Over the coming weeks, Already Heard will be highlighting a variety of bands set to play the Slam Dunk Festival later this month.
Since forming in 2011, Birmingham progressive metalcore outfit Oceans Ate Alaska have faced several up and downs. Having joined Fearless Records in 2014 with their debut full-length, ‘Lost Isles’, being released the following year. However, more recently they have been going through a transition with Jake Noakes, a close friend of the band, coming in as their new vocalist. They’ve also been putting the finishing touches to their second album, before touring America with Born Of Osiris, and Volumes.
Now they’re back on home soil are preparing to make their Slam Dunk Festival debut in their hometown. It marks the beginning of hectic summer for Oceans Ate Alaska, with festival spots in mainland Europe and a UK tour alongside melodic hardcore four-piece Napoleon set to follow next month.
While spending some quiet time, we spoke to guitarist James ‘Jibs’ Kennedy where he discussed new vocalist Jake Noakes, their forthcoming second album, and more.
AH: It’s been a few months since you announced Jake Noakes as your new vocalist. How has he settled into the band?
James: Jake’s been a long time friend of ours so naturally, things have been a lot of fun and smoother in terms of getting things done. He’s on our wavelength, so communication flows better and I think it shows when we perform together.
AH: We guess your recent US tour with Born of Osiris and Volumes was an ideal time for Jake to bed in?
It was! It definitely was a big step for Jake to take so early on, but it worked out for the best as he learnt what was expected of him from the get go. He fucking killed it and made for what was one of our favourite ever tours!
AH: We also hear your new album has been recorded. What can you tell us about the record? Also, how much input did Jake have on the record?
James: All we can say now is that’s it’s very sick and very oriental! Jake did amazing with his vocals and worked really closely with Chris (Turner drums) producing and working through lyrics together. Instead of being this lone entity like some vocalists are, he came to us, shared ideas and requested feedback. Jake has been the missing piece to a massive puzzle.
AH: Moving on to Slam Dunk, this will be your first time playing the festival. Have any of you attended the festival in the past? If so, what are your memories?
James: We’ve been to a few in the past and it always entails beers beers beers! We have a great time chatting with fans and watching good music. No stand out memories but just a great day all round.
AH: For anyone who hasn’t experienced OAA live before, what can they expect from you at Slam Dunk?
James: A wide range of music that they’ve never heard before! There’s something for everyone at an OAA live show. You’re going to be pretty tired once we’re done haha!
AH: Although the Impericon stage will be host to similar bands like OAA, will you be venturing out to anyone on the other stages?
Enter Shikari of course!
AH: Slam Dunk is part of a busy summer for you, with other festival appearances in the UK and Europe, as well as the UK Tech Fest tour with Napoleon and Carcer City. Are there places you’re especially looking forward to visiting?
James: Very stoked for all the new European areas we are hitting up! As for the UK tour, we’ve always loved playing Southampton and Manchester but we love playing everywhere so let’s just say we are excited for the next coming months in general!
Oceans Ate Alaska will be playing at 3:35pm on the Impericon Stage at Slam Dunk Festival on all three dates.
Slam Dunk Festival 2017 takes place on the following dates:
Sat 27 The NEC, Birmingham
Sun 28 City Centre, Leeds (SOLD OUT)
Mon 29 Forum, Hatfield (SOLD OUT)
Tickets can be purchased here.