An Interview With: Oceans Ate Alaska

We had a sit down with the Oceans Ate Alaska boys while they were out on the Tech Fest tour, Ami Ford chatted to them about their Slum Dunk experience this year, their new vocalist and the key topic at the moment, pizza toppings. 

We’re here with Oceans Ate Alaska, how are you guys doing?
We’re doing good thanks, very hot today though!

It’s the last day of the Tech Fest Tour, how’s it been for you?
It’s been approximately good! (How does that even work?!) It’s been good, that’s what he meant to say!

How’s it been touring with Napoleon and Carcer City? 
Did you know of them before? It’s been really good fun, they’re really cool guys, fantastic musicians and they’re all just lovely people. We knew of them before, we’d listened to their music but we didn’t exactly know them personally. All I wanted to do was play snakes and ladders with them, there’s something about snakes and ladders that is just so sick.

So you played at Slam Dunk this year, how was it performing at a festival? 
Slam Dunk was sick. We do really well pretty much everywhere actually apart from the UK, it’s weird as we’re from the UK, for example our following is incredibly strong across America but when it comes to the UK we don’t really see ourselves as having too much hype. Slam Dunk was very eye opening as you can't really sell out but we capped our stage two days running, they stopped letting people in so it was really nice to see that we’re actually picking up some hype over here. We honestly thought we were gonna go down like a flat balloon especially being without doubt the heaviest band throughout the whole of Slam Dunk, it’s kind of a pop punk festival to us. We think it was a case of that people hadn’t actually listened to us before, so it was the curiosity to see what the fuss might be about.

Who did you enjoy playing alongside at Slam Dunk and catching in your free time? 
Enter Shikari, we absolutely love Enter Shikari. Also Don Broco, they killed it. One of the beautiful things about playing Slam Dunk was the AAA pass, so we got to watch bands side stage in front of thousands of people, it was quite an experience. There were bands that we enjoyed and some that we didn’t, but we won’t name them.

You’ve got a new vocalist now, Jake Noakes, what has the response been to him joining the band? 
Chris: It’s good, now. The first song, because no one had heard him before. I don’t know why people were expecting us to find someone exactly the same as James because if we didn't that it’d be like “OMG why are they trying to replicate him, why not just keep him?, which we didn't want to do anyway. We wanted to do something different and we love Jake, we love everything that he brings to the table, we actually think that he is what this band has always been missing. We couldn’t have been happier with everything, but the first track took people a minute to adjust to, everyone was kinda like ‘huh this isn’t James, that’s what I’m used to’ but then a few days later I was going through the comments and it was the same people commenting like ‘I’ve sat on this for a day or two and I actually really dig Jake’. When the second song came out, it took a minute to get used to it but the response has been that everyone’s loving it. To be honest as far as a change as major as a vocalist change goes, it’s been incredibly good so we’re super stoked and we think fans are super stoked too.

Jake: Like Chris said, I never wanted to try and replicate what James did, I’ve got my own style. It was always going to sound different but it’s been a good response for sure!

The ‘Hikari’ release show is next month, how did you pick your supports? 
We did a tombola I think or picked names out of a hat. (laughs) In all seriousness though, we know the boys in Our Hollow Our Home, obviously they’re doing really well and are a really good fit for us and great live too. Same with Lotus Eater too, it was an easy decision for us to choose. The general consensus here is that they’re all really cool guys.

Hikari hasn’t been released yet, but what are your favourites off it? 
Chris: My favourite is a song called Deadweight, but it’s not out yet, but it’s really really really really ridiculously heavy and I like it for that reason. Mike: For me, it was Escapist, when I first heard that I really couldn’t get the chorus out of my head. Jake: I have to agree with Mike here. Adam: You’ve all gone for really heavy songs so I’m gonna throw a song called Hansha into the mix. Chris: To be fair every single song on the album is sick. There isn’t a bad song, it’s proper good. It’s heavier than things we’ve done before.

What’s next for you in 2017 after the album release? 
Touring as much as possible really. We’ve got a European tour in August just after the release of the album with August Burns Red and then after that I think we’ll be hitting up the US. We may have plans already but we’ve gotta keep shh about it. We had this in an interview the other day, me (Chris) and Jake took the interview, and for me personally I want to own sushi is the next step for me as a person, I want it to be that when anyone eats sushi they have to say I’m eating Chris’ Sushi, and I really just wanna own sushi so that’s what’s next for me, irrelevant from the band. (laughs)

My last question is, does pineapple belong on pizza?
 This is something that I’m (Chris) always asked, hear me out here. I’m allergic to raw pineapple but not cooked pineapple so when I have pineapple on pizza it’s good and I love it. We know how we’re going to prank Chris later now, putting pineapple in his shoes! Pineapple on pizza is a thing, it’s a little burst of freshness, a little package of fantastic. It’s kinda like when people put cranberries and raisins in salad. Half of us say yes pineapple belongs on pizza and half of us say no so it’s all done to you, does pineapple belong on pizza?

It doesn’t belong on pizza!

We’re going to half to agree to disagree here, but basically pineapple belongs on pizza and Jibs (James from Oceans Ate Alaska) owes us a lifetime of pizza and apologies for not being here, we hate you Jibs.

Thanks for chatting guys, catch you later!

Interview Feature by Ami Ford