After a 20 year break, Oriental Love Ring has reformed and recorded a new CD, 'In this World'.

Original drummer Bryan Brundell moved to California, so veteran drummer Larry Lieberman was brought into the band ohana.

Engineered by Milan Bertosa, the CD was recorded at Avex Honolulu Studios, Hawaii Kai, in December 2009. All ten songs are new originals written by the band.

From 1988 to 1990, OLR was a mainstay in the local rock scene, performing at Wave Waikiki where they built a devout following. The band members were among Honolulu's rock elite, including pioneering guitarist Beano Shots, whose previous band The Squids was one of Hawaii's groundbreakers, helping to introduce new wave music to the islands; and Peter Bond, whose previous band Hat Makes the Man was considered to be 'Most Likely to Succeed' among all of Hawaii's aspiring alt rock bands. OLR was one of the first bands from Hawaii to be invited to perform at the prestigious South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, in 1990.

Band Member Comments:

PETER - I gotta say...I am having such a good time!! Still using the same formula we followed 20 years ago...Power chords, excessive volume, great friends, and beer, though there's been a few changes I suppose... Bryan, the original drummer, moved to California, but Larry has picked right up where Bryan left off as far as damaging my hearing. Beano has added a second pedalboard and I think Chad has something like 30 basses now.

The recording of the album was so much fun, and many thanks to Milan for his attention in the studio. I didn't use any pedals...just straight into a Mesa Boogie Stiletto Ace set on "Stun". Any effects were liberally added during the mixdown. The Les Paul I love so dearly sounded a bit too thick on the recording, so I used a couple Tele's generously loaned to me by David and Milan. Sorry about all the scratches...

When we play live though... it's Gold Sparkle Les Paul all the way. Loud and proud baby! I've got a Bad Monkey and a BBE 2-Timer delay pedal, and that's about it. With all the jumping around I do, I tend to break most pedals anyway.

CHAD - If there were any regrets with the original OLR, it was that we never recorded a proper album and that was a shame considering the quality of original music Peter and Beano had written. This time around the whole process was much more relaxed as there were no expectations or pressure to succeed and playing with the guys again was just for sh**s and giggles. We could play whatever we wanted, when we wanted and with no adult supervision. Fun, Fun, Fun.

The recording of the CD was just a matter of fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it because again things just kind of came together. First off, I like playing live, not recording, so the thought of going into the studio did not appeal to me. Here's where fate intervened, an old friend of the band, Milan Bertosa, agreed to record and produce the band - and he just happens to be one the top studio engineers in Hawaii, and a bass player. The recording was actually fun and turned out fantastic because these songs needed to be recorded, thanks guys.

OK, not that anyone would want to copy my playing but I'm still a Fender guy. I'm still using a Fender Jazz with custom shop pickups and my old '73 Fender P-bass stock except for a new vintage reissue pickup installed only because the original was fried by beer many years ago. Amp-wise I use a nice Traynor tube head with Ashdown cabs that I got from Milan. I picked them up because I blew my beloved Eden cab at the last gig. I also used Milan's awesome Rick 2003 to record a couple of tracks. I loved it and want one but it would be pretty hard to justify to my beautiful, understanding wife.

LARRY - Getting a chance to play and record an album with this band has been a dream come true, they’re some of my favorite and most respected musicians and songwriters. We all go way, way, back - so the feeling of being with a tight group of long-time friends is always there behind the music... It’s like wearing a favorite t-shirt.

I can appreciate the “less is more” philosophy for drums, so I’m especially happy about my decision to keep the drumset minimal on this recording, just as I play it live with OLR; there are only three drums used on the entire album... A 20” kick, 14” x 3 1/2” snare, and 16” floor tom. So I guess that’s pretty much a lot of less, even more less than would usually be considered less, more or less. It that then actually more, because I’m playing all of that less much more than if it were more? Or would that be less? I don’t know, it makes me confused. Anyway, what else do you need when you’re playing music as powerful and emotional as OLR? Just the basics, thanks! I used the classic 1962 Ludwig Blue Oyster kick and floor tom from the set that I’ve had since I was 12 years old, and a Pearl brass piccolo snare. 16” and 18” Zildjian K Dark crashes. No ride cymbal... Who needs it? Not much ridin’ going on here... And some ancient 14” Zildjian hi-hats that used to be owned by Danny Gottlieb from Pat Metheny Group and Mahavishnu Orchestra, an incredible drummer I really admire. So they’ve seen some diversity! Ahh, if only my gear could talk! It would have some stories to tell, that’s for sure... So, probably better that it can’t.

BEANO - Some of the songs came in my dreams; other songs came while I was delivering watercress at 3 AM. It comes on in my head like it's on the radio. I feel like it's not really mine. 'In this World', 'Wedding Dress', 'Frank in a Box' and 'Disconnected Girl' in particular.

For this new OLR, I switched from my '65 Strat to a Les Paul, handmade in the kitchen of a Gibson shop worker. Milan found it on EBay and luckily I was able to buy it from him. It sounds amazing. I also switched from a Fender Bandmaster head to a Vibroverb amp, which the band nicknamed “Scary Monster” because it can get pretty loud! It has the built-in Cesar Diaz-designed Mod. I use Robert Keeley modded pedals, an Uncle Ernie's Booster and a VOX Time Machine. The solo on 'Prayers to an Empty Sky' was done with a Keeley RAT.

After the gargantuan task of getting to Avex Honolulu Studios in Hawaii Kai during the Honolulu Marathon back in December 2009, the basic tracks for the CD were recorded, followed by 4 months of mixing down at Pacific Music Productions in Chinatown. It took awhile because I added more guitar tracks and worked closely with Milan to make sure the mix was as good as could be. Then it took another 3 months to come up with the artwork, images that would match the music. Searching for ideas, I asked my friend Lala Buzzell to photograph the full moon and she came through with a series of photos which became the divine light theme for the artwork. The cover is the full moon shot at Waikiki Shell. Graphic artist Craig Okino and I did the design work.

It's great to be back with Peter and Chad again, and it's great to play with Larry for the first time. A wild man on drums, he is the band's secret weapon.