sábado, 23 de mayo de 2009

Interview - THE OCEAN

English text
The Ocean
Martín: Hi there! First of all introduce THE OCEAN to our readers.

Robin: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the realm of the sea creatures. We live in the darkest abysses of the inscrutable ocean where blackness and the pressure of 1000 atmosphere reign. The prevailing pressure, the cold temperatures and the lack of light must have a quite significant impact on our music... but apart from that, we're happy people. Happy sea creatures, that is.

M: Tell us about the connexion between Pelagic Records and THE OCEAN.

R: I have been juggling around with the idea of starting a label for a while, for a number of reasons. It's always best to do as much yourself as possible, and I want to be in a position one day where I don't have to beg other people to realize a certain kind of artwork and where the revenue from our own album sales goes back into our own hands. This is not the case today, and in many years of being involved in music, I have not met a single band who ever received any royalties from their record label. So doing it yourself is the only way that really makes sense, but it takes a while until you have set up a proper distribution and promotion network. I was quite surprised actually how easy things have been going with Pelagic so far. We have managed to establish good distribution all over Europe, and our first release, Fluxion, is being licensed in the US through Metal Blade.

Pelagic will be releasing quality music of bands and artists who have a vision and who do whatever they do with passion and style. I will use the label as a platform to manifest my belief that I have voiced with The Ocean many times, that an album can be more and should be more than the sum of its tracks. We will release few albums a year, but each single one will be special and will have outstanding artwork and packaging. Our first releases so far are the new Fluxion album, the repress of the Precambrian 3xLP, an awesome Swiss band called Nebra, and in the fall, a project I have been involved with for a while but had to put on hold due to heavy ocean activities... that project is me with the former drummer of 3 Inches of Blood/Catharsis and a few other good dudes...

M: Why did you decide to remake “Fluxion”? What are the differences between the original “Fluxion” and this one?

R: The new edition of Fluxion comes with completely new recorded vocals by our recent vocalist Mike Pilat, who has just left the band... it doesn't bother us so much, as The Ocean has always been a collective to some degree and I'm sure we will find a good replacement in the long run. The vocals on the new edition are much more diverse than the vocals on the original edition of Fluxion.
This is probably the most striking difference, as on the new edition you will find everything from clean sung vocals to rough throaty vocals to all kinds of screams, high and low.

We also remixed the album completely from scratch and remastered it. It sounds way different and is much closer to the sound we were aiming for with the original Fluxion... much more precision and tidiness on one hand, a dirtier, heavier bass sound on the other hand. Everything is clearly audible now and, bluntly put, sounds heaps better than before!

M: Is there a main concept behind the album? What about the lyrics?

R: There is a red threat going through the lyrics, yes. The prevailing theme on Fluxion is different aspects of power. Power of symbols, economic power, the powers ruling and draining our everyday lives and forcing us to live in a way that is not really satisfiying for the idnividual anymore. In that regard, “Fluxion” is a power metal album :)

The Ocean

M: Your music is as eclectic as complex. How is the process to create that kind of music?

R: Polyphonic music like this usually does not originate when 3 people jam together in a rehearsal space. The Ocean has always been composed music, written by one person mainly, which happens to be myself, and then reworked and rearranged together with the other boys. I usually record pre-productions with all instruments myself, then play it to the other guys and then everyone transfers my ideas to their own style of playing and adds his identity to it.

M: “Fluxion” has a beautiful image. Tell us about the artwork.

R: We wanted to have an artwork for the re-release of Fluxion that makes strong reference to the artwork of our 2005 album “Aeolian”, as the 2 albums were recorded in one recording session and were originally meant to be released together. So the artwork picks up the same kind of theme, where “Aeolian” was the wind-album and came with images of skies, “Fluxion” is apparently the “water” album and comes with images of waves and water. Martin Kvamme, who is known for his works for most of Mike Patton's projects was responsible for the artwork once more, he already worked for us on “Precambrian”, and he's one good dude...

M: THE OCEAN plays a kind of Progressive Metal. What is your opinion about the evolution of this genre and the new waves?

R: There's a few interesting things happening and a lot of boredom, if you ask me. I am not following everything very closely anymore these days, I am pretty much fed up with metal, with very few exceptions. The more music I write myself the fewer I find myself listening to contemporary music for some reason... I'm sure I'm missing out on a few things but I find writing more interesting then listening these days.

M: What is your opinion about the internet and mp3 downloads?

R: It's not going to replace the carrying medium, be it CD or vinyl. People who love music always want to have something to hold in their hands, art to look at, lyrics to read. Of course you have to give them a reason, nobody is buying CDs with a 2-page black and white booklet anymore. The desire to have something to hold in your hands, this is the fetish character of the good, as Marx described it, yes. But a fetish can be a sweet thing you know... I am not opposed to downloads, and I think in a medium scale perspective they may be in competition with selling records, but I think in the long run both is just going to coexist.

M: Your Top Five albums?

R: Right now?
Earthless – Rhythms form a Cosmic Sky
Mastodon – Crack the Skye
God Is an Astronaut – everything
Mulatu Astatke – Inspiration Information
The Faceless – Planetary Duality

M: Thank you very much for your time. Here you have space to write what you want as farewell.

R: Be prepared for our new album, which we will record this summer. It is going to be very different. So if you're into The Ocean as of 2008, go check out “Fluxion”. You find it at Thanks for your time if you have come through reading until here, it is muchly appreciated!

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