Interview with Ocna's Dale Hudson
Q: What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
A: Growing up in leafy Crowborough, East Sussex, there was little to do except music or sport. As I oppose sport in almost every form, it had to be music. Were I not doing music now, I’d probably be a street urchin in my spare time.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
A: All four of us live by the sea, and that’s quite a draw. Literally. It seems to have a magnetic pull, and the cliffs nearby are also beautiful. I hope our music somehow reflects the sea in terms of expanse, atmospherics, depth, and saltiness. But not by being full of shit.
Q: Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
A: We’re based in Brighton, and specifically, in a shed/studio that my bandmate Karl built. We’re completely self-contained in that we record and produce ourselves. That self-isolation has an effect on our sound. We don’t have any external filters, or anyone telling us what to do. We’re completely independent. Is that good or bad? I guess the listener is the judge.
Q: If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
A: Among contemporary musicians, Mark Peters (of Engineers) has some lovely soundscapes. Maybe throw in Robin Guthrie, Beach House and a resurrected Jacques Brel. Playing with Harry Styles would probably ramp up our Spotify numbers. I like Harry’s tune “As It Was”.
Q: If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
A: Don’t try to operate a drum machine live if you’re drunk. Also, I should have learned how to play piano, as it’s such a fundamental instrument. That said, I’m glad that I play guitar only by ear. It’s liberating to make up music purely by intuition. Recording-wise, nail the drums first. If they don’t sound right, the rest will never work.
Q: Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
A: “When” means the most to me because it’s about the death of my brother. I never expressed myself properly at the time, because I couldn’t, but I hope I got it all out in that song. Also, it’s pretty good musically. Simple, with nice keys, drums and bass, even though the intro’s a bit long.
Q: What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
A: Our songs so far have been introspective. That’s because we’re mostly repressed Englishmen/women, so we’re using music as a means of expressing what we’re too shy to talk about. We probably should be more political, but few people in music are, no? Most pop musicians seem to fear that saying anything truly controversial will damage their listener stats. Which is bizarre, considering how surreally messed up the U.K. is right now. There’s so much to say about that.
Q: What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
A: We have a new single called “Less Luminous” coming out on October 14. It’s very noir, a bit chanson, and orchestral with a big, strings- and horns-heavy climax. We dig it. Also on September 30 we’ll release an instrumental version of “When”, which was mastered differently and sounds more subtle. We’re working on plenty of new stuff and hope to do some live shows soon. And one day we might get the hang of social media.