We Are The Ocean interview (April 2015)

Last Wednesday we headed down to check out We Are The Ocean supporting Lower Than Atlantis at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms – check out our interview with LTA here, and our live review of the show here. Before the show, we had chance to catch up with Jack from We Are The Ocean about the upcoming album and how it’s different to their previous work. Check it out below

I am Jack from We Are The Ocean and we are in sunny Nottingham on the Lower Than Atlantis tour a few hours before we play.

This isn’t the first time you’ve toured with Lower Than Atlantis – long ago, they supported you. How  much do you remember from that tour, were there any stand out moments from it?
It was only a five show tour so it’s hard to really get into it in five shows. We’d known them before and after through festivals and just general knowing. Um, no. It was a big tour for us, it was our biggest headline tour at the time and all the shows were great, but it was very short. I think maybe somebody got in a fight at one of the shows… that’s a memory, which isn’t very clear, because I don’t know who, or if it happened at all.

You’ve got an upcoming record, dues out later this year. How much can you tell us about it?
I can tell you everything.
Tell us everything.
It’s called Ark, it’s twelve tracks long, we recorded it in Devon where we’ve recorded the last two albums, and we’re excited for everyone to hear it. It’s a bit of a step out of our comfort zone on some songs, but on other songs it’s the normal kind of We Are The Ocean sound. We think it’s got something for everybody, and we’re looking forward to people hearing it.

This is the longest you’ve had to work on an album as well, before it’s sort of been one per year. Has that changed how you’ve written it?
Having more time has meant we were less stressed for a start, and we just had more time to explore different avenues, I think perhaps before when a song was finished we had to be like, “yeah, that’s good”, and we didn’t have time to really explore a song that was kind of straying from the path a bit, whereas this time we’ve let the songs take their natural course. Now we could spend a week on a song and just go, “nah, let’s scrap it, it’s not working”, we had the time to try things out. Sometimes it paid off and we used the songs, sometimes we didn’t. But having more time really meant less stress and more time to explore every avenue and making sure it was as good as it could be, which I think made a better album.

You’ve so far released one song off it; how representative of the album do you think it is?
It’s quite an eclectic album, no one song would really represent the whole album, and even in terms of the themes of the songs and stuff it’s all quite varied so, there’s no one song that would sum it up, we picked a handful – there’s some more songs coming out – between four of them you get a picture of the whole album and how widespread it is. Ark, we think it’s an important one on the album and we’re really pleased with it, and there are other songs like it and others that are quite dissimilar. It is and it isn’t really, I think it’s a sign of progression and how we’ve stepped out of our comfort zone a bit, but in terms of the genre and the style of it, it’s not all as proggy, not in that way.

This single’s already been on Radio 1 – do you think any of the other singles off the album will have the same success?
It’s funny, ’cause that song was never meant to go to Radio 1, it was just like, it was a song that we really liked but it was never a conventional single. It was like four a half minutes long, the chorus wasn’t necessarily the strongest art of it which is a staple point of single, so we never really planned to take it to them, we just released it as a free song on our website and gave it away and our radio plugger thought they’d try our luck with it and then they liked it, so it kind of exceeded expectations. But based on that, a song that we think might do really well on radio possibly won’t, so it’s really hard to tell what can work. It also depends what’s out at the time, it’s not the kind of thing that’s planned a year in advance like. They pitch it and they’re like, “this is what you’re up against”, sometimes you’ll get played, sometimes you won’t, I mean we’re confident that the album appeals to the masses, probably more than what’s been released so far, so fingers crossed.

What else have you been up to the past three years?
We all have our own outside interests so it’s been good to take those up a bit, but a lot of writing, a lot of behind the scenes stuff, we’ve got a new manager, a new label, all of the boring bits that no one really cares about but that are important to progress, lots of meetings. But yeah, we did spend a lot of time writing, we didn’t just sit around on our arses killing time, we were writing a lot of songs, then scrapping and rewriting, months before we went down to the studio. It was nice to be home for a while, because we could say, “let’s have a week off and just go and explore whatever else we want to explore”. We were busy, time kinda flew by to be honest, it doesn’t feel like it’s taken so long.

And what else have you got planned for this year?
This year is hoping looking to be the opposite of last year, playing shows and festivals. We’ve got dribs and drabs of UK runs, a few headline shows, a few in stores and things like that, and the it#s festival season, so we kinda of jump between UK and Europe everyone weekend to do festivals, mainly those to territories. And then after festival season, another UK tour of some description, to be confirmed and announced… it hadn’t even been organised yet, so I can’t tell you anything. The main plan is, because the label really emphasise on the UK and Germany and France and few in Western Europe, the main focus of this year is hopping back and forth between these places and promo in Europe, and then look at other continents next year, I think.

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