Updated: Jul 29
We go into the deep for nautical adventures with Ocean Encounters
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF FOR US WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH YOU AND YOUR MUSIC AND TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
Hello everyone! I’m Pieter from the band Ocean Encounters. We’re a band from a small city called Tournai, in Belgium! We’ve been writing music and playing shows for the last 5ish years, and just came out with our debut album “Anchored”, which you can get on all the usual platforms.
Our music in broad terms is metal. Lots of guitars, lots of drums, lots of hair, the works! But for those of you with a more refined pallet for all things heavy and brutal, we like to call our genre “modern djentcore” because it’s got a little bit of everything. We’ve got jumpy intro sections, headbangy verses, rumbling breakdowns and sweeping delicious solo’s that’ll make your face automatically look like something just decomposed right next to you, but you like it hahaha!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM OR SINGLE?
So the new album in a culmination of about 2 years of work. Writing songs, playing them in front of people, checking out how they feel to play live, and which ones get the best reactions, helped us pick our 8 favorites. We then went to a studio in Germany for a week (shout out to the guys at PitchBack Studios in Cologne) to record the album professionally, and to get it sounding like what we had in our heads. The songs range in themes, but each one can be linked to something that has to do with the ocean. From psychotic captains to battles with sea monsters, to hopelessness and adventure, it’s all in there.
The first single we put out for the album was “Disappoint”. And we decided to pull out the big guns and get Brice Hincker of Smash Hit Combo to film and edit the clip, and it just exceeded every single expectation we had. We found this fantastic boatyard in the middle of nowhere, and the lady who owned it had seen ALL the greats live in concert. Queen, Iron Maiden, Zeppelin, Motorhead etc. So she was really into the music we were making, which was awesome. The result speaks for itself. When you have such good vibes going on, great things will happen.
WHAT INSPIRED THE ALBUM OR SINGLE?
The single was inspired by this feeling of collective disappointment with the current state of things. Hopes and promises of a future that keeps slipping further and further away from what we all thought it was going to be. At the beginning, the voice comes through a radio and says “You have to tell them, it’s not how they said it was going to be”. We all share that idea.
The album itself was all over the place in terms of inspiration and theme. We started off thinking we want a line through it all, but the songs we wanted on the album really put our best foot forward, so we went with the more varied approach. In the end, we realised that all the songs can be brought back to the OCean as a theme, because it’s so vast, and the fact that all these themes are represented as one thematic whole, or a thematic “anchor” if you will….
CAN YOU SUM UP THE ALBUM IN A FEW WORDS?
Whatever the ocean means to you, you’ll find in these songs.
WHAT RECORD CHANGED YOUR LIFE AND WHY?
Now for me personally I think it was Enema Of The State by Blink 182. It was the first album I bought with my own money, the first album I hid from my parents because of the sexy nurse on the front, and the first album I listened to as a whole, over and over again. It’s basically a 30 minute song for me. But the variety of tone and themes, plus the mixing and mastering of that album is so good, it really set up a lot of basis for my future passion for music.
Also lyrically, even though sometimes they’re simplistic or just jokes in song form, there were some serious lines or phrases in those songs that hit home.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE MUSIC VIDEO FILMED BY YOUR BAND OR ANOTHER ARTIST?
Well, that music video for our first single “Disappoint” is one we all really enjoy. Because it turned out to be so much more than what we originally had in mind.
Other artists I’m gonna have to go Blink 182 again. They always had great and original ideas, ad definitely didn’t take themselves too seriously which is something I still fall back on quite often when I find myself over-thinking stuff.
WHAT WOULD WE FIND YOU DOING WHEN YOU'RE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
The same thing I do to pay the bills! Teaching and being a tour guide around the WW1 battlefields. I love history, with a special affinity for WW1, and since I teach in Ypres, I also show people around the area, because it is PACKED with history. And I do it for next to no money. As long as I have gas money or a beer I’ll show you everything there is to see!
DO YOU GET NERVOUS PERFORMING LIVE, IF SO HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT?
Me personally, hell yeah! But it’s a good kind of nervous. Means the passion is still there. Plus that adrenaline is like a drug. You crave it if you haven’t had it for a while.
Me personally I deal with it explosively. I’ll talk to the crowd, jump around like a maniac, really get lost in it all. that way I don’t have to worry about what people might think because I’m giving them exactly something to think about. Can’t be interpreted any other way than “woah that dude is moving”. I even head-bang in my folk band. It’s just an automatic reaction to when a groove gets going!
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
So it started with our drummer (Quentin) who used to own a live music bar. One of our guitarists
(Greg) would often go and jam a little. Then they found a second guitarist and a singer and were looking for a bassist. Like I said before I’m also a teacher, and one of my students knew Greg, and asked me if I knew how to play bass, and/or if I liked metal. Since I loved both those things, I said yes, went to a rehearsal, and by the end of that evening we had 2-3 songs pretty much fleshed out. It was an immediate click.
Then a year or so later the first guitarist and our singer left the band because of creative differences, so we brought on Nathan (other guitarist) and Thomas (singer) to fill the slots, and we’ve been a metal family ever since!
HOW DO YOU WRITE? - DO YOU HAVE A KEY SONGWRITER, OR DO YOU ALL WORK TOGETHER?
So for the last 3 years Quentin lived together in a house, that was basically a music warehouse. He was in another band along with Ocean Encounters, as was I, so we had 3 bands worth of gear in that place. We’re talking a literal wall of amps, something like 26 guitars, and a multi-track mixing board with several amps hooked up. So anybody that wanted to could come into that house, pick up a guitar, and go nuts for however long they would want.
So most of the songs started off as just a riff or a raw idea that somebody threw down. Quentin and I wrote a larger percentage of the riffs just because of ease of access, and then everyone will add sections to it until it’s grown into a fully fledged out song.
In terms of lyrics, since Thomas isn’t a native English speaker, he’ll come to me with ideas or sentences he wrote down that he thought sounded good, and then I’d tweak it to be grammatically correct. I’ll also often write down a full song worth of lyrics, and then he’ll pick and choose which ones he enjoys and which ones are best to pronounce. I’ll also usually write the choruses and rap sections for myself. So yeah, it’s pretty much a collective effort.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Devotion, patience and perseverance. I have a huge ADD problem, so I’ll start several things, but finish only a few of them. I have to actually put effort into completing something or otherwise another freshly started project will take its place. Patience is also huge for me as I’d love to get to the destination right away, I have to actively focus on enjoying the journey or otherwise it’ll be over before I know it, and I won’t the done the work to make the destination worth it.
WHAT IS NEXT?
Touring!! We want to get on the road! The short-term goal is just getting a few dates back to back all across the country. Then the long-term goal is having a consistent writing/touring rhythm going. We’d love to go into the studio for a year, bust out an album, then take that album on tour. That’s the dream.
We also have no disillusions as to what touring entails. We are fully aware that the private jet, massive tour bus is only for the ones that persevere beyond the years of shitty/smelly van, playing in front of nobody but the bar-staff, no-profit-only-gas-and-food-money tours. But those small, beginner tours is what we’re hungry for! We WANT to do those tours!
PLEASE TELL US ANY SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS SO WE CAN SHARE.
All the classics for the songs. Especially Spotify is probably your best bet, but also Apple Music, Amazon etc.
Now on YouTube we have a vlog that comes out every two weeks, showing everything that happens in and with the band. Gives you a chance to get to know us, and how things progress. There’s the entire lifespan of songs in those vlogs. From their inception to playing them live to tossing them to the side to make way for bigger and better jams, and then some of them coming back for a second round. It’s awesome. So definitely go check out “Ocean Encounters” channel on YouTube!
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