The Off Chance Weighs In On Boston, Artistic Integrity, and Theme Songs
The Off Chance loves Boston. Take a listen and send some love right back their way!
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…after all, that’s where you “make it”. But we can’t leave…not after receiving endless inspiration from this great city!
MK: Having lived here most of my adult life – and perhaps the most meaningful part to date, Boston definitely is home. On an even more personal level, I owe Boston/Massachusetts and its people my life. To add something to what Jay said, within five square miles between Boston and Cambridge you have more Nobel prize winners and nominees than anywhere else in the world(…)and as far as education, we’re definitely at the highest level.
Simply put, the people of Boston/Massachusetts set the standard the rest of the country follows!!!