Interview with James Harrison and Adam Zytkiewicz from Oceans Ate Alaska

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Oceans Ate Alaska Band Promo Photo 2014

Ahead of their show supporting The Word Alive at the Underworld back in October, Rock Sins spoke James Harrison and Adam Zytkiewicz from rising metalcore band Oceans Ate Alaska. With the big news of them signing to Fearless Records this was a great time to catch up with them and discuss what the future holds for Oceans Ate Alaska.

Rock Sins: So to start off, how’s this tour with The Word Alive been?

James: Erm yeah, The Get Real Tour in the UK has been awesome. We’ve had a phenomenal response considering it’s only our second real UK tour that we’ve done since forming the band. But yeah we’re really happy with it, the bands are all great and we’ve become great friends with them and we’re just glad to be on it.

Rock Sins: Despite having an early set time at each show how have the crowds been for you?

James: Yesterday we played Newcastle and we’ve got a massive following there, it was insane. I mean we got a better reaction than some of the bands that played after us which you don’t like to see because you want everyone to stay on and watch all the bands. It’s been hit and miss on some dates but overall it’s been a really good turnout.

Rock Sins: Despite all the bands on this tour falling into the category of metalcore, you generally have a heavier and more technical sound, do you think this helps you stand out a bit?

Adam: I think every band on the tour has their own elements that make them stand out in a different way.

James:  We’re a more progressive strain of metalcore I guess and that’s what we set out to be, we didn’t just wanna be a standard band. Our drummer Chris always really hits home with his beats and time signatures, he does some crazy rhythmic patterns. And that’s really how the structure of our progressiveness is created. In the writing process we’ll write a certain riff and then Chris will go and extract some part from it and mix it up to give it that technical or progressive sound. So yeah I think it does kinda catch the eye a little bit and that’s what we wanted in the first place. It does also give us the option to split between different genres when we’re touring because we do have clean singing so we can go a bit lighter but we do also have some really heavy moments that we can play for different shows.

Rock Sins: So really the big story with you guys right now is you getting signed by Fearless Records, how important is this for you?

James: We’re over the moon, I still can’t quite believe it. It’s just great to be on such a prolific label such as Fearless Records. I’m really excited to see what happens and their plans for our future. We’re really stoked.

Rock Sins: Being one of the two British bands signed to Fearless Records must make it feel even better.

Adam: Yeah it is special, I mean it’s not everyday that a British band gets picked up by a big American labal so as James said it has taken a while to sink in. The fact that they are already doing so much for us is mental.

James: It’s on a whole other level that we never knew existed. Yeah it’s just crazy.

Rock Sins: So you’ll be releasing the new album through them next year, what can fans expect from this album?

James: Well a lot of different stuff. It’s been a long time since we released anything, over two years since our last EP so we’ve grown up and got a lot better at our instruments and we’ve progressed as a band. So expect something different but not too different, it’s still gonna be the same OAA with the progressive strain of metalcore but we’ve thrown in a few cheeky things here and there.

Adam: It’s a lot more refined and a lot more us. It’s grown up and more mature, it’s more technical.

James: And it is heavier, I mean there are songs that link back to our old music but as a whole the album is heavier.

Rock Sins: You put out a new song “Blood Brothers” as a taste of the new album, have you been playing any other new songs on this tour?

Adam: This tour in particular we’ve only been playing Blood Brothers. We did play another new song a while back but we decided to stop playing it for now as people weren’t familiar with it. We’ve got people singing along to Blood Brothers now which is great considering it’s only been out a few weeks and we’re gonna be playing more songs on future tours but for now we’re just gonna stick with Blood Brothers.

Rock Sins: Another big thing that’s come from you signing to Fearless Records is you’re on the latest Punk Goes Pop album, how did that come about and did you get to pick the song you covered?

James: It was purely our choice, I mean as soon as we were asked we said we wanna do Beyonce because that song is sick, and they were fine with that. So yeah we had complete control over what we did which was awesome and we like a challenge so we thought why not do Beyonce. We had to knock it out quick.

Adam: We only had three weeks to write and record it.

James: It was a fast process but it turned out to be really good and we’re proud of how we did.

Adam: It was really good to actually work under pressure and showed how well we can do it. We’re super fucking proud of what we achieved and we hope people enjoy what we’ve done with it.

Rock Sins: So with everything that’s gone on with Fearless Records are you hoping to get over to America soon?

James: That’s the plan, we’ve talked about it in passing but not in full detail yet but obviously that’s the logistical next move, to head over to America. We understand that most of our fanbase from Clocks and our youtube days are from the USA so we do wanna get over there as soon as possible. But when and who with we don’t know yet. Hopefully we’ll get something sorted out next year.

Rock Sins: Finally how do you plan to spend the rest of 2014?

Adam: It’s just gonna be preparation for the album.

James: We’ll drop some more singles and show some things like guitar and drum videos. We’ve got a hometown show with our mates in Chunk No Captain Chunk which will be fun but that’s it really.

Rock Sins: Well that’s everything then, thanks guys.

Both: No worries, thanks a bunch for chatting to us.

You can check out the review of Oceans Ate Alaska with The Word Alive at The Underworld right here. You can also follow the band on Twitter at @oceansatealaska.

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