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Interview: We Are The Ocean (Butserfest Exclusive)

We caught up with We Are The Ocean at this year’s Butserfest to chat about the possible release of new material and what touring with the infamous Jimmy Eat World is really like. Read more here…


Having played lashings of festivals this summer, as well several shows with US rockers Jimmy Eat Word, We Are The Ocean are continuing to create ripples in the rugged pool of rock and roll.

Closing off the festival season with a bang the Essex four-piece headline this year’s Butserfest and treated eager fans to a medley of classics from their most recent release Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow.

Before the show we caught up with drummer Tom Whittaker and bassist Jack Spence  to chat about the possible release of new material and what touring with the infamous Jimmy Eat World is really like…

HTF: How’re you guys?

TW: We’re good thank you

HTF: So your today’s headliners are you excited?

TW: Yeah

JS: Yeah we are we don’t headline many festivals so

TW: [Laughs]

JS: Actually that was a bad line wasn’t it! But no it should be fun – if it doesn’t rain it’ll be good!

HTF: It was raining earlier…

JS: I heard but maybe it’s all rained out and it will be nice a little bit later.

HTF: Fingers crossed! So have you guys played Butserfest before?

TW: Er…a couple of years ago.

HTF: Have you had the chance to check out any other bands today?

TW: We’ve only been here about half an hour.

JS: Yeah we just got here, but there’s some good bands playing you’ve got Mallory Knox on later and Arcane Roots. It’s a good lineup.

HTF: It certainly is! When Dan [Brown] left you were constantly being compared to before and after. With your latest release Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow does feel like the comparisons have stopped?

TW: I think it will always happen but people need to realise than band are moving forwards now.

JS: Yeah I think we’ll always get compared. We’ve been touring with Jimmy Eat World and they’re getting compared in a similar way as their first album is quite different from their recent one. I think you’re always going to get that comparison between albums whether the members are the same or not. So you’ve just got to roll with it. Some people like it, some people won’t

HTF: Have you written or recorded any new material?

JS: We’re in the process

TW: Yeah we haven’t really recorded anything but we’re writing demos and new songs.

JS: We’ve always done an album a year and this time we didn’t want to do another one in the same time scale. We just want to make sure it’s right so we haven’t got a forced time frame instead we’re just writing what feels natural.

HTF: So we won’t be hearing anything new tonight?

JS: No not tonight.

HTF: You played with Jimmy Eat World on Friday and tomorrow. How was it?

JS: Fantastic!

TW: Yeah it was great.

JS: It was a whole new crowd. We were added on very late so we only played to their (Jimmy Eat World’s) fans and tried to win them over which is always tough,  but fun.

TW: It was an older crowd so it had a different feel to it.

JS: Yeah but in a nice way. There were no walls or death or anything like that.

HTF: Was it nice playing bigger venues?

TW: Yeah!

JS: Bigger venues are always fun. They’re always really great venues with nice rooms and good sound. It’s all been really nice chilled tour.

HTF: What do you prefer bigger venues or smaller venues?

JS: Both. If we could do one every other night that would be cool. Obviously when you’re playing a big room it has the “wow factor” as you’re seeing a sea of people, but small sweaty shows are like really fun. We never wanna stop doing either really.

HTF: We were once told smaller ones are a lot more intimate. Would you agree?

JS: Yeah I think you want a bit of both because when you’re playing small shows all the time the big ones seem even better.

HTF: So how did you go about playing with Jimmy Eat World?

TW: I think our booking agent got in touch with them.

JS: Yeah we’ve kind of mentioned a few bands that we’d love to tour with if the opportunity ever arose. I think he pitched for us and they listened to us and liked us so yeah. It’s really cool because it’s great to tour with bands you’ve listened to for years.

HTF: And finally, are you fans of their music?

JS: Yes. It’s nice to want to watch a band and when you tour with them. Sometimes bands are good and you get to know them, they’re nice people, but you don’t want to watch them every night but with Jimmy Eat World it’s just like “yeah we’ve finished, let’s get ready and see them!”.

Interviewer: Emma Matthews

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