by Danielle Holian
How and when did the band begin?
Harbouring Oceans was born in December 2015. We’re all close friends and have been playing music together in different groups for years, but recently resolved to dedicate ourselves fully to putting everything we have into a band and to pursuing a career in music. It’s amazing to share a dream: it makes you brothers.
Where did the band’s name “Harbouring Oceans” originate from?
It’s super tough to pick a name that 5 people really like – we threw around literally hundreds of ideas for a period of months, and finally everyone picked their top ten and we voted! The name Harbouring Oceans has different connotations for all of us, but we love it.
Who or what are the band’s influences?
As a band, we’re influenced by so much. Our rock and pop influences are the most apparent and it make up the bones of our sound, but we’re big fans of jazz, soul, hip-hop, electronic music. We try and incorporate as many different feels, harmonies and ideas from these as we can with the aim of making a subtle blend of a lot of different styles into one sound.
What attracted you to choose Alternative Pop/Art Rock as the band’s genres?
Ken – The first time I remember coming across the term Alternative Pop was as a description of Dublin band Maud In Cahoots. It really peaked my interested and I wanted to hear what they sounded like. Listening to them, their dark, moody sound really resonated with me, and I thought we had a similar atmosphere in our songs. Catchy and weird! Art rock captures our love of jazz harmony in a rock context.
Geoff – We chose rock and pop because ultimately our sound stems from those very basic forms, but we added ‘Alternative’ to pop and ‘Art’ to rock to try and hint at the way we’re pushing and pulling at the edges of the genres. Something vague enough to avoid giving people the wrong idea but hopefully different enough to spark curiosity! Style-naming is a tough game, though.
How has being from Ireland affected your music?
Being in a country which doesn’t have a huge commercial music scene like The UK or America, there isn’t the same kind of pressure to be or sound a certain way or style. There’s a feeling of ‘anything goes’, a mish-mash of influences resulting in a lot of new and exciting bands of varying styles and all of a very high standard. We never feel under pressure when writing or performing, so I think it’s had a very positive effect on our creativity. These aforementioned bands also inspire us a lot. To be surrounded by such great music all the time is both inspiring and motivating. Despite its difficulties and lack of global recognition, the Irish music scene is a great scene to be in right now. Big things are on the horizon. We’re going to make a lot of noise!
When writing your own music, what makes it interesting for you?
Making something either as beautiful or as groovy as we can. The cyclical process of creating, writing and performing music, and the excitement of seeing a single and cohesive sound emerge from five different sources.
How has your music evolved since the band began?
We’re more focused now on space and playing the right notes together. As we progress we’ll probably play less and less notes until our music eventually disappears. As one great commenter online said, “Virtuosity is a wonderful thing, but when the right group of musicians come together and produce a sound that makes your spine tingle, it’s the real deal!”
Where can someone hear your music?
We just have the one video on Youtube so far, and you can find that song on Spotify, Bandcamp and Soundcloud too.
What are your plans for the future?
We are in the process of finishing up some new material and heading back to Windmill Lane to record, and we’re very busy rehearsing our set for upcoming gigs such as Longitude Festival in July. We’re working on some new content – musical and non-musical, and some VIP content for the awesome people on our mailing list.
Any last words?
If you’re on twitter we just created a list of every single active Irish band on there. Feel free to subscribe so you don’t have to find and follow every band individually! Over 620 artists and growing, check out our #irishmusiclist. twitter.com/HarboringOceans/lists/irishmusiclist.