, and then it is so diminishing returns, I mean, it’s such a perfect this way to describe that feeling. Like every feeling that you add on is like “okay but that’s not that big of a deal.”
Ocho: And I think you could probably say the same thing with external factors too, about getting your first show and then headlining a show and then getting on a festival, and then going on a tour, and those things like, there’s there’s sort of a peak that you’re going to reach.
Ogar: Your first couple tours are like, “wow, I’m doing this. I’m out here. This is happening. Then it’s like “I’m doing this again. I guess. Like cool.”
Ocho: Do you see people that are sort of still on that part of the journey and are like really thrilled and that kind of thing and like, do meet people like that or does that not really cross your path these days?
Ogar: I mean I know of people doing that, and I want the best for them, and hope that they continue to have that feeling. I also know people who started doing way before I ever did, and are still doing it now, and get an enormous amount of enjoyment for a moment. And I love that for them
Ogar: And I want them to continue feeling that way.
It is a subjective thing. Yeah, I mean. I feel like everything we do on this show is very subjective. We’re all different creatures. We have a different map, I guess. And it’s cool
. I’m really enjoying it. Thanks for talking to me. Being one of my guests. I really only have one more question, what are you doing instead? What are you doing these days to fill the time?
Ogar: I’ve always been a nerd, right? So I have gotten into playing trading card games. That’s something that I spend a fair amount of my time doing. It’s also something that there’s, like, communities around, so I meet people, have some level of social inteaction. If I really want to travel, I can go to events and things like that.
Ocho: Can you name some of the games you’re playing?
Ogar: The main game that I play is called Flesh and Blood. I play a little bit of Magic, the Gathering, but I don’t really put any significant amount of time or effort into that, and there are a couple other games that I’ve played as well. There’s a game that I really like called Varia. But Flesh and Blood is the one that I play mainly. And then the other thing that I have picked back up, that I used to be into as a child, is sleight of hand magic. Card tricks. Stuff like that. That’s something that I was really into when I was little, and then when I started doing music, I left it behind. Now that I’m not doing music anymore, I was going down youtube rabbit holes one time; I found some videos of people doing card magic. I was like “oh, that is something that I uised to be intersted int; let me watch a few more videos,” and then I was like “oh, this is making me feel a way that I haven’t felt in a long time. So I really want to dig into this. And so then I bought a deck of cards and started learning some stuff. And yeah, it’s a good thing.
Ocho: Way more portable than like, four crash cymbals and all the hardware and double kick pedal and your snare, and four toms and whatever. Yeah, it doesn’t take much to set up a deck of cards.
Ogar: Just open the box, and you’re good to go.
Ocho: Yeah, don’t take up any room on stage.
Ogar: Yeah, I’m carrying around in my pocket, pretty easily.
Ocho: Well, you were doing some of those card tricks with me and he was blowing my mind. I admit I’m easy to fool with those things.
That’s a really good endorsement of my skill level. “I was impressed because I’m easy to fool.”
Ocho: I think one of them I figured out part of what was going on. But that doesn’t mean that I could do it, or that I know how you did it. I figured out like what part of the trick was in theory, that was about it.
Ogar: I want to dig into that, but we don’t have to .
Ocho: I was proud of myself for that. I’ll just say that.
Ogar: Um, yeah, so, I mean, I don’t know, like, like, I don’t know.
Ocho: Is there anything you feel like we missed?
So I just…it’s not like a specific thing that I wanted to say about it, but like I do feel…it’s hard to describe…I’ve thought about it. It’s been like two years since I officially quit. I’ve thought about the possibility of getting back into it. It’s entered my mind. But honestly, any time someone asks me to join their band…and I’ve even had a really, really good friend that I talk to fairly often, and he’s kind of talking about putting a band together. Because I have told him how I felt about all the drumming, you know, every time I go to a show, and people come up to me like, “Hey! What’s up, are you playing drums again? Have you started drumming again?” And that’s literally the first thing people say to me like “Hey, what’s up dude, are you drumming?” and the next person I see, “hey, how’s it going? Are you in any bands?” Like, dude…and so I have a friend who I have told how frustrating that is for me, and like we’ve discussed, how much it feels like that’s my only value to people and how that’s really discouraging when I already have mental health issues that I’m dealing with, adding that on top of it is difficult. So I have a friend that already knew that stuff and them he would talk about how he’s putting a band together, and I could feel it…like he kind of, not directly, but like essentially was like “if you want to maybe start playing drums again…I kinda wanna…” And, like, oh, man, this is so…ugh. I don’t know. It hurts a little bit. Yeah, like it’s frustrating.
Ocho: It seems like people are vying for your attention in some way like. It could be flattering
Ogar: But again like is it actually me? Or is it something I can do for them?
Ogar: I mean, is it me that they want, or it is a thing that they can get from me?
Ocho: I mean, probably both, right? Because they want you to do it for them.
Ogar: But that’s because they’re struggling to find somebody else to do it for them.
Ocho: I mean, it could be. Or it could be that you’re their first choice. I mean, I don’t know if I can give you any advice…
Ogar: If you can, but I’m not trying to like, dig for it.
Ocho: I know. But like, maybe this would help you to hurt less? Because the the way I would see it is that it’s not personal, because it’s just how they know you, so that’s what they’re gonna talk about. You’re really known for playing drums, and maybe they want to talk to you, and that’s the way they know how to initiate a conversation. Does that make sense? And they certainly don’t know that it’s gonna hurt your feelings if they ask.
Ogar: That’s 100 % fair. Yeah, absolutely. I don’t expect that of anybody. I don’t expect anyone to be a mind reader, but I do have a couple of friends that I’ve seen that shows and I’ve talked to, and have had really good, heartfelt conversations with and then the topic of drumming might come up, or my not drumming anymore might come up, and they’re able very easily and without any effort to handle it in a way that is very clear that, that has nothing to do with our friendship or their feelings towards me or whatever. Whereas the vast majority of people, it feels very much like that’s the thing that matters. I don’t want to put myself in a position where I feel like I’m being used for something and I feel like if I started drumming again, then that is how I would feel.
Ocho: That’s been your experience with it. So if you start again, it seems like you’d go right back to that. Sure. So you have thought about it, but it’s not something you’re considering.
Ogar: Not at this time. And I’m not gonna say it’s 100 % impossible that I never will, but I would say, the likelihood is extremely small.
Ocho: okay, does that feel like we covered something that we missed before?
Ogar: I don’t know. I feel like there’s an itching in my head that there’s something I need to say about it, that I haven’t, but I don’t know how to get it out.
Ocho: Well, we got this song, “Red Light” we’re gonna play at the end of the episode, that we wrote about this, and about…
Ogar: So we actually wrote that before I fully made the decision that I was going to be done. And we wrote that while I was struggling with these thoughts that we’ve been discussing and while I was struggling with, “is it right to make this decision? is it right to…like what should my priorities be? Should I continue, should I not? What am I getting out of it? What would I lose if I wasn’t doing it anymore?
Ocho: And that song deals with being frustrated. It does somewhat deal with like some things we talked about that, like with the history of being excited about it in the beginning, and then about being let down about where you got to. It doesn’t really do much justice to the exciting and fun parts that happen along the way. But it’s a song. It has a particular slant on the issue. I was hoping if we talked about that, it might bring up whatever it is that’s missing.
Yeah, I don’t know how to do that. I guess I don’t want anyone to misinterpret anything I’m saying, like I’m saying anything negative about anyone I’ve worked with in the past, and again like, I’m the source of my feelings and I understand that, and so when someone says something to me and it makes me feel a certain way, and I’m talking about how it makes me feel that way, I don’t want that to…like if anyone, hears that and feels like, “oh, why are you blaming me for you feeling that way?” I’m really not. I can acknowledge that it was a thing that you said that made me feel that way, but I can also acknowledge that it’s my responsibility to deal with and it’s not your responsibility to edit the things that you say to me because of how it could potentially make me feel. I’m not expecting anyone else to read my mind and expect to know hoe the thing they’re gonna say is gonna make me feel. It’s not their responsibility or and I’m not trying to put that on anybody.
Ocho: Well that’s that’s amazing. I mean, to me, that you can have feelings, strong feelings, and people can incite these feelings in you and then you take responsibility for them and you don’t blame the person, and you still feel good about the person.
Ogar: Yes. Because I can think of specific instances where someone has said something to me about drumming and it’s made me feel really really really bad. And I still love that person and I’m glad that at least, even if we only talked about something to make me feel bad, I’m still glad that I saw them. And that I talked to them, and that they came up to me or whatever the situation was. I’m still glad that the interaction happened in that respect. It just also unfortunately made me feel bad
Ocho: Do you have a statement to make to people that listen to your music? People that play with you? People that ask you what you’re up to now? People who ask you if you’re drumming? Do you have things to say to them?
I mean, if someone wants to appraoch me or have a conversation with me, if someone is a friend of mine and they hear this, and they don’t want to make me feel bad: first of all, understand that I don’t blame you if something makes me feel that way, but secondly, if you wanted to try to avoid that, asking me “What are you up to now?” That’s great! Cool, I’ll have a conversation about it, and I want to know what you’re up to now, too. Let’s talk about that as well. Let’s have that mutual conversation. That sounds great. You know, “what are your plans for the future?” You don’t have to say, “are you gonna start drumming again?” You can say “Do you have plans for the future? What are you plans for the hobbies you’re pursuing now? Are there other hobbies you might pursue,” like whatever. And let’s have that conversation about you too and whatever’s going on in your life. I want to have those conversations and make those connections. So if there’s a way to just not drive it back to one hobby that I had…and yeah, I had that hobby for a while but,
Ogar: And you crushed it.
I don’t necessarily need that to define me for the rest of my life.
Ocho: Right. Do you have anything to say to the people that you were playing with? Same thing? Or a different message or…?
Ogar: You know the biggest thing would just be that none of the things that I’ve said (I may have said this before)…None of the things I have said are intended as a slight against anyone I’ve ever been in a band with, maybe I can’t go that far, because I have some negative things to say about some people I’ve been in bands with, but…
Ocho: You’ve been in bands with a lot of people…
Ogar: That’s true. All of the people that I was in bands with when I decided to quit drumming…Not a single one of those people is someone that I have negative feelings about. And none of me leaving those bands had anything to do with negativity towards any of those people. And I still to this day don’t have any negativity towards those people. Every single one of those people is someone that I love, and I cherish the relationship that I have with them. And any level of relationship that we may or may not have now, I still value them. And if we haven’t talked for a while, and we see each other, I’m not gonna be like “why haven’t you reached out to me?” I’m gonna be glad we’re having this interaction now! And that’s how I’m gonna feel about it. And that’s how I feel about every single one of those people. Whether I was in Septicepmic with you or Glutton for Punishment. Those were the two active bands I was in at the time. I feel that way about every single one of those people.
Ocho: So the love is still there, and the door is still open.
Ogar: 100 percent.
Ocho: All right, well, it’s been awesome to have you on. Thanks for being here.
Ogar: Thank you for taking the time to chat with me and listen to me, I don’t know…say nothing.
Ocho: Absolutely, it’s been great. All these things you don’t do now.
Ogar: That’s right.
Ocho: Yeah, talk about the void. And as promised, here is the song “Red Light” written by myself and Ogar, performed under the moniker of Garcho. Enjoy.
[Red Light by Garcho plays]
Ogar: When you have that like psychology where you’re always seeking validation and then you get the validation, you’re like that I wasn’t enough.
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My name is Ocho. I’m your host, chief engineer and producer. I also composed and performed the theme song. Shoutout to The Nomadic Minister, Melissa Ketchum, for recently giving me the opportunity to compose and record the theme music for her podcast, The Awakening Hour, which will be streaming soon. If you need any music composed, recorded, or even performed live, please contact me on my website, ochotunes.com.
Shout out always and infinitely to our sponsor Anders with PrimeTime Web. Background music was performed throughout today’s episode by Tyler Watson and Ocho. Thanks again to our guest, Ogar, for your insight and honesty.
We are sharing our stories to celebrate the diversity of human experience. I will talk to you again. …if I’m lucky.