Interview with Oceans on Orion
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
LK: That question is enough for a book.
As a child I always had “music in my head”. A soundtrack that accompanied my life. I used to wander the yard asking existential questions, singing and humming the melodies in my mind, blissfully unaware of how unusual that is. My parents, curious with their singing kid, signed me up to a choir, where I quickly became the lead singer. Singing rather fanciful boyish soprano parts. This was all during the 80’s in the Soviet Union. I got introduced to metal and the guitar later on after we left for Israel as refugees in the 90’s.
It was a red colored CD titled “The Last in Line” by Dio. It blew my mind. Dio’s vocals’ Vivian Campbels guitar work. Just a massive extravaganza of sound, attitude and energy. I was hooked and am still ever since.
If I didn’t have music in my head, I imagine I’d still be asking existential questions and doing something with them. Building things. Creating. Spoiler alert, in many ways I’m fortunate enough to do that.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
LK: I love long distance running while listening to books. It’s a very meditative experience and a great way to zone out.
How long has your band been around?
LK: Oceans on Orion got started around 2018 with a more traditional metal sound, releasing an EP called “As Summer Dies” under the name Hartsbane, before rebranding and switching to a more modern vibe, releasing multiple singles in preparation for our debut album which is due Early 2023.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
LK: We’re based in Tel Aviv Israel, which is a very colorful place. We’re rather different from the local metal scene which tends to be on the heavier side.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
LK: Another great question. Music is a long process. The distance between inception and release, between the events that inspire songs to the songs being released, can take years.
During that time it’s normal to question your sanity and to ask yourself if it’s all worth it. The name “Oceans on Orion” is in some ways a thought experiment. Consider this. Beauty is perceived by people. So if something is beautiful but no one has seen it. Maybe no one will ever see it. Is it still beautiful? For me the answer is a resounding yes. The odds are that there are oceans and places on distant planets that offer more beauty than the human eye has ever perceived. Knowing that they’re there, helps through the long haul between inception to release.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
LK: Our shows are blur to me, I’m so caught up in the art of execution that I tend to forget what exactly happened. The truly best parts are cliche. People singing our lyrics. Screaming it back at me. That’s a gift.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
LK: In Israel I love the Gagarin Club. Big stage and always a fun energy. Another big favorite of mine is Hard Rock Laager festival in Estonia. Such a fun place. They actually have a little river running next to the back stage that you can jump into after a long hot show. Amazing.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
LK: I’d love to share the stage with 30 Seconds to Mars, Cyhra and Panic at the Disco just because I love their shows.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
LK: Mark my words. Seriously. Ignore everything else and listen. These are words to live by. “Done is better than perfect.”
Seriously, a mediocre song released is better than a masterpiece in your drawer. Let go of perfectionism and just start. Start from nothing if you have to. And don’t hold on for things to be perfect. They never are.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
LK: Exactly the same thing I answered above, just with a good ass kicking because I tend to be quite stubborn.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
LK: In many ways our latest single “Start from Nothing”. The key lyric in the song is: “ If you’re too scared to start from nothing, nothing is all that you deserve”. A powerful statement. When I wrote it, I was very “Up” in my life and in my relationship. Fast forward to release time, I was going through a break up and watching my world burn. So I had to put the walking to the talking and follow my own advice. Still working on it. Not easy.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
LK: Tomorrow’s Rain, our first single is probably our most requested song. It’s a very melodic fun number with a big chorus and plenty of space for the audience to sing. It also took 4th place in Song of the Year on Israel’s Rock radio after spending more than 20 weeks in the chart, which was some sort of record.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
LK: Well life inspires me. Right now, following the break up, I’m 6 songs deep into the next Oceans on Orion album. Most of the writing happens when I run, or when I go through life. I take short voice memos with bits and pieces. When something ‘clicks’ into place, I open a midi editor and write out a full arrangement, usually in a few hours. From there it goes to the band, they make adjustments to their style and taste, I adjust the arrangement so everything sits together and voila, we have a song.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
LK: A lot of the songs discuss relationships, conflict and life as it meets us today. I don’t have a messaging checklist, but more often than not it’s about standing up when you’re down, accepting the inevitabilities of life and taking ownership of your choices.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
LK: We talk. A lot. We drink sometimes, And ultimately we have Sergei Metalheart, our guitarist and CEO who makes the bottom line decision. It’s important to remember that it’s music, art and life in general is a long haul and our ability to do well is usually based on how well you can get along with people.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
LK: We actually have a lot going on. We recently signed with Deadfall Management, who represent us and have an album planned for early 2023. In preparation for it we have several videos to produce and performances to crush. Hopefully by 2024 we’ll be knee deep in the festival circle.
Thank you so much for the interview. It’s been a very fun introspective.