Posted On 06 Mar 2017
Last week, the LA trio Ocean Park Standoff released their debut EP. They have previously put out two singles, “Good News” and “Photos & Liquor.” “Good News” has accumulated over 4 million streams, landed on Spotify’s Best of 2016 playlist and was named one of Buzzfeeds’ 20 Artists to Watch in 2017.
Ocean Park Standoff very recently made their debut performance on NBC’s The Today Show as Elvis Duran Artist of the Month. The band finished a month-long tour with LOLO in February and are now excited to head to SXSW soon. They will also be on Third Eye Blind’s arena tour this summer alongside Silversun Pickups, beginning in June.
Each of the artists behind alt-pop trio Ocean Park Standoff comes from a world all their own. A self-taught producer who built his own studio in the basement as a kid, Pete Nappi constructs deeply inventive productions equally inspired by art rock and underground hip-hop. A longtime DJ known for spinning at high-profile gigs around the globe, Samantha Ronson is also a songwriter/multi-instrumentalist who matches her lyrical smarts with a sonic ingenuity rooted in her fascination with obscure vintage instruments. And as a classically trained vocalist, Ethan Thompson has revealed his refined songcraft in penning hits for major artists and performing at singer/songwriter hotspots around L.A.
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Learn more about this trio in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So, now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year for you? What were some of the highlights for the band? What are you most excited about for 2017? Did you any of you make New Year’s Resolutions?
Last year was very motivational and inspiring! One of the biggest highlights was getting signed. It was something so unexpected when our plan was to just post our songs on Soundcloud. We had some great shows, one of the best was at the Patch House where we had a great turnout with what would now be some of our closest friends and fans! Samantha also got her new English bulldog pup, “Thunder”!! For 2017 we are most excited about touring and the release of our new music !
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall some of your earliest musical memories?
Pete – One of my earliest musical memories was seeing my first concert of U2 in Boston which made me force my parents to buy me a drum set!
Samantha – Growing I wanted to be something different every week. What’s music?
Ethan – One of my earliest was being in piano lessons around the age of 6 and taking the songs my teacher assigned me and rewriting them the way I liked to hear them! She was very encouraging of me being creative and I think that’s where my writing bug started.
Can you talk about how this band first came together? How did you come up with your band name? Was it difficult to settle on one name that described your music?
Our band came together through a mutual love of creating music. Pete and Samantha had some sessions early on and enjoyed working together. I (Ethan) had been working with Pete for a few years and we always tried to pull each other into each others sessions so once Samantha and Pete clicked, Pete brought me in and within the first couple sessions we wrote two of the songs on our now EP! After writing “Good News” Samantha was the first one to suggest us becoming a band and literally the next day we got our band name. Pete and I were on the way to write at Samantha’s house and there was a standoff on Ocean Park that made us mad late since the streets were blocked off. When we got to Samantha’s she immediately said that had to be our band name “Ocean Park Standoff” and we all loved it immediately. It seemed to somehow fit exactly what we were doing.
You all come from different backgrounds so I am curious to know how you three come together and work. How do your experiences help shape Ocean Park Standoff?
We all grew up listening to different things and when we write we try to take experiences from all of our lives and blend them together. We think that’s what makes us have a unique sound. There is no one leader in the band and there is a lot of trust between the three of us.
This spring you will release your debut. What does that feel like? How long did it take to write these songs and put together the collection?
SO excited to get this music off our chest and out into the world! We are always constantly writing so there is never an end to the creative process. Some songs from the EP started about 2 and half years ago and we were still tweaking and finishing songs over this summer. We also wrote about 20 other songs during that process which we are picking out now for our next release and you can catch a couple at our shows!
What was the inspiration for your already released singles “Good News” and “Photos & Liquor”? How did you all work together to create them?
They all mean different things to each of us. “Good News” was written after all of us were going through some rough patches. At the studio we are always open ears for whatever any one of us is going through and Good News was the Yin to the Yang of that time in our lives, a plea for needing some light in the darkness. “Photos and Liquor” was focused on how we romanticize the past, especially through photographs because we generally only frame the good times not the bad.
This month you are out on a month-long tour with Lolo all over the U.S. How was the first show on Feb 2 in New York City? Are you excited to join Third Eye Blind this summer out on tour?
Touring with Lolo has been a blast. She’s got such a good voice and high energy set. The Mercury Lounge show was packed and we had such a fun time, definitely one of our favorite shows to date. Everyone grew up listening to TEB and we are beyond excited to go spend the summer rocking out with them on tour with Silversun Pickups!!
What musicians continue to inspire your music? Is there anyone that you would all love to work with one day?
Pete – Some of my biggest influences right now are, Pharrell, One Republic, Coldplay, U2, Mr. Carmack, Justice and Sam Gellaitry.
Samantha – Pete Nappi and Ethan Thompson
Ethan – Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, Coldplay, Bob Dylan, Chance the Rapper, G. Love, and Steve Miller also been listening to Hiatus Kaiytoe!
We would love to work with Nirvana once the time machine is invented.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you two unwind from it all?
We all do different things, I (Ethan) am always trying to do any outdoor activity from hiking to skiing to long-boarding and running. Samantha plays more music! Pete hangs out with the buds!
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Hope. Always hope.