The Love Boat: Oceanship At Full Sail
Interviewed by Jessica Hilo
“Carly’s also a stripper”
“No I’m not!”
“I’ll probably just bring a camera to her work”
The story behind Ontario band, Oceanship, is a tale of two star-crossed artists lost on the high seas of musical success. A young Brad Lyon entered the University of Waterloo searching for a path to enlightenment. After unsuccessful visits with faculty members for guidance, Lyon took out an ad that misrepresented himself as an “experienced singer seeking a band.” Carly Paradis was a young piano ingénue who, at the age of nine, had already been writing her own music. She met Brad after studying fine arts, multimedia, and a little digital music. At the time, Brad had kicked around several bands, including Toronto’s Salinger-inspired “left Pency,” which he left because “it wasn’t the music I wanted to make.” “We started jamming for a bit,” Paradis explains; and clearly the pairing was perfection- the two toured China, recently released a full length album, and premiered their first music video.
Oceanship’s sound is ascribed “thought pop, film rock” that draws its inspiration from the murky waters of life. “Music is love and we just try to get as close to that source as possible” Lyon explains. Lyrical sound bytes are drawn by ping ponging ideas off each other, “we have similar tastes and he always layers over perfect lyrics and melodies” says Paradis. Still, their strength, powerful coffee house ethereality, is influenced by film music composition. “My uncle bought one of the first satellite dishes in Canada. He used to tape movies and send them out to a certain circuit of families. I saw something like thirty to forty movies a month,” Lyon explains of his childhood. Paradis, also “a huge score fan;” has worked with composer Clint Mansell at the Ghent Film Festival and is assisting him with work for Duncan Jones’ upcoming movie “Moon.” “We love film. Our music is invariably a result of trying to get closer to that source…beyond audio…trying to get closer to another sense” says Lyon.
Beyond their audio, the band is interested in the plight for environmental sustainability, citing the work of Daniel Quinn and openly advertising alternate social systems like the Venus project. “We try to walk the talk as much as possible,” says Lyon. Operating under the tenets that environmental degradation leads to social degradation, Oceanship attempts to advocate for a sustainable culture, offering their album online only: “I’m going to look like a nutjob here…but it’s just like gravity. I don’t go quoting Newton every time I take a step or write a song…but we are dying everyday. [In a] roundabout way…everything we do is about [that] fact.” Big values, big sounds, and big lyrics have earned the pair an international following. Much lies in their wake as discussions brew over potential label agreements.
“We’re completely independent [but] talking to a bunch of labels. In a nutshell, the right partner hasn’t presented itself” says Lyon- ever patient when it comes to magical collaborations. True to form, Oceanship’s most recent partnership, with animator Ofir Sasson, fruited them a first music video. “The opportunity kind of fell in our laps,” Lyon explains, “I was on youtube, which I never am, and stumbled onto a link, which I never do …anyway, he needed a song for his video and we needed a video for our song.” A barge of brimming talent, Oceanship is working out the kinks on its next port of travel: “we’ll be working to have our songs placed in film and television …we’re working on [touring] right now. We hope to tour internationally again [but] we’ll tour regionally and spiral out from there.” With a wealth of experience, and the winds of success on their back, Oceanship is sure to have smooth sailing ahead.