Pub hang with Jason O preps him for solo tour

Musician Jason Olcese has been a fixture on the State College scene for years as part of My Hero Zero. This fall, he’ll head out to colleges across Pennsylvania, Ohio and New England for a solo tour.

Olcese also will perform at the Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks next week as part of its weekly pub hang series. For his second appearance at the venue, he said fans can expect to hear songs from a new solo album to be released this fall.

With these new ventures, Olcese hopes to reach audiences who are more focused on listening to music than the bar crowds that dominate My Hero Zero shows.

“My solo stuff doesn’t really work in downtown State College because there’s no venue available for listening audiences,” he said.

Olcese uses a loop pedal during solo performances to build layers into his songs and supplement what’s he’s able to do with his guitar.

“I’m pretty adept at using looping in a way that supports my songs,” he said. “A lot of people use it to create a jam environment, but I’ve made it my own so that it has the feel of a singer-songwriter show but with more layers.”

Olcese plans to continue performing with My Hero Zero throughout the fall as well, and said he feels fortunate to make music in two different genres. He hopes fans that hear My Hero Zero in college will listen to his solo work as they get older.

His new album will be a departure from 2011’s “In My Bones,” which Olcese described as an album of breakup songs.

“It seemed really out of place to throw in love songs that I’d written on my last album, so I saved them for this one,” Olcese said.

“It’s so cliche but I’ve got some really great stuff, and I’m excited to share songs about the positive experiences of being in love.”