Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, welcome to “Don’t Quit Your Day Job” where we enter the minds of local musician types to find out exactly why they do what they do. In this episode I present to you a Providence icon of multiples genres, an activist on many levels and a protector of all animals big and small. Please welcome Mr. Bob Otis.
Josh Hurst (Motif): Name, age & location?
Bob Otis….older than the redwoods…..Providence Rhode Island.
JH: What band(s) are you in and what do you do in them?
Currently [I’m] in DROPDEAD as singer and EXTINCTION MACHINE as guitar player. Previously [I was in] THE FUZZ, I DESTROYER, and LOLITA BLACK. I sometimes will sit in for vocals with locals OLNEYVILLE SOUND SYSTEM.
JH: How long have you been at this rock & roll thing?
I have been playing in bands for around 25 years. If this rickity body of mine holds up, I’ll do it for another 25.
JH: What do you do to pay the rent?
I am a Direct Support Professional working with adults with disabilities at RHD-RI. (www.RHDRI.org
JH: How did you end up with your current “day job”?
I started working with people with various disabilities around 15 years ago at the Arc of Northern Rhode Island in Woonsocket. I really loved the clients and helping people and I decided if I had to go punch a clock every day, at least I could make some positive change in some people’s lives who needed it.
JH: What drives you to keep at music if you need to have the “day job” to pay bills?
My music and the philosophy we promote with the band have nothing to do with making money. We do it as an artistic outlet and to promote our ideas about animal rights, human rights, and various political leanings that we believe in.
JH: Besides the income, what keeps you at your current “day job”?
As hokey as it sounds, helping my brother man. I get a lot of emotional satisfaction at the end of the day knowing I “did good” and that someone in need had someone to stand by them.
JH: Does anything in your “day job” correlate to your musical endeavors?
RHD-RI is a day program that is also highly arts and music related. We have client bands and a music room with a sound studio and our bands both record and play out. As a touring musician this was something that warmed my heart and I wanted to be a part of. Some of the kindest and most empathetic people I have ever met I’ve known through RHD.
JH: Where can anyone interested find you during your day work or night work?
BO: During the day you can find me at RHD-RI in Pawtucket. At night I do D.I.Y. cat rescue with my girlfriend on the West Side of Providence. Or you can find me on tour with my band virtually anyplace in the world we can fly to and that wants to have us. We travel A LOT.