INTERVIEW: Australian Rockers Ocean Alley

1) Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hot Chicken”?

It’s probably the most raucous song on the record and a bit of a different style for us. The lyrics tell a story about temptation and distraction with some quite dark imagery, which is coupled with this upbeat funky groove.

2) Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

It was a just a jam at first. We were stuffing around in between writing some of the other songs. We went back to it and decided to finish it off and slot it in. It was so much fun to jam and I think we could see it be even more fun to record and play live.

3) How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Mikey Askew from The Sauce created the video for Hot Chicken and spent many hours drawing and rendering and then animating all imagery in the clip. We wanted a style and theme that was unapologetic like the song and quite in your face. Mikey and his team came up with the storyboard and we were frothing from the get go.

4) The single comes off your new album Lonely Diamond – what’s the story behind the title?

We thought a diamond was a cool image to work into the artwork and could represent a window with lots of different viewpoints in line with how we wanted this collection of tracks to work. Solitude and emptiness are also themes of the record that are present so we felt it fit nicely in that way.

5) How was the recording and writing process?

It was pretty much the usual way we go about it. It was written and recorded over about a year in between a hectic tour schedule. We had five week long blocks to get all the tracks down at Rocking Horse Studio in Byron Bay before heading into The Grove for a month to record the majority of the record. We had a little more time than we have had before to demo the songs and could come back to them with fresh ears in between tours. We ended up re-writing a few of the bridge sections in some tracks and we are glad we had the chance to do that.

6) What was it like to work with Callum Howell and how did that relationship develop?

We’ve been working with Cal for six years now and he’s an integral part of our group when it comes to recording and our live sound. We are good friends and have built up a recording routine. Becoming more efficient means we can have more time to focus on the substance of the music, while Cal uses his expertise to handle the technical side of things.

7) How much did he influence the album this time around?

Cal is always completely accomodating to our sound and style of playing and recording. We work together in a group and sometimes one on one to work out all the details during studio time. Both the group and Cal have similar tastes and can focus on that end goal together to get the job done. It translates well into our live show in big part thanks to the fact Cal also mixes our live performances and has a fundamental understanding of all aspects of every song. It’s quite a special setup we have.

8) Did working with him before help the whole production process go smoother?

Yes of course. If you can build a good working relationship and tune into each other’s goals then it can go as smooth as possible. It’s about have respect for the music and for the each other.

9) What role does Australia play in your music?
“I was born in it, moulded by it” – Bane

10) What is it about the 70s that you find so fascinating?

David Bowie.

11) How do you go on balancing the old with the much new?

The trick is to stack the lighter one on top of the heavy one.

12) Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Like a lot of artists we tend to lean on our everyday experiences and respond to them when creating our music. We all write our own parts and so I guess we each bring our own inspirations to the table when we write together.

13) What else is happening next in Ocean Alley’s world?

Getting ready to release this album and re planning all our tours for next year. We’ve got some extra time now to get our live show looking and sounding top notch for when we return to the road. Hopefully that’s pretty soon cause we have all this new music to show people.”


About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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