With the release of their newest EP entitled Lipstick Lies, the Spokane based quintet known as Oceans Divide is ready to add their name to the list of bands you need to pay attention to. Their latest five song album truly rocks from start to finish. Each song stands on its own right and could easily make it to Active Rock radio as a single. The music is hard-hitting, melodic, full of hooks and touches on many subjects that speak to the masses: personal struggles, love gained and lost, hope for the next generation, just to name a few. If you are looking for feel good songs to raise your glass and pump your fist to, be sure to download Lipstick Lies, but at least hold off long enough to get the inside scoop from front man, Chris McCoy, here first!
Interview with Chris McCoy of Oceans Divide:
Rick/AR: Chris, great to talk with you today. How are things in Spokane, Washington?
Chris/OD: I can’t complain. The weather has been great and we have gotten a good amount of wakeboarding in.
Rick/AR: Cool. Let’s get down to busines…How did Oceans Divide first come together?
Chris/OD: It was around the winter of ’08. We all knew each other from the local scene. The opportunity came knocking and we all decided to see if this could work out. After the first couple of practices we knew we had something special and when Jason Rauch (RED, Breaking Benjamin) came in to produce, it became something great.
Rick/AR: You dropped your second EP entitled; Lipstick Lies, in June of this year. Fans of high energy, edgy melodic active hard rock are going to find a lot to like with this album.
Chris/OD: This new release has our blood, sweat and tears in it. That sounds cliché, but it’s true. The last tour we had a guitar player quit, break ups with girlfriends, firing management, dropping our agent and numerous amounts of vehicle failures. We got home angry and I think that pushed us to get through.
Rick/AR: How much different was this recording experience compared to when you were working your first EP effort in 2011?
Chris/OD: We felt more comfortable as a band and having Jason Rauch produce again helped a lot. He knew our strengths and pushed us even harder this time.
Rick/AR: When you are working on new songs, how does knowing you’ll need to play something live come into account when you are creating songs?
Chris/OD: You always want to make sure you don’t get too much production on a song that you can’t pull it off live. We make sure we can pull it off live before that ever happens. It’s common for rock bands these days to use tracks for these instances but I feel that cheats the fans.
Rick/AR: What is more important – the melody of a song or the riffs/rhythm that pushes a song along?
Chris/OD: That is subjective of course, but I would say melody. It’s the thing that brings you back to that song and makes it memorable.
Rick/AR: I personally think that your first single from the album; “Break” has the potential to make an impact at rock radio. It’s just an ultra-catchy song with that super cool heavy rock vibe if you ask me.
Chris/OD: Thank you for the compliment. We didn’t intend that to be the lead track but after we got it back it really clicked with all of us and knew it was the one.
Rick/AR: Another standout track on the album is “Rough Among Diamonds.” In that song you turned around a phrase that is most often used in the opposite context (smooth as diamonds) which makes it top-notch. Lyrically this song hits on a sore subject a lot of people can relate to in that people are not always what they appear to be. Who came up with the lyrics or concept for that song?
Chris/OD: It was our bass player Dan who came up with that line. It was a catchy hook line that had never been sung before in any tune that I can recall. He said it that way so we built a chorus around the idea and it worked.
Rick/AR: The mid-tempo and emotional number “Broken & Sober” is one that seems to be a natural for radio and maybe even a song to take the band to another level.
Chris/OD: “Broken & Sober” was one of those songs that after recording we realized we had a gem. Everything from the melody to the lyrics really hits home. My lawyer said the same thing; that this should go to radio now, but there is a lot entailed to get to that point.
Rick/AR: The band has traveled throughout the United States extensively in the past. When can fans expect the band to get out on the road and work the new album?
Chris/OD: We are trying to figure that out now. We are independent and have no label backing. Everything is on our shoulders so it takes time. At one point we were on the road for six months and it takes its toll on you. To get back on the road like that we need to have a strategy. We are talking with some investors and a label has interest so we will have to see how things play out.
Rick/AR: Is there any one show or tour that stands out above others?
Chris/OD: Wow! We’ve had so many great shows it’s really hard to pick one. I’d say playing our home crowd in Spokane, WA to a sold out crowd of 2,000 people was pretty amazing. The other would have to be opening for Cold and Egypt Central at Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. That show was sold out and the crowd was literally electrifying.
Rick/AR: The music industry in general and rock music in particular seems to have been turned on its head in the past few years. Where do you see the heavy rock genre going in the next 5-10 years?
Chris/OD: The climate right now is very different. I’d like to say we are in the eye of the storm. Bands have to grow up and treat this like a business. They have to create budgets and spend the money to create a great product visually and musically. Creating a business plan and realizing that this will take time and make sure you have the right team behind you (members, management, agent, promotions). Bands need to create platforms or at least own them and understand how to leverage them (i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). People are used to not paying for music any more due to the advent of bit torrent, streaming and other technologies so how do you make money? You need to use the music as a bridge to sell other products. You need to customize and personally connect with your fans. Bands sell a product that makes people happy, sad and angry or fall in love. It is very powerful and that creates a kind of connection that many other products can’t do.
Rick/AR: Chris, thank you for your time today. What is the best way for fans to get in contact with you and pick up your music?
Oceans Divide is: Chris McCoy (Lead Vocals), John Goodman (Guitar/Vocals), Dan Goodman (Bass/Vocals), Morgan Mallory (Guitar/Vocals), Silas McQuain (Drums)
~ Story and Interview by Rick Lindner
~ Photographs Courtesy of Oceans Divide PR