THE OCEAN BURIED
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THE OCEAN BURIED

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Band Pop Rock

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"Spill: An Interview with The Ocean Buried"

Can you spill a secret? Recently, when people have talked about The Ocean Buried chances are they aren’t just talking about a phrase from William Shakespeare’s Richard III.

They may in fact be talking about a five-piece Powerpop group made up of lead singer Tim Stead (originally from Owen Sound), guitarist Kyle Wallace (originally from Quebec), bassist Jeremy Hebert, drummer Luke van den Kroonenberg (a.k.a. Luke Van) and guitarist Michael Stewart are all from Oshawa.

When asked why the people should go out and see their band as opposed to another, Stead explained, “I think people should be excited to come out and see a show. I think there (are) a lot of bands and a lot of music that occurs in Toronto and I think there’s a big difference between going to listen to music and going to sort of watch a show, ” said the lead singer. He believes The Ocean Buried “strive to put on an energetic show and something that people can sing along to. We want to create moments that people remember for a long time with being able to get involved,” Stead said before discussing the group’s appreciation for their fans. “We genuinely, genuinely love to meet the people who come to the shows. We want to shake hands or give side hugs to people or high-fives to people and get to see the people (be) cause the people who we’ve met so far are the only reason that we are where we are and to get any further it takes those people again”.

Fan Megan Burnett first heard of the group through “friends (who) know the band and were telling me about them. I listened to a few of their songs and thought they were great.”

IN THE BEGINNING.

The tale of this band (whom I consider ‘the ones to watch’ and who I have no doubt will be as big as Sum 41 or Billy Talent sooner rather than later) began with trips to the mall for Van and Stewart.

“One day I was in the mall and I saw Mike and I asked him ‘hey man do you want to take some band pictures,” chuckled Van who added, ”and Mike said to me, he says ‘dude we don’t even have a band or anything?”

Stewart and Van started playing together. Van then extended an offer to bassist Hebert. “I invited Jeremy to come out and jam with us and then we jammed for awhile and then eventually we found Tim and Kyle and we just knew we loved each other,” he said.

In my opinion, Van is an excellent drummer. The musicianship of both guitarists and bassist I consider top notch with a capital ‘T and N’. If I didn’t know about the band beforehand I would have thought that it was a side project of Ryan Key, lead singer of Yellowcard. Stead’s voice I consider the fraternal twin of Key’s, eerily similar but dissimilar all at the same time.

There were some of us in the band who definitely gelled quickly,Ó said Stead who explained that before Wallace came along there was a musician who they played with but he Òdidn’t necessarily fit in with us and we sort of asked him to move onÓ. Despite this the group count Wallace as Óreally one of the founding members of the bandÓ says Stead adding, ÉÓ he was there when we were writing all the big, important songs, he’s been with us for basically the entire timeÓ.

The group appeared on Muchmusic’s Disband, a show where a panel of judges from the music industry decide if a group should stay together or breakup. Stead called it, “a good experience”.

When the group played the gig it was only the third time guitarist Wallace had played with the band, but it could have been his maiden voyage. “We were able to book two shows rather quickly so that I got some practice with the band live before,” he said before referring to the band appearance on the show “ as more exciting than nerve racking”.

However, the group was not picked to be featured predominately in the episode along with some other bands as another musical act was selected to go in front of the judges.

“We were forced to become more of a professional band, we were forced to make sure we were aware of what people thought of us in terms of our music and our imaging”, Stead said noting, “It forced us to get stuff together like a Tech Rider.” He also viewed it as “an opportunity to get to know each other better” In addition, he pointed out the group’“ sincerely appreciate that opportunity.”

On October 28th, of last year the group opened a Die Mannequin concert, which also featured Brown Brigade. The show took place at The Reverb according to Cindy Parreira, a Promoter, Booking Agent and Talent Buyer for The Big Bop Concert Hall (which can be found in Toronto at 651 Queen St. West, and includes The Kathedral, Holy Joes and The Reverb).

“The Ocean Buried is an energetic, positive band with a lot of talent. Their loyal (and growing) fan base shows the potential this young band has… and The Big Bop plans to be there each step of the way!” says Parreira.

Stead called that show “the beginning of building a Toronto fan base and from it so many positive things have come”. Later on during our interview, Stead said some kind things about the venue.“ We’ve made some really good friends (there),” he noted, pointing out, “it’s been a wonderful venue. Cindy at The Reverb has been just awesome”.

The band, he believes, is “still developing”. “We’re still just a new band,” he continued “and it’s still a new band in that area, but the Toronto scene has been wonderful to us and we want to keep working hard for the people that work for us.”

THE RECORDING.

Last year the group worked both with producers Murray Daigle (in the summer) as well as jamie k. (in late October-November 2008) according to Stead. The end result was their freshman release, a 7 song 23 minute and 37 second Mini- LP entitled, ‘Can You Spill A Secret?’

The Ocean Buried count “The Rocket Summer (and) Mayday Parade” amongst their inspirations explained Stead, who noted that the group have also been motivated by “a lot of bands that are in our genre. We listen to heavier stuff and we listen to lighter stuff and so it’s sort of a combination of everything,” he said admitting that the group is “not necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel with our music, but I think we try and show our respect and love for the bands that influenced us by having elements of their stuff in what we do”.

At first when the group described their music idols Stead joked that Stewart is into “Britney Spears and Madonna” and Van’s mobile has “tragic” songs on it.

This was the beginning of a really funny joke that all band members participated in. They like to have a laugh. Their friendship and chemistry is noticeable within minutes of meeting them. Wallace even joked earlier in the interview, “I write everything, all the songs. I teach everyone.”

All joking aside Stead talked about how “each song is written completely differently” before going over the opinions. “Sometimes somebody will come to the band with a rift and we’ll just develop everything around it, in terms of lyrics (and) melody. Sometimes we’ll record the song and I’ll take it home and I’ll write lyrics and melodies to it. Sometimes I’ll have a skeleton idea for what I think a song could sound like with lyrics and melodies that I’ve written and will build it around it”. Stead points out that “it genuinely is a team effort, it’s not directed by one person at anytime”.

In my opinion whatever method they’re using seems to be working. Their music gets stuck in your subconscious and throughout the day you find yourself singing it.

The tracks, ‘Honestly, Honest,’ ‘ Whisper These Words’, ‘Can You Spill A Secret?’ are just darn good. They brought me back to the genre. The song, ‘Believe in Me’ - it’s uplifting an example of precision instrumentation. In the case of the track, ‘Stomach Butterflies,’ I like that it’s a song listeners can rock out to which also includes poignant lyrics. The same could be said regarding the third song on the disc, ‘Falling Asleep At The Wheel which ‘has thought provoking lyrics that never made me stop paying attention to the musicianship and Stead’s talent as a songwriter. My only minor dislike on the project is the backing beat on ‘Whisper These Words (Remix)’. It didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the record.

“The Ocean Buried rock. The guys were awesome to work with, extremely professional and came with some great songs and ideas. Few projects go as smoothly as theirs. Expect big things from these boys,” says Daigle.

Burnett calls the group’s music “really catchy, something you can really dance to and enjoy. Some of the songs I can relate to as well, which I love”. Her favorite track is ‘Whisper These Words’ though it was hard for her to decide. She says of it, ”I love listening to it in the morning, getting ready for school.”

Stead has an idea of how their songs become that way. He explained the group’s “positive vibe” and how it affects them. “Our Myspace is very upbeat and poppy. We try and have fun. If we’re going to be doing stuff that is challenging …we want to have fun while were doing it and so for that we try to have fun with what we do and that translates into our records I think.” The singer desires that listeners “get positiveness out of what we’ve recorded.”

When asked about their experience with the producers, Hebert called them ”both really good” and explained that Daigle was “extremely good, he’s more like a master” said the bassist. It was the first time Hebert “recorded professionally” in the studio. “He just knew everything right away- what should go where, so it was really fast with him,” says Hebert about the band’s time with the owner of MDS Recording. “Murray just knew what to do,” tells Stewart “he was able to, I think track the stuff really well and was able to make it sound solid and take songs that weren’t necessarily fully developed and finish developing them for us, just was able to make everything sound better”.

The Internet seems to be working for the band. According to their site biography, which can be found on both Facebook and Mypace they have “hit as high as number 4 on the Myspace Canada Charts for unsigned Powerpop, and opened for Silverstein, Ten Second Epic and Die Mannequin within the past few months.”

“That’s actually really coolÓ, says Stewart referring to their position on the chart. The best part about it is that we are writing back to all fans and our friends on a continual basis, he told me about using the site, ” That’s actually helped out our draw so much, it all shows we’ve got a whole bunch of people coming out just for us.”

When asked if in this age of new media he thinks that bands have to get on sites such as Myspace and Facebook he saidÉ ÒI definitely agreeÓ.

As of twenty minutes after three on May 12th The Ocean Buried Facebook page, (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ocean-Buried/46388863456?) listed 2,103 fans and their group on the site had 674 members (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?sid=67ba107d2f2878a00df382eafbd1688d&gid=10544900979&ref=search). In addition, three other pages and/or groups about the band had a combined total of 508 fans/members and their Myspace (www.myspace.com/theoceanburied) had 11591 friends.

“Jeremy and Luke have been very good at getting to know people on our online sites” and Stead whom believes their “web presence is, I think something that’s a strength.“ He also thinks that the group “put in a lot of work into what we do. We love to help promote the shows that were put onto.”

“The crowd interaction…” along with “anytime someone messages us letting us know how we’ve helped them out with something” Hebert says. He notes that the group having gotten posts from fans, “saying our songs, ‘helped them through stuff’ is what “drives” him, “to want to play more write more, (to) do more shows”. He later mentioned “it shows that they know that we see more than fans, that we actually see them as friends, that they’re able to talk to us like that which is definitely what we are going for”.

When asked about his best experience since the band started two things comes to Stead’s mind.
The first being the Silverstein concert which he calls “incredible” and added, “when people show up to the shows wearing our t-shirts and stuff like that, that always make us feel so good, so when people came to the… show wearing our shirts and we’re there singing our songs that was fun”. He also enjoys the moments when “it comes to a spot where it’s time for the audience to sing, and when people sing our songs back to us, for me that’s the biggest reminder of why I wanted to do this (is) that interaction with people and to hear people sing our stuff back to us”.

THEIR STAGE SHOW

The Ocean Buried celebrated their first anniversary together on March 27 with a show at E.P. Taylor’s on the campus of Durham College, UOIT and Trent in Oshawa. Having been at the anniversary show I can tell you it was about three things, the fans (who seem to be fiercely loyal) friends and the members’ families. Speck of Dust, Final Thought, Beauti and This Is An Empire opened the gig.

“It was a great show. The guys were all in sync and performed their hearts out”, says Burnett, who has attended two of the group’s shows and is “definitely going to more”.

When asked about whether the group is surprised with how fast things have happened, Stead talked about the fact that they are “also taking it with smaller steps” and the others seemed to be in agreement with him. Among the goals, “we want to be able to get through this tour and feel so strong after we get done, with each other as a band and then continue on, hopefully next fall doing it again”. According to him penning and laying down new tracks for another disc are others. He also spoke about “long term” aims. “We don’t know”, he admitted, “The music industry is something that’s constantly evolving and there’s not one sort of, ‘ideal goal’ for every act. I think the ultimate goal for any band, should be to be sustainable as a band, and to be able to make enough of a living off of what we do that we can focus on it and be the best that we can possibly be at it”.

Certainly that they’ve been able to accomplish what they have in a little over a year is an accomplishment. They’re outlook, friendship and work ethic seem to be the reasons why.

In addition Burnett had some thoughts about what elements have factored into the success they’ve built over the last year.

“They work really hard and work great as a team. They love what they do and portray that on stage. They haven’t stopped writing songs and spend every opportune moment on bettering themselves as a band,” she says.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

The five-some are currently on the Absolute Leadership Development Tour replacing Cooperate Saturday who were involved “in a terrible bus crash in Minnesota”, explained Rachelle Gibbs, a lighting technician and speaker on tour, who along with her colleagues was there when it occurred.

“Corporate Saturday has decided to return home to write and record new music,“ she said before adding, “We wish them the best of luck!

In my opinion, from everything I’ve heard about how well the tour has been going the group has filled in admirably.

(It’s) “…a really good opportunity for our band, but we’ve also become very aware and into what it is that they do, so we’ve glad to be apart of the Absolute Tour and excited for it,” said Wallace back when I interviewed the boys in March.

But what exactly have they been doing for the association, which originated nine years ago?

“The band, myself and the rest of our team take part in the Think Day” said Gibbs who told me about the event. “The most popular component of this is Think Fast, a one hour show that combines the band, videos and personal stories of obstacles overcome. We also facilitate workshops with students discussing issues like self-worth, honesty, purpose and global issues. As a finale, we like to give the day closure with a Think Big- a concert integrated with personal stories.” For more information about Absolute Leadership Development visit; http://absolute.org/

Gibbs had nothing but nice thinks to say about the band. “I have enjoyed working with them so far, they are professional, yet fun. Their music is relevant to teens and what we are trying to accomplish in schools,” she said. The students absolutely loved them at the first show”, she said following that performance. “They signed autographs for at least half an hour. I look forward to this tour with The Ocean Buried.”

When they’re not on tour Stead considers The Big Smoke the group’s base of operations.
“Toronto and the GTA is definitely our home,” says the lead singer. “When we’re not living here in Oshawa and surrounding areas, we have another place down in Hamilton and so we’re sort of working out of there and we do a lot of stuff in Toronto, so Toronto is very much home for us, so if we can continue to make a big fan base in Toronto and make more friends there, that’s an ambitious goal I think too.”

http://torontoima.com/new/music-blog/spill-the-ocean-buried/ - TIMA - Scott Bremner


"Pop Punk Show Review: The Ocean Buried"

"...First to take the stage at Lee’s Palace was the Ocean Buried. This young five-piece played one of our TMS showcases last summer and we loved them then and we love them now. Their youthful energy, colourful clothing and fun choreographed stage antics provide the perfect aesthetics to their pop punk assault. When they played our show, it was the first and only gig with that specific guitarist. They’ve since secured a solid line-up whose dedication to the craft is evident. They’ve also added a synth, which provides a dimension to their sound I don’t think many bands in this genre have.

These guys just landed a deal touring high schools performing and providing motivational speeches. I can’t help but be extremely excited for them. This tour is going to really help propel their success because their music is the perfect high school music. Don’t disregard it for this. Between singer Tim Stead’s excellent showmanship, articulation and blonde hair, a mass of emo haired young men in American Apparel t-shirts and tight jeans, and the fact they are actually talented musicians who have a great amount of enthusiasm on stage shows they know what they’re doing..."
http://www.torontomusicscene.ca/live-show-reviews/pop-punk-show-review-the-ocean-buried-and-cut-throat.html - Toronto Music Scene


"Review: Toronto Warped Tour 2009"

"The Ocean Buried
Don't tell anybody, but The Ocean Buried is a guilty little secret of mine. With their catchy vocal hooks and pop punk sensibilities, it's easy to see why the Ocean Buried got a decent sized crowd on the Kevin Says stage. Playing songs off their debut album Can You Spill A Secret?, the Ocean Buried made the most of their one night stand on the tour playing crowd favorites like the title-track and "Whisper These Words."

For more information on The Ocean Buried check out: http://www.myspace.com/theoceanburied"

http://mog.com/torontomusicscene/blog/1394947 - Toronto Music Scene


"Alternative Press - Hometown Heroes"

"With dispositions nearly as sunny as their bouncy pop, The Ocean Buried have used an appearance on Canada's MuchMusic, a dedicated online following and an EP loaded with catchy tunes to build their name throughout the country..." - Alt. Press Magazine Oct 09 Issue


Discography

Can You Spill A Secret?(2009)
The Partially Cloud E.P.(2009)
Electric Love(2010)

Photos

Bio

Can you spill a secret?
Five musicians from Toronto want to spill every secret they have.

The Ocean Buried has made an appearance in AP Magazine, played Warped Tour (Toronto stop), appeared on City Tv's Breakfast Television and hit as high as number 4 on the Myspace Canada Charts for unsigned Powerpop within the past few months.

"With dispositions nearly as sunny as their bouncy pop, The Ocean Buried have used an appearance on Canada's MuchMusic, a dedicated online following and an EP loaded with catchy tunes to build their name throughout the country..."
-Alternative Press, October 2009

"They are being compared to as the the next Sum 41 and Billy Talent; huge priase from the critics." - CityTV's Breakfast Television

“The ones to watch... Their music gets stuck in your subconscious and throughout the day you find yourself singing it.”
- Toronto Independent Music Awards

“Their youthful energy, colourful clothing and fun choreographed stage antics provide the perfect aesthetics to their pop punk assault.”
- Toronto Music Scene

“The Ocean Buried's debut album is nothing short of great and brings this new band into the world with a loud bang!”
- Lee Clifford, The Verge, XM Radio

“With their catchy vocal hooks and pop punk sensibilities, it's easy to see why The Ocean Buried got a decent sized crowd on the Kevin Says stage.”
- Toronto Music Scene’s Warped Tour Review 2009