Oceans of Slumber – From Catharsis to Validation

Sunday, 23rd August 2020

Dead Rhetoric: We are living in tumultuous times in the United States between the social strife and global pandemic that has shook communities to the core. What are your views on what’s taking place, and what would you like to see people doing a bit more to make the world safer or more comfortable for everyone?

Gilbert: It’s been such a complex flood of emotions dealing with all the different issues. I’m saddened and disappointed in general just how little compassion, patience, and understanding people have to one another. At the same time there are these grand stances of compassion and of trying to align ourselves with people that are so different. Across the scope from the virus and people not wanting to be told what to do, or the racial tensions that have arisen. There are so many ways that people are different and it takes a lot of work to find that we are the same. It’s not about tolerating one another, but wanting to include one another and wanting to be in solidarity about things and wanting to make other people’s lives easier. It’s a give and take, if you help other people, you may find in turn you may help yourself or they may be able to help you. Otherwise we find ourselves stuck in a stalemate, and everyone ends up losing.

With as much momentum as possible, continue to stay vigilant in the things that need to change. And it’s not just what’s right in front of you, the problems and projections that are placed on society come from internalized issues that the individual holds. Individuals make up society, you don’t just leave your house and all of a sudden only feel this way when you leave your house. You bump into somebody, stirs things inside of us, and we need to be mindful and continually reexamining our own perspectives. If something comes up and you feel so defensive about it, sit with yourself and think about what alarms you to be so triggering or why you feel like you have to go on the defense about something and unravel that, or take a kinder approach, or see it as warranted. The majority of things don’t demand that people be so aggressive about it, or be violent or angry about it. You can find a way to exchange and interact with people that doesn’t end up in the state that we are in.

It’s an incredible amount of things to take on and dissect. Especially here in the USA, between the virus and the racial tension, sometimes it’s hard to tell why someone’s upset. Everyone is under so much stress. Be conscientious as consumers, know where you’re money is going, and examine the companies you spend your money with. The corporations control a lot of what’s happening, and money controls far too much of what is happening. You wield a lot of power, and at a base level if you don’t want to do anything else as a society, be a good consumer and choose quality over quantity. It shows that you care about the longevity of the people that they serve and the environment around them. Know your history, be informed about the current state of what we are in because of where it came from is how it got there. It shouldn’t be an uncool thing to not be informed about politics. There’s no points for being ignorant, Be involved when you need to. Be kind and find a way to volunteer, and be present for people around you. It’s a lot less likely for you to hate someone if you get to meet them and spend time with them. Do things that maybe take you out of your comfort zone. That’s a very basic start on how you can expand and enlighten your perspective, and gear your heart towards the things that are going on around you.

Dead Rhetoric: How does it feel to have your boyfriend Dobber Beverly as your drummer/pianist within the band – are you able to share the joys, the frustrations, and handle the business side of things as well as successfully have a solid relationship outside of the band?

Gilbert: I think so! I think it’s wonderful – I’m a fully encompassing person. I feel like there are people that are segmented, and I am not. He is very similar, we both have had relationships with people who were not involved in any way, shape, or form with the band, or the music, at all. There’s this disconnect that is going to be there – especially for people that live for music as intensely or as immersed in it as we are. Dobber lives, breathes, and immersed himself into music – the writing or working on material, producing elements, musical elements. To have him constantly expanding my musical vocabulary is amazing.

The frustrations that arise are going to there for any shared, joined venture. If it comes down to a house that you have to keep clean, you may get frustrated with each other through whatever dynamic, be it poor communication or somebody’s tired. Working on a new album release or floor tile, we are good at working at where the other person is coming at and we can handle any frictions that arise. It makes our relationship incredibly strong, he’s my muse and he inspires me to be a better person and a better musician all the time. I feel like he’s far superior in terms of musicality than I am. He enjoys teaching me more and to expand more. It works itself out – we are incredibly fortunate to have found that within each other. Being able to share the stage with him is something that I love, the energy he knows what I’m thinking and feeling. I don’t have to explain things to him as I would in an outsider way, it keeps us pretty bonded.

Dead Rhetoric: How do you assess the career arc of Oceans of Slumber to date? What areas do you believe the band needs to focus on more over the next album cycle or two to be able to achieve more of a footprint as a career for the band – or are you content with balancing things out as more of a ‘glorified hobby’ so to speak given the music business as it exists today?

Gilbert: We definitely want more of a footprint. It’s a lifestyle for us, what this is, is a career as well as a lifestyle. What we do revolves around our ability to maintain in this band and in a band, period. It’s hard to say with the way that things have gotten to now. The music industry is in a certain type of way. Things are heavy leaning online with streaming services and people are questioning the importance of doing any tours, and that was well before any virus hit. Now that you can’t tour, the online stuff is going just fine, and the labels are not necessarily too worried because the record sales weren’t happening because people were on tour, they were streaming and buying digitally. It’s been tricky to figure out.

What we want to do and have been since the last album is, we are going to do what we are going to do. We will do it like we know how to do it. We can’t focus on the outcome. That’s very much undetermined. We stay engaged, and we make music that is true and honest to who we are and what we stand for. We see how it goes. There is a lot less to figure out when we are just breathing, and we’ll see how it goes. People like honesty, and they feel like they are getting something real from you, they will be more engaged with you. All we can do is be honest artists.

Dead Rhetoric: What’s on the agenda for the band over the next year or two to support this release? Will there be other avenues of promotion you’ll pursue in lieu of the lack of touring opportunities due to this global pandemic?

Gilbert: We have some things talked about, but Houston closed down again so that changes a lot of things that we can do. We have thought about social distancing shows and we have some cool drive-in’s that can accommodate, but they may close back down. We have plans to do a live streaming album release, online party kind of things. And figure out a way to make it cool and get that real-time interaction. Online we are always open and engaging with people, the quality may not always be the best but if that’s how we can connect with fans that’s what we will do.

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