VENTS: Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
BRIAN: Doing great, excited to finally release our new record into the wild! Feels like it’s been a long time coming with this one.
VENTS: Can you talk to us more about your single “Spinning Circles”?
BRIAN: Sure, it was actually one of the tracks on the album that just barely made the cut in pre-production, but a song that the band grew more and more attached to as time went on. “Spinning Circles” is a song about life’s constant change. I think as we go through it we find ourselves always looking ahead, setting goals and moving toward the next milestone or phase it has to offer, and we tend to believe “when I get there, it’ll be all good.” But what usually happens is just before you are about to reach that next phase in your life, your brain, or at least mine, is already preoccupied on what’s around the corner and if you look at life from a high level you’re never cleanly arriving or departing any of these phases at all, it’s all just part of living your life.
VENTS: Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
BRIAN: Not anything more specific that just getting older, starting families, losing and gaining friends, and so on. Kurt and I have been writing music together now for over 17 years, and when we wrote the lyrics to this song we spent a lot of time reflecting on our past, and we were surprised how much really has changed over that period of time. For me, “Spinning Circles” isn’t just a reminder of life’s changes and it’s evolution, but it also reveals the parts of your life that remain constant and how those are the things you need to make sure you take care of.
VENTS: Any plans to release a video for the single?
BRIAN: Yeah, we’ve actually been working on some really fun ideas for homemade lyric videos this time around. The plan right now is to create a lyric video for every song on the record, fingers crossed, all with very different concepts. We are starting with one for “Spinning Circles” where we are asking our fans to submit some footage of their home town that we can edit together into one view of the world. I love those billboards they have around San Francisco with an amazing picture and then it says ’shot on an iPhone’. So hopefully we’ll get some great looking footage.
VENTS: The single comes off your new album Waking, Sleeping, Dreaming – what’s the story behind the title?
BRIAN: The title comes from an interview where I heard George Harrison describe the concept of a “mantra” within meditation. He was saying that a mantra is the phrase repeated over and over during meditation that not only helps you concentrate and focus, but to allows your mind go beyond the “waking, sleeping, dreaming” state. I really liked that as a metaphor as we began approaching our third album as Oceanroyal. Making music is a creative exploration and exercise that requires a lot of focus. The process is iterative and very difficult at times, and what that phrase means to me is to go beyond the day to day and search for what’s beyond what you think is possible. The band is really proud of the eight songs on this album and I think they all turned out to be much better than we even thought possible.
VENTS: How was the recording and writing process?
BRIAN: The recording process was an incredible experience. It started in our living rooms with acoustic guitars as it normally does, then to our rehearsal rooms where we worked for a long time developing over thirty song ideas, then to Green Day’s Jingletown studios in Oakland to track our big beautiful drum sound, and finally into the woods of Northern California to record the rest at the home studio of our co-producer and engineer, Sean Beresford. This record has some serious miles on it.
VENTS: What was it like to work with Sean Beresford and how did that relationship develop?
BRIAN: We’ve now been working with Sean for over five years and what has been a constant over all that time, and the reason we enjoy collaborating with him so much, is his endless curiosity and search for how to make the songs sound the best they possibly can. His work ranges from metal to folk and everything in between, but what he’s always trying to do is figure out how to unlock the best album from the songs we bring to him, and that’s the best kind of co-producer we could ever ask for.
VENTS: How much did he influence the album?
BRIAN: Sean was the king of all things sonic on the record, so if there are any sounds you love, he gets all the credit. We brought him in during pre-production, and made sure to get his feedback on the arrangements, but he played a huge role in how we thought each song should sound and then tried to map out how we might get there in the end. Everything from developing the guitar tones to the subtle background effects, Sean influenced it all.
VENTS: Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
BRIAN: Going back to the album title, the songs really came from being at a turning point in our lives, and making a decision to slow down a bit while at the same time making sure that things you’re dedicating your life to are getting the time, focus and fire they need to be successful.
VENTS: Any plans to hit the road?
BRIAN: Yes, definitely. We are still working through where and when we will play, but we are always making sure our set is tight and ready to go, so keep an eye out on our website and Facebook page for tour dates.
VENTS: What else is happening next in Oceanroyal‘s world?
BRIAN: We’re going to be pretty busy promoting Waking, Sleeping, Dreaming, but I wouldn’t be surprised we get back into the studio much faster after this record. The process of making this album was so much fun that I think we’re all excited to keep it up. 2017 is going to be a busy, but really fun year for the band.