Currently out co-headlining the prestigious Impericon Never Say Die! Tour alongside Northlane, Californian post-hardcore troupe Being As An Ocean must be on a high right now.
Chatting to guitarist/vocalist Michael McGough in a cafe next door to KOKO (backstage got too noisy), we find out that’s exactly the case – and they’ve got a lot to be excited about. There’s a new album on the way, Michael reveals, and it sounds like it could be their most ambitious work yet…
DP!: So how does it feel to be playing the Never Say Die! Tour?
M: Really cool! We did it back in 2015, it was The Amity Affliction, Defeater, us, Burning Down Alaska, Fit For A King, and Cruel Hand. Those shows were absolutely incredible for us, the crowds were great, and every night we felt we went down really well. The show here at KOKO that time around was really cool, so when we found out that we were going to be co-headlining with Northlane this time around, we just really hoped we’d get to come back to KOKO. So, we’re super happy. Everybody in our camp is extremely excited about tonight especially. We’ve got one big surprise happening in our set tonight, actually. Somebody’s gonna propose on stage, a fan. So that’s going to be lovely. I hope she says yes!
DP!: You put out the deluxe edition of your album ‘Waiting For Morning To Come’ this year. What made you want to do that?
M: We had quite a lot of issues with the record label. We toured from the middle to the end of last year, and after that we ended up obtaining our album back. We became independent, which is the best decision that we’ve ever made. We released the record as it stood, and then we signed to a new management team, and everything started going really well. We had these ideas for three brand new songs that we really wanted to put out there, and get a whole new message across, I guess. We weren’t really into the idea of just releasing them as singles, so we thought “The record has done really well so far, why don’t we do a re-issue, with new artwork, new branding, and add these songs in, now that we’re an independent band?” I feel like it’s a nice close to the whole thing of becoming an independent artist again. It was a nice thing to do for ourselves, as well as for the fans.
DP!: The new video for ‘Know My Name’ is gorgeous. Where was that shot?
M: It was done in the middle of a desert. Haha, well, we were in this like, abandoned factory, and it was on the outskirts of Los Angeles. We’d just recorded some new music, and we decided to do a couple days worth of videos. So, we did ‘Alone’ and ‘Know My Name’, and kind of sat on the video for ‘Know My Name’ for quite a while, and we spent a long time working on it.
We worked with a company called Brume in LA who are an incredible team of directors. They do a lot of stuff with pop artists, they just did a Clean Bandit video. We worked really closely with them to get the image that we had, from colourings to outfits to different individual shots, and they really understood the vision.
With the ‘Alone’ video, we went for that almost futuristic, Blade Runner 2049 look. We went to another part of a desert in LA and did a photoshoot, and we started to get really excited about imagery again, and we wanted that to be a part of the ‘Know My Name’ video. We spent a lot of time scouting locations, our management has an in-house stylist too who helped us pick out some incredible looks, so we’re really happy with how it came out and the response that it got.
DP!: Are you still in the album cycle for ‘Waiting For Morning To Come’ then? Will there be any more singles from that album?
M: Yeah, we’re still kind of in the cycle of it, although this tour is technically the end of that cycle. We did Australia at the start of the year, and then we did Europe, then America, and now we’re back here again, so it was kind of like a world tour we wanted to do. We have just recorded a brand new album too. We finished it about two, three weeks ago…
DP!: Ooooh! What can you tell us about that?
M: We’ve got about 11 tracks. Personally I think it’s the best stuff that we’ve ever done. It was kind of a nice transition from ‘Waiting For Morning To Come’. We really butted heads on the concept of the record, and there’s an entire theme to it being released. It’s really cool. There’s influences from places you would never imagine would influence a Being As An Ocean record. We do listen to all sorts of things, anyway: Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Papa Roach. So we’ll be like, we love the drums in Marilyn Manson, so let’s get that big sound. We love the guitar riffs in Papa Roach, so that inspires us too. We love vocals from the likes of Michael Jackson. So let’s just throw everything into a pot and stir it up and create something great, and I really think we did.
Tyler actually had to fly out while we were on tour for a couple days to finish tracking some of the guitar parts, just to get it perfect, because we want this to be our best work yet. We’re incredibly proud of the last one, of course, but personally I think this one blows everything out of the water.
DP!: So when can we expect to hear it?
M: I think maybe a single towards the end of the year. Very possibly. In terms of a release date, we’re in the middle of that conversation, but it’ll be the first part of next year.
The deluxe edition of the band’s fourth full-length album, ‘Waiting For Morning To Come’, is out now.