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Interview

Ocean Architecture Members Discuss Debut Album "Animus"

Tennessee's Ocean Architecture is currently hard at work on the band's debut full-length album "Animus," which is currently slated for a release later this Fall.

Bursting at the seams with style shifts and boasting influences from a huge array of sources, ranging from jazz to rock to death metal, the band has already released a teaser for the album with the demo song "Plato's Cave" (available for streaming here).

As work on "Animus" continues, the lads from Ocean Architecture corresponded with Metalunderground.com to give an update on the album's progress and discuss what's been going on with the band lately. They also talk about a life-changing Rush concert, the Nashville metal scene, and the concept behind the upcoming new album.

xFiruath: How did the band members originally get together?

Kyle: Well Joe and Nic were both in our college marching band, but they didn’t really know each other. Says Nic, “We started talking about music and he showed me his Until Sunrise CD.” It was about a week later that I saw Nic and Joe sitting in the lobby of our dorm. Somebody had told me that Joe had a band so I decided to go introduce myself. Nic immediately asked me if I happen to like Dream Theater (laughs). Of course, I’m a huge fan so we just started talking about influences and decided to jam sometime.

We started looking for a bassist after our first few jam sessions. Joe said he met a bassist in his customs group named Eric so we talked to him a bit and he seemed interested. His musical interests were a little different but he fit right like family. From there we looked for a singer. We found Cedric Dzameshie, who was a great fit for a while, but eventually we decided it just wasn’t working. We were going for a heavier style. So we found Parker through Joe and the fit was once again perfect.

xFiruath: Is there any particular significance behind the band’s name?

Kyle: Haha, not really. We were just dicking around with possible band names and Joe came up with Ocean Architecture. We thought it sounded really… colorful. Like we wanted our music to be.

xFiruath: What’s going on as far as a debut full-length?

Kyle: As I compile these answers, Nic and I are actually at Joe’s house in Frederick, Maryland laying down guitars and drums while Joe goes direct-in to ProTools to track keys. Eric will be up later in July, and Parker will hopefully track vocals in August/September. This is all for our debut full-length album, “Animus,” which will hopefully be released later this fall.

xFiruath: What do your band’s lyrics usually deal with?

Kyle: This album’s loose concept surrounds the idea of man dealing with the forces in his life deemed to be threatening, pressurizing, invasive on his subconscious, etc. This idea culminates in the final two-part track “Animus,” which is Latin for “soul”. Is it the same person? Different people? People in general? I suppose it’s up to interpretation.

xFiruath: How does Ocean Architecture approach songwriting?

Kyle: Well this album for the most part has been created as follows: myself or Nic or Joe will come up with a riff/melody/idea and we’ll all just kinda jam on it for a while. We’ll start elaborating on it and eventually make it into something more grandiose. Repeat process haha.

xFiruath: What bands would you consider your biggest influences?

Kyle: Between the Buried and Me is a huge influence, along with Dream Theater, Protest the Hero, Devin Townsend, Muse, Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta, and Opeth.

Joe: Well for what I write with OA, I would say my influences are Between the Buried and Me, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, The Ascent of Everest, Periphery, Maudlin of the Well, and God is an Astronaut.

Nic: For me personally, Dream Theater, Rush, Yes, jazz fusion music, even blues and jazz.

xFiruath: What is your personal history in music and are you self-taught or did you take lessons?

Kyle: I took piano for a couple of years when I was in elementary school, but I was raised on classic rock, so my natural progression was to metal, which I started listening to in high school. That inspired me to pick up guitar. My formal training was for about a year and a half in jazz guitar. Other than that I have taught myself.

Joe: I've been playing piano for 11 years (classically trained) and guitar for 5 (self taught). I've played in jazz combo's and big bands, concert ensembles, and marching bands. I've also been playing in rock/metal bands for the past couple of years, including my other band Until Sunrise.

Eric: I was in band for 7 years playing saxophone while at the same time pursuing bass extracurricularly. I took lessons for about a month but I feel like it was a waste. I basically taught myself, I suppose.

xFiruath: How is your local metal scene these days?

Kyle: Well, while our personal hometown scenes all seemed to have diminished, Nashville’s metal scene seems to be making a turn for the better. The trend seems to be leaning toward a progressive edge, with a lot of bands going after the “djent” sound. What’s better is we’ve established fairly close ties with many of these bands.

xFiruath: Been to any great shows recently or seen anything crazy at a concert?

Kyle: The Rush concert was a tremendous treat… other than that my last great concert was seeing BTBAM with Devin Townsend, Cynic, and Scale the Summit.

Joe: I just saw The Wonder Years and Fireworks at Rocketown in Nashville, but other than that, I haven't been to any shows lately.

Nic: Man, Kyle and I went to see Rush back in April. My life hasn't been the same...

Eric: The last good show I went to was The Wonder Years and Fireworks. Like I said, I love pop punk and I love the energy. The last good metal show I went to was honestly one of our first shows at the Warehouse in Chattanooga, TN. We played with some great dudes in Unspoken Triumph, Every Word A Prophecy, and Deus Invictus and it was overall just an amazing time.

xFiruath: What bands or albums have you been listening to lately and what do you dig about them?

Kyle: BTBAM’s latest EP is freaking incredible. Also I’ve been pouring over Protest the Hero’s latest release, “Fear of a Blank Planet: by Porcupine Tree, The Reign of Kindo, IWrestledABearOnce, and Last Chance to Reason.

Joe: The Ascent of Everest's newish release “From This Vantage” is pretty incredible and I also really love BTBAM's new EP, but Gifts From Enola's self titled album is definitely the greatest recent discovery for me.

Nic: “Digital Veil” by The Human Abstract, Periphery's Debut, And “The Parallax” from Between the Buried and Me, have all blown my mind as far as new albums go.

Eric: I have been listening to We Came As Romans’ “To Plant A Seed” and Winds of Plague’s “Against the World.” Being in a heavy band that incorporates piano has made me appreciate other bands that do it all the more.

xFiruath: What other bands are you working with right now?

Kyle: Well I’m on the verge of starting a solo project, just to get a lot of ideas and songs out there that might not necessarily fit in OA. Our singer Parker Deal has his own acoustic solo project as well as another metal group called Beautiful Dying Day.

Nic: I am involved with an artist named Ryan Kenny, more of an acoustic-heavy singer/songwriter thing. I am also trying to get things worked out with this band called Invicta who is doing a tour around the same time as the recording so I still have to hash some stuff out. Other than that there are a couple of projects in the works but they are still in the brainstorming stages.

Joe: My other band Until Sunrise has been pretty successful, as we have just gotten signed from an experimental rock label over-seas in Germany called Oxide Tones. We expect to re-release our debut in physical form internationally later this month.

Eric: I have been toying with the idea of starting a hardcore or pop punk project or working on my rhymes and trying my hand at the rap game, haha.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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