Artist of the day: Oceana
(Welcome to Kickstarter week on Soundcheck! This week we’re spotlighting artists with recent or ongoing projects on Kickstarter.com. Today: St. Petersburg indie rock group Oceana.)
Project: The group is basically starting from scratch as a group, aiming to switch musical directions as they record a new album.
Raised: $7,845 (through 5/1)
What $5 gets you: A digital copy of the new album.
St. Petersburg’s Oceana were once one of the area’s most promising young groups. As teenagers, they were signed as a screamo group to Oregon label Rise Records.
But as they grew older, their sound changed. Rise dropped them, and they have broken up and reformed in various incarnations. They’ve also spent the better part of two years writing new music that has more of an atmospheric indie-rock feel.
“We’d always listened to bands like Wilco and Bright Eyes and Copeland, bands that are reflected in our sound now,” said guitarist Alex Schultz, Oceana’s sole remaining original member.
Because of their success with Rise, Oceana thought it finding a new label would be easy. “It turns out it was harder than we thought,” Schultz said.
Now Oceana — Schultz, singer-guitarist Brennan Taulbee, bassist Kolby Crider and drummer Denny Agosto — want to record it and tour behind it. Their goal is ambitious — $10,000 to record an album with Copeland frontman Aaron Marsh — but the four-piece band has already earned some four-fifths of that, including $2,000 from a clothing company in Michigan.
Schultz is deeply grateful for the support Oceana has recevied since starting over, especially since Oceana’s original hardcore fans may not dig their new stuff.
“Half of our YouTube comments are all people fighting with each other about which Oceana sound is better,” he said. “The people who are donating to us, I hope they realize that this new record is going to be far from the old stuff, but who knows?”
The project ends on May 30. In the meantime, Oceana has a free concert May 18 at Cafe Bohemia in St. Petersburg, alongside The Happiness Machine and Archaic Interest. Click here for details.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: James Lano