JE: Jon Ellis
JD: Jon DeCarlo
1. So, how did you guys end up meeting and coming together as a band
JE: DeCarlo and I were roommates at the University of New Haven; he was playing in a band called The Ghost Sonata at the time and I was actually playing alto sax in a jazz combo before I even started to learn the bass my junior year. A year later, we started to just jam with two friends of ours down in the campus studio which birthed our first song, “Tulsa’s Mom’s a Slut”. Over the next few years the pieces slowly (very slowly) fell into place for our first album to be released in 2011. Sokol, our fourth drummer, came on board about two years ago. I met him through our previous drummer Emmett Ceglia who I also played with in Autocatalytica for a few years. Matt really gets how to play this style and has given us our most solidified lineup to date.
2. Who would you credit for inspirational influence over your sound and vibe as a band?
JD: All of us can agree on Drugs to the Dear Youth by Tera Melos as our common starting point. Vince Rogers is my Jesus.
JE: Tera Melos for sure, their first two releases are just so beautifully complex and intricate and really challenged how I listen to music. I’d also credit Meet Me In St. Louis, Giraffes? Giraffes!, Russian Circles, and Refused as influences among many others.
3. Since you guys don’t have much material out yet, I’m pondering how your sound will expand and how it will change. Your sound as of now is already very original and not very comparable to many other bands that I know of. If you guys have anything new in the works or any new ideas, would you say that your sound has evolved into something a little different or is it sounding relatively similar?
JD: Thank you for the compliment, our two releases are separated by 4 years (7/7/2011 and 7/7/2015) because we put an intense amount of scrutiny into every second of the songs. Because of that scrutiny it takes us a long time to get songs to where we’re all happy with them. We are heavy revisionists and we were still reworking ideas as we started the recording process of the last album. Our general approach is “how can this be better?”. In regards to new music, Matt has 4 songs that he wrote and we’ll write a few others to go with them. We’re not exactly sure when that will be released but the vibe is definitely different from the last album, I don’t think we would want to release a record that sounded exactly like the last thing we just did. We’re all drawn to music that is unique in some way, I hope that bears itself out in what we do.
4. I managed to catch your show at “The Space” in Hamden CT, and I thought you guys killed it. I went to the show to see Chon (the headlining band) without any knowledge of you guys, but you reeled me in with your sound. How has the tour with Chon been going?
JE: We were actually just booked as the local opener for that one tour stop so I can proudly say that 100% of our CHON tour sold out! All kidding aside we had a blast, everyone came out early and seemed to really get into our set.
5. So if I’m not mistaken, oculesics is more or less the study of eye behavior. How did you choose this name and what meaning does it hold, if any?
JE: Yeah more or less, I think it relates specifically to eye related non-
verbal communication which is something we do frequently during our set to hit our cues and keep everything as tight as possible. Jon and I were in communications class together in school and oculesics came up as a vocab word. We liked the sound of it and needed a name for our “band” to go along with our one song at the time. I’ll go further to say our song titles are purely arbitrary jokes and references to things we find funny or interesting.
6. Although your songs are instrumental, do they capture any specific themes that you had in mind while writing them?
JD: The first album was all about dichotomy. It was structured as two groups of three songs, separated by a single song in the middle. Inside of each song there are explorations of ideas jutting up against one another, and the two groups of three songs each explore different contrasting ideas. Being our first album we were still trying to find our voice and dynamic as a band. The first three songs were very much about where we wanted to go as a band, the last three songs were more of an homage to our influences and where we had come from previously. This last record was also structured into an A and B side, but is written more deliberately. The A side is more technical and the B side much darker and heavier. Personally, when I am writing a song I want it to feel like a story, I want it to have a narrative nature that requires you to invest some attention. Beyond that, I think one of the best things about instrumental music is that it can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. No one has to have a common language, experience, or upbringing to be able to appreciate it, it feels more inclusive that way.
7. Can we expect any more live shows in the near future?
JE: We do have a show coming up at the MIT Coffeehouse Lounge in Cambridge on Nov 12th but beyond that no tours planned right now. I’m currently living in Boston, DeCarlo is in Danbury, and Sokol is in Brooklyn so frequent practices and shows are tough for us but we’re trying to get out there s much as we can.
8. Where can fans find you online and access your music?
9. When can we expect to see any new releases?
JE: If we stick to the schedule we’ve been on, our new album will drop on EXACTLY 7/7/2019 but we got some new songs already in the works so we’ll try and have something before then!