We Are The Ocean conversation
WE ARE THE OCEAN are going to release their third record Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow these days. The Britsh alternative rockers and former post-hardcore outfit have gone through a lot of changes the last months. Leaving their ALEXISONFIRE-rip off sound behind as well as their shouter Dan Brown. Jake Spence, bass guitarist of the four-piece, is answering some questions about the new line-up as well as the new record.
Before we talk about the new record, let‘s talk about your line-up change. Your vocalist Dan left the band. What were his reasons to leave the band?
Jake Spence: There was a multitude of reasons: at the forefront was the shape and progression our music was taking, and where coarse and violent vocals fit in or rather, where they didn't. Another was an issue of focus, and where certain focusses lay. A member leaving a band is by no means a new occurance in the music scene, and we're ready to keep pushing forward.
Liam took over the vacant spot. Did you ever think about getting a new frontman or was it your first idea to let Liam take over the whole singing?
It was never a question of replacing Dan. It was never a case of finding someone to fill his shoes. When the transition took place, we realised musically we could carry on as a four-piece without much trouble.
What were the fans‘s reaction like? How did they react at your first shows without Dan?
It was a mixed bag, as ever. The view I take is, this new album sounds how it sounds, if Dan were on it it would still sound how it sounds, so if people miss the coarse vocals we introduced on our first album, they might not have liked the new album anyway. A lot of people have been very open to the transition though, appreciating the need for growth, and that the musicianship is still there.
How do you handle your old songs now that Dan‘s shouting is missing on stage? How will your present these songs live with the new line-up?
Tackling the old songs - particularly those on Go Now And Live - hasn't been too much of a struggle. We are all singers, and Alfie especially can take on much if the dual-vocal parts with ease.
Besides that vocal-thing, what is the main difference between Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow and your past releases?
Besides the clichéd 'maturity' answer, it is the most honest album we're written lyrically, and the most we have experimented with new ideas and new instruments.
As well as Go Now And Live your new release is a departure of the post-hardcore/ALEXISONFIRE-sound of your debut ep and album. I didn‘t have a chance to interview you after the release of the deluxe edition ofCutting Our Teeth, so what were your reasons to change your style and play more melodic and straight rock songs?
We always wanted to play straight-up rock songs. With Cutting Our Teeth, we will all finding our feet as musicians, let alone in which genre we wanted to be in. I feel we were very influenced by the scene around us on that album. Perhaps writing what we thought people wanted to hear, as opposed to what we wanted to write - as soon as we delivered more confidence in writing and in the band as a unit, we soon shook the post-hardcore tag.
How much did it anoy you to be compared to ALEXISONFIRE? This was normally the main referrence for your band that people used to describle your sound?
On the one hand, it did get a little frustrating at times just because it happrned so often, but at the same time we respect ALEXISONFIRE as a band and realised there could easily be worse comparisons to be drawn. There were inevitable similarities on our first album, but we never strived to be the 'British ALEXISONFIRE' and had as many differences as we did similarities. Fortunately, those comparisons are few and far-between now, I think we enjoy getting a conpletely new comparison in a review, as different people see different sides to the songs, as opposed to pinpointing it to one act.
The first song you released off that record is Bleed. It got played at BBC Radio. Is it a strange feeling to hear your own songs on Britain‘s most important radio station or what were your feelings like?
It's certainly taken some getting used to. Radio 1 have put a lot of effort into supporting British rock recently, and have really been behind us, and we are really thankful for it. It can still be surreal hearing your song randomly on the radio at 7am, though!
You‘ve played big stages and small clubs. What do you prefer? And why?
Every show is good in it's own right. There's a certain 'wow' factor you get from playing a big stage, but some of the relation the crowd can be lost in the space, whilst in a small dingey club everyone is on the same page. We love them both!
This fall you play your first proper European headlining tour. What can fans expect from these dates? How much will these shows differ from the shows they might have seen you supporting HAWTHORNE HEIGHTS for example.
Well, it's our first ever headline tour outside of the UK, so they will certainly be special shows to be at. We've all put on beer bellies over the festival season, so we need to make sure these shows are as sweaty as can be to lost them.