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Progressive Rock Interviews

Oceans of Night

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Scott Mosher of Oceans of Night from 2009
MSJ:

In addition to the new CD (my fifth), I'm coming on 12 years now as a graphic artist (my day job). I also self-published an industrial photography book a few years back and still gig as a freelance artist. My status as an allroundniceguy™ remains intact as well, in case you were wondering.

MSJ:

Your new project is a band rather than a solo project. What are the differences between the two?

The spelling. Outside of the name, there literally is no difference. It was mostly a creative decision... and one I should've enacted years ago. Operating the creative mothership under a proper band name, especially within rock/metal circles, now seems like a no-brainer. Honestly, no one tends to take a "solo" artist - especially with the last name Mosher - playing this kind of music, seriously. While I compose, arrange and perform all of the music, I've always collaborated with people whenever possible, and I'd like to continue to do so. Todd Corsa was the first vocalist I worked with, back on Virtuality and Inferno. Scott Oliva joined up with me back on Deep Horizon in 2006, and we've been moving forward ever since. While this isn't a touring/performance band, I thrive on collaboration with fellow musicians who I respect and as long as we share the desire to experiment whenever and wherever possible, I think Oceans of Night will continue to operate like the fine oiled machine it is... This is the current line-up of Oceans of Night: Scott Oliva on voice, Scott Mosher (yours truly) on everything else. In the future I will only work with other musicians named Scott (or Bartholomew).

MSJ:

Do you see continuing both this band situation and the solo career – or will you be focusing on one over the other?

They really are one and the same. If you didn't notice much in the way of musical differences between the current Oceans of Night CD (The Shadowheart Mirror) and the last Scott Mosher CD (Deep Horizon) then you see/hear what I mean. To use an advertising analogy (and it pains me to do so) it literally is just repackaging the content under a more appropriate name. If you saw the same exact CD but one was by Scott Mosher (who?) and one was by Oceans of Night, I would assume you'd sooner pick up the Oceans of Night CD before you'd pick up the one by some unknown punk. The unknown band always surpasses the unknown punk in all aspects.

MSJ:

If you weren't involved in music, what do you think you'd be doing?

I'd be stealing hubcaps, kissing hands and shaking babies. Thankfully, I don't have to make that decision. Music isn't my day job or a job at all for me. It's something between a hobby and a lifestyle. You could call it a glorified hobby, for lack of a better term. The similarities between being a musician and a graphic artist are striking, though the differences are obvious. One directly lead me to the other and now they coexist peacefully. Now I can see why actors become musicians, or vice versa. Some folks are just bursting with creative energy and that crosses mediums and job descriptions. It's hard to contain the ability and desire for self-expression if you have the tools, talent and drive to execute them.

MSJ:

Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It’s been said by the major labels that it’s essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales – would you agree?

Like anything else, downloading has its benefits and its negative aspects as well. For the independent, self-financed musician like myself, I'm not actually sure how much of an impact illegal downloading affects me. I'm not putting up sales numbers that make any difference. Amongst the population at large, I sense that people feel music should be a free commodity, for whatever reason, and that certainly isn't something most artists can live by. I would probably agree that downloading is a major factor in the demise of the old record company model, but that model should have evolved a lot sooner than it did. There is no reason that a CD should cost a consumer $20.

MSJ:

In a related question how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?

That is a legal issue that has the interests of the band and the venue and the record companies at stake. I would assume that if the legalities between all of the vested interests mentioned above were addressed then there could be some latitude for the fans who would like to partake in this legally. Much as musicians and artists are loathe to mention it, the fact that we need to function as business people and know the business end of the industry, is often the 800lb gorilla in the room when it comes to marketing discussions.

MSJ:

If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch-nemesis and why?

For those who didn't think you could make the leap from a discussion on music industry legalities to virtual superhero mayhem in 1 question, you have just earned your gold bars. There is no question that Jack White would be my arch-nemesis and The White Stripes would be the Musical Masters of Evil!

MSJ:

If you were to put together your ultimate band, who would be in it?

Ray Alder - vocals, John Petrucci and George Lynch - guitars, Kitaro on keyboards, Billy Sheehan on bass, Neil Peart - drums, Maceo Parker on sax, Rakim layin' down some raps and Zamfir on pan flute.

MSJ:

If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view, who would be playing?

Diversity abounds, so this might put the fear of god into you: Fates Warning, Journey (circa Steve Perry), Prince, Lynch Mob, Hall and Oates, Lacuna Coil, Rush, Run DMC, Tori Amos, Tangerine Dream and Sevendust. Let's toss in Ratt and David Hasselhoff (The Hoff) to make things interesting.

MSJ:

What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?

My current playlist: classic Tangerine Dream, Lacuna Coil, new Nightwish, Sevendust, Soilwork, new Dream Theater, new Prince, Vanessa Carlton, Age of Nemesis, new Echo Us, and Disturbed.

MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

I will be attending Prog Power X in Atlanta, GA this September, and that should be awesome - Fates is doing the closing night headlining honors and I've been waiting to see them since their last gig with Dream Theater and Queensryche back in '04.

MSJ:

Finally, are there any closing thoughts you’d like to get out there?

If you like ambient progressive metal, or are just in the mood for something slightly left of center and experimental in the hard rock/metal genre, check out Oceans of Night (http://www.oceansofnight.com). You won't be disappointed and you'll feel much better about yourself in the morning. Support independent music. And eat your vitamins.

MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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