THE OCEANSIZE INTERVIEW
The Oceansize Interview
Where did you all meet each other?
In various higher education establishments in the north of England. Mike and I were studying Lesbian Political History and the others were studying Circus Acrobatics and Geography. Forming a band seemed like the obvious thing to do.
The name Oceansize comes from a Jane's Addiction track.
Were you big fans?
I think Mike and Steve were into them. I don't really like them. Dave Navarro is a bit of a nob don't you think?
Who are your main influences for your playing styles?
I didn't grow up listening to guitar based stuff so I have no guitar heroes but when I saw Nine Inch Nails in Manchester in 1994 their guitarist Robin Finck scared the shit out of me. I loved the way he attacked his guitar with his whole arm instead of a pick. That's kind of how I play, no technique at all!
Your first album ‘Effloresce' is a classic in our book (it also came 8th in our best debut albums of all time).
How did you put such a good album out at the first attempt, did you realise at the time that you had made a ‘special' record, and are you proud of it???
The reason it's special to us is that it's our first record. It was the culmination of our first five years together. Personally I think that some of the tracks have aged better than others. We were planning on playing some of the tracks on our recent tour but decided against it!
You next released an EP ‘Music For Nurses', though the actual track with that name didn't appear until your second album.
Was that recorded at the time of the EP and if so, why was it left off??
The EP is called ‘Music for Nurses'. The track on E.I.P is called ‘Music for a Nurse'. These are two totally separate entities. Nothing to do with each other. ‘Music for a Nurse' wasn't written until months after the ‘Music for Nurses' EP.
What sort of music do you think nurses really like?
The second album ‘Everyone Into Position' was criticised even from some parts of your fan base, even though there are some superior moments on there.
Was this album an attempt to reach the masses and were you yourselves disappointed with any aspects of it??
We did try to put a couple of singles on there and it didn't do us any good whatsoever. I think Frames was a reaction to that. E.I.P is a very diverse record, a bit too diverse sometimes. I think it's the least cohesive of our records.
Was there any moments of panic when bassist Jon Ellis left?
Yes of course. He was a founding member of the band and as with anybody who leaves you think they are irreplaceable.
‘Frames', your third album, was very progressive, and didn't have any tracks that were obvious standout ‘singles' material.
Was this a route chosen by the band consciously?
Yes, I stated before it was probably a reaction to what we tried to do on E.I.P. We figured that singles weren't really going to do us any good so we didn't even think about them.
You toured Australia early last year. Over there, progressive rock can be heard on the national radio, with their own bands like Karnivool and Cog doing very well. Prog Rock certainly isn't a dirty word Down Under.
Is prog a term that you mind Oceansize being associated with?
I did at first but now I don't care. I can't see any similarities between us and these so called prog bands but obviously other people can. I think our music is progressive in a forward thinking kind of way.
Your new album ‘Self-Preserved While The Bodies Float Up', is a very heavy affair and scales the heights of your debut album. And it needs to be listened to as a proper album, i.e. from start to finish.
Are you big fans of the album format and do you think that format will survive??
I think it's pretty obvious that we are fans of that format. We've always tried put a collection of songs together that would work as an album and that would be best listened to in one go. I think with the advent of download singles the art of the album has diminished slightly but I doubt it will die.
Where does the album title come from?
From the bowels of Mikes demented mind.
Mike, you tour with Biffy Clyro as a second guitarist.
Do you keep your top on so that you don't get shown-up with your lack of body art compared to the others?
Yes I did tour with Biffy Clyro recently. Did I tell you I went to Japan? No? Well then. On a recent tour with Biffy Clyro I went to Japan. That's JAPAN. I bought a watch.
First singles ever bought?
19 by Paul Hardcastle.
First albums ever bought?
Something by Jean-Michel Jarre probably.
Last albums bought?
Grinderman 2 by Grinderman
Are you vinyl, CD, iTunes or mp3 men?
I'm an all 3 man.
Desert Island/Isle Of Mann Discs - What 5 albums would you take?
How to escape from a desert island - Bob Marley and the Wailers
101 Survival tips - David Bowie
A Beginners Guide to Survival - Interpol
Desert Island Survival for Dummies - Buggles
No Jacket Required - Phil Collins
What is your fantasy band?
Angelina Jolie - Vocals
Kelly Brook - Guitar
Phoebe Cates - Bass
Louise Brooks - Drums
Me - Keyboards
First gigs attended?
AC/DC, Status Quo, Jean-Michel Jarre,
First gig played and its abiding memory?
It was at Band On The Wall in Manchester and the only memory I have is I had red hair at the time.
What bands did you support when you were starting out?
Biffy Clyro, The Cooper Temple Clause, Cave In, Sisters Of Mercy.
Best gig played?
Probably the Koko, just recently.
Favourite gig venues?
The Koko in London. The Vera in Groningen. Karlsruhe Substage.
I thought I was a jinx for the band for a while, after the first two times I saw you live (at the Joiners in Southampton and Guildfest in 2004), your set was hampered due to terrible problems with your sound and equipment.
Luckily things went smoothly finally when I saw you at the Wedgewood Rooms a few years later.
Do you remember those gigs?
I remember a few of the Joiners gigs. The stage was so small that we had to play in a line all next to each other. I don't think we could fit our gear onto that stage now.
What state do you think the Music Industry will be in 10years time?
Everyone will have downloaded every song ever written but won't have the time to listen to it all and not even the time to search through their 10 Billion gig hard drive to find what they want. So they'll read a book instead. But not a real book, an electronic one. Cunts.
Favourite tour cuisine?
Favourite tour drinks?
5 Favourite Films of All-Time?
Oh Mr Porter!
Ask A Policeman
Where's That Fire?
Old Bones of The River
Favourite TV shows?
Auf Weidersehen Pet.
What 5 Books will you always go back to?
War Of The Worlds
Down And Out In Paris And London
Perdido Street Station
Flowers For Algernon
What football teams do you follow?
None. Overpaid Wife Beating Closet Homosexuals.
Heroes in Life?
My Sister, Kay.