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In the world created by Richard Adams in the "Watership Down" series an "Owsla" is a group of the strongest rabbits assembled to guard thier warren. In the late 90's in Kalamazoo it was a group of four established musicians perhaps assemlbled to do the same. While Owsla never quite gained the populaity of Twitch they had a good following and a great live show. My band at the time played one show with Owlsa, I remember two things very clearly. One being Bryers playing a red SG which I later learned belonged to Brett Fields but, it just looked cool and Chris beating the shit out of it on the last song and screaming OWSLA!!! at the top of his lungs for about a minute straight. Track one Mary Anne? has been stuck in my head for 10 years and I'm so happy to hear it again. this recording was only relesed on Tape and very few have survived. Track 2 is the Original version of the song "Catch Your Death" by Sleet, quite different and a fun listen.
Here is a memoir (not a bio) that Charles sent us today (September 14, 2007)
Owsla was too beautiful... too intense to last long. They were the greatest songs I've ever had the privilege to play and the most overwhelming live shows, not just for the crowd, but for the band as well. Chris Breyers picked me, Brett Fields and Craig Ritenour to help him bring these songs to life shortly after Twitch dissolved in the late 90's. By this time, I had come to realize that I was never going to become a rock star, but playing these songs I instantly believed it was possible.I hope Chris doesn't mind me saying that those may have been his darkest days. Listen to Owsla lyrics. They are incredible raw and honest; and they're pretty bleak. But somewhere from those depths Chris managed to create the most brutally enjoyable music. I remember standing on stage and playing songs like "Catch Your Death" and the anthematic ending to "Terror Loose" and getting chills, I still get them just listening to unmixed demo.
We played Chris' masterpieces with little, if any finesse. They were pounded out with incredible passion by everyone in the band. We didn't play them for the audience, we played them for ourselves. We bashed our instruments and our bodies with every song and that's the obvious reason we were always out of tune. Despite the sour notes, this passion was one of the reasons we managed to attract a pretty big following in the few months we played out.
There weren't that many shows, so if you ever had the chance to see Owsla play live, consider yourself lucky. I know that sounds conceited, but I consider myself even more fortunate for getting to play the songs. Yeah, we were sloppy and drunk most of the time, but those songs were meant to be played that way.
So, perhaps stardom and success was not our destiny. It was an intense hot flash in time. It burned bright, but faded quickly. I'm glad that Chris continues to write incredible songs. But I'm even more happy to know that I had a part in Owsla.
Five Song Demo