The sparks of change: exploring the adventure that is Nocean

Last year saw a change of line-up spark a new evolution in the sound of emerging and exciting rockers Nocean. It was as if everything fell into place for the Swedish quartet, evidence coming with their subsequent single. Time to find out more we thought when the chance to talk with Nocean arose. So with thanks to vocalist Hanna, we peer into the origins of Nocean, those changes and a new direction in sound and much more…

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

Nocean is a rock band from Sweden (Stockholm) that plays alternative rock with metal influences and electronic elements. We are four members: Hanna (vocals), Patrick (drums), Ozzy (guitar), and Sara (bass). The band started back in 2013 as a classic hard rock band, but has switched some members and developed the sound towards alternative rock. Me (Hanna) and Ozzy has brought the band forward since some members quit last summer and so we found Patrick through a Swedish site called “band finder”. We knew Sara a bit from before and she joined the band last fall. They both saved us back then, and we started something fresh and great.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on that change of style or direction within the band?

We have all been in other bands before, in different genres from hard rock to extreme metal. It can of course have an impact on what we are writing now, we blend our references together. It’s important for us to have the same musical taste in rock/metal.

What inspired the band name?

Nocean is a play with words – Notion – Nocean!

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

When I first started a band called Lobos Libre (before Nocean), I was very inspired by The Runaways and the spirit of pure rock n roll. But that has changed over time; when we wrote our debut album we played around a bit in the rock/metal genre and we found out more about which direction we wanted to go – more towards a modern, alternative rock sound in the style of Thirty Seconds To Mars, Muse, and Paramore.

Are you still driven by those same core aims or have broadened them as Nocean has grown?

We have come to a new level and with each level you get your motivations from different things of course. In the beginning our main goal was to play as much live as possible, in any venues. Now our goal is to focus on the recordings, social media and to play at larger stages. This summer we are playing at Sweden Rock Festival!

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

It started as a classic hard rock band, blending in some metal and our debut album is a mix of different kind of rock/metal styles. So during this past year we have developed and streamlined our sound to alternative, modern rock and we also added some backing tracks/synthesizers and electronic elements to create a heavier, more massive sound.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

I would say both. Since some members quit and left me and Ozzy alone with this ship last summer, our new sound is now based on me and Ozzy’s personal musical taste of course. And it’s based on what we like nowadays of course, since I was more of a classic hard rock girl before and Ozzy was only listening to metal core for some years ago. As Patrick and Sara joined the band, they were all in for this sound and we even found out that we have a heavier reference as well in common – Devin Townsend. And so Sara and Patrick also add their influences to our new sound and that becomes what Nocean is today.

As you have suggested there is a wide range of inspirations across the band; 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?

In the start it was The Runaways/Joan Jett (for me) and Halestorm. Halestorm is still there as I found Lizzy Hale being a great inspiration and their music is also still quite similar to ours. Then a year ago me and Ozzy found Thirty Seconds To Mars and smaller bands in the same genre and got amazed. Muse has always been one of my favorite band, but it wasn’t obvious to have a band inspired by them because I wasn’t sure of what I could or could not sing. Straight forward hard rock is for me an “easier” genre; both in the writing sometimes and with the vocals since it suits me well and I know how to master it. What we are doing now is more challenging in some ways and for me that is awesome.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?

We put together the songs in the rehearsal room. But me and Ozzy often write some foundations to the songs that we bring to our rehearsal. Patrick adds his cool rhythms and details to the songs and Sara adds her dynamic thinking. I write the lyrics and Ozzy produces and writes the songs at home in his home studio.

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

I write what is true for me right now and I often describe my lyrics as letters to people who need to hear them. It’s very often about change and going in a positive direction with yourself.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

We have released two songs since the new line up was formed and with our new sound. The first one – The Change – was released in October last year along with Sweden’s first rock video filmed in 360 degrees. It went viral and we gained many new followers from Mexico and Brazil, where we think our music is much appreciated. In March this year we released a second single – This Must Be – with a music video which included some live clips from a great big venue outside Stockholm.

How about some insight to the themes and premise behind them?

I try to always be positive and encouraging in my lyrics. I want it to be somehow poetic more than straight in your face, and I want it to be subtle, in that way a song about love can as well mean something else for someone else. Feelings are the same sometimes, like whether it’s about losing someone to death or separating from someone you have a strong relationship to.

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?

Since Ozzy is the master of the sound (recording for us), he likes to build a song step by step. So it’s a constant process!

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We have a lot of energy on stage and we love to interact with our audience, and to be on stage together! You can see clearly that we all love to be on stage. We want to tour abroad as often as we can, it makes us stoked and it’s so great to combine your passion for music with traveling around the world, meeting different kind of people.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Yes of course. Our answer is quite obvious: social media. Using Facebook ads and targeting the right audience, knowing your audience, posting the right content on the right time, making YouTube covers to let new people find your music… the list goes on. There are lots of opportunities for bands to go on their own today.

So the internet and social media has positively impacted on the band to date?

Yes, I think that I’ve found a way to make it a positive way for success and that other bands should discover this and have a lot of patience too. It takes much time to learn all about it, to find your target audience and how to reach them. But it’s all worth it when you see results.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us Hanna; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We are coming to England on tour again in May! Playing in London, Tamworth and Birmingham… It’s gonna be a blast, we came last year for the first time and played with the London based metal band Evyltyde. Thanks to them we found some contacts and are now able to go on our headline mini tour. To smaller bands that want to tour abroad: make gig swaps. Let a band come to your home town and book them on some gigs and let them do the same for you. Share lodging, transport costs and voila! You’re on tour abroad without any expensive booking agency. Don’t be afraid to Do It Yourself! Big thank you for reading all of this and thanks for the interview!

http://www.noceantheband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/noceantheband/   https://twitter.com/noceantheband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Heel – The Parts We Save

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Amongst many eagerly anticipated offerings this year has to be the debut album from UK alternative rock quartet Heel. Having impressed with their first EP and even more so with subsequent releases as well as a striking stage presence, Heel has been one of the bands enveloped by increasing acclaim over recent times. It has put some strong expectations of The Parts We Save upon them which the London band has appeased with ease. Maybe at times the album does not quite fulfil all the potential within it but for rousing, imagination sculpted rock/pop contagiousness, the album persistently hits the spot with adventure and charm.

Formed in the winter of 2011 from guitarist Daniel and vocalist Margarita’s songwriting sessions, Heel quickly began working on their first EP once its line-up was completed by bassist Fred and drummer Nick. Produced by Justin Hill (Sikth), their opening release quickly grabbed attention and praise. Its success was subsequently pushed further by its successor Stranger Just The Same in 2014, an encounter also recorded with Hill. With video/singles luring play on the likes of Scuzz TV and Kerrang, the band set about working on an album, flying out to Japan`s legendary Geimori studio in Sapporo to record The Parts We Save with Daniel and Margarita producing.

Mixed by Ben Grosse and Paul Pavao (Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Depeche Mode, Ben Folds, Thirty Seconds to Mars, etc.) and mastered by Tom Baker (Beastie Boys, Deftones, David Bowie, B.B. King), the album swiftly shows the growth in the band’s magnetic sound and its maturity in songwriting as opener An Apology sets to work stirring up ears. The first single from the release when uncaged last December, the song immediately consumes the senses in a sonic lure from which a bass led swagger within sultry caresses of guitar bounds. Its catchiness is instant and only strengthened by Margarita’s alluring vocals. Carrying thick drama to its rhythmic design and exotically seductive grooves, the track also develops an infectious No Doubt like charm which lies agreeably upon Heel’s own web of melody and imagination fuelled tenacity.

'The Parts We Save' Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe excellent opening to the album continues with Selfish Burn which again has that Gwen Stefani and co spicing to its feisty pop ‘n’ roll. Throaty funk infused bait from Fred’s bass provides a potent spine to the song, an agitated smoulder of sonic and melodic resourcefulness laying upon it whilst Margarita’s tones again add a lusty freshness with a tinge of mischief to the temptation. Though seemingly crafted from the same template as the first and next up Yellow & Bliss, each song reveals its own individual and forcibly enticing character. The third track, and the band’s brand new video/single, is a lively shuffle with skittish rhythms and an animated gallop of chords and hooks beneath a breeze of warm harmonies and psych rock tinged enterprise, and quite irresistible.

Nothing New strolls in next with a melodic smile on its face and a devilish bassline at its heart for another inviting slice of impassioned pop rock whilst Shatter is a tender flirtation initially, which brews up into a spirited canter of jangling guitar and animated vocals aligned to mesmeric harmonies. By its close, the gentleness of the song is a near on surge of energy and passion, and increasingly bewitching.

The mellow croon of Cool allows body and emotions to settle; well at first as soon it also raises its enthusiastic agility and creative zeal to lead feet and hips on a merry dance egged on by virulent rhythms. A vibrant and catchy mix of textures and energies, the song has pleasure flowing, running right into the path of the outstanding Keep Running Back To Me. A tapestry of dynamic rock ‘n’ roll as punkish as it is bluesy, as feverishly tenacious as it is rapaciously heavy; the track is like a mix of My Baby and Spinnerette with a touch of Throwing Muses to it and quickly ignites appetite and emotions.

The dark drama of Live This Forever takes over, the track also a heavier proposal with a punk/grunge breeding to its invention and a fiery attitude to its emotive heart. It prowls, almost stalks ears as it unveils its shadow rich theatre, again grabbing eager involvement in its proposal before Fake Love twists and turns with its pop punk infused 4 Non Blondes like rock ‘n’ roll to great success.

Finishing with the tantalising melodic breeze of Streets Full Of You, a final harmonic and emotive kiss on ears with its own line in imaginative shadows, The Parts We Save is an encounter with plenty of eagerly lingering moments. Some songs are a more instant and imposing arousal than others, but each only provides rich enjoyment and an appetite for more from a band still growing into its skin of originality but establishing itself as one of Britain’s brightest propositions.

The Parts We Save is released March 4th via iTunes and Amazon.

http://www.heelband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Heellondon   https://twitter.com/heellondon

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kill The Ideal – Heritage

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Ferociously melodic and raucously captivating, it is fair to say that our introduction to UK alternative rockers Kill The Ideal has been a fiercely enjoyable infestation of ears and appetite. It came through the band’s debut EP Heritage, an invigorating four song ride of anthemic proportions cast with intimate passion and explosive energy. It is an encounter which roars and croons with equal tenacity, very often simultaneously, and leaves a real hunger for more of its fresh invention and warm familiarity.

Formed in 2010, the Boston quartet release Heritage off a highly successful 2014 which saw the band light up stages alongside the likes of Lost Alone, Lonely The Brave, and Hawthorne Heights, shows adding to their CV of playing with bands such as Nine Black Alps, The First, Climates, and Emp!re. The foursome also left a mark on BBC Introducing in East Midlands before heading into the studio to create their first EP. Recorded with producer Lee Batiuk (Deaf Havana), Heritage is the potential spark to broader national awareness, and such its impressive body there is no doubting fires will be lit in a great many.

The EP’s title track stokes attention first, a raw stroke of guitar licking at ears initially before it all boils up into a pleasingly fiery stroll littered by the jabbing beats of drummer Jordan Bell and veined with a great dark bassline from Luke Farmer. Though the edge to the riffs is still slightly caustic there is a sharper and spicier tone to the subsequent melodies and hooks of guitarists Ross Gallagher and Ash Wilson hereon in, whilst the latter’s vocals bring an expressive and potent heart to the increasingly compelling encounter. The track is seemingly always on the precipice of a riot yet manages to bind its unbridled passion for a controlled yet incendiary anthem of a proposition. The song is a gem of a start to the release, an offering unleashing the addictive lure of a Lower Than Atlantis with the melodic fire of a Thirty Seconds to Mars and the impassioned angst of a Billy Talent.

Kill The Ideal - Heritage (EP Artwork)   There is no lessening of pleasure with its successor either. Higher again enters on a single caress of guitar though this time Wilson is there with the first breath to begin unveiling the song’s narrative. Once more it is an engaging start which swiftly becomes a contagion as Bell’s swings thump away with addictive bait whilst hooks and harmonies flame within the striking frame of his incitement. Fluid moments of melodic seducing only accentuate the potency and aggression of the band’s explosive tenacity, the anthemic virulence reminding of Always The Quiet Ones as the ability of Kill The Ideal to entwine tempestuous musical bellowing with gentle melody rich reflections simply impresses.

It would be fair to say that after two tracks the band had thoughts and emotions won over, leaving the remaining temptations of The Fire and My Friend an easier persuasion to make. Both though take nothing for granted and uncage their own individual inventive storms of sound and imagination. The first of the two probably feels the most recognisable of all the songs, offering more expected elements but still forcibly convinces with great jagged riffs and an excellent vocal union across the band whilst its successor is a slice of seriously catchy and similarly impassioned melody soaked rock ‘n’ roll with a roar to its heart and ruggedness to its energy.

Both tracks complete in fine and riveting style one outstanding release; in fact it is hard to imagine that Kill The Ideal could have made a better entrance into the wider spotlight of the British music scene than Heritage but easy to suggest even bigger and bolder things are destined to come from the exciting band.

The Heritage EP is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/heritage-ep-ep/id967280243

https://www.facebook.com/KillTheIdeal

Ringmaster 31/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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