Formed in 2015, somewhere in northern Italy, L’Oceano Sopra is a band who's sound brings to mind the kind of chaotic screamo that first hit the underground back in the '90s. After getting through the initial growing pains most groups go through early on, the members of L’Oceano Sopra zeroed in on a common musical goal, according to Sté, the vocalist of the Italian outfit. "It turned out we all had a melodic hardcore background and then switched to heavier or stranger stuff, so we decided we were supposed to be a mix of At the Drive-In and Comeback Kid," says the singer, also admitting the combination of those two influences is a bit of an odd one.
Sté continues: "Our first drummer had a much more indie-rock style, the singing was emo-oriented... so we initially had this weird emo-hardcore-punk rock sound none of us was really happy about. Then we (Dario, Stefano and Massimo, bass, voice and guitar) met Danny, who’s our actual drummer, and we took the chance to explore all the options and come out with a heavier sound and all the odd time signatures some of us are in love with.
"We guess some of the influences of the beginning are still there, just mixed up in a much meaner way!"
You can hear the sonic results below on Kéreon, L’Oceano Sopra's recently released EP:
The road to the new record wasn't an easy one, according to Sté. "We’re all non-professional over 30 musicians, which means jobs, families, and all that. We’ve been doing our best, even if sometimes it’s so frustrating, because you feel like you’re not doing enough, and not going anywhere. But we wanted this new record so bad! That's probably what pushed us to endure. We were all so determined to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and finally create something to be proud of. And, to be honest, even the creation process, from the first guitar riffs to the vocal details, was so much fun!
"Every new song was like discovering something new to add to our sound, even though in the end, if you listen to every track in 'Kéreon,' it’s pretty clear it’s an L'Oceano Sopra song: The atmosphere, the lyrics, and the lyrical connections to the sea symbols and myths that Hop Wear emphasized once again in his amazing cover artwork."
Sté talks about the Italian punk scene, and how L’Oceano Sopra fits in there. "We have been involved in the local scene in two different ways: on one side we were called by people we didn’t know, who just listened to our music by chance and appreciated it so much that they asked us to play in live shows they were organizing. And, actually, this is absolutely flattering on an artistic point of view, because it means that all the time you spent in the studio, all the working on each song was eventually worth it. It's a great satisfaction.
"On the other hand, however, it’s also great to organize gigs along with friends and people you know, someone you’ve always been meeting at concerts, and maybe one day you find out they have a band too, and you play the same weird non-mainstream stuff. In the end, being in an underground scene feels like being part of a big family, or a group of friends who are into it just to share the fun.
"Surely there are some of those friends, or extended family members, we would like to thank for the support they gave us since the beginning, like Walter (Wasa, Downhill), Federico (Metide, Magnitudo), Mario (Radura), and Andrea (Requiem for Paola P.).
Kéreon is available now on Bandcamp. The labels Non Ti Seguo Records and Fresh Outbreak Records will be releasing the EP in CD format later this year.
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