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Progressive Rock Interviews

Profuna Ocean

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Chris Fraikan of Profuna Ocean From 2010
MSJ:

Can you give our readers a look at the history of your group and your involvement in music?

The four of us are together for about two years now. I knew the keyboardist from my former band, but beside that we had to get to know each other personally and musically. I had some ideas and songs written, recorded at home so we could start with something more than jamming, which can be creative too of course. Everyone had their part in the process of turning ideas into songs and after six, seven, maybe eight months we had a couple, this may seem like not that productive, but our songs can be lengthy the longest counting fourteen minutes of music. At the end of that year we went on stage for the first time and it was amazing. Got ourselves a manager that night and things began to get interesting. In the spring of 2009 we recorded our first album. Looking back, it’s strange how fast things went. Since we do everything by ourselves we have little money and so we recorded 40 minutes of music in three days. In that way we proved ourselves as, well let's say reliable, steady musicians. The album had really positive reviews from all around the world as everybody can read on our website and people close to me were kind of positively surprised I guess. Now we're working on new music and improving our earlier songs and our stage performance.
MSJ: Where does the name "Profuna Ocean" come from? Is there some significance to it?
I think every time I get this question I add and at the same time delete something to the meaning of the word “Profuna”. It's a self-made word. So many bands, so many names, combinations can be fun but I simply wanted to be innovative. Profuna is immeasurable, like things that can't be captured and the ocean is in a way identical, and I simply do love the ocean and putting "the" before ocean would be too easy and the band name probably exists already – no offence.
MSJ: If you weren't involved in music, what do you think you'd be doing?
It's hard to say, I can't imagine living without. I really think there's more than meets the eye, meaning having a job and doing "nothing" or maybe a small hobby besides that is not enough for me. I really understand sportsmen who go all the way for their career. It's quite the same devotion.
MSJ:

How would you describe the sound of Profuna Ocean?

You should listen to the record, especially the song S.C.I.T.S. with the lights out and at a concert we take you on a trip. People have to be open minded or we will at least try to make them. There are times we just rock steady and some pieces that are more spacey with quiet bits, strange sounds or ballad like themes. It's different with every new song. We never sit down and say, “well let's make a ballad now or do some strange soundscapes”. Things evolve kind of in a natural way.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
The next few months we'll be having a lot of nice places to play with also nice bands. I'm looking forward to playing in my hometown which is a small but really nice club. And we'll be supporting Knight Area in June, which is the time and place to get some new fans. In March we will be releasing our first video for the song “Lost Inside” from the record. We already did our part of the recording and things went great.
MSJ: Are there musicians you'd like to play with in the future?
To speak of legends David Gilmour would be nice, I guess. I'll do my part shaking behind the amplifier or even the curtain. But more seriously, when there's a mutual respect there are many, and even local too. I'm not going to give names. I might forget someone important. 
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?
There you said it, major labels. They want to make money, I understand. But there must be a reason for major bands to cut the chain and be free. The thing Radiohead did with their album, letting everyone pay what they think is enough got them more money than the old fashion way. True lovers of music will buy a record for the touch of the product. I got to know more bands than ever through downloading. And every album I liked as an mp3 sounded twenty times better having the original record after. Maybe I'm an exception.... For beginning or unknown bands it's a new way of communication, and it can be good. And, ye,s there are people who don't have any patience left and maybe know two albums from the 300 they have. And the IPod shuffling the essence of a record in pieces is sad too but it's how things work nowadays and it doesn't have to be forbidden. One great song can get a lot of people to your show.
MSJ: In a related question how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
It's a compliment if people put energy to it. I only doubt the quality of the recording. Also the overall quality, one show is just better than the other. These kinds of questions as always, has two sides. 
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch-nemesis and why? 
Thin ice...you never know who reads this. I just hate the whole fake posing, wanting to be wanted macho act some bands or artists can give. You know who you are…and Coldplay, very overrated.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band, who would be in it?
Come on, there are a few times you'd like to trade a bandmember for a goldfish but we are a great team and this is my ultimate band.
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?
Not that many, bands who know how to deliver a great concert vibe and doing exactly what they want. I really like a lot of bands on album but some bands just know how to make an almost perfect setlist. My first concert ever was a concert of Dire Straits. I would like to have that same feeling I had as a kid again. Pearl Jam does the trick every time and maybe strange for a "prog musician" but even Chris Rea knows how to turn a concert hall into a living room, he plays the blues for a few years now and does it very well. And more in our genre Marillion and Porcupine Tree. They’re having a great video show, building onto what started in the 70's.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?
The last CD I bought is Muse - the Resistance. I heard it when I was visiting a friend, never thought he would buy it. And he was thinking I'd already had it because I like rock and experimental music. I never liked Muse that much but this one sounded different, asking me to listen to it again, alone. No I'm not crazy. You just sometimes get pulled from a conversation because something sounds interesting and you want to hear it again. It sometimes might be thirty seconds in a song but living up to that moment.... Besides that record I’m not listening to very much music, right now. I’m in a great writing mood so I'd rather listen to new ideas. Even putting the radio in the car down when driving to our rehearsing room gets me well prepared.
MSJ:

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

It's been a while, I think seeing different bands who I don't know their names of on festivals where we might have played too. I just like nice guys with nice music. There are some bands who already think they made it, it doesn’t start a good conversation. 
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
I'm pretty good at hiding these things. But no, nothing like that happened....yet.
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
Dear readers: Come see us. Come hear us. I think you’re in for a surprise, we’ve grown as a band. It’s more consistent nowadays. And there are some new songs you can hear besides the ones from our album. And afterwards spread the positive word so we can play even more. And thanks. 
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find extra content from this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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