Oceansize Interview

Image by DJ Webb
By Armchair Anarchist

Nearing the end of a tour promoting their latest album ‘Everyone Into Position’, Oceansize dropped into Portsmouth to play the Wedgewood Rooms. Armchair Anarchist managed to corner them before the show and ask a few questions.

AA: Every band hates to be pigeonholed, but if you had to put yourselves in a box, what box would it be?

Mike [vocals, guitar]: Progressive death indie! We always get stuck with the ‘prog’ tag. You don’t wanna lumber yourself with that kinda thing. Every style of music can have its shite side.
Mark [drums]: If you can look at a ‘magic eye’ picture and get it, or at least make the effort to try, you’ll probably get our music.

AA: Anyone in the same box with you?

Gambler [guitar]: Not big enough - very small box!
Mike: With all our equipment, there’s just no room.

AA: Any collaborations in the pipeline?

Mike: We’re making arrangements to get involved with the ‘Your Codename is Milo’ desert sessions thing.

AA: Any fantasy collaborations?

Steve [guitar, vox]: God!
Mark: Rob Crow from Heavy Vegetable.
Mike: I’m in his friends on Myspace now!

AA: How many friends do you have on there?

Mike: Personally? About sixteen!

AA: What about your creative process? How do you write those big complex songs? Do you start with the lyrics?

Gambler: Lyrics always come last.
Mike: We compile a lot of motifs and they get bent into different bits. We end up with twenty different versions of one idea, completely unalike.
Steve: We record everything we play at the rehearsal room, so it’s fully editable - we use Logic Audio. We can compare bits, see what works with what, cutting and pasting.
Mike: [We’re] compiling a library of little gems, little nubs. Suddenly one day you work out what a bit needs to do, where it needs to go.

AA: What advice would you offer young unsigned bands?

Mike: Get a manager.

AA: Before you get signed?

Mike: Definitely. If you think you’re worth presenting to the whole world, you need someone with a bit of clout behind them, some confidence. And a leather jacket. No leather jacket, then they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing! You need to trust someone to deal with [the business] side of it, while you make sure the music’s as good as it can be.
Steve: Having your own soundman is important too - you wanna impress people as much as you can.

AA: Do you think downloading is making music a more democratic arena?

Mark: Definitely. It’s deregulating a lot of things. Anyone has the power to make music and spread it around as a taster; then you can buy direct from the source. Each person or band could be their own record company now. The internet is just the conduit.

AA: The album’s been out in the U.S. for about a month. Do you plan to ‘crack the States’?

Mike: Find someone to lend us twenty grand, we’ll be right over! You’d have to literally move there for a year to even think about it. Someone out of Cooper Temple Clause told me ‘You can’t flirt with America, you have to shag it.’