Taking It To The Limits: An Interview with Ocean Of Illusions Rachael Ciccone July 19, 2017 Interviews Ocean of Illusions is a melodic deathcore unsigned band from New Jersey who are making their name known this year. They have filled us in on their current tour, their upcoming shows, and what they have coming up in their future as musicians! Where are you from? Bergen County, NJ. How long have you been a band and how did you get started? Ocean of Illusions was established in 2012. Kedwin Ramirez (drummer) introduced Zachary Howard (vocalist) and Michael Montalto (ex-bassist) to a friend of his, named Aaron Guzman (ex-lead guitarist). After a couple of jam sessions in Aaron’s mom’s basement, we decided that we wanted to create a serious project. Our first show was at the Canvas Clash (currently BoonTunes) and we had a technical difficulty that set our set back 20 minutes. To say the least we were frustrated but we made it work. From there we have had the opportunity to share the stage with many of our idols and locals who push their craft to its limits. Between 2012-2016 we were able to record an album called High Tides, release two music videos and tour the Southeast with a local band from Baltimore, called I Plead Insanity. At the end of 2016, we took a hiatus due to departure of Aaron and Michael. We have recently began to play shows again with a new line-up of Chris Castant (lead guitarist) and Josh Held (rhythm) who helped in keeping the band going. Currently, we will be embarking on another tour from July 1 through July 11 with Rockland County locals, Across The White Water Tower. We plan to record our next album when we return from the road, which will give us an opportunity to show how much we’ve progressed. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before? We are a melodic deathcore band, and every song may appeal to different taste in music. Our older material leaned towards death-metal and deathcore, whereas this new material grazes the boundaries of progressive deathcore, metalcore and don’t forget the slams. We have a lot in the works and can’t wait to show you guys. What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit? The latest release is a track called “Arboreal Hatred.” We had the played the song live a couple of times before the hiatus, but we never had the opportunity to record it until now. When the song dropped, we released a lyric video for it done by Jason Lugo in collaboration with BlackVenom Promotions. This song follows up from the debut album release, High Tides. The idea of this song revolves itself around the topic of systematic hatred. Even though a tree may be uprooted, the remaining roots may still bare new seeds. Hatred is a mindset that won’t easily be suppressed. What is your writing and recording process like? Everyone comes to rehearsal with pieces they’ve been working on and we knit pick until we can construct something we can all agree on. Chris and Kedwin are always writing new music weekly and they have been jamming together since high school. Zachary is always writing lyrics and concepts to the music as they go along. With Josh in the band, we have added a different perspective on the instrumentality of the band. When it comes to recording, we record the scratch tracks in house so we can practice to them. When the songs are ready to be performed or recorded, we send them over to our producer. For the High Tides album, we recorded it with Eric Dicarlo of Square Up Studios. For the single release of “Arboreal Hatred,” we recorded it with David Ricco of Ascending From Ashes. What are current projects you are working on? We are focusing on the Atlantic Slaughter Tour at the moment, but when we get back we are going for the new material. We also have a couple of shows that will end out the summer: July 1-11 – Atlantic Slaughter Tour w/ Across the White Water Tower (Southeast USA) July 22 – Pit Fest 2017 Mays Landing, NJ @ The Watering Hole August 12 – The Dead of Summer Show New Brunswick, NJ @ The Court Tavern What is your favorite memory as a band? It is always a tie between two events for this question. The first was at the Nyack Arcade where we opened for In Dying Arms. The arcade was going out of business, so they set all the game to free-play and we spent hours listening to bands, playing Time Crisis and losing at pinball. On the other hand, the whole Dark Tides Tour was an experience in itself that you definitely can’t forget. What are your goals for the future as a band? We want to take our music to it limits and bring out the best material that will keep the fans’ heads spinning. Where can readers find your music? All of our music is available on most music distributors. 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