Ocean Encounters – Interview
Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
OE: We’re musicians of varying backgrounds who have a mutual love for all things heavy metal.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
OS: So we started in a small town in Belgium back in 2015. Quentin (the drummer), Greg (one of the guitarists) got together with our first guitarist and singer and started jamming. Mutual love for heavy hitting breakdowns and epic intros being the unifying factor. They put out the word they were looking for a bassist. Pieter was a teacher at the time and one of his students knew Greg, and asked him if he played bass. He went to a rehearsal and by the end of the first practice the 5 of them had fleshed out a song. The rest is history.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
OE: Musically we come from all over the place. Bands like Polaris, Northlane, Lamb of God, Attilla but also The Blues Brothers, Aretha Franklin, The White Stripes and Blink 182 have all played parts throughout our lives.
Non-musical I can only talk about myself (Pieter, the bassist/backup vocals). I really draw inspiration from standup comedians like Louis C.K., Marc Maron, Dave Chapelle, but also actors like Jim Carrey and Robin Williams.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
OE: For the band the major goal is to get the album/tour/album/tour machine rolling. We’d love to be able to focus one year on writing material, one year on going to play that material around the world. We really don’t care the size of the stage. As long as there’s 4-5 heads bobbing up and down to our music we’re happy.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
OE: The music itself is written by the guitarists, bassist and drummer. We all play each of the instrument so we’ll have a small riff, or a section that we came up with, and then we build around that. Me (Pieter) and the singer Thomas write the lyrics. Since English isn’t his native language he’ll come to me with phrases or themes in French, and then I try to translate those over into English. Then for the tougher sections I’ll write out the phrases phonetically so he knows how to pronounce them properly. It’s taught me quite a bit about how much of a bitch English can be for people who don’t speak it.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
OE: Mostly through Facebook and word of mouth. Mostly because that’s where most people get their information from. So sending everyone there helps. The problem is it’s so saturated with everyone using it as a platform that it’s hard to break beyond the people who have already liked your page without throwing money behind it.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
OE: Absolutely no problem with it but I understand that it’s detrimental to musicians making money. I’ll be more than happy to pay for albums to bands that I love and respect. But I’ll be even more likely to simply donate money to a local up-and-coming band simply because I think they need it a bit more.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
OE: Oh man it’s a cliché but I wish I had the skill and musical insight to write something Bohemian Rhapsody. Or let’s throw it in the complete other direction I wish I had the technical abilities to play a song like Ov Sacrament and Sincest by Infant Annihilator. That things is symphonic in its intensity and range.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
OE: People chewing with their mouth open.
Tailgaters on the highway. If I can see the features of your face through my rear-view mirror you are TOO CLOSE.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
OE: Probably playing at the Durbuy Rock Festival. It was the largest crowd any of us had ever played for, and the first full-sized moshpit to ever happen because of something we wrote.
Me personally it’s the time I was playing a bar with one of my best friends (folk and blues, not metal) and we improvised a song, and by the end of the first “chorus” we had the whole bar singing along like it was our greatest hit.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
OE: Right now we’re in the midst of trying to advertise our album without being able to tour it. Not easy but so far it’s been alright.
Also, ironically confinement has done wonders for our creativity. Since three of our members work in the service industry, and the two others were working from home we’ve been cooped up for the better part of the last three months. And since we all have varying levels of home studios we’ve been able to write tunes and share them with each other on a weekly basis, so we have half a new album almost ready to go!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
OE: All our music is available on all major online streaming services (Spotify, Amazon, Google, YouTube, Facebook etc). Our merch ins’t online yet because we haven’t been able to order the newest set of merchandise for the album due to COVID-19. But once it all simmer down we’ll get that all up and running!