Localized is always five bucks, and happens on the second Friday of the month at the Urban Lounge, a private club for members. This month’s showstopper falls on December 14th. December showcases two bands that have been staples in the Utah scene for a few years, the hard-rockin’ for loud parties Her Candane and the genre defying I Am the Ocean with openers The Schwass. I had the opportunity to spend one evening with each band, which resulted in a weapons-grade hangover and the other that resulted in a belly full of tea and English muffins. I’ll let you decide which order that was in.
I am the Ocean
Taylor Orton – Drums
Eric Rose – Guitar
Adam Virostko – Guitar
Jeremy Conder – Bass
Kellen Dopp – Vocals
“We just want to talk about Broship!” the gentlemen of I Am the Ocean express to me as I approach them standing outside Positively 4th Street, sharing a jug of wine. Obviously they are excited not only to talk about the collective network of other bands known as Broship, but also their band. We proceeded to the nearest Denny’s to share the same booth where several band meetings have been held.
In the past two and a half years, a lot has happened for I Am The Ocean. Their full-length album ... And Your City Needs Swallowing, which pulls influences from heavy sludge metal to indie rock you could dance to, was released earlier this year by Uprising Records (Fall Out Boy, Underminded). A great deal of touring was done to support this record, and they found Charles, the official band puppy, while touring. “A big deal for us is our brothers in the Broship, Clifton and Her Candane have been and continue to be a huge influence not just musically but as incredible support. Without those two bands, our band wouldn’t have happened the way it did, nor would we be in the position we are. We’re very fortunate to be part of an amazing brotherhood and collection of badass individuals and bands such as the Broship,” Jeremy Conder says.
Thanks to grueling tour schedules by bands not only in Broship, but in Utah bands en masse, these past few years may have put our state on the map quite a bit more than it has been at any other time. “People out there and industry people know what’s going on here and they know it’s incredible. I think the stereotype that we don’t have good music is more cultivated by people in Utah than outside,” Eric Rose states. “We have the best bands and best scene in the world right here, with incredible diversity. For what just about every awesome band that’s out there is doing, I could show you a Utah band that could spank them.” I Am the Ocean shares local influences of other bands as well; “We’re proud to be influenced by Form Of Rocket, Gaza, The New Transit Direction, The Hi Fi Massacre, The Kill and many more.”
As for actually performing, it’s easy to say that the band has done a great deal of it all across the country. “We hope the crowd has a good time and that they’re impressed to some degree in one way or another and feeling what we’re feeling. We hope that they’re close enough to get sweated on, and really hope they don’t get into a fight.”
“Writing is a high all its own because of the fact you’re creating something; it’s something new for you as well and progress is very satisfying,” Jeremy reflects. With several new tracks in the workings, one which is 25 minutes long, and a second full-length album on the distant horizon, I Am the Ocean’s creativity seems far from dry. I had a chance to hear a segment from the almost half-hour track and it was a heavy, spastic psychedelic experience; hearing the full track will be quite exciting. “We don’t set out to sound like anyone else or even not like anyone else, we just write songs that we like, and usually others enjoy them too. If people find us unique then that’s awesome.” About the future, I Am the Ocean is understandably optimistic; “Hopefully we’re still working our asses off with more friends, a couple of more releases, maybe all of us a little bit taller.”
I Am the Ocean has an EP coming out soon in the 21st century.