Posted On 21 Feb 2019
The Columbus, Oh post-rock band, The End Of The Ocean, released their new album –aire on January 18th. It is their first in 7 years with Equal Vision Records.
This new album is sonically massive and emotionally crushing, recently compared to Mogwai, Isis, and Explosions in the Sky.
Check out their singles “homesick” and “desire” here-
After reaching a breaking point following the release of their highly praised 2011 debut, Pacific-Atlantic, the band had to pump the breaks for fear of tearing themselves apart. With so much going on in their personal lives, Tara Mayer (keys) says that they needed to “give ourselves a chance to hurt so that we could have the chance to heal” before even thinking about another release. The past few years forced the band to come to terms with their own humanity and mortality, as well as that of their band-mates and friends.
Once they were finally in a place with their personal lives that allowed them to focus on new music, the collaborative experience of writing ended up being a big part of their healing process and forged a bond that is stronger than ever between the four members of The End Of The Ocean. Their new music balances rich, thoughtful melodic passages, high-energy riff-wielding and truly epic climatic outpourings. The band has always been championed for their maelstrom of nostalgia, hope, beauty, melancholy, chaos and tranquility. Fans will experience a bigger, bolder version of that tempest as the band prepares to share what they’ve been working on.
Learn more about The End of The Ocean in the following All Access interview-
Now that a new year has started, what musical goals does this band have for 2019? What are you most proud of about 2018? Do any of you make any New Years Resolutions?
Kevin – That’s a no brainer – releasing -aire via Equal Vision Records is easily the thing I’m most proud of in 2018. Finally having new work see the light of day after so long is super refreshing. Personally I don’t do the new years resolution game – I’d rather start today than wait for the new year to mark the beginning of something.
Tara – My answers are pretty much the same as Kevin’s. Super proud to have released the new album. I don’t really do New Years Resolutions, though I will say a personal goal in 2019 is nurturing more grace for myself and others.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on?
Kevin – At the very beginning I definitely didn’t see any of us coming together – the band initially started out as a spare bedroom ambient project between a former member and I. We weren’t capturing the raw passion that we were going for by using just VST plugins and a single guitar so we decided to reach out to friends and make it a full band. We came up with the name between the two of us before everyone else joined in – it was super easy to agree on – we were just trying to think of something “epic and monumental”. I’m pretty positive Tara, rightfully so, laughed at it when we told her what we came up with. Looking back on it now…. a shorter name definitely would be tight.
Tara – I definitely laughed at the band name when you guys first told me what it was.
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
Kevin – I grew up in a small town so I had to figure out ways to occupy my mind to stay busy. Picking up the guitar definitely filled that roll and expanded my musical palette. It was refreshing stepping outside of the rock/metal echo chamber that I was in for sure. I think hard work and sheer honesty are something you learn growing up in such a small town and I feel like that translates a bit to our music – we don’t play to backing tracks nor do we go out of our way to specifically cater to a certain crowd/sound – we just work with what organically comes to us.
How has your various musical backgrounds helped shape the sound of this band? How do you think that you have grown as a band since forming? What has remained the same?
Tara – The guys in the band predominantly come from hardcore and metal backgrounds. Trish and I are randos as far as our tastes and musical backgrounds go. I’d say the majority of us in the band are angry/rebellious at our base, which has allowed us a certain freedom from making musical decisions based out of fear or pleasing any sort of fan base. We like what we like and we do what we want. Of course, we are far more complex than little balls of fury – I believe the nostalgic, hopeful, and (dichotomously) melancholic elements we’ve weaved through our songwriting comes straight from our spirits and life experiences. We’re more mature as a band since we released Pacific Atlantic, but ultimately our wild hearts can’t be tamed.
Let’s talk about your newest full-length album, “Aire.” This is your first in 7 years with Equal Vision Records. Why is that? What was it like recording this collection? What was it like hearing it all for the first time played back to you?
While it’s difficult, can you talk about the inspiration behind a couple of your favorite on the album?
Tara – Life happened to us. We all were rolling with the punches that life was throwing our way individually, and we needed time to hurt a while in order to heal from different things we were dealing with.
Recording was just one step in the catharsis we were needing to process our experiences.
I’m sure everyone in the band has their own unique experience listening to the album for the first time. My first listen to the new album all the way through was solitary and close to perfect. I had just gotten cut early from a bar shift I was working and saw we got an email of the first draft of songs since we finished recording. I grabbed a cigarette and my ear buds, found a dark, quiet corner of my bar’s patio, and let the music take me away.
Generally, how do you all go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
Kevin – A little bit of both – we don’t have a specific formula, but normally one of us will bring a riff, melody, or beat to practice and we’ll jam around that to see if it feels like it’s going anywhere. Over the years we’ve learned that stopping to talk about “what part comes next” or “the next part should….” absolutely doesn’t work for us. We just play and play and play to see how the idea evolves and mutates – it’s super organic. Quite a few of the songs on the new record started as just one person noodling in between rehearsing other songs rather than consciously sitting down with a “ok let’s make a song” mind set. Trish being in Detroit makes practicing regularly pretty impossible so we are emailing each other ideas constantly.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Kevin – On stage performing is always going to take the cake for me – nothing can beat the feeling of adrenaline pumping while playing to a lively and fun crowd. There’s also something super empowering about being in the studio though and meticulously working through the recording/writing process, adding in subtleties that weren’t even originally written into the song etc…
Tara – Performing our music is definitely my favorite. I am in control. I can rage in ways that would make me look insane in any other context of life. It’s one of the few times I feel comfortable with people observing me. It is my meditative state. It is an art form in and of itself.
Where can fans see you perform next? What do you think makes an ideal show for this group?
Kevin – We don’t have anything booked at the moment but I’m sure 2019 will have more tours in it. An ideal show is a small-ish knee high stage with a crowd that is there to have fun and isn’t afraid to stand close to each other. Endless fog is tight too.
Do you find that all of social media and keeping up with your fans has gotten so overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?
Tara – We do most of our social media ourselves. The activity requirements have definitely ramped up since we signed to Equal Vision. While it does sometimes feel overwhelming to keep up with different platforms, we are so grateful for the fans/friends who constantly engage us and are excited about our new music and what we’re doing. I’d say that utilizing Instagram is our strong suit as far as our social media engagement is concerned.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
Tara – Artists are sensitive beings who are tasked to process the experience of life. Yes, you could argue we’re living through a unique and trying time right now, but our band would be making art/music no matter the time or era. It’s part of how we process our humanity, and yes, sometimes it is a means to “escape” and find a little peace.
What musicians would you love to work with in the future? What artists have really been inspiring this group and your music since day 1?
Kevin – Realistically I’d love to work with someone like Nils Frahm, Michelle Zauner from Japanese Breakfast, Timmy Capello, or Brad Fiedel. Musical Inspiration: Bush, Third Eye Blind, CKY
Tara – I haven’t fantasized too much over which artists would be fun to collaborate with, to be honest.
Musical Inspiration: Eisley, Bjork
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Tara – We want people to decide themselves what message they get from our music. Forever and always, be free.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this group?
HAVE FUN! All we get is a lifetime, and we can’t predict exactly how long that might be individually. Love deeply and party hard.