THREESTEPSTOTHEOCEAN‘s “Migration Light” brought atmospheric ambience and a whole spectrum of contemplative emotions to the powerful core of their post metal spine. Impressed by its implied heaviness and instrumental strength, I am giving you my short interview with the band, who agreed to share some of the insights and thoughts on their work, creative approach and evolution.
“Migration Light” marks the band’s 4th album and it’s available for free download below. Physical copies are available via Japan’s Tokyo Jupiter Records and Italian labels Shove Records and Sangue Disken.Thbe band is currently booking their European tour for October. Contact them via firstname.lastname@example.org and book a date!
Welcome guys! How are you? How’s the new album era been treating you so far? Tell us a bit about your personal perception of “Migration Light”, the feedback you’ve got so far and this particular moment in time for THREESTEPSTOTHEOCEAN.
Hello! We’re doing good, thank you!
“Migration Light” has been out for almost two months now and we’re very happy with it. Right now we’re just taking the album on the road, we had a bunch of shows in Italy so far, more gigs are coming, and we’ve just started to book shows for a European tour in October 2015. So, we’re basically doing what a band should do: making an album and playing shows. Feedback about “Migration Light” is good so far, especially from those who know how we evolved – as a band – throughout the years. We really want to keep this sort of evolving process going, and of course we appreciate when someone recognizes this flow.
Did you try to recreate what you’ve actually experienced and developed with this band or is this new portion of your work coming straight from your imagination? How do you approach the writing process?
We’ve always tried to take things further every time we made a record, so I think we just try to develop and evolve from what we’ve done before. “Migration Light” is not an exception. I don’t think we have anything experimental at all – whatever that means – and we never meant to sound “new”. We just take all the advantages of playing instrumental music, because that really lets you open doors to other inputs, which can take you to other directions compared to where you started from. Listen to “Sur” in Migration Light and you’ll get what I mean.
Writing process always followed this scheme. We never played super-long suites, never been a jamming band. Usually we play something, then we record it, then we listen to it 1,000 times, then we play it again, then we make some changes, then we add something, then we take something off, then we re-record it, re-listen to it 2,000 times, re-play…then we usually throw everything away. To start it all over again. That’s why we take 3 years to make a 35 minute album.
Both musically and in general, what’s the driving inspiration for you guys?
I feel the word “anything” as a sort of meaningless, pretentious answer.
Other bands and musicians, some movies, books, animals, natural environment, cities, conflicts, social relations, time passing by, joy, failure are for sure very general but somehow more focused answers to your question, I guess.
How much of a role do your direct surroundings play in your work? Tell us more about the state of your local post rock / metal scene and the general condition of your local music environment.
On one side, I think we really have to look for inspirations outside our surroundings. On the other hand, feeling your place sterile can itself be an influence on the music you make. For sure we would play other kind of music if we were in Berlin, or Dublin, or New Delhi, or I don’t know, anywhere else. The place you stay for sure deals with your sound and with what you make. It’s an intimate and unavoidable relation.
We don’t really have a scene here, or at least we don’t feel to belong to one. It’s a complex issue, we’ve always been very autonomous in every aspect of our band’s life. But at the same time we made a net of friends throughout the years, including other bands, musicians, promoters, people who just listen to us. Is that a scene? Probably not, in terms of a shared, territorial, ever-evolving musical network. I don’t know. We are much more about relation, and I feel it’s something good anyways.
What do you think about the alternative / underground music market and how it functions these days? What would you change in the current digital era and its implications for bands like THREESTEPSTOTHEOCEAN?
We’re not really into any music-market I think. We have a group of people following us, coming to shows and buying records, online and at merch tables, that’s it. And now we have some label spreading them out a little bit further.
I don’t know what could be changed in this digital era. On our side, we’re just trying to make a proper use of it. For a band like us, we can just reach more people by uploading our music online. We’ve always put all our efforts on that, and since years now, all our discography is available for free on bandcamp. We try to let people understand the essence of that, together with the importance of buying a physical copy if you really like what you hear. It’s not that easy, of course, but somehow this always worked for us.
Ok guys, back to the new album. Physical formats of “Migration Light “ are available via Tokyo Jupiter Records, Shove Records and Sangue Disken. Can you tell us how these particular labels got selected to the distribution process?
We sent the record to Sangue Disken and Tokyo Jupiter Records just like any band does when it’s time to search for a label. They liked what they heard and offered us some help for vinyls and CDs. We already knew Manuel from Shove Records and he was interested in “Migration Light” even before listening to it.
I think it’s very interesting how different these three labels are. Manuel/Shove Records has been around for 25 years and put out over 80 releases, he’s a sort of musical institution down here, we’re particularly happy to deal with him. Sangue Disken is another italian label, Barnaba works with all kinds of music genres and I guess that’s very challenging nowadays, when people’s musical taste gets more and more sectorial. Tokyo Jupiter is a japanese label, Kimi works mostly on CD format with bands from all over the world. It’s cool for us to cross italian and european borders with the physical releases of “Migration Light”. CD version is already out via Tokyo Jupiter Records, 12″ vinyls will be ready soon via Shove and Sangue Disken.
How do you approach touring? What upcoming shows can we expect in the coming months?
We are about making records and playing live, so we approach touring with our mind on this. We’ve always played as much as we could, anywhere. Lately we kind of slowed that down, our lives are just anybody else’s, evolving paths, but we’re still touring a lot. We like to have our sound on stage – which I think it’s a pretty crucial issue for an instrumental band – and we always do our best to have our gear with us.
Right now we have some shows in north Italy coming up. And we have cool plans for 2016. We’re currently also booking our own shows for the fourth european tour in October 2015. I guess IDIOTEQ is quite the right place to try to fulfill the schedule, so here it is, in case somebody can help: 16.10.2015 AVAILABLE // 17.10.2015 Dresden, GER – tbc // 18.10.2015 Berlin, GER // 19.10.2015 AVAILABLE // 20.10.2015 AVAILABLE // 21.10.2015 Hamburg, GER // 22.10.2015 Itzehoe, GER // 23.10.2015 AVAILABLE // 24.10.2015 Bulle, CH – tbc
Sure thing! We’ll sort things out!
Alright buddies. Thanks for the nice chat. Finally, is there a message to your work? How would you sum up the main idea behind THREESTEPSTOTHEOCEAN and its purpose?
It’s hard to tell a single purpose behind our band. We’ve always played what we like, which is not to be meant just as “we like playing music” but “we like playing a certain kind of music, creating a specific mood/sound that we feel meaningful and share it with people”. We’re going to keep it like this. We invite anyone to come see us live and say hello.
Thanks Karol and IDIOTEQ for this nice chat!