Legendary L.A. hard rockers Odin have signed with EMP Label Group
Legendary L.A. hard rockers Odin have signed with EMP Label Group, who will reissue much of their classic catalog including upcoming reissues of Don't Take No For An Answer and Fight For Your Life. The limited edition (300 pcs) vinyl reissue of Don't Take No For An Answer, in stores April 20th with a limited quantity available for pre-order now from empmerch.com, includes remastered versions of the original 1985 recording, in an astonishingly faithful recreation of the original LP, reworked by artist Melody Myers.
Says EMP Label Group's Thom Hazaert, “We really wanted the reissue of Don't Take No For An Answer to be painfully faithful to the original release, but with a few modern upgrades, and we pored over every detail. As a HUGE fan of Odin, I wanted to create a really special reissue that fans could celebrate, and would really be a nod to this seminal, criminally overlooked release.”
Says vocalist Randy “O” Roberg, “I was introduced to Thom from EMP by my cousin, Jerry Dixon from Warrant. We started talking about my solo release and some things I was working on, and he told me what a huge Odin fan he was, and we started discussing ideas for reissuing some of the Odin catalog. We’re all really excited about the reissues and the way they are coming out. It’s awesome to be able to really bring these releases to light in a way that the fans are excited about.”
ormed in 1982, Odin were one of the original pioneers of the LA progressive power metal/hard rock scene, playing to sold out crowds with the likes of W.A.S.P. (Odin performed during the band’s legendary Blood Drive), Armored Saint, Steeler (featuring EMP labelmate Ron Keel), Dokken, Alcatrazz, The Plasmatics, Helix, Malice, and more, building a massive following before disbanding in the late 80’s. Guitarist Jeff Duncan went on to join Armored Saint, of which he is still a member, as well as DC4 alongside his brother, and Odin drummer, Shawn Duncan, brother Matt Duncan, and guitarist Rowan Robertson (ex-Dio). Singer Randy O, who released the fan favorite post-Odin Lostboys LP via Atlantic Records in 1990, is putting the finishing touches on his roots-rock heavy debut solo LP Coming Home, also to be released via EMP in 2018.
Also on the slate is a reissue of Odin's 1988 Japan only LP Fight For Your Life, being released with bonus tracks including a brand new 2018 recording of “Little Gypsy”, made infamous by the bands notorious appearance in the recently re-released Penelope Spheeris documentary Decline of Western Civilization Part 2, The Metal Years, (the album also features “12 O’ Clock High”, the other song featured in the film) being the subject of recent press features, which strayed sharply from the band’s metal roots to focus heavily on the band’s more “Sunset Strip-friendly” aspects.
Says drummer Shawn Duncan, “We were always playing with metal bands. We had a lot of the more mainstream bands open for us, Warrant opened for us, Tesla, Bang Tango. But really our hearts were metal. We listened to a lot of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Maiden, Scorpions, and Ozzy. That stuff was huge to us. We were more of a power metal band than a glam band, which was sort of the perception because of Decline.”
He adds, “You figure, from the movie, that was the only exposure most people had to Odin. But you listen to the Fight For Your Life album, you listen to a song like “Fight For Your Life”, “Modern Day King”, those are heavy songs. I think ultimately what happened with Odin, me and Jeff have always had a heavier heart, but Jeff writes really good catchy things. Like, DC4 is just a progression of Odin, and It still has the edge but there’s some commercial aspects to it. And we had a flashier style than some of the other Metal bands around. It’s its own anomaly, I guess.”
“But she (Decline director Penelope Spheeris) did what a director does, she picked out the stuff that is gonna stick out the most and get the most attention. Now down the road I look at it, if you didn’t have that attitude in LA at that particular moment, you weren’t gonna do shit. Everybody had that attitude, it wasn’t just Odin. And that’s why so much shit came out of there. It was an incredible, competitive talent pool that was alive and thriving because everybody came there. If you didn’t think you were gonna be huge, you weren’t gonna be shit. Just like Jeff says, we weren’t doing anything everybody else wasn’t doing at the time. We just got it on film.”
Odin, who reunited for a one-off show in 2003 with their classic lineup featuring vocalist Randy O, guitarist Jeff Duncan, Bassist Aaron Samson, and drummer Shawn Duncan, still play several shows a year, and will headline the Whisky on April 21st for an album release show.
Says Randy O, “We would get asked to do shows constantly, and eventually, I think in 2003, we did our first reunion show at the Troubadour. Since then we’ve done a few shows a year, we did Rocklahoma, Monsters of Rock. It’s been great. Everyone is busy doing their own things, Jeff is in Armored Saint, Shawn and Jeff in DC4, Aaron tours with Bulletboys and a bunch of other bands, and I’ve been working on my solo record for like, 15 years. Haha. But we have so much fun doing Odin, it’s like a high school reunion every time. The place is packed, all of our friends show up, and we all have a great time.”