Interview: We chat to Tom O'Brien from Ocean Alley about touring and their upcoming EP

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sydney-born, six piece, reggae-psych band Ocean Alley are currently storming their way around the East Coast on their Space Goats Tour. We had a chat to Drummer Tom O'Brien about their latest release and their upcoming EP.

Cosima: How did the band come together?

Tom: We’re all friends before the band. We all had different tastes in music; we were all just jamming mucking around on the guitars. After a year it started to get semi-serious and just went from there.

C: Did you always know you wanted to be a reggae-psych band?

T: No, not at all. We all shared different influences; we never really had in mind that we wanted to be a reggae band it just started happening out of nowhere. Reggae is a genre that we all feel passionate about, we all love it.

C: You’ve said previously that Ocean Alley’s sound is heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley. If you were to play a fest with four other Australian bands that have influenced your sound who would you pick?

T: We’ve been listening to heaps of Delta Riggs and we love King Gizzard, the guys are all going to Gizzfest. Maybe Kingswood and definitely got to have Tame Impala.

C: What kind of response have you received so far for your latest release Space Goat?

T: It’s been really good, after a while the novelty of a new release wears off but people still listen and then when we released the video it got people going again and gives you something to look at and vibe us. We filmed it in a local area just a five-minute drive away from Mona Vale where we all live.

C: Tell us about your new EP you’re releasing this winter?

T: There’s 6 tracks altogether, five of the tracks are already mastered and ready to go but the studio we’ve just recorded them all in has just closed down. But luckily we became really close with the studio guys so they’re going to help us out with the last track.

Compared to the last EP the sound is same, same but different. There are some darker songs. It’s a bit more edgy, less poppy. We even have a horn section in a few of them.

We knew what we were doing more this time, after your first EP you get an idea of what you want. It’s much easier the second time. We’ve played our new songs live and we’ve got a real good response for most of them, I think once we get the EP out people are going to love it.

C: What has been your favourite place you’ve played so far?

T: I’d have to say Byron Bay, we love going up there. Every time we go up there it turns into a bit of a chill holiday kind of thing. We usually go up there every year anyway so when we go up there and play it just makes it ten times more fun.

C: Have you guys thought about playing overseas?

T: We’d love to go over to Europe and maybe America.

Catch their final show of the tour in Sydney on the 16th May at Brighton Up Bar with special guests Blueberry Circuit and Whippet. Click here for more info. 

Written by Cosima Wood