Talking New Album 'ARK' & Pepperoni Pizza With We Are The Ocean
WATO bassist Jack Spence on the band's long-awaited fourth album...
There's a certain level of fear around a band's "difficult second album", but what of the fourth record, especially when it comes a whole three years after the third? For Essex four-piece We Are The Ocean - Liam Cromby, Alfie Scully, Jack Spence and Tom Whittaker - any fears should have been evaporated, with the release of new album ARK on Monday.
MTV caught up with bassist Jack to see what's been going down over the past three years and just what kind of pizza he's into.
MTV UK: Your new album ARK was released on Monday and it’s your first in three years; how does that feel?
Jack Spence: It’s kind of strange, because it’s been so long. We started recording in August and we knew it was going to take a while, but now it feels like it’s sprung up, in a weird way. The past couple of weeks have flown by and now it’s here. It’s definitely exciting, and it’s been a long time coming, but we’re patient. It was worth the wait – hopefully.
MTV UK: Do you think it’s natural progression from your last album, Maybe Today, Maybe Tomorrow, or is it quite different this time around?
Jack: I think because we had three years to do this album, we were able to explore avenues that maybe previously we didn’t have time to try, so it was quite natural although it feels like a bit of a jump on some songs. There are other songs that would fit in on the past few albums quite nicely; I think we’ve got a theme running throughout, but then there are some songs that go a bit astray.
MTV UK: Never a bad thing! What would you say is your favourite track or just the one you’re most excited for fans to hear?
Jack: Well this is the thing; because it is quite an eclectic album, there are different songs that I love for different reasons. Because of the whole musicality of it, we’re all really proud of 'ARK', the title track. It was a bit of a step into the unknown, trying a bit of a progressive sound, messing around with time signatures, having strings as such a focal point in the song. That was obviously important to us.
Then there’s a song called 'Good For You', which is a bit simpler and – dare I say it – poppier, but it’s a really fun song with a great groove to it. Different songs for different reasons, which is probably a boring cliché answer, but it’s there anyway.
MTV UK: The latest single is ‘Holy Fire’, and we saw on Twitter that you guys were celebrating its Radio 1 play, by chowing down on pizza. What toppings did you go for?
Jack: Truth be told it was just me, I just celebrated on behalf of everybody else, but I had a pepperoni pizza. That’s the kind of guy I am. To be honest I was gonna get a pizza anyway, but I was in the car on the way to the shop, which is a four-minute drive away, and by the time I got to the supermarket to buy said pizza the song was playing.
MTV UK: That’s fate if you ask us. Totally justified the pizza.
Jack: Yeah, although I’m not really the kind of guy who needs justification to eat pizza, if I’m honest.
MTV UK: We don’t think anyone should need justification really. Tell us about the video for ‘Holy Fire’...
Jack: We shot it last Friday and we kind of act in it I guess. We’ve never really acted in a video before, so that was cool, because a lot of the time it is performance-based. It’s nice to try new ideas, especially as a lot of the new songs are loosely related to film, so we can use those things in videos. I think it suits the song nicely.
MTV UK: You’ve got a mini English tour coming up – what’s the most exciting thing about being out on the road for you guys?
Jack: We toured last autumn, but before that it was almost a year without touring, and we’re just happy to be back on the road playing shows to people. Sometimes you get to travel a lot and see new places, which is very gratifying to know that through music you’re getting to explore a city on a different continent. The shows are the main thing though; as long as the shows are good and the fans are singing and dancing along, we’re great.
MTV UK: It’s a full summer of festivals for you too, but what one are you most excited for?
Jack: Reading & Leeds is our last festival of the summer and Reading is the main one for me, just because it was the first festival I went to when I was 15, and now to be going back as an artist resonates with me a bit more than the others. We didn’t do a single festival last year, so I think we’re just quite antsy to get back.
We Are The Ocean’s new album, ARK, is out now.