If you have been living with your head in the sand for the past few years, then you are the only one with a reasonable excuse to not know that Ocean Sleeper‘s new EP, Is It Better Feeling Nothing is currently the talk of the town following its release on Friday. Seemingly everybody in the WoS community is loving this release and who can blame them?
We jumped at the idea to sit down with unclean vocalist Karl Spiessl to pick his brain about the EP, the band’s upcoming headline tour and what the future looks like…
Thanks for taking the time to talk today Karl, how are the motions in the band at the moment surrounding this release?
Hello, everyone is doing really well. There has been minimal nerves throughout the entire release process. We are simply excited for everyone to listen to and support this EP.
These five songs are by far the heaviest songs that you Ocean Sleeper have released. What brought on this change in sound?
When we wrote these songs, we went into the studio and experimented with some different styles and sounds, we didn’t force anything. It naturally took the direction that it did. It was an organic process and we are stoked with the end result.
Was there any pressure on the band to impress a fanbase that is now bigger than ever before?
Not at all. We don’t ever want to release bad music. Everything we write is to the best of our abilities and we simply write songs that we would enjoy listening to and that mentality seems to work for us every time we record new music.
Jaydon Colvin from the band Outloved features on the track ‘Parasite’, which just so happens to be Ocean Sleeper’s first guest vocalist in quite some time. How did Jaydon find his way onto this release?
Jaydon is a good friend of the band and if you have managed to see us perform in recent years, there is a good chance that you have seen Jaydon on stage creating content or even joining in on the mic. When we were recording this EP, Jaydon was hanging out at Ionei’s house a fair bit. We were messing around a little bit and the idea of letting him scream for a section of the song came up, so we gave him a go and he absolutely killed it so we kept him on the song. So now he actually has a specific section of an Ocean Sleeper song which he can jump on the mic for on stage, rather than just any section at all.
It almost sounds as if Jaydon is the unofficial fifth member of the band.
(Giggles) Yeah absolutely. In fact, we seem to have quite a few unofficial members of the band. It’s all in good fun though!
In true Ocean Sleeper spirit, these five songs carry some very heavy themes. Did the COVID lockdowns affect your songwriting?
Yes of course, COVID definitely made an impact. Just before COVID came into effect some of us decided to move away to different areas. We finished our tour with Atreyu and we went home, without realising that some of us won’t see each other for quite a long time. There was quite a few songwriting sessions that were done via zoom which presented its own challenges but the hardest part was being separated from one another.
Ocean Sleeper’s upcoming tour is by far the biggest yet. Some of these venues that you are playing are massive, with Max Watts in Melbourne being a good example. You were lucky enough to play that venue as local support for both Atreyu and Killswitch Engage. Does the fact that you are now headlining Max Watts on your own tour blow your mind?
Absolutely! I never thought that I would play venues like this, even as a support act but to headline these venues is a thought that I have to pinch myself over. We have a really good tour package, each band will undoubtedly put on great shows in these venues. We are all excited to hit the road!
A first for Ocean Sleeper is having an international support act on this tour. Thousand Below from the USA will be joining. How did this come to fruition?
We released our debut album through Rise Records, which is the label that Thousand Below are signed to, so we met through that connection. We have been talking quite a bit recently and they a really cool guys. I’m looking forward to watching them perform every night but to also get to know them a bit better during the tour. I know that they have quite a big fanbase here in Australia so we are lucky to have them join us.
Looking past this tour, what can the world expect from Ocean Sleeper in the future?
We have been working hard on a few things for a while now, which are due to come out in the first half of 2023. We are all really excited to share this one with the world.
Any last thoughts for fans?
I’m excited for everyone to share their thoughts on the opening song of the EP. As you know, it is completely different to anything that we have ever done before. Thank you everyone for the ongoing support through COVID and beyond, I can’t wait to see you all on our tour!
Interview by Adam Rice
Stream Is It Better Feeling Nothing here
Ocean Sleeper – Is It Better Feeling Nothing tracklisting:
1. You Kill The Good In Me
2. Parasite (feat. Jaydon Colvin)
3. King Of Nothing
4. Your Love I’ll Never Need
5. Forever Sinking