By Jack Katze
Walking Oceans will be performing at the C-Haus next Wednesday, March 2 at 10 p.m. The local band Mr. Alec Baldwin will open.
Round Table: How/when did you guys form?
Walking Oceans: We’ve been together for about a year and a half now and been playing mostly locally in Kansas City and Lawrence for the past year. Three of us were previously playing in another band together and were ready to start something fresh after our singer moved away. We spent the first six or so months writing and rehearsing before we felt ready to play for people. After playing some shows for a while and getting a good response and lots of requests for recordings for fans to listen to, we hit the studio to record our first album, “Dear Isaac,” with engineer Joshua Browning at Hey! Bulldog Soundlabs. Since then, we’ve been playing lots of shows, getting merchandise and such designed, and booking this tour. Now we’re ready to hit the road and have been just polishing our show and writing some new songs for the next record as well. It’s been a process and a learning experience, but we’re all very excited to be a part of this band.
RT: How did you decide to be an instrumental band?
WO: Well the easy answer is, none of us are very exceptional singers! But really, we had intended on being instrumental from the start and don’t have any plans to change that. We just feel like we can put on an equally exciting show without vocals. There are so many local bands out there that have great songs with mediocre vocals on top of it all. If we ever met someone that had the voice to fit our songs perfectly, who knows where we might end up. But we really like the way things are now. Writing instrumental songs is a fun and different challenge. We don’t have to write our songs while catering to anything but each other’s instruments.
RT: What is some of your favorite music today?
WO: 2011 is going to be a good year for music, although I think we find ourselves saying that every year. The new Radiohead that everyone is talking about is great, and probably the first really exciting thing to come out this year. We’re very excited for the next Thrice album, Portugal. The Man, Russian Circles, Minus the Bear has been talking about another album, Coldplay, Elbow, Fleet Foxes, “Daybreak” by Saves the Day, “Wasting Light” by Foo Fighters, “In and Out of Youth and Lightness” by Young Widows, “The Language We Speak” by Former Thieves, and probably a bunch of others I’m forgetting about right now. The new Glassjaw stuff is really cool, we’ve been diggin’ on that lately as well. There’s a lot of really great music out there. We’re pretty much just always excited for the next thing.
RT: What song should first-time listeners hear that best sums you up?
WO: We usually recommend “Northwestern Shore” to people that haven’t heard us. It’s a pretty straight to the point song and features a little bit of everything that we do besides all our ambient segues and such. “Dear Isaac” is a concept album, which is mostly just us being nerds and talking through what’s going on during the songs as we’re writing them. It’s a story about an 18th century ship captain, Isaac Redwind, and his voyage as he tries to make it back to his wife before she is hung. This particular song features one of my favorite parts of the album, where Isaac and his crew hit a storm as they’re trying to make it home.
RT: Anything else you’d like to tell people about your music or your show?
WO: One of the things we wanted to focus on from the beginning is putting on a fun and exciting live show. Kevin built most of our lighting and we run it all with switches on the floor while we’re playing. It’s nothing revolutionary, but we think it’s definitely an exciting show to watch. We like to view albums as an entire piece rather than a collection of songs, so we try to approach our live show in a similar way. I always love when a band segues their songs together, and you’ll find that our album is like that and our show is similar but does have some gaps in it. So it’s one thing to listen to our record, but we hope that you feel like you’re watching and hearing something really cool when you’re at a show. We hope that people can see how much we care about all the little details, and that they go home remembering a great show.