The Off Chance
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The Off Chance

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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Music

Press


The Off Chance are more than just hook-savvy musicians—they are dedicated artists whose gravitas for grandiose tunes puts them in a league of their own. - See more at: http://www.theoffchance.com/press/artist-spotlight-performer-magazine#sthash.g1NpsE1P.dpuf - Performer Magazine


The Off Chance has a show coming up at The Middle East in Central Square, and a new EP. Remember my interview with them?

They’ve been over the top busy and are ready to break out some tunes, and I’m ready to give them a listen. Shall we?

The EP, Change, has fitting themes for today’s audience.

Some of the tracks have a Ryan Tedder produced feel to them, but only on the surface, while they add their own flavor to the songs. The tracks vary, and while songs like “What You Wanted” remind me of OneRepublic, they have a retrospective feel to them as well.

When I clicked on “It’s You I’ve Been Waiting For” I did a double take because the vocals reminded me greatly of Jon Mayer. It’s a very well constructed pop/rock track, in my opinion, and also reminded me of the personality Gavin DeGraw infuses into his music.

Don’t get me wrong-these tracks have a very clean pop/rock sheen on them. But don’t get me wrong about something else-The Off Chance produces very. Good. Vocals. Don’t forget that. The strings on ‘Wake Up’ are a nice touch, too. Subtle and not overbearing, but add to the sentiment of the lyrics.

“I Need You”, however, sounds very much like a definite top single. I could be wrong. But it’s catchy and follows melodies and chords that I feel listeners will be comfortable with and, likely, get stuck in their head. Do you ever hear a song and think, “earworm!”? (Was that totally wacky punctuation? Apologies). “I Need You” is an earworm. Well, it is for me. So, knowing me, it will be stuck in my head for the next three days as I sing to myself in the seltzer isle at CVS. I can’t help it!

Also-side note-does Polar always go with these off beat seasonal flavors? Am I new to this party? Can we bring the pineapple back? It reminds me of a shampoo I used in seventh grade. Not a great selling point? Believe me. It was delightful. Since I am now allergic to nearly 90% of shampoos out there, drinking something that tastes the way your hair used to smell is just splendid.

Back to The Off Chance and Change.

Though this video is from March, I feel it truly exemplifies the talent in The Off Chance. Live performances that are this clear and articulate are nice to hear:

There are some particular accents in the instrumentation that I really appreciate in this song. I know it’s kind of sentimental, but it’s really a well constructed track, if you don’t mind me saying, and the video is so nicely shot. Overall, I think this EP is a nice launching pad for, hopefully, a full length album and more gigs from this group.

You can get the EP on iTunes, and more info about the band here. Take a listen, say hello, watch some videos. The Off Chance are incredibly welcome to listeners and warm and open as musicians. They appear to be very much in tune with their community-props to them! - LaParaDiddle


“Change” leads this album, with jazzy undertones and easy listening; it greets you at the door and welcomes you in. “Helpless” follows suit and I find myself feeling as though a long time friend has led me to the couch and started the conversation. Lead singer Jason Differ has a melodic yet captivating voice, leading fluctuations in tempo and tone, that not only makes you stop and listen, but keep you there.

“It’s You I’ve been Waiting For” is both fun and uplifting, giving you hope for better things to come. And come they do. Once again there is a subtle shift in the music and it seems to develop a bit of an island feel with soft percussion accents in “Wake Up.” This leads into the final track, “What You Wanted” which floats you along the remainder of the journey, this conversation that begs you to consider love and all the possibilities, begs you not to turn your back on what is right in front of you. Change is, without a doubt an extremely well thought out compilation of music and lyrics which is timeless. - Infectious Magazine


The Off Chance is comprised of Maldi Kellici and Jason Differ. While Maldi hails from Albania, Jason was originally from Tennessee, born on a Navy base there.

Both are passionate about music, arts, and expression, and have been conveying this through The Off Chance. While the duo lists some impressive followers and musical undertakings, they come off as earnest and genuine. By viewing the video for their track, “Change”, one can see how they are aware and interested in others and to helping society through music.

I could delve into their interesting story from what I have read and gathered from the musicians themselves, but why don’t I let them explain?

Farah Joan Fard: Describe how your band formed!

Maldi Kellici: You’d never guess this listening to our music now, but we were band mates for two years in a punk/rock band. After the band dissolved in 2006, Jay moved to California and I focused on finishing my studies at Berklee. My plans to moving to New York were spoiled after a brush up with cancer. I decided to stay close to my family during these difficult times. With a precondition, I was basically uninsurable anywhere else.

Jay returned to Boston a year after and we reconnected again at a (mutual) friend’s wedding. We kept in touch though it seemed we had lost our musical way. While teaching guitar, it took a student (curious about) songwriting to get me out of the rut I’d been stuck in. I always had an admiration for Jay’s musical talents since he’d joined our old band, so the choice in bandmate was obvious to me. I contacted him and within two sessions we wrote two songs.

Jason Differ: Music has always been a huge part of our lives. After a long break and having experienced a lot more in life, we feel we have something to say.

FJF: The video for ‘Change’ has some interesting, strong imagery. What inspired this and what idea are you hoping to extend to your audience via the video?

JD: Change to us is an uplifting, self-empowering song about taking control of your own life and going after your dreams. A good way to put it…it’s about becoming an “Off Chance” which is our philosophy.

MK: Being a true artist, however, is not just about yourself. Historically artists in all fields (music, writing, painting) have reflected social issues of a period of time they lived in. We try to be aware of that as much as possible without compromising our artistic integrity. In the video, we wanted to pair a personal struggle with very real social issues the entire country was involved in.

JD: So the video is about people claiming control of their lives, and standing up for what they believe in.

FJF: How do you blend your musical backgrounds together to get the sound you want for the Off Chance?

JD: We both have many common influences from a wide array of musical genres. We constantly turn each other on to new music/artists. The Off Chance has been by far the most liberating experience for us musically because it’s been the only project where all of those influences have come to life. Simply put, nothing is off limits.

MK: We’ve put away whatever confined us before to one particular genre – like the guitar acrobatics and the fast and furious technical drums…let music itself dictate where it wants to go. We simply capture and recreate what we hear in our head. Sometimes that comes from blues/rock and sometimes from current mainstream pop.

FJF: Jason, you left the drum kit? Not completely, though, right?

JD: Haha, you couldn’t DRAG me away from my kit. Although for this project, the drums have taken a backseat to my vocal work. I’m completely dedicated to honing my vocal skills to get the best possible sound for The Off Chance…We’ve even hired a vocal coach. Percussion will always be my first love though. I still enjoy messing around on the MIDI keyboard to come up with some killer grooves while we’re writing. I also pass time driving people nuts banging on everything in sight!

FJF: Maldi…you used to sing tv theme songs as a kid? What was your favorite? I was partial to Three’s Company!

JD: Hey, I sang themes songs too. Three’s Company is a great one! Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I always liked Family Matters, Boy Meets World…and of course The Simpsons!

MK: Having grow up in Europe most of the themes in question were from Italian & Albanian television. The firstst song my parents remember was a TG1 news theme. Nel Mondo Del Quark was another one (and) Udha E Shkronjave was a movie whose music had a very big impact on me – very touching. Perhaps a few we can all relate to are Ghostbusters, Pink Panther, 007 and of course my favorite Tom and Jerry.

FJF: Why Boston?

JD: Why NOT Boston?! This is where I grew up…it’s home. This city is also home to the best football, basketball, baseball and hockey teams in the world. Plus, we have limitless support from our friends and family here in Boston. We’ve thought about doing the New York or LA thing…afte - http://laparadiddle.com/


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Founding members Maldi Kellici and Jason Differ met in 2004 at a show, playing with separate bands. Within weeks, Differ was asked to join Kellicis band. Upon the band's breakup, both quit writing music to pursue other interests. While teaching private guitar lessons, it would be the curiosity of a student to push Kellici to contact Differ. With a reinvigorated passion for music and a mature approach to songwriting, the duo began writing for their first album titled Change in 2011. The album is available in digital format now, from major retailers including iTunes and Amazon and streaming services like iHeartRadio and Spotify. 


Q&A

Q: Why "Change" as an album title?

A: MK. Its called Change because this project for us was a change in many ways: 1st and foremost it was a change in the way we approached music and songwriting. We came from a Punk/Rock background, where sometimes entire albums can be about crazy guitar riffs, flashy fills and drum grooves....and not necessarily about songs.

JD. We feel Change is all of the above. Every element that drew us to music in the first place is there, just not in an overbearing way. All of the lyrics come from a very personal place and are our actual life stories. Theres no speculation involved its purely something weve lived through presented in a way that people can identify with.

MK. 2ndly it is called Change because we made a change in our way of life. We had a dream that got derailed, but never faded. We realized that if we wanted it to happen, we had to make it a reality ourselves despite the challenges - and there were a lot of them. Thats what we stand for, and that is why we are called The Off Chance. Thus far, weve achieved everything we set out to do!

Q: Where did the inspiration for the songs on Change come from?

A: MK. Our musical interests are very diverse ranging from The Beatles to Foo Fighter to Slayer and everything in between. Name any artist and most likely its in our music library. With Change, and The Off Chance really, we wanted to create a platform where all of those influences could coexist. There really was no particular genre in mind. We just captured what we heard and worked with our producer David Bawiec to further refine it.

JD. We feel weve done a good job in sneaking in every musical element that excited us about music. We are very pleased with the results and fully embrace the diversity of our music. Each song on the EP is very different. We feel that variety sets us apart from a lot of bands who write genre specific music.

Band Members