Founded in 2011 with drummer Dobber Beverly, Oceans of Slumber mystify listeners with atmospheric melodies over darkened dynamics that range from the perversely sinister to the adventurously progressive. Creating an undeniably epic wall of sound that has become the Texans’ trademark, Oceans of Slumber caught the attention of the world’s largest heavy metal label and will release their Blue EP on limited edition vinyl which will be available on August 21st, 2015.
On the Blue EP, listeners are treated to re-imaginings of classics from seminal artists such as Candlemass, Led Zeppelin, Emperor and Pink Floyd. The EP also includes a re-working of a previously released Oceans of Slumber track as well as a taste of a brand new single that will appear on the forthcoming full length album, to be released by Century Media, date and title TBA.
We had some time to talk with drummer Dobber Beverly, and here’s what he had to say.
Give us a little background… what bands have you recorded/toured with?
I’m Dobber and I am a Sagittarius that enjoys a glass of red wine and hot wings. Haha. I’ve been an active musician (professional musicians exist in some perversions these days, right?) for 20 or so years. I’m an avid pianist, guitarist, drummer, and composer of all things classical, electronic, and in between.
I write, play guitar, drum and have drummed for:
Oceans of Slumber – writer, drums, piano, synth, theremin
Insect Warfare – multiple releases, tours, and fest appearances
Infernal Dominion – writer, guitar and drums, tours and festivals
Ingurgitate – writer, guitar and drums, tours and festivals
Sect of Execration – writer, drums
Braced For Nails – writer, guitar and drums
Are you self-taught or professionally trained?
I am fundamentally self-taught, but all of those things were written down and played before. So a lot of amazing musicians taught me indirectly. After many years of plugging away and getting a personal understanding of what I was doing and my own “style” somebody created YouTube and made all the years of my hard work become an hour long instructional video that was available for free. Then I met up with Will Kennedy and started my master classes. Cleaning up my jazz sticking and delving into a different world of drumming I had already been immersed in. So, self-taught with professional embellishment.
How long has Oceans been together and how did you all come together?
We got together in 2011 and decided to pull from our various backgrounds to make music. No intentions other than just a boundary-less band that had a large dynamic range. We can get as lush as you want or we can spin into violent death and black metal with everything in between. We come from metal, jazz and classical worlds, and weave it all together as best we can. We are musicians first and foremost and are equally as serious listeners of music. We don’t do the scenes or the bitching kid shit that is rampant in music today. Just go play or listen.
What do you think the vocalist change has done for the band, be it bad or good?
When we first started writing for Oceans I wanted a female front person. I’m a huge fan of The Gathering, and Anneke Van Giersbergen, and had always wanted to dig into that type of music. So this has come full-circle for me and the band. Cammie is precisely what we needed to complete our circle and has been an amazing addition to the band, both musically and as a partner in crime. Her head is on straight and we all have tunnel vision.
Your first album was much different than the new material, and from what a little bird told us, there’s another album ready to lay down. Where will this next recording take us?
We are a progressive band through and through. Not a modern tech metal band, but a traditional progressive band and we are always going to evolve how we sound. The first record was a testing ground and we just developed songs on an individual basis. So it wasn’t written together as a whole. The Blue EP was just a way to pass the time while we finished our new record “Winter”, and do some arrangements that I had wanted to do for many years of songs that were certainly influential on how we heard and played music. So it’s an obvious evolution for us into darker territories. Winter is bigger and more grandiose than anything that I’ve ever been a part of and I couldn’t be more proud of my bandmates.
How long was the band actively looking for label representation, and what can you ell us about the process?
We’ve been on the hunt since “Aetherial” was released. We had a lot of interest through a few large labels but nothing that ever moved forward or worked in our favor. It’s very hard these days. Coming from bands that were active with more extreme labels like Earache and Relapse, it was strangely evident that unless we fit a certain mold, we weren’t going to get picked up. Everything is about the bottom line and labels aren’t really going after stuff they like to listen to. They have investors and advisors that dictate and it’s a hard mountain to climb if you’re a bit more adventurous. Luckily we found kindred spirits at Century Media that were willing to go out on a limb with us and we’re going to do everything in our power to hold our end up.
What are you most excited about now being under the care and direction of Century Media?
The additional doors that open so that we’re able to spread our music around the world. Putting us in front of the right people and really giving us the chance we need. With so many amazing musicians and bands in this world we know we’re extremely lucky to get this opportunity and we plan to utilize their vast network to its fullest degree.
What kind of gear are you playing these days?
Custom Drum Concepts Amber Aetherial Kit:
20″ x 20″ Kick
10″ x 8″ Tom
14″ x 14″ Floor Tom
16″ x 16″ Floor Tom
13″ x 6.5″ Segmented Black Cherry Snare
14″ AAX Fast Hats
22″ AAX Omni
19″ AAX Dark Crash
20″ AAX Heavy Ride
19″ AAX Fast China
19″ AAX Holy China
14″ and 8″ HH “hi-hat” stack
Vic-Firth X5B wood tip and about to trade over to Wincent Sticks possibly.
Pearl Demondrive chain drive double pedal
Pearl Eliminator Hi-hat
Pearl Boom Stands
Are there any talks of touring yet? if not, will that be something we can expect next year?
Of course! That’s the only way a band can survive and thrive these days. We’re very excited to be on a tour presented by Revolver Magazine with our friends in Evergrey, Voyager and Borealis from August 26th to September 7th. After that we are focusing our gaze upon Europe and hope to be there very soon.
08/26/2015 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s
08/27/2015 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora
08/28/2015 – Detroit, MI – Token Lounge
08/29/2015 – Toronto, ON – Opera House
08/30/2015 – Montreal, QC – Campus
08/31/2015 – Ottawa, ON – Maverick’s
09/01/2015 – Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle
09/02/2015 – TBA
09/03/2015 – New York, NY – Webster Hall
09/04/2015 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls
09/05/2015 – Baltimore, MD – Soundstage
09/06/2015 – Springfield, VA – Empire
09/07/2015 – Charlotte, NC – The Casbah
Any other news to share?
Finally gonna get around to some play through videos this year and gonna start looking into teaching and doing a few clinics here and there. It’s about time I get with the times and start self promoting like all of these younger cats!!!
Jens Prueter, Head Of A&R Century Media Records Europe comments: “Being part of the Metal scene for so many years it’s hard to surprise me with anything but I couldn’t believe what I heard when my colleague Daniel Dismal sent me the new Oceans of Slumber recordings. Here’s a young band, combining the best of Texas’ heritage from both Metal and Alternative Progressive bands such as Watchtower, King’s X, Mars Volta, Trail Of Dead and going way back to the roots of Big Mama Thornton and her disciple, Janis Joplin. These highly skilled musicians made a huge step with the addition of the young, soulful voice of Cammie Gilbert and I’m sure you will be just as surprised when you hear the upcoming album! The Blue EP is just the beginning from Oceans of Slumber on Century Media and I am sure they’ll be surprising us all every step of the way.”
“One of the many things that drew me into the Metal and Punk genre when I was coming up through the scene in the late 80’s / early 90’s was the overall passion you could hear and feel in the music. When I first popped in the new Oceans of Slumber album I was floored. Here was something that not only took me back to my youth but continued to take me on an emotional journey throughout the entire record. I am honestly honored to be able to work with this up and coming act and I am excited to be part of their promising future! The Blue EP is just a taste my friends, not only a showcase of the bands’ musical prowess but also a look into what the full length will bring to the world of Metal and music itself.” states Daniel Dismal.
The alliance of Oceans of Slumber with Century Media Records marks the genesis of many great achievements in the future for this rising act. Oceans of Slumber drummer Dobber Beverly elaborates, “We are beyond excited to begin the next chapter of Oceans of Slumber with Century Media. Being a part of a label that shares our vision and is equally as daring is a perfect match for us and we couldn’t have dreamed of a better pairing. We’ve finally found our home.”
German fans please check: www.muzu.tv/oceans-of-slumber/oceans-of-slumber-solitude-candlemass-cover-music-video/2439162/
Oceans of Slumber is:
Cammie Gilbert – Vocals
Anthony Contreras – Guitar
Sean Gary – Guitar
Keegan Kelly – Bass
Uaeb Yelsaeb – Synthesizers
Dobber Beverly – Drums