Review Fix Exclusive: Ovtlier’s Joey Arena Talks ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’ And More

Review Fix chats with Ovtlier vocalist Joey Arena, who discusses the band’s new album, “What Doesn’t Kill You,” as well as their origin story, influences and goals for the future.

Listen to the album on Spotify, Here. 

Review Fix: How did the band get together?

Joey Arena: I started the project in late 2014 with producer, Evan McKeever. After a year of writing and then shopping the EP, Ovtlier had received a few offers but nothing worth taking. I, later on, took the project back home to Rochester, NY to start piecing a line up together.
I, like many, started playing music cause of Kurt Cobain. I picked up my first guitar at the age of 11 and had my first show at 14.

Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?

Arena: I knew that we needed to hone in on a few key ingredients to focus on an identity. Taking elements of both Rock and Metal (Hard Rock, NuMetal, Djent/Prog) and sticking to a formula that shows in the structuring of each song. Leaving the creative process without too many limits and keeping us away from cornering ourselves into specific genre/sub-genre.

Review Fix: What’s your standout song on the current album? How was it written?

Arena: That’s pretty tough to answer. I know when lyrically writing for the record, I wanted to take a more vulnerable approach and liberate all built up angst or aggression. I’d have to say “Set the World in Flames” may be the most accurate of what I was dealing with mentally after commuting to Cleveland, a 9hr hike to and from over the course of a year+. I tend to spend most of the time in my head and those drives became a true test for me.

Review Fix: What did you learn from this last album? How did it affect your future?

Arena: I learned a lot about myself. To trust in the process and respect the journey of it all. Take whatever life throws at us.
We have received an unbelievable amount of positive feedback, love and press from this record. Just getting off of the Ice Nine Kills “Thanxkilling Fest” tour and future tours on the table and in the works and so much more on the horizon, we feel confident that its paving way for a great future.

Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?

Arena: To continue touring. Shooting a music video for every song on the record, 4 more to go!  Hoping to make our way across the pond(UK, Europe) and do some international runs. Currently writing in the studio with JD of Ice Nine Kills and looking to release a “bridge-single” come Summer.

Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?

Arena: Depending on the individual’s age or depth of knowledge into the Rock/Metal department, we can try and relate bands within a similar vein.

Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?

Arena: Music is the best outlet, no matter what a person may be feeling or going through. I want people to give themselves more credit than they do and know that they possess the ability to decide the outcome in their character. We all go through things that can either strengthen us or defeat our character. I hope our music gives people a sense of hope when times are hard, musical appreciation for those who look for that and provide awesome tunes for those feel-good days.

Review Fix: Why is this new album special?

Arena: A lot of time, struggle and negotiation went into this record. Plus, there’s nothing like your first!

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 7740 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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