Nick O’Krepki (1989-2018)
It’ll be one of the saddest days of my life as I see the funeral of my friend and former bandmate Nick O’ Krepki tomorrow. I never thought I’d see the day, but its actually happening.
Where do I start ?
Sometime in the mid-2000s, I was looking for musicians to try out for my band at the time. I first heard about Nick from some of my friends just talking about him. He was described as a guitar player who’s really good and would be down to play some heavy metal, which is exactly what I was looking for. At the time he wasn’t available to try out, but I kept his name in mind.
A few years later, I was hanging with my buddy Mike down the street and I finally got to meet Nick in person. I wasn’t sure if he was serious about the band thing, but apparently his band already existed… the name, the logo, artwork concepts, and everything! Mike was to do vocals, myself on drums, and Nick on the axe!
Check some of this stuff:
Sounded awesome, but I didn’t get to hear him truly play his guitar until I brought over my drums to set up at his place. He was definitely good, had some tasty riffs up his sleeve. He didn’t really play solos so much, he was just the Riffmeister! On quite a few occasions, Nick would show me his acoustic playing style, and I could see he was really into classical, also knew a lot about music theory.
This video clip of Nick from 2013 just goes to show you how awesome he was at guitar!
We started to jam together, and it wasn’t long before we clicked. Nick would come up with riffs and we’d piece them together. Mike would write down the lyrics at random in his book, and we really got good once the songs came together. Although he was a giant fan of bass-heavy bands like Primus and Red Hot Chili Peppers, he didn’t think having a bassist was all that important for our sound.
Our friend Drew came back from college not long after we started, and was also a part of the band playing what would be the bass notes through his keyboards. Our sound definitely got fuller and even more interesting!
Every Sunday at his house was like a tradition for well over 3 years. We’d rock out, chill, rock out again, probably eat an epic dinner his parents made, and go right back to it.
I had so much fun every Sunday, I didn’t have time to really think about taking pictures of us rocking out. You just had to be there.
This went on for awhile, and we eventually got the songs recorded. Drew and Nick edited and mastered it. It wasn’t the ultimate quality or anything but you can judge for yourself by clicking the video below. This was our demo from 2013. Nick did the cover of course.
After all said and done, we had about 10 songs, and maybe 3 or 4 other ideas for songs. It was a shame to see the practices come less and less. Even when Mike and Drew dropped out, I still continued to jam with Nick. Eventually that stopped too. I was very disappointed, as I was not liking the idea of re-starting a whole new band again.
Nick was going to be a part of my doomy-sounding project with my friend Zach, called MoonCandle. But alas he never got to be a part of it.
Hanging out with Nick was always great. Nick was the kind of friend that was always down to hang when no one else was around. I’d have a shitty day at work, and we would hang out afterwards. That’s the kind of dude he was. We both liked metal, punk, horror movies, old TV shows (X-Files, Star Trek, etc.) He was really into Yes and Primus. Both bands I’ve always liked my whole life, but I got to learn about them a bit more from hanging with Nick.
I was always a self-loathing musician, but Nick would be the exact opposite. He would say we are awesome, we are the best. That got me feeling positive for the first time about any band I had ever played in. His disturbingly perverted but hilarious artwork got me wanting to get back into art myself. I had been beating myself up about it for years because of not doing so well in Graphic Design, but Nick made me feel confident about it.
Nick also taught me how to skateboard after all the years I missed out on it. It was a lot of fun. He said if I kept practicing, I would be damn good. Maybe I should pick up a skateboard and try it again? Nick also made me feel better about myself when we were at a party, both single at the time, kinda acting as wing men for each other. We weren’t super successful with the ladies, but we laughed about it all night. We had so many inside jokes, people would totally not get it. And that was the best.
Nick was full of so much talent … his music, his artwork, welding, skateboarding, his knowledge of history, he could even speak fluent Russian! He was gifted all over the place. But unfortunately like most talented people, Nick followed a path of self-destruction. I tried to stay around as long as I could, but it got to the point where I had to cut ties completely.
Even though I was on his amends list, I had already forgiven him because I know what addiction does to people. I had seen it in others before but this time it was a close friend.
I will always miss Nick for the rest of my life. Not a day will go by. He left that big of an impression on me.
Love you bro,