Melodic black metal was very big subgenre back in nineties, and one of the bands that spearheaded it back in the day was Finnish troop weirdly titled …and Oceans. Later in their career, the band had somewhat tumultuous development (with name change) but in 2017 …and Oceans moniker came back and they decided to go back to their early sound. New album Cosmic World Mother is just unleashed upon the mankind, so we are glad to host Timo Kontio (guitar player) to provide us with some info…
Greetings …and Oceans and welcome to the pages of Metal Sound! How are you guys doing in these isolation times?
Timo: Well we all seem to be safe and sound so far. Trying to manage this the best we can.
Let’s concentrate on some more positive stuff and your return, so please tell us how did the idea of …and Oceans resurrection came to be? What were the initial reaction of fans upon your return, would you say that the bend was still in good memory?
Timo: We have had this idea of coming back a few times along the years, not until we really had rehearsals late 2017 we decided to give it a try. Then we got some gig offers when the rumors spread about us getting back in the business. Also record deal offers came at the same time. Gigs went really well so we were quite sure that we have to do this and make a new album. We certainly felt that we were welcomed back at our gigs, but also messages etc. have been really positive and great.
The band has returned in 2017 but there were some line up changes in period before your upcoming album, can you please tell us why those changes did take place and where did you find the new people?
Timo: Well, some of them were decisions of their own for personal reasons. Some of them were decisions of ours that were needed to make for us to continue as a band. All of the new blood was already known to be great musicians and recommended from others or our old friends from the past. So all of them were easy to be welcomed to the band.
Your fifth album entitled Cosmic World Mother is about to be released in a couple of days, have you heard some reactions already?
Timo: Most of the response has been really great. Some people would have wanted us to follow the experimental direction, but you can’t please everyone.
Cosmic World Mother seems to be departure from industrial/electro sound that you have played at the end of your career and instead you have returned to symphonic black metal sound of your beginnings. Can you tell us what has caused that decision?
Timo: That was intentional. For me personally that sound of the first two albums are more to my liking and comes naturally when making new music. That was the initial idea though. You never know how we develop to our next album.
Melodic BM was really a big thing back in 90s but now that sound is largely forgotten. Truth be told, Finland with bands such as Vargrav, Faustian Pack or Aethyrick seems to be regaining that throne so how do you see the position of your style on nowadays scene?
Timo: That is true. That sound of the 90’s is mostly missing. That is one reason for this decision of ours to bring that sound back again. There are a few bands that has done such albums like Vargrav you mentioned.
Can you please explain to us the lyrical and cover art concept behind the album?
Mathias: This album concentrates on the concept of energy. How energy is eternal and nothing ever gets lots, it just changes form. This mean that a human is part of the same energy that always has been, all that is and ever will be. I’m exploring what this means for us physically and psychologically.
The video for Five of Swords has just been released, do you think that metal video still have their role in this YouTube day and age?
Timo: Well, they don’t play that big of a role nowadays since there are no TV shows to show them or no DVD’s are made etc. YouTube is one important promotion channel so if you have a video of your ‘single’ then most likely it gets more views. So in that way they still play some role in this business.
You have also returned to Season of mist for this album, you were one of their first bands back in the day and in the meantime they have grown to be one of the biggest metal labels. How is it to work with them nowadays comparing to old days?
Timo: They certainly bigger label with loads of bands and employees. They have dedicated persons to handle different things there, more resources. They were really great label from the beginning supporting us in their best ways. Tours etc. Of course business has changed a lot since those days. Physical albums are not sold that much which effects on different things. Though we don’t have anything to complain about, on the contrary. Everything has been working great so far and we are just in the beginning of our co-operation. The album is just around the corner so we’ll see from there how this goes.
Can you please try and give comments on your 4 old full length albums and try to compare them with Cosmic World Mother?
Timo: Difficult. First one is always the first one. It has really great tracks etc. but it can be heard here and there that it was our first album recorded in the studio, haha. That doesn’t make it any worse, the feeling is there nevertheless. For me The Symmetry is more mature and well thought through and executed and for me the best from the first era of this band. AMGOD has also a lot of great tracks, but maybe not as well thought through album as Symmetry. Cypher was then totally different sounding and really has its moments for sure. Maybe all in all also not that compact and strong as symmetry for me at least. Hard to compare to our new album. Maybe Symmetry is quite near to this new album. Fast and melodic. Though new album has more modern approach quite obviously.
The album is released in midst of this pandemic so I guess that it is unsure when will you play some gigs, what are your plans for promoting the album in this situation?
Timo: It is difficult for sure. Really frustrating to release an album after so many years and all of a sudden all gigs are canceled. Great festivals are canceled. We hope that people will find our new album nevertheless. We hope to re-schedule at least our Finnish club gigs for later this year. Gigs and festival abroad most likely have to wait for next year. Maybe we have to find some other ways to promote this album as well. Luckily we have had quite a few interviews already and seems that they keep coming.
That would be all for this occasion, I would like to thank you for your time and wish you all the best! Your last message to our readers…
Thank you for this interview. Please go and check our new album and we hope to see you at gigs whenever that might be.
- Questions by Slobodan Trifunovic
Answers by Timo Kontio