Band Interview: Ocean Encounters

Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life are pleased to bring you an interview with modern djent metal band, Ocean Encounters.

1. How did you get started as a band?

So we started back in 2015. At first it was just Greg (guitarist) and Quentin (drummer) who started jamming a little at Quentin’s live music bar. Then Pieter (bassist) joined the ranks, and after a bit of changes to the line up we brought on Thomas (vocalist) and Nathan (also guitarist). We got together in a small town/city in Belgium (Tournai/Doornik. Belgium has this weird things where none of cities have the same name because we have half of the country speaking French and the other half Dutch haha). Now the sad part is that this town used to have a LEGENDARY punk/hardcore scene back in the 80s and early 90s. PEople would flock from the big cities to come to the shows in town. But in the last 20-30 years all funding for cultural events has been slashed to the bone so what we’re left with is a few bars that do live shows from time to time, and one big city-wide live music event every summer, but even for that the numbers are seriously dwindling.

2. How would you describe your sound?

Oh that’s a good question! Officially we’ve been throwing around the term “Modern Djentcore” just because we can’t possibly fit what we have into a specific genre. Since all the guys in the band have varying levels of taste in metal, if you listen to our songs you’ll immediately hear all the influences. There’ll be a percussive djenty section, a big and melodic metalcore section, then out of nowhere you get a death/speed metal sweep picking double bass rolling section, that comes to an abrupt halt while you get run over by a steam roller of a breakdown straight to the face. It’s so much fun to take the listener in a direction that seems comfortable and familiar, but then taking it waaayyy out to left field and exploring that area for a while. So yeah let’s stick with Modern Djentcore and everything that comes with it hahaha!

3. What bands/artists would you say have influenced your style of music?

The artists that seem to prevail in our collective playlist for when we go on road trips are Thy Art is Murder, Lamb of God, Betraying the Martyrs, Polaris, Northlane, Jinjer, Blink 182 and the Blues Brothers (those last two are very different from the others but they’ve played a huge part in all our lives).

Then purely in terms of motivation for squeezing everything we can out of everything is Trivium. We personally don’t listen to their music too much, but the drive of these guys from the beginning has been absolutely insane. A true inspiration.

4. Has the rise of YouTube & music streaming helped or hindered you as a band?

Us personally it has been WONDERFUL to get our music out there. We also have a vlog that we throw up on YouTube every two weeks which is awesome to stay in touch with our base. We’ve had several people come up to us after a show to tell us how much they loved the vlog. Which is awesome.

However, we totally understand the duality of it all. Because of how prolific streaming and online services are, the traditional means of making an income as a band has been narrowed down to touring and merch, which does make it harder to make this our living, especially with 5 dudes in a band you already need some solid numbers in order to start supporting everyone. But overall yeah it’s been great to help us get heard.

5. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not making music?

There’s very little else besides making music hahaha! Especially Quentin and Pieter have something new almost every week. Whether it’s for the band or for their own personal projects. Greg has an ass-to-neck back tattoo depicting a tableau from The Lord of The Rings. Thomas works in his yard often which is fantastic to see shift through the seasons, and Nathan is an entrepreneur in essence. The guy is constantly coming up with strategies and marketing campaigns for us, the bar he works at, and anything in between. He never went to school for marketing but he’s a genius!

6. What are your future plans musically? Tours?

Yes. 100% tours. Now that we have the album released we were hoping to get a small multi-week tour going this summer, but that got kicked in the unmentionables really hard with this whole Corona business. Our collective dream is to get an album/tour/album/tour machine up and running. To be able to write an album for a year, then go and tour it for a year is a dream we all definitely share.

Actually with this whole pandemic we’ve been immensely creative so we almost have a full album worth of songs ready to go! So stay tuned for all that stuff sooner than you might expect!!




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