It has been a busy couple of years for indie-pop boys Oceanics. Emma Dean caught up with the band to talk working on their new EP & the current indie scene.
First off, give us a bit of background about you guys…
Elliot and I started officially writing tunes together in 2005. I played electric guitar while he strangled a bass, all the while discussing Blink-182, Nirvana and our sexual inexperience.
For someone who hasn’t heard your music, how would you describe it and what song would you play for them?
Upbeat, indie guitar pop designed to hopefully land a hook or two. I would probably play them Romancer or Chinatown, they are the two that are usually received the best live.
Your debut EP Get Friendly, Mistress Maybe came out last year, how was it working with ARIA winning producer/engineer Wayne Connolly (The Living End, Grinspoon)?
Actually, that EP was recorded with another ARIA award winning producer named Govinda Doyle. He was responsible for the original version of “Big Jet Plane”, which originally featured on Angus Stone’s side project Lady of the Sunshine’s album, produced by Govinda. Wayne Connolly however, was responsible for our second EP, ‘Bright People’, and he was an absolute pleasure to work with. Subtle and influential and ever professional.
How is work going on your second EP? What can you tell us about it?
We finished recording it in January at Alberts in Neutral Bay, Sydney. We all feel that it was a massive step towards finding our sound, and we’re all quietly proud of it. We hope that listeners will note the step up in maturity between ‘Bright People’ and our debut EP.
Who are your biggest influences and how does it show through your music and writing styles?
I would say more recently The Strokes. That guitar driven swagger that’s full of pop sensibility has been something to aspire to for us probably for the last 6 months or so. ‘Jukebox’ is probably the strongest indicator of our most recent influences.
What do you find is the most difficult part of writing/recording?
Listening back to choruses or bridges and thinking “no, I’m not sold”, then having to work out how to improve the piece, or what to put in its place.
You first formed in 2005, but didn’t officially hit the scene until 2010 – why the delay?
Well the formation in 2005 was basically just Elliot and I playing guitars in our bedrooms, in between swims in my pool and lengthy discussions about women. We didn’t find our drummer Andy until 2008, and didn’t have a half decent bassist until late 2009.
You’ve played at some big events (BDO, Bigsound) and with some extraordinary acts over the years (Deep Sea Arcade, The Grates, Sparkadia, British India, and Die!Die!Die just to name a few)- who would you love to tour/work with?
I think touring with an Australian act that has already done it all would be inspiring. Someone like JET (rest in peace good buddies) would have been amazing.
What are your thoughts on the current indie scene? What are some good up and coming bands we should keep an eye out for?
There are some excellent bands if you know where to look. A few examples are Sydney’s Rockets, Brisbane’s Friends of Ben and Argentina, and the Gold Coast’s Pirates Alive.
Finally, what is next for Oceanics?
We’ll spend the remainder of the year writing for an album and playing a handful of pop up shows here and there. There’s a film clip due to be shot for ‘Jukebox’ in a month or so as well.
A huge thank you to the band for taking the time to chat to Emma.
For more information, including upcoming tour dates, check out: http://www.facebook.com/Oceanics.music