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Erie, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Erie, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"MPMF 2005"

Taking the whole duo concept in an unexpected direction, Otis is a two-piece featuring only bassist/singer Frank Ferko and drummer Ryan McCall. It shouldn't work, but it's actually a lot of fun, thanks to the duo's unabated Les Claypool fixation. Otis is perhaps the world's tiniest Prog Rock band, and maybe the funniest as well. - Cincinnati City Beat

"Battle Of the Bands 2006"

Then there was Otis, Erie’s resident machine-gun bass-drum duo. You really catch say Otis’ songs are catchy. Rather, they are more impressive.

Frank Ferko’s bass work was flat-out bonkers. He strummed, slapped, plucked, pecked and killed his six-strong monster, creating a bubbling, gurgling, echoing and piercing sound. And all the while, he squealed nonsensical lyrics into the mic. That unfortunately took some spotlight away from Ryan McCall, who set the pace to the Ritalin-fused tunes.

Of course, their stage presence was close to nil, which didn’t matter much because most people are home at that hour on a weeknight. But Otis isn’t really about packing a house, waving hands in the air, inciting crowd surfing and the like. Otis is a band to watch as opposed to being a band you mosh to. But the mosh option is available because some of Otis’ guitar-less tunes rocked harder than bands with three guitars.

The Primus comparisons are obvious, and Otis probably hates hearing that. But it’s not that bad of a comparison when you go for a different and better sound using half the instruments of a normal band.

- Tangent Magazine

"MPMF 2004"

What hath Tenacious D wrought? Killer bass gives an ass-shakin' groove to such unlikley titles as "Nightmare of the Yeti." One really has to experience a lyric like "In through the closet and out just as quick/He's sleek, dark, utterly slick/ He's the Weasel of Woetown!" to really appreciate it.
DIG IT: Tenacious D on a Funk trip. Stanley Clarke doing stand-up (DJ) - CINCINNATI CITYBEAT Sept 2004


Otis surprised some people. A two-piece band, bass and drums and sound like Primus. Excellent musicianship, very tight and won over the crowd with a quirky-rock/funk set.

John Johnston


A quote about OTIS from an interview with FREEKBASS, (Chris Sherman).
"With the bass up front there, you know I'm going to dig it from the get go. I think it's cool, an original thing to do." - ERIE DAILY TIMES NEWS

"Otis' Final Frontier"

The band's motto sounds vaguely arrogant: We play what you're afraid to imagine. But bass player Frank Ferko of Otis says it's true. Instead of relying on covers or playing hand-me-down grunge, Otis creates an original aural universe all its own.

"Basically, what it means is we play what we're interested in playing," Ferko said. "It's a way of stating we're different, and we do stuff that's so completely different you really have a hard time understanding what it is until you hear it."

What they play is funky, hard-hitting, shape- and time-shifting progressive rock, which is remarkable considering most gigs feature just Ferko on bass, Ryan McCall on drums, and no guitarist. That said, Will Seline, a guitarist from Conneaut, Ohio, will join them for tonight's show at Sherlock's.

"Technically, we're still a duo, but we had Will play with us at the last Sherlock's show and it went well," Ferko said. "He's about the only one who fits with us, the only one who gets what we're trying to do."

With Otis introducing guitar to the mix -- and Ferko on six-string bass -- their evolving sound delves deeper into prog rock and is moving further away from Primus and funk-a-billy territory.

"Ryan has always been a more progressive-minded drummer. He listens to more of the progressive metal ... where there's odd time signatures and several different genre changes throughout the songs," Ferko said.

Case in point: "Dancing on the Tympanic Nerve."

"That's an off-time extravaganza," Ferko said. "That goes through about four different musical genres, but for some reason it works. It's just weird the way it fell into place.

"It goes from progressive, with the beginning, the tapping bass part, and then it goes into a funk breakdown, then back into the tapping thing, and a breakdown again. The third verse is where we hit the '70s funk riff. They all blend together, I'm not sure how we did it. It's kind of Ryan and his madness."

Otis' friendship with funk/bass marvel Freekbass guided them to Cincinnati's well-regarded Midpoint Music Festival. They performed there from 2004-06, earning raves from Cincinnati City Paper's Mike Breen.

"They're the world's smallest prog band, but they fill the space inventively with explosive percussion and flamboyant, string-rattling bass playing, topped with the quirkiest of vocals and song structures that keep you guessing at every turn," he wrote.

Otis opens tonight at Sherlock's for Ill Fated, a Pittsburgh rock band influenced by Guns 'n Roses. Talk about an ill-fated double bill. Ferko has no fear.

"We're two completely different bands," he said, "just teaming up and having fun."

The skinny
Otis, Ill Fated will perform tonight at 10 p.m. at Sherlock's, 508 State St. Admission is $1. For more on Otis, visit www.myspace.com/otiserie.
- Erie Times News, Showcase, Dec. 6th, 2007

"MPMF 2006"

9 p.m.
otis (Erie, Pa.)
The whole Rock duo thing got a little redundant after the White Stripes make a boatload of cash on it. But, to their credit, new duos are popping up all the time with varying instrumentation and approaches. Perhaps none are as unique as otis, a Prog two-piece from Pennsylvania that's making its third trip to MidPoint this year. As noted previously, they're world's smallest Prog band, but they fill the space inventively, with explosive percussion and flamboyant, string-rattling bass playing, topped with the quirkiest of vocals and song structures that keep you guessing at every turn.
Dig It: Les Claypool, dizzying bass-playing pyro-techniques and equally captivating drumming. (MB)

From City Beat, September 20th, 2006
- Cincinnati City Beat, September 20th, 2006

"V-Club, Feb. 8th, 2007"


Looking for a Saturday night dance party to melt those snowburst blues away? Cincinnati's new-school funkmaster Freekbass heats up Huntington's V-Club this weekend with what will surely be another of his high-energy two-hour performances Tri-Staters have come to love.
And soon those who have not had the opportunity to congregate at the club will have yet another chance to see Freekbass' fast fingers on three DVDs, slated for release in early spring.

The funky one last visited the Huntington club scene for a spook-tacular Halloween performance at the V-Club. Armed with a ghoulish costume and a roof-raising cover of David Bowie's "Fame," Freekbass and his two-hundred-or-so minions transformed the place into a scene from a funkadelic interpretation of "The Skeleton Dance."
Freekbass returns to the V-Club, 741 6th Avenue, Huntington, on Saturday. OTiS -- a weird, Primus-inspired two-piece from Erie, Pa -- opens the show. Admission is $8. The show begins at 10 p.m.

A flier for the show touted Otis as "Like Primus on crack!" - The Herald-Dispatch, Feb. 8th, 2007

"Showcase, 2007"

Guitarless but formidable prog-rock Erie duo Otis will- guess what? - welcome a couple guest guitarists for its show at Sherlock’s tonight. Will Seline, who now lives in Germany will sit in with the band. He previously played in several bands with Otis’ Frank Ferko. “He’s absolutely fantastic and can jam with anyone,” said Ferko. Also sitting in for part of the set will be Spooner’s Eric Brewer. “I guess we’re basically thinking about adding a guitar player,” Ferko explained. “We’ll see how it sounds, and what these great musicians are able to add to our music.” To hear a few enticing slabs of Otis, visit www.myspace.com/otiserie. - Times News, August 16h


OTiS "self-titled" November 2004
OTiS "ep" Jan. 2004
OTiS"Stroke of Genus" June 2005
OTiS, Live- Incantations and Incarnations, June 26th, 2008
OTiS, "Lessons From Lesser Gods"- Forthcoming... in late 2010 or early 2011



Hailing from Erie, PA, Frank, Ryan, and Sean make up the unique Power Trio called OTiS. With Frank on 6 string bass and vocals, Ryan on drums, and Sean on guitar and vocals, OTiS blends rock, punk, funk, metal, and progressive into a singular voice that tends to stick in people's heads long after the show's over. To date, OTiS has shared the stage with Freekbass (Cincinnati), Freak Tent (Charleston, WV), Alex Skolnik, Mellotron (Detroit), Imminent Sonic Destruction (Detroit), Hot Stenographer (Jamestown, NY), Jibilian (Los Angeles, CA), and many, many others. OTiS has played every venue in Erie, and they've been as far as NYC, Charleston, WV, Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, Meadville, and many others in between. OTiS is committed to sharing their music to anyone and everyone they possibly can.