New Band Spotlight: What Came From The Sea

what-came-from-the-seaHaving came across What Came From The Sea via guitarist Rolv-Erik liking a picture of mine on Instagram I was tempted to give their music a listen and after being hooked by the cool, stoner-rock, folky tracks I thought it would be good to introduce them to you too.

Who are What Came From The Sea and where do you come from?

The band is based in Bergen, Norway.

Rolv-Erik : guitar. He is also a member of the doom band Syrach.

Øystein: bass. He also played in Legacy, and plays in Syrach and Clown

Torgeir: guitar/vocals. He was a member of The Underachievers

Kevin: drums/studio guy. Originally from the Alps (right on the border between Switzerland and France), but moved to Norway two years ago to study, and never left.

How and when did you all meet?

Rolv-Erik and Øystein know each other from their band Syrach, and wanted to start something else in parallel. They wrote a few songs, and someone recommended them Torgeir as a drummer. When he heard the demos, Torgeir said he would join, but on vocals. Kevin had put ads “drummer looking for a band” everywhere upon arriving in Bergen, and Rolv-Erik was the first one to contact him.

What is the inspiration and influences behind your music? I personally hear a bit of Black Sabbath and The Sword in there.

We all have different backgrounds in Rock music, from metal to pop rock. It would be impossible to name one influence, what comes out is a blend of many other things. The result can remind you of other bands of course, but we don’t think it was voluntary. We just take whatever comes out and take it to a place where we all feel comfortable with it. It’s just rock music. Which doesn’t mean anything, but we’d rather say that than lose you with 10 prefixes and 15 suffixes to try and define it.

How do you harness that sound? What equipment are you guys playing on and through?

R-E: I play a Gibson Explorer 1985 through an Engl PowerBall, and a SoundCity. Cabs are Marshall JCM 800 and JCM 900 (modified with Vintage 30 speakers)

T: I play a Fender Telecaster through a Mesa Boogie dual rectifier. Cab is a Marshall 1960 Lead

Ø: I have a Gibson RD 1979 and a Fender Jazz, and play both through an Orange AD200B. The Gibson has a classic sound, like a big piece of wood. The Fender has stronger pickups, and a more modern sound.

K: back home i played on a DW kit, big drums. When i moved here i simply had to play with whatever i was lucky enough to borrow. Premier drums seem to be quite popular in Norway, haven’t seen more of those anywhere else. Currently playing on a Premier from the 90s that i’m borrowing from a friend. It ‘s tiny (18″, 12″, 14″) but it keeps on surprising me in the studio. And it looks really cool. I love it.

For cymbals, i’m a partisan of the bigger and the thinner, the better. Velvet 15″ Hi hats, HHX 20″ Legacy Crash, Zildjian A sweet ride 21″ as my second crash, and Zildjian K custom dry ride 20″. This gear isn’t exactly what we used on the first EP though. You’ll hear the result soon!

You have a four track EP available on Spotify at the moment, do you have any plans to release new material? If so, when and how can our readers get hold of it?

We’re currently recording two 7″ of two songs each. The first one is two songs that we wouldn’t want on a full length because… well, they wouldn’t fit. They have a much faster vibe, i guess you could say punk-ish. One of them is actually a football song (three quarters of the band are massive football enthusiasts), about the legendary Maradona. The two other ones, well to be honest we just love them too much!

Of course those songs will be available in a digital version as well, just like the EP. On Bandcamp you can also listen/download for free a cover we did last winter of The Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’. To get a vinyl copy of the EP (or the upcoming double release), you can contact us via email.

Torgeir sings in English, was the decision to do so based on maximising the interest from beyond the shores of Norway?

Yes! But then again the topic never really came up, it was just the natural thing to do when writing rock songs.

You have recently finished a mini European tour, what/where was the highlight of the trip?

The gig in Den Helder, Netherlands was fantastic. We played the same venue during our previous tour and it already was the best night. Our first gig there inspired us a song (which will be released on one of the 7″), so playing that song there last June was simply extraordinary. It’s that kind of venue with no stage, no mics on the amps, but you feel so close to the audience. Rock Cafe de Engel is the name, and there’s simply something magical for us about this place. If you’re ever in the north of the Netherlands, you have to go there.

Because touring isn’t just about the music, one of those non-musical highlights was this insane lightning storm we had for three hours the night before reaching Berlin for the first gig. Three hours of epic lightning 360° around the van.

For this tour it was a true blessing to have a friend tag along and help us out with driving, filming, selling merch… Christer (vocalist in Clown) is part of the family.

Do you have any funny or strange stories from the tour?

We had to build a street in Lyon to drive away from the venue. We wanted to bill the city of Lyon for our services but decided to leave it be, as a sign of good faith. It was a great concert and we figured the French could use some help.

Apart from that, well the naked people in the crowd, drunk chicks on stage interfering with the show so Torgeir had to throw them away…

Touring itself is the funny and strange story. Even on a 2 weeks tour like last one, the human experience is beyond anything you could imagine if you’ve never done something like that. You learn so much, it’s hard to know where to begin. It was also very enjoyable to get a day off with Kevin’s family in a tiny village lost in the Alps, where we went wild boars scouting. That was scary.

Which song(s) do you most enjoy playing to a live audience?

R-E and Ø: ‘The Renovator’. It’s the last song of the show, we put extra energy into that one and it usually gets a very good response from the crowd. This song will also be on one of the 7″.

K: I really like playing ‘Into the Desert’, because it has this ternary groove that you don’t really find in any other of our songs (so far).

T: don’t have a particular favourite. What I like the most, is when I see the crowd enjoying a song of ours. And that song varies from place to place.

Where has been your favourite venue?

Den Helder and the mystical power it has on us let aside, the venue in Berlin (Dunker Club) is one amazing place. They’ve had free concerts every thursday for the past 25 years. That is an unbelievable achievement.

Le Brin de Zinc in Chambéry is a great place too. Good stage, wide choice of beers.

Do you plan to take to the road again any time soon? If so, where do you have in mind?

Right now we’re really focusing on making the upcoming releases sound good. But we really want to go back on tour as quickly and as often as possible. Since we’re doing everything by ourselves, booking a tour is a very demanding job. We actually have never played in the UK, and would love to! We also talked a bit about trying to go to South America soon. That would be fantastic, but as you can probably imagine, for a band our size it’s much harder than going to the UK for instance.

It’s quite safe to say we will play Den Helder again.

Who would you love to support on the road given the opportunity and why?

R-E: Monster Magnet because they’re fucking amazing.

T: hell yeah!

K: Rolv-Erik recently made me listen to a Norwegian band called Thulsa Doom. If you don’t know them, you absolutely have to check them out! they sound huge, tight as hell and the songwriting is very impressive. I’d love to tour with them. And then I could harass their guitar player, who is their studio tech, on how on earth he makes guitars sound that awesome!!

I was introduced to your band via Instagram of all places, how do you feel about social media and the role it has to play in getting your band recognition from new listeners?

K: I liked the early days of MySpace, before it became a blind contest of who had more friends. Facebook simply doesn’t seem to be adapted for small bands like ourselves, but so far it’s still the main social network so…

I guess the enormous expansion of the internet and social medias allowed everybody to have their stuff out there and promote it. Which I love. But it also made it incredibly hard and discouraging to browse through millions of bands to find maybe 5 that you actually really enjoy.

I’m using SoundCloud for some of my “solo stuff”, and I was recently surprised to see that I’m getting clicks from all other the world, with no advertising whatsoever. It’s comforting to know that there are some people that take the time to dig the internet so deep that they actually end up on a page like mine.

R-E: It sucks. There’s just too much information, too many bands (even if they’re awesome). You hear something you like but it’s instantly buried by countless other bands, and you don’t remember them. Miles away from the days when you got a tape from a friend and dug everything there was to know about it: who played the guitar, what gear he used, what year was every album released…

T: the old man has spoken.

How can our readers here in the UK keep in touch and and follow your movements?

Facebook and Instagram for news and such, and our Bandcamp page for the music!

Bandcamp

Facebook

Instagram

Thanks a lot for giving us the chance to talk, and we hope to make it to the UK soon!

Alan Gray

Senior Writer and Editor at Musicscramble. Listens to a wide range of music. A sucker for a heavy bass line and a thundering guitar hook.

Loves getting his gig on but also loves to get behind a camera and capture music in the making. Check out akgphotos.com for more.

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