Interview with The Oceans
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Dan Joe: “I remember seeing a The Beatles documentary when I was maybe around 8 or 9 years old. After that I started playing my fathers old guitar. And started to write lyrics. Then when I was around maybe 13 or 14 years old I started a band with a couple of friends. We played cover songs of Green Day, The Cranberries, Nirvana and stuff like that. We called the band Handcuffed To The Radiator, because one of the girls in the band had handcuffed herself to a radiator and thrown away the key ☺ “
Linus: There was always instruments in the house when I was a kid. My dad is a guitarist/singer/songwriter, so music has just always been there. Him and his band used to rehears in a shack in our garden, so sometimes I sneaked out of bed and into the shack, where I was just sitting listening for hours.
If I had not gotten into music, I would have been something else where I could use my creative sides - I guess. Or maybe got more serious with my football playing ;-)
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We really like going to concerts. And almost every time we’re at a concert we get inspired on how you can do something different with your own music, whether it’s the songwriting, the sound, the use of an instrument or the live performance. We also get inspired by going out experiencing stuff like art, the city of Copenhagen, the countryside, people etc. Hanging out in a pub watching football is nice too!
How long has your band been around?
We met at a jam in the fall of 2014, ended at a morning party where we decided to form a band and not long after we started writing and record songs.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of Copenhagen, Denmark. The music scene there is very diverse and vibrant when you dig into the small clubs, the small scenes and the whole upcoming scene. So we get inspired by loads of our colleagues but also just the city.
Joe: Sometimes when I write a song I’ll sit somewhere, where there is a lot of traffic and a lot of people, and I simply use that noise and life to tune in on my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I also use it to describe some of the scenes or people and begin to create stories about them. Which ends up becoming a song.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
After some time of writing and recording songs we felt we were ready to release a demo. We needed a name and had a few suggestions. Linus came up with The Oceans and it felt and looked right. It reminds us that everything is connected and that we are all part of the same stream, structure and world.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Pretty early in the bands career we played a sold out show at a festival in Tivoli, Copenhagen. That was pretty wicked and we remember having the feeling that this could be big.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
There is a lot of cool places to play in Denmark so it is hard to pick one. We are dreaming of one day playing at Roskilde Festival (the biggest festival in Denmark) as well as getting our music abroad to a bigger audience. Across the ocean.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Smiths, New Order, The Cure, The Raveonettes, Ride, Slowdive
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?
Play as much as you can, rehearse as much as you can (and then a bit more), don’t talk or think too much about your plans, just do it. Go play concerts. And do it all for your own sake, simply because you find it fun,
And this is serious, Kids. When you’re bored, don’t pick up your stupid phone. The best ideas come from boredom. When you’re bored pick up the guitar, notebook or what ever. It’s good for you.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Use more time on music, writing and rehearsing. Don’t waste too much time partying :) And remember to listen to music and don’t be too narrow-minded. Listen to a lot of different stuff. There’s inspiration to find in all kinds of music.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
We got a song called We Really Miss You which written to an old friend, which is not among us anymore. So that of course means a lot and every time we play it, I (Dan Joe) look up and say hello.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
My Copenhagen Love and High On You has been requested a lot and are both fun to play. We haven’t toured with our new album yet, but we have an idea that it could be Did You Know or Young & High – two of the singles from the new album.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Both of us write songs. We don’t meet up every week to write together. It’s more like one of us sends over an idea or a Logic session file, then the other take over, edits or just comments on it, and that’s how it goes back and forth. And when we have a bunch of rough demos we meet up in Linus’ studio to finish them up.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Simply try to describe feelings with music and words. Try to make something people can connect to and see themselves in.
On the new record our one big message is “Love Above All”. We’re in this together. Everything is connected and we are all part of the same stream, structure and world. And without love what are we then? Love in every sentence and not just the teenage crush.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We can’t remember any big disagreement. It is not rare that we have different opinions on the creative part of our project but we’re quite good at talking about it and picking the best idea. There was this one time though, where we played a gig and right when we left the stage, I (Dan Joe) kicked the first chair backstage in anger. Linus and the band thought that I was mad at them, but after I chilled down I explained it was because I fucked up in the last song.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re now ready with our debut album ‘Love Above All’ due the 9th of September on Celebration Records, so that’s what we’ve been working on for quite some time. Right now we’re rehearsing with the band getting ready to play some live shows when the album is out, and then again in Denmark (Copenhagen and Odense) in October and we have a few dates in Germany in November to be announced.