They may have been lost at sea ever since concept album ‘Lost Isles’ breached shores last month, but Oceans Ate Alaska are not lost for words. From putting the world to rights with ‘Vultures And Sharks’ and breaking free from underneath the ‘Floorboards’, ‘Lost Isles’ is a sure sign they’ve found the right harbour to call home.
With the completion of a raging tour with Chelsea Grin and Veil Of Maya, 2015 has already been a phenomenal year for the Birmingham boys. Already Heard caught up with the quintet to talk Fearless Records, hitting brick walls and their genre-smashing ‘Lost Isles’.
AH: We’ve been hearing the name of Oceans Ate Alaska for a couple of years now. For those who aren’t too familiar with the band, can you give us a brief rundown on the history of Oceans Ate Alaska?
OAA: We are a Birmingham based band that formed in 2011. Our first release was the single ‘Taming Lions’ which also included our second single ‘Clocks’. In 2012, we released our first EP ‘Into The Deep’ and we are now fortunate enough to be releasing our debut album ‘Lost Isles’ through Fearless Records.
AH: So now you’re now set to release your debut album (‘Lost Isles’) through Fearless Records. How is the mood within the band right now? Nervous? Excited?
OAA: We’re all really positive and excited for the release of ‘Lost Isles’, so far the response from the singles has been amazing.
AH: How did the deal with Fearless come about? It’s not often you see them working with a UK band.
OAA: The day we got some album mixes back, we sent them straight over to Fearless with high hopes. Much to our surprise they loved it, and things moved pretty quickly from there.
AH: As this is your first full-length, did you have any aims for what you wanted the album to sound like when you started writing?
OAA: Our main goal with this record was making certain that all band members loved every section of each song. We would re-write songs, scrap songs, literally put everything through a ‘trial and error’ process until we were all 100% stoked.
AH: I understand you’ve been working on the album for the best part of 2 years. Has it the process been challenging yet rewarding?
OAA: We hit so many brick walls during the process of creating this album, however to now hear it start to finish we literally couldn’t be any more proud.
AH: You recorded the album in America with Josh Wickman of Dreadcore Productions. How was it working with him and being away from home during the making of the album?
OAA: Josh is a great dude, and we had so much fun recording with him; even though it did definitely get stressful from time to time. Being away from home didn’t make too much difference to us, wherever we were in the world it wouldn’t really affect our focus.
AH: Some may consider you as just another metalcore band but having listened to ‘Lost Isles’, I get the impression you’re more than that?
OAA: We don’t consider ourselves as any more, or any less than metalcore. In our eyes there’s only really two genres of music; good and bad. Whatever category you put us in we just aim to create something we love.
AH: The album has a mix of aggressive and melodic elements with the occasional progressive moment. Who do you consider as your influences?
OAA: It’s almost impossible to say as every individual member has drastically different influences; from James Harrison’s pop punk background, to Chris and Jibs’ love for tech/death metal.
AH: What impression do you hope old and new fans take away from hearing ‘Lost Isles’?
OAA: As long as the listener can take something positive away from this record then we are happy.
AH: You recently released a video for ‘Vultures and Sharks’. How has the feedback been for the track so far?
OAA: It has been really positive so far! Here’s a secret… ‘Vultures and Sharks’ was actually the first song we wrote towards this album!
AH: How did you find the video making process?
OAA: It was cold, wet, ouchy and long, but when we look back we had a great time.
AH: Earlier this year we included Oceans Ate Alaska in our list of 50 bands to watch in 2015. What bands do you think we should be looking out for in the coming months?
OAA: Black Tongue and Veil of Maya’s new records are gonna smash it, so get stoked for them!!!
AH: You’re also about to head out on tour with Chelsea Grin and Veil of Maya. What can people expect from an Oceans Ate Alaska show?
OAA: Expect all of our new singles, and a few oldie goldies!
AH: In the past you’ve played shows with Senses Fail, Blessthefall, The Color Morale and The Word Alive. Has those shows helped shaped how Oceans Ate Alaska is now?
OAA: It has helped shape our live performance and increased our knowledge of suitable equipment to tour with, however we don’t feel it’s had much impact on our song writing.
AH: The tour next month will also see you heading to Europe for the first time. Are there any cities you’re especially looking forward to going to?
OAA: We are super stoked to play Poland (the native land of our guitarist Adam), Hungary, and a lot of the German shows too.
AH: Following the release of ‘Lost Isles’ and the UK/EU tour, what else do OAA have planned for the remainder of 2015?
OAA: A lot of stuff is still under wraps at the moment, however you can expect more drum play throughs, guitar play throughs and other post album material!
’Lost Isles’ by Oceans Ate Alaska is out now on Fearless Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (AliZombie_)