Interview by Tony Cannella
Hailing from Texas, Oceans of Slumber is a band that I am sure we will be hearing a lot from in 2016. The band’s line-up consists of Cammie Gilbert on vocals, Anthony Contreras on guitar, Sean Gary on guitar, Keegan Kelly on bass, Uaeb Yelsaeb on synthesizers and Dobber on drums. With their 2nd full-length album, “Winter” about to be released, Cammie Gilbert was kind enough to speak to us about the new album and a variety of other topics.
Hello Cammie. Welcome and thank you for talking to Femme Metal. How are you?
Thank you. I’m doing good.
The new album from Oceans of Slumber, “Winter”, was scheduled for release on March 4th. What can fans expect when they hear it?
“Winter” is a very emotional kind of album for us. It kind of dives into a lot of heavy emotions that each of us has experienced and are aimed to provide a bit of catharsis for people with similar experiences and perspectives. It’s kind of our way of connecting with other people who want to connect with us. It has piano concertos and heavy, awesome doom riffs; there’s something definitely for everyone on it.
Lyrically, can you tell us about some of the songs on “Winter”? I’ve heard that there are some connecting themes within the lyrics.
Lyrically, it is visiting a lot of the sort of emotions surrounding mourning, grief and loss, a lot of despair. Similar ideas of self-realization, self-discovery, along the lines of coming out of a lot turmoil
The new record is just epic. My favorite song is “Suffer the Last Bridge”. Lyrically, what can you say about that one?
“Suffer the Last Bridge” is a journey through the relationship one can have with someone else or within themselves of kind of discovering that sometimes your best isn’t always good enough or striving for something that isn’t always attainable and then coming to the realization that it isn’t attainable, coming to the realization that one day you have to start over or try again.
Another favorite of mine is “Devout”. What can you say about that one?
“Devout” is about the reflection of the darker side of other people – recognizing it in yourself or kind of having that tethered alignment of imperfections and evil within. We all have our demons we kind of hide, we all have the things in us that we are maybe ashamed or that other people might be repulsed by. It’s kind of a look at that.
Could you take us inside the creative and recording process for “Winter”?
“Winter” has been done for quite a long time and everything came down to the proper presentation and production of it. Everything is done incredibly quickly within Oceans, it’s a very big collective focus musically and lyrically. We had it mixed by our extraordinary friend Russ Russell and recorded it locally with our good friend Craig Douglas. It came together very swiftly and meticulously.
You joined the band in 2014 for the covers EP, “Blue”. How did you come to the attention of Oceans of Slumber?
I’ve been friends with Dobber – the drummer – a long time now and we’ve been kind of in-and-out of each others hemispheres in the scene. I had the pleasure of meeting the band at a benefit show when a band I was in opened for them. We hit it off and I was asked to guest on backing vocals and then with different transitions that came up I ended up being the lead singer for the band.
I’ve heard many different description for Oceans of Slumber. Do have a tag that fits the band or are you against all that?
I’m not really against it, I can see how it can be limiting. Progressive metal fits us, I know it fits us technically, I know socially it has a little bit different connotations with it.
I think that’s really cool that so many people find it difficult to categorize Oceans of Slumber, too.
Yeah. It’s probably a good element. I think it means we’re definitely on the right track of doing something kind of different and new. We’re not just throwing crazy shit around for the sake of it. It’s very thought out and kind of organic what comes of the sounds that we make.
Have you heard any feedback for “Winter” from the press?
People have given a good scrutinizing in a good way. I think the analysis has been along the lines of people in favor of it. Musically, I think people are very satisfied with what we’re doing.
Another song that really stood out for me was your cover version of the Moody Blues song, “Nights in White Satin”. Why did you decide to cover that song? I think you do a fantastic version of this song.
Thank you. That was definitely a suggestion that came about with everyone’s blessing. Being big fans of Moody Blues and that style of music it seems natural to give our own kind of spin and how we added a heavier element. Vocally what I like about that song is there is one way to sing it and as soon as you’re carrying out this song it pulls you into this line of emotion that I feel like this song came about to be written in the first place. A cover is always – to me – like a way connecting with the people that wrote the songs in the first place and carry out those songs. It’s a very out-of-body song for me to sing.
You joined the band for the “Blue” EP and that featured an eclectic array of covers. Any other songs you might like to cover in the future?
We actually have a few things up our sleeves. We can’t divulge the details to maybe ruin the surprise of it. But definitely there is a huge spectrum of bands that we admire and adore, personally it hasn’t been brought up too intently to be done but I’d say like a Type O Negative cover would be really phenomenal. I would have to kind of figure out those lows that are kinda Peter‘s (Steele) style (laughs). There’s never nothing to cover (laughs).
I think you have an amazing voice. Who are some of your favorite singers?
Peter Steele, for sure. No one had a voice like him. Anneke van Giersbergen, I think she has an amazing, unique voice; she flutters up to those highs, she’s very melodic, it can be soft but still strong. Those are a few that come to the top of my mind.
Do you have any touring plans once the record is released?
We do. I can’t really reveal too many details, there is nothing really solidified. We definitely are eager and are planning to get out there touring and promoting “Winter”.
Any particular bands that you might like to tour with?
I personally would very much like to tour with Leprous. Definitely their new album is on constant repeat. I adore them. Definitely Evergrey again.
I have one final question. Thank you for taking the time to talk to Femme Metal. We love “Winter”, we wish you the very best of luck with it and we are happy to support Oceans of Slumber any way we can. In closing, do you have any final words for your fans?
We are super appreciative with how well it’s been received so far. It’s our offering sort of to kind of give people something to help them through some of these darker issues. It’s a little bit of catharsis through the turbulent things that kind of show up and the human experience. The thought of lending a hand to showing people there is a like-minded feeling and there is a place you kind of find refuge.