When OnceOver began to write their fourth full length album in seven years, the cards were stacked against them. The band would fight through unbelievable loss and heartbreak most bands would not be able to endure. The strength and determination of all the members were truly put to the test. Their original singer left the band to pursue different avenues in life, and the four remaining members weren't sure about the direction of the band. After months of unsuccessful searching for a singer, the band was at a loss of what to do next. 'I remember being concerned about the band's future. We all knew we didn't want to stop, but we had just wasted a half a year looking for a singer and didn't know what to do next,' said bassist Nick Archer. 'That's where Steve came in,' guitarist Paul Dwyer added.
Steve Dwyer, the bands original drummer, had been an integral part of the bands songwriting and singing. Therefore, it seemed to be the most comfortable and natural step that he would take over as lead singer for OnceOver. 'I had sung on my own records before and recorded vocals for songs plenty of times, but nothing could have prepared me for filling the shoes that Dave (original vocalist) had left….I was really nervous but I didn't really have a choice,' he said. With 4/5's of the bands lineup now solidified, OnceOver forged ahead in writing their fourth album, which would eventually be called 'Red Right Returning'. Without having a replacement drummer, the band decided to finish up writing the album with Steve on drums and vocals. 'It was definitely amusing watching Steve try to write drum parts and think of vocals at the same time, but I also think the album wouldn't have been half as cool any other way', guitarist Colin De Saint Victor exclaimed. In late December '07, OnceOver went into the studio to start tracking, with Steve engineering and co-producing the album.
'I was pretty stressed,' said Steve Dwyer. 'Not only did I have to record drums, engineer, and produce the new album, I had the added stress of having to sing on it too, which I had never done for a band of this caliber,' he added. But with their friends and management's support they pressed on. Then in February, halfway through the recording process, the band's best friend and manager, Shawn Jeffords passed away, from health complications. 'I remember the day we found out he went into a coma, Nick came in to the practice spot in the middle of a song with this look on his face and we knew it wasn't good,' said De Saint Victor. 'We sat there for about 30 minutes in complete silence not knowing what to do,' added Steve Dwyer. The band once again found itself trying to figure out the next step. 'We were really confused about the whole situation after Shawn died, but before he passed he made it clear that he wanted us to press on no matter what it took, so that's what we did,' said Archer.
With all whole new set of priorities, the band decided to push forward with everything they had, in honor of their best friend. The new album quickly became a battle cry, as well as deeply therapeutic for the members. 'I basically, rewrote the entire album's lyrics based on my experience with losing my best friend, I had to get some of my sadness and frustrations off my chest,' said Steve. 'We really banded together more than we ever had, and we knew this was going to be our best album to date, it was just really hard…. but we got through it,' Paul Dwyer exclaimed.
After the album was tracked, OnceOver had a lot of work cut out for them looking for a drummer. 'Steve is a great drummer, so it wasn't easy finding someone to replace him,' said De Saint Victor. 'We got lucky when Bruce fell into our laps,' Paul Dwyer added. The band tapped Bruce Stelter to fill in on an upcoming video shoot for the release. 'We were about two weeks away from the shoot when the production team asked us who was going to play drums in the shoot, we all looked around like 'How the hell did we forget that?',' said Steve. After practicing with the band for a couple weeks, it quickly became apparent that Stelter would be a good fit. 'He just really clicked with our personalities, and was willing to put up with our demands, he has really exceeded our expectations,' said Archer. 'I was excited to play in OnceOver because I really liked the direction they were going and once I got to know everyone, we got along really well, which is definitely a good thing to have in a band,' said drummer Bruce Stelter. Now with the band's lineup finalized, and the new album 'Red Right Returning' set to release in November 2008 the bands future has never looked brighter. Through all the hardships and battles, the boys of OnceOver can truly hold their heads up high knowing that they not only did themselves justice, but did their fans and their late manager justice as well. They say, 'From destruction comes beauty', 'Out of heartache comes comfort,' and 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.' OnceOver is definitely stronger than ever.