Oh, Rhien
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Oh, Rhien

Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Rock




"Oh, Rhien's "Nightmares""

Oh, Rhien, as a band, began when bassist Zac Lyons and drummer Joe Perry, formerly of post rock instrumental powerhouse Signals to Vega, decided to try out a singer. But they found two: Brett Howell’s strong and melodic vocals mingle with that of former folk singer Taylor Briggs, fragile and sensual. Enter two new guitarists: Chase Bonin, who is a beast (with a thirst for metal), and Aaron Meyers, also of the killer lead vocals in the dirtiest of dirty Lake Chuck rock and rollers, Large Marge.

Blend all these influences with super catchy hooks, a dark, ambient feel, and enthusiasm. It has a winning potential, odd as it all might be.

And Oh, Rhien is on a streak, especially for being only a year old. They’re fresh off playing the X-Games in Austin on June 6. Over 300 bands competed for votes through social media, some with waaaaay more “Likes”, and Oh, Rhien ended up in the Top 8, granting them an invite to perform.

They got general admission wristbands to any and all the events (saw Bad Religion and Kanye West for free, met Tony Hawk, hung out on the Big Air). They got a trailer with their name on it…“the rockstar treatment”. Plus, seeing all the other great bands that’d been voted in gave them even more drive.

Before all this, LiveNation offered Oh, Rhien an opening slot in front of P.O.D. and Trapt back in February, an awesome opportunity (with an assist from Rachel of Downfall Rising) that put the band in front of 4000 ears at the Bayou Music Center in Houston.

Brett’s still a bit stunned by it all. “You can work six, seven years in a band and not get these kinds of opportunities,” he said. “I know shit like this doesn’t happen every day, and I hope that people who know us…they know how much we appreciate it.”

What they’re most excited about though is the new EP, Nightmares. “We absolutely destroyed on this record,” Brett said. “This band completely annihilated.” Credit goes to the producer, Matt Lang: “He turned what we thought were awesome songs into…actual awesome songs.”

Nightmares features guest vocals on the track “settling the score” from Jonny Craig, an old touring buddy of Brett’s, formerly of Dance Gavin Dance and Emarosa. Check out his soulful vocals for a preview, on the Slaves track “My Soul is Empty and Full of White Girls”.

Oh, Rhien strives to be a great band in all they do. They show up with good lighting, fancy backdrop, best sound possible. They elevate the tone from “show” to “concert”, to “event”. They don’t oversaturate in any regional market and they play short sets of their best shit. Leave the fans hungry. They work in trades with other regional bands who have draw. After a little while, it seems like a How-to guide on how to be a successful band.

There’s plenty of road knowledge in this crew. Brett grew up a “military brat”, moving around mostly between North Carolina and Tennessee. He’s also a vet in the music industry, having toured with multiple bands, Warped 2010, contacts all over. Chase and Aaron have both been in bands around Louisiana for years.

“I’ve made 18 years of stupid band mistakes,” Aaron said. “I might not know what you’re supposed to do, but I’ve got a laundry list of things never to do.”

Oh, Rhien works hard and they’re pumped up on big wins, but even if they went no further in the biz, they’d be happy right where they are. Joe called Lake Charles “their foundation” and Brett said, “The room to grow in the city is awesome. “We’re trying to do our part. This is our home and hopefully people like us, because we’re not going anywhere.”

Chase, Brett, and Aaron, are all family men. The band members call each other family, and all the members of Oh, Rhien absolutely love playing, and creating, music together. It’s very apparent from our conversation. Despite all the industry talk, the main reason to work so hard for a band you believe in, Aaron said, is for “those six kids in the front row screaming”, and that’s plenty.

Oh, Rhien returns on August 30, with Saturate and Tandem, where physical copies of the Nightmares EP should be available for purchase. Keep up with the band at their Facebook, and see you Friday. - The Chuck Live








Creating a sound that seamlessly blends genres and touches the soul is no small task, but the members of Oh, Rhien make it look easy. The Lake Charles, LA sextet fuses progressive rock, metal, and post-rock into an harmonious mix sure to quicken the pulse of its listeners.

Oh, Rhien  spent the better part of 2014 working on their debut EP Nightmares. Appropriately named, the EP was delayed numerous times due to technical difficulties, scheduling conflicts, and other unforeseen circumstances. Despite numerous setbacks, the finished product reflects the band’s perseverance and tenacity in the face of adversity. Produced by Matthew Malpass, Matthew Goldman, and Matthew Lang, the album hits hard and leaves you wanting more. With tracks like “Temptress” and “Picking Up The Pieces” featuring Jonny Craig of Slaves, who could blame you?

Like a phoenix, Oh, Rhien rose from the ashes of a prior project. Bassist Zac Lyons and drummer Joe Perry formed instrumental, post-rock mainstay Signals to Vega with guitarists Ricky Fontenot and NJ Benoit joining soon thereafter. With the help of Cult of Luna drummer Magnus Lindberg at the mixing board, the band released its first EP Into The Arms of Infinity, which they promoted in and around the Lake Charles area. After several years playing the local circuit, dissatisfied with the progress made, the band decided to add vocals. Enter Brett Howell and Taylor Briggs. Joining in 2012 to form the current lineup, Howell and Briggs round out the band’s signature sound with contrasting yet complementary vocal stylings.

No stranger to the stage, Brett Howell brings with him a powerful and precise voice, as well as a wealth of prior music industry experience. His band Aniston signed to Universal/Bungalo Records in late 2007 under the tutelage of J-Kwon manager Gordy Pannell. Matthew Malpass of Marigold and Monsters Studio (known for his work with Ying Yang Twins, Lydia, Copeland, Rookie of the Year, Dance Gavin Dance) produced and mixed the band’s EP Between You And Me. The band toured nationally, sharing the stage with such acts as Gym Class Heroes (Fueled By Ramen), Divided By Friday (Hopeless Records) (with whom they brought out on some of their first tours), Farewell (Epitaph Records), Anarbor (Hopeless), and pop singer JoJo to name a few. After Aniston disbanded, Brett, never able to stay away from music for too long, found himself playing bass on tours for Solid State Record’s MyChildren MyBride. Later, he and his brother Blake Howell would Join SJC Custom Drum owner Mike Ciprari and Matthew Lang in Boston, MA, to form Thrash Unreal, which gained nation-wide exposure from a feature on MTV’s The Hills. Soon after relocating to his hometown of Lake Charles, Brett discovered Taylor Biggs, a local folk artist known for her sensual, delicate delivery. Taylor would part ways with the band by 2014’s end to pursue a career outside of music. Soon after the New Year, Victtoria Reale filled the vacancy, and they haven’t missed a beat.

Moving forward, Oh, Rhien’s only desire is to create unforgettable music and perform before an ever-growing audience. With combined experience ranging from local to national stages, the band is taking its first years seriously, investing time and effort into booking high impact shows and press opportunities. Since Chase Bonin’s and Aaron Myer’s arrivals at guitar, the band has already been featured on radio stations across the country with singles “Shut Up Before You Get Made Out With”and “You Wear Your Colors Well.” 2014 was an important year for the band. Sharing the stage with the likes of P.O.D., Trapt, Brand New, and Nothing More, performing at the X Games in Austin , and releasing their debut EP were only the beginning. Look out for plenty more from Oh, Rhien in 2015.

Band Members