Oceans in Love
Members: Philip Herndon, lead vocals; Matt Ferguson, pianos and guitar; Rusty Fuller, drums; Tyler Hornberger, guitar; Zach McCleaf, bass
Who we talked to: Herndon, 28
How did you guys meet/ How long have you been performing together? We kind of have members from all over the place. Our drummer is the old drummer from Copeland, they're, like, an indie rock band that was pretty popular. Through a friend . . . he randomly ended up being our drummer. We've been a band since 2008. We went through so many member changes. We finally have a solidified group of guys. Finally, it all came together really out of nowhere.
Have you learned what's important to look for when you're trying to get a band to mesh? For us, we just try to be friends. We remember that it's a business . . . and that we're trying to support our families. We're also just, like, a bunch of guys (who) like hanging out together, and that's important. I think the coolest thing for me with their group is just seeing how . . . there (are) people with different backgrounds. They like different music. It's one of those things that keeps us motivated when we see . . . five guys can create one sound.
There also have been some instrumental changes in the band, right? We thought it was going to be a challenge. But it just ended up making perfect sense, which was awesome. Our bass player . . . switched from playing bass to playing piano and guitar. It kind of opened up our sound more. This is the first album that is really piano driven. We added a new lead guitarist and new bass player as well, so we became a five-piece (group). It was a real easy transition.
How did you come up with the name? We wanted a name that people could interpret how they wished. We started out as a worship band in a church. We had this idea of just talking about how everything on Earth sings God's praises.
Since the band's members are from all over the place, where do you congregate? I guess some people have the short end of the stick because we practice (in a place) that's, like, an hour drive for half the band. We kind of meet in Spring Grove.
Have you guys been in the studio? We just finished the whole recording process. We're waiting for mixes to come back. It's our first official full-length (album). We've released two EPs. We're really, really proud of this (CD). We went through a lot of stuff over the past . . . year, just hardships as a group. As soon as I went into doing music full-time, I (was) diagnosed with throat polyps. I wasn't able to sing for, like, four or five months. It was really scary, and the whole band was in disarray. Then I had surgery and had to do recovery. A lot of this album came out of . . . finding our voice and singing about hope in hard times.
Describe your sound and style: (We) wrote the music, so it's hard to really know what (we) sound like. I guess we'd be categorized as just indie rock. The guys make fun of me because I'm obsessed with the band called Death Cab for Cutie. But (from) the feedback we've gotten, people say it's similar to some of Death Cab's stuff. Death Cab and Coldplay are the two influences that I draw from, and I love a band called Sigur Ros as well. The new album definitely goes in that direction for us. The album name is "Man Made Mountain."
Does the name of the album speak to people finding hope? Yeah. It really is just . . . about how we constantly climb these mountains, and a lot of times we're kind of our own worst enemy. It's just kind of is a reference to that.
Where are you looking to play in the area? We're going on an East Coast tour this summer. We (played) LAUNCH (Music Conference and Festival). This (was) our first time at LAUNCH. We're going to be at Chameleon Club doing a CD release show. It's not solidified yet. We just got asked to do Purple Door (Arts and) Music Festival. We played (Purple Door) the last two years. I think we're on the main stage this year, so that's an exciting thing to do.
How are you guys going to adjust to life on the road this summer? I have a 4-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. It's always difficult being away for a couple weeks at a time. I always Skype or something . . . just to keep in touch. We all, like, just look out for each other. We're there for each other. I think our bass player might be bringing his dog on the road with us this year. (Laughs) Whenever we can see our family or see our friends, we do it. If we're in a town where we know somebody, we stay with them.
- Erin McCracken, FlipSide staff
If you go
Oceans in Love will perform May 27 at the Champion Ship, 52 Market St., Lemoyne. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets cost $9 in advance and $11 at the door. For details and tickets, visit www.championshippa.com.
For details about Oceans in Love: www.oceansinlove.com
Listen to the interview: www.flipsidepa.com
Read more meet-the-artist interviews: www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory