Last week we were lucky enough to talk to Ben Varon and Joonas Kosonen, guitarist and singer from Oceanhoarse. Heavy Fucking Metal direct from Finland. A band that no one can miss live. They have come to stay and I assure you that they will give a lot to talk about in the upcoming years.
Check our talk so you can get to know them a little better.
You're halfway through the tour right now, how's it going?
Ben & Joonas: Super good. It's been crazy. Apparently they're selling out big venues. Most shows I think have been sold out or they are almost sold out. So when we came on stage, there's already full of people. It's so much fun to play. Even though we are the first band. People have been really respectful at coming to the shows really early when the doors are open. It's almost full already when we play. So it's super cool. And it's fun. Because people don't really know us yet. So when we start they're like, Hmm, what's there. Yeah. and then few songs in they're like, fuck, it's pretty good. That's cool. So wanna win them over? Yeah.
How did the band project start?
Ben & Joonas: Amoral kind of came to an end with everybody, I wanted to do different things and I still really wanted to make metal music and tour and play a lot. And some of the other members didn't so I just decided like, fuck it. Let's break the band. And the same day I called Jyri, our bass player, like; we're starting a proper metal band and you're the bass player. We're gonna find a crazy singer and drummer and just gonna go full on into a new project. And that's what we did. And we found them, and yeah, just started playing shows and doing music, videos, writing songs all the time. We haven't stopped for five years now, just pushing, pushing, pushing, and we have an EP out, an album, a live album... And the second album is already done.
So the new album is coming out soon?
Ben & Joonas: Yes, next year, January or February.
Just the last day before we left for the tour, I sent the masters to the label. Here it is. Cool. Print it. Enjoy it. We're off. Yeah. Okay. It's gonna be really good.
You have like 19 singles out in only 6 years, tell us more about this.
Ben & Joonas:: Yeah. We wanna keep it fresh and we wanna keep working all the time and just bringing new material.
We try to do like sessions and then we drop singles and record three or five songs at a time. For example, now we did the whole album, but then we're gonna drop singles throughout the winter and then the whole album. Cause that's how Spotify and everything works. You need to keep pushing stuff out instead of just putting an album and then you don't hear anything new for a year. And for the Oceanhoarse fans, they can really have fresh stuff to listen to all the time.
Against computerized metal music. No backing tracks are so important for you, so all real, no fake, right?
Ben & Joonas: Just our thing, you know? It's more of our own thing. It's not like trying to make everyone do the same because it's also a big part of our own sound. Not having click tracks, not having just the basic stuff, you know? And everything you hear alive is really live. That's the way we wanna make music because it is the way we want to hear it. So when we go and see a live gig, I really wanna hear how they play live. I don't want to go and listen to, you know, tracks from a computer. Basically there are good bands like that. And I really respect them also. I do, you know, there's good musicianship there and a lot of events like that, but if I make music, I wanna make it real.
The reaction when we started this band, it seems like every time you go see a metal show, there is a MacBook somewhere. .
You just play your guitar and practice as a fucking band. And once we go to the studio, it's just: press the record and then we play live, you know, and it's so much more enjoyable. Of course we do like doubles on guitars or we make the final lyrics separately. But we actually save some of the original live takes also. So it's kind of a good mixture of everything. It just feels different. Everybody records differently and separately. We practice a lot, we go into a room and then press the record and then something magical happens. There's some mistakes, who cares? Yeah. More rock and roll, I think. Yeah. I think so.
Describe the band in few words.
Ben & Joonas: Three words, HEAVY FUCKING METAL. End of story
Which band would love to tour with?
Ben & Joonas: We've talked about it. There's a few that we really like. Gojira is one of them. Soilwork or In Flames would be really cool. With this tour they're a bit softer, like softer metal music. So not all their fans really like our harder stuff. So it'd be fun to try to tour with somebody a bit heavier.
What about festivales for next year?
Ben & Joonas: There's some talk about festivals in Finland. Cause we'll see. We'll try to get on some German festivals and hopefully it works.
Wacken would be the one. Summer Breeze, Metal Days; I love that festival. That's our next goal, to get to some of these festivals.
But I think it helps if we're here now, cuz at some shows some booking agencies are checking, just gotta play good every night and make the most of it.
What's your biggest dream to reach with the band?
Ben & Joonas: Well, we wanna reach the level of, let's say Bon Jovi in the end of 80s, beginning of 90s. In a few years. Now we just want to continue growing and we just want to make enough money for this so we can make a bigger show. That's how we think. We just want to bring to the audience the same we would like to see when we go to a show: like pyro and ramps, just crazy things and the Oceanhoarse huge logo.
Every penny we get out of anything when people buy our merchandise, we throw it back in the show.
For example, guys like Martin Lopez watching our show. He is like: you're the opening band and you have a bigger show than everybody here with lights and smoke.
The visual part is really important. And that's what I want to see when I go see a show.
I wanna see a great show. Not just some guys. I wanna see like a stupid fun rock show and that's what we tried to do.
What is the best and worst part of touring?
Ben & Joonas: The waiting is the worst. And off days are kind of, it's good, but it's shit at the same time. Cause we wanna basically, when we're on tour, we would wanna just play shows. Shows, shows, shows... and more shows!
And of course you get homesick occasionally. But once you get into the groove of touring, it's kind of this cool bubble to be and it's super fun. And you have these people around you, you respect and you love and it's really awesome.
And of course meeting new people and making new fans That is fucking awesome. I'm always standing on the me stand after a show. It's really cool to talk to people, gives me a lot, it’s awesome.
The best thing is when you have a good show, nothing beats it. When you feel like the energy from your friends on stage and then you see the crowd starting to react. Is that pretty good? Yeah. The end, the show with all the art. We'll try to do it again tonight. If you don't know us yet, give us two songs or three songs!
How has metal evolved since you started in the scene?
Ben & Joonas: Not all of it is good. For example, you see less and less children at the shows and young people. Before they were more, a lot more.
In Italy, on each show, there were kids with their parents. It was a healthy sign of something I haven't seen. Was like 2006, 2007 with my old man. You'd sell 600 tickets just for underage, like under 18. And then the adult, the old one would sit in the back. But kids have changed, and it looks like they don’t buy tickets anymore. Is it YouTube or gaming or whatever? Maybe... I don't know. It's a shame cuz you need young kids getting into metal. There's not otherwise just old geezers at the shows, which is fine. But we want the young people.
It's nothing better than when you're 15 and go to a metal show. Cause you just feel it so hard. It's such energy. And you know, when in, when we were in Italy and the front row, there was some kids with their parents there and you can see from their eyes, like when you fucking do your best and the adults are fucking loving it and for the kids, this fucking blows their mind, you know, they've seen something they've never seen before. So that moment might be, you know, that exact moment that just makes them a heavy metal fan for life. Is not like watching videos on YouTube. There is nothing like going to a live show and hearing the music so loud, and see the guys sweating and full of energy, and the pits. Can be kind of scary at first, but it's so cool.
I just hope the kids will find metal again. Yeah. In a big way. I'm sure they will. It just takes time.
A band everyone should know?
Ben & Joonas: There's a band in Finland called Dirt. They're like Hard Rock, old school, eighty/nineties. It's pretty grungy. So you feel like Alice In Chains and stuff like that. They're so good. That's my favorite one at the moment. Dirt has been like on our radar and of course we know the guys. I love grunge and they have that grungy side to them. They're really good live, we do love them and of course you have to check them out.
Why should people listen to Oceanhoarse?
Ben & Joonas: Because of the live experience, come and see us. After you have the live experience and the visual part, then you get the albums and the songs better.
We want to bring a bit of Rock and Roll back. And the one, you know, that kind of early Guns and Roses, this energy. That's what we're all about.
Thank you very much!!
Thanks for the great show and we are delighted to have met you in person.
I hope to see you soon to be able to enjoy your great live performance again!
Full photo album HERE