Interview with Jake Noakes (Oceans Ate Alaska)


G ‘Day Jake, Lauren from Silver tiger Media here thank you so much for having a chat today about the album ‘Hikari’

The album features quite a few different elements including lyrical and musical theme rooted in samurai mythology could you explain the process it took in combining all these elements to bring us ‘Hikari’?

It all actually started with the track Veridical, which Chris had actually written for a little instrumental side project featuring Japanese instruments. Then the one day Jibs, our guitarist, was over at Chris’, and yeah I believe it was a spawn of curiosity and a drunken inspired idea, decided to throw some heavy guitar onto this track, assuming it would sound dreadful, but instead resulted on more so a kind of a eureka moment. So yeah, from that there was a lot of trial and error, and experimenting with different Japanese instruments, some of which sounded incredible, going on feature on a large amount of tracks on the album, whilst others, well not so much.

The album’s art work is just as unique as the album could you please explain it to us?

We tried to make sure when in came to ‘Hikari’ that everything from the art work to the music tied in together, so with the album being Japanese inspired and ‘Hikari’ translating to ‘Light’, the lotus flower was perfect fit. This was because it combined an oriental feel whilst symbolising what this album stood for and was about. The lotus flower is such a perfect, beautiful flower that can only thrive in the horrible most disgusting clay and dirt. So the message we wanted to put across, was that some times the most beautiful things have to grow from the hardest of conditions. Another little attention to detail with the art work was the choice to use an origami flower, whilst having the whole piece scattered on paper cards also, again reiterating that no matter what cards you are dealt you can become something amazing.

Upon entering the studio did you have a particular mind set of how you wanted things to be? Did they turn out how you first planed or did things have to change in the presses?

Chris actually engineered majority of the album from his home, so studio wise it was only Chris and I who flew out to Detroit to record with Nick Sampson. For me, being my first full length album, I think to a degree I underestimated just how intense and vocally demanding it is!

Nonetheless we made it and couldn’t be happier with how the album turned out, so I don’t think there is anything we or I would change.

How much time did you spend in the studio both recording as well as the writing process?

The writing process as a whole took well over two years, I happened to join towards the end of the writing process musically, but still spent a great deal of the time on vocals. When it came to recording though, the guys spent roughly like 5-6 months recording the guitar and bass parts, as Chris being Chris there was a high degree of perfectionism, so they made sure every part was the best it could be. Then the end of last year we spent the final couple months recording drums and vocals in Detroit.

How are you guys feeling about the new album now that it is about to be released?

Now it’s out there for the world to hear, we have been seriously overwhelmed by the feedback we have received. People are genuinely stoked on the record and loving the direction we’ve taken OAA. So yeah we are all so pleased with the way everything has turned out and hopefully now this record will allow us to travel to Asia as well as you guys out in Aust. to tour it.

Is there a particular track on the album that is your favourite?

For me personally, I really enjoy ‘Entrapment’, mainly because it’s a song that allows me to try demonstrate my full vocal diversity, but also as it was the first song I wrote with the guys so it holds sentimental value too.

What was the creative process that went into making the album?

I can only really talk about the vocal side when it comes to creative processes, as I’m still baffled as to how Chris pieces together these ideas he has. With vocals and lyrics though, I normally either have an idea of what I want to sing or write about. Quite often I will come up with what I can only describe as a trigger sentence or word, that will inspire me to create a song around it. For example with ‘Escapist’ I loved the idea of describing something or someone as an enigma, so the song literally stemmed from there.

Did much change from what you first hoped to have on the album to what it is now?

I think because it’s been such a long time in the making, every detail has been quite meticulously planned out from front to back, so when it actually came to the final recording and production, it all went pretty smoothly.

Finishing up now on the final questions what’s in the works for Oceans Ate Alaska for the rest of the year?

Well we are currently on a European headline/supporting run with August burns red, then we have a couple things booked in for the end of the year, which haven’t been properly announced yet. But yeah, plan is to mainly tour this new album and perform some new music, then hopefully next year head to some places we’ve never played like Australia and Asia, and just carry on doing what we love and live for.