It started as a hip-hop instrumental for a different project, but drummer Chris Turner began experimenting in the studio by adding tech-metal elements. After everything was laid down, Nick did the mix and master, and we all couldn't be happier with how it turned out! Is it a musical vehicle that has absolutely no allegiance to genre as much as it does to getting the message across? I tracked and edited the guitars, bass, and all the Japanese instruments in my home studio before flying to Detroit with Jake where we tracked drums and vocals with Nick. Hikari follows lyrical and musical themes rooted in Samurai mythology and even names the first track after a Japanese Buddhist goddess, Benzaiten — the goddess of everything that flows: water, time, words, speech. Much to our surprise, it worked perfectly, giving everything a whole new dynamic with underlying tones and thematic motifs. Oceans Ate Alaska actually confirms on that this is in fact their own vocal stylings.
The album incorporates the sounds of traditional Japanese instruments like a Koto, Junanagen, Hocchiku, and Taiko Drums, just to name a few. Jeb and his whole team was very professional and on task, so the day ran really smoothly. We showed the rest of the band, who also loved it, and we decided we had to roll with it for the whole record! The idea of it being an origami lotus flower, however, shows that sometimes you have to take things into your own hands in order to achieve this new lease of the life. So much so that every last second and every piece of the puzzle that goes towards his parts of the record need to be absolutely perfect. The band specifically chose an origami lotus flower for the cover as it symbolizes the idea that everyone has the ability to create their own future. He shares the same like minded and charismatic attitude we have, so working together on Hikari has been a lot of fun.
There is one last attempt at reigning the beast in, but Birth-Marked is having none of that. Lotus flowers grow from mud and dirt symbolising that beauty can still emerge from a dark dingy place. However,keeping it real means that every hit is unique to us, so it was more than worth all the effort! Hikari, which is Japanese for light, is only the beginning of the Japanese infusion into the new music. Is it a sassy stage name for British-born Dominic Harrison to wave his freak flag and pink socks under? Roughly halfway through, Oceans Ate Alaska change straight from the hard metal sound to a traditional Japanese instrumental; this is then followed up by a layering of the two together which lead into the last chorus of Entrapment. It blends together beautifully before the metal aspect takes the lead towards the later part of the track; however the instrumental piece does end with the same traditional Japanese instruments from the opening of the track fading out. Oceans Ate Alaska went on to release their debut album Lost Isles in February 2015.
We had to be this specific throughout recording the entire record! Next month, the outfit will tour Europe with. How did that come about? Everything had to be perfect from the stem; if any tuning changed due to the room temperature, we would have to go back for reference and re-tune it to keep consistency, no mics could move even a millimetre, etc. You can check out their upcoming tour dates over on their. We felt that we had stumbled across something so unique and beautiful by accident, and it was too good not to explore! Chris Turner: I was more of the engineer! Even though polar opposites, the band discovered that the mix of sounds worked in its own unique way. At first, I thought he was crazy as I'd already combined two polar opposites of modem electronic hip hop with traditional Japanese instrumentation, so surely adding another genre that's yet another world apart would only sound bad? After putting in an insane amount of mileage touring around the world in support of their 2015 debut album Lost Isles, British metalcore outfit return with their sophomore studio album Hikari. So there wasn't really another producer to bounce ideas off for my engineering part, however, when Jake was in the booth, me and Nick really had a blast. I used a Japanese instrument called a koto as I heard it used in one of my favourite tracks, and thought I'd try it out myself.
How was it having someone else to bounce ideas off of during the recording session? All of the drums on the record are 100 percent real. Escapist and Hikari come to a close the way it started, with a traditional Japanese instrumental. Drummer Chris Turner took some time to discuss working on the new record, which is available for pre-order. Hikari however is a celebration of our progression towards a new beginning for us. Plus, we ordered pizza, so that was cool, too. We simply like playing together, so we found an excuse to make something official of it.
How important was this for the recording process? Me and Josh met on Warped Tour of 2016, and we jammed together most evenings. Thunderous drums and racing guitars are a given for this genre, but, you are struck by tranquil moments during the use of the Japanese instrumentation. Unfortunately Oceans Ate Alaska announced they parted ways with founding member and vocalist Harrison in late 2016, however that opened the door for long-time friend Jake Noakes to step up and fill the vocal void on the upcoming second album that was also announced. Dropping on July 28 through Fearless Records, the 11 track album is the debut of vocalist Jake Noakes, who joined the band earlier this year before their with. Taking shortcuts is what takes the magic out of piece and Chris has definitely avoided that. From the opening drum beat, Covert instantly gets the head banging; the vocal energy of Noakes seems like it has been somehow lifted.
This is the first Oceans Ate Alaska album with new vocalist Jake Noakes. The album art is a lotus flower, which grows out of mud and dirt, yet is a pristine work of nature. Not many musicians record 100 percent, as most use plug ins. When the tour ended, we had nearly finished writing Hikari, but somehow we found the time to squeeze it in. The introduction of Oceans Ate Alaska comes with Turner starting a drum beat, closely followed with a nice clean, harmonization by the clean vocals. He takes over the reigns on both clean and unclean vocals. Fans of the band can appreciate their vision for Hikari.
. Fun fact, the song I mentioned above actually made the record! For the most part, this song is harmonic and softer compared to the opening three tracks. The shortest track on the album coming in at only 1:50, it starts out with the softness of traditional Japanese instruments before the heavier sounds that Oceans Ate Alaska are used to playing get layered over the top approximately 40 seconds through. And we couldn't be happier with how it's all turned out! The band took to back in early February to announce their new vocalist would be close friend, Jake Noakes. The breakdown halfway through is one that is going to get a crowd worked up, bodies flying and security on their toes; Turner takes a small break on the drums before returning to set off the constant headbanging for who knows what number time. You create your own future! The chorus sticks to the trend of hard hitting lyrics, which really draw on the emotion within the listener! We always wanted to try out having a clean verse as well, so this is where the softer feel of the song developed.
Oceans Ate Alaska brings a provocative and innovative spin to the current music scene. You go through lots of passages in life and sometimes doors will remain closed and you get stuck. Not long after though, the heavy guitars and intense drumming that Oceans Ate Alaska fans have come to expect make their first appearance on this track; the traditional Japanese instruments start to fade into the background as the band builds up to Noakes releasing his opening lyrics in a deep growl. You can be far more careless when sample replacing as you know it's only going to get covered up in the end. The song takes a couple of unexpected twists and turns along the way, however it most definitely sets the scene for what to expect on Hikari! Hikari is a piece of art that showcases this in its finest form.