Sonic Tides: talking Oceans with guitarist Tom Hollands

The release of a new EP suggests 2018 is set to be a potent and busy year for Brighton, UK based Oceans. It is a multi-flavoured, ear grabbing incitement of the band’s post hardcore and alternative rock blended sound building on their previous encounters whilst venturing into new imagination. We recently had the pleasure to dive into Oceans and their new offering with guitarist Tom Hollands, exploring their beginnings, fresh endeavour and more….

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

Much like the actual Oceans, we are a band made up of 5 mostly water based entities: Zach Silver – vocals, Conor Hyde & Tom Hollands – guitars, Jack Warren – bass and James Gillingham – drums. We all either lived, partied or performed alongside each other before the current line-up was formed, that and our shared desire to create made Oceans happen!

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Collectively we’ve all played in bands or made music of many different genres. Perhaps without being fully aware of it we draw on this when writing – We’re all quite different as musicians too so I think we’re bound to end up with quite an eclectic sound.

What inspired the band name?

We came to Brighton and based it on things we saw – So it was either something to do with seagulls, falafel (love it), or the ocean… No unfortunately that’s not true; our guitarist Conor got it from a Mallory Knox song!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

The idea has always been to try to make music that we love and hopefully others do too, and to do this as a career – We always strive to be somewhat original yet familiar enough to still fit into a scene.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Most of us didn’t have any real direction until we decided to pursue music. We also love playing live and like most bands can’t wait to hopefully play to bigger crowds and do more tours!

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

We’re evermore critical with our songwriting and I’d say we’re starting to really refine our sound – The music has grown darker sonically and thematically and we’ve tried to strike a balance between more poppy hooks and heavier riffs.

This has been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately trying new things?

Although it’s felt like a natural progression, we’re actively trying to make the best songs we can and sometimes that means tearing apart or scrapping ideas we’ve worked on for ages and doing something completely new instead.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

We all have rather different tastes in music; artists that have had a considerable impact on us are Incubus, Don Broco, Black Peaks, Deftones, Marmozets… There’s so many. We’ve heard of some bands that will try dozens of different melodies or ideas before settling so we’re just trying to be as critical as possible!

Is there a regular process to the band’s songwriting?

We don’t have a set method, however it usually starts with guitar riffs written at home and then built upon bit by bit in rehearsals. We all have a say in every part of the process so it really is a collective effort. Now we do demos and backing tracks to try out synths and things like that.

Where, more often than not, do inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs come from?

Our singer Zach writes the lyrics – Subject matter is usually based on personal struggles or stories relative to what’s happening in our lives (get over ourselves, right?) – We try to leave things open to interpretation, we want our audience to be able to relate.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our new EP, Far From Composure dropped on March 13th. It’s available on practically all platforms and we see it as a big milestone for Oceans.

How about some insight into the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

Thematically the EP spans elements of coping with mental instability and it’s causation due to physical condition, relationships with yourself/others, escapism… The premise of this EP was to really capture our progression as a band from previous works and most importantly create something very emotive that connects with listeners. We also wanted to write big riffs, hit stuff and make loud noises.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Our intention has always been to enter the studio with finished songs, however we always end up adding bits and pieces and coming up with extra ideas – We actually recorded a whole extra song last time!

Tell us about the live side to the band?

We play with a lot of energy and really like to throw ourselves about, I’d like to think if you don’t enjoy our recorded music at first our live set would… Captivate you… (Pun FFO Marmozets…)

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

It can be tough for any new band to branch out from their hometown and it certainly hasn’t been any different for us. It helps being driven for sure – We lost count long ago of the amount of gigs we’ve played around trying to make a name for ourselves. We’ve had our fair share of bad luck but we’ve found that the harder you work the more chance of creating positive opportunities you have – Though there are many other factors to consider!

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

Social media has played a big part in enabling us to reach people we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. However, working round changing algorithms and the like can be difficult when trying to connect with fans (Or gain new ones). It’s a big discussion, though now it’s pretty much a necessity for new artists to engage in social media. Like with anything, it’s really about figuring out how to utilize it most effectively for your band, we’re definitely still learning! I’d say do what you can without losing sight of what’s important, the rock and/ or roll (or whatever genre you play). Cliché I know…

For further dips into Oceans check them out @

https://www.facebook.com/pg/oceansukband   https://twitter.com/oceansukband     http://instagram.com/oceansukband   http://oceansuk.bandcamp.com

Pete RingMaster 13/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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