APRIL 19th 2012
SCOTT MOSHER: DOMAIN EXCLUSIVE
Metaltitans got a exclusive interview with composier Scott Mosher and talked a little about his studio band Oceans of Night and life in LA plus his passion for music and design.
1 Can you talk a little bit about your new album DOMAIN that came out last year and the recording process?
The music for DOMAIN started coming together in the fall of 2010 through the spring of 2011, during a tremendously productive and inspired period of time for me. In fact, over the last year and a half or so, I've composed, written, arranged and recorded enough music for almost 3 CDs, the first of which, of course, is in your hands right now (literally). Basically, DOMAIN is the culmination of a years worth of work - musically, lyrically, and creatively. It covers quite a bit of musical territory, I think - but ultimately, retains that "Oceans of Night sound" which is basically the synthesis of heavy metal, progressive rock and ambient soundscapes. It's all upwards and onwards from this point, hopefully we'll just keep refining the sound now that our style is established and pressed.
2 What made you choice to play all Guitars, Bass and Keyboards on your CD’s and not hire musicians to fill in and record your latest material?
I've been composing, arranging and writing the music since as far back as I can remember. Early on, I morphed from band/performing musician, to a songwriter. I wouldn't say it's a control thing insofar as it is a personal vision situation. It's just easier to for me work on my own time frame, as the inspiration and muse strikes me... whether that be 4 hours a night during the wee hours, or weekend afternoons, without having to rely on the schedules of other people. I have found my "musical destiny" as a self-contained songwriter and that's where I feel most comfortable. That said, I am definitely opening myself up for more collaborations in the future, and that means bringing in other musicians to flesh out the songs and music as accompaniment. Whether I'll collaborate on songs for Oceans of Night remains to be... heard. Generally when I co-write music, it's for other musical projects, one of one is currently in the works, but it's not time to let the cat out of the bag yet. I will hopefully have a few musical guest surprises on the next OON CD though, and no, none of them are Tom Jones, Ja Rule or Jack White.
3 You worked with vocalist Scott Oliva and for fans who might not know him can you tell me how you guys met and what he brings to OCEANS OF NIGHT?
I have so many questionable photos of him from his Myspace days, it was all about extortion and blackmail. Besides that "reason", Scott and I have known each other for decades, as we both grew up in the Long Island (NY) metal/prog scene, and what's interesting is that we never actually decided to work together for whatever reason (mostly timing) until DEEP HORIZON, when I contacted him and mentioned that I'd love to have him join up with me for my next musical release (DEEP HORIZON) and things just grew from there. We have an easy rapport and similar musical interests and influences, and Oceans of Night gives him another chance to spread his leatherlunged wings outside of his customary power/prog metal band situations.
4 What are the comparisons musical from DOMAIN and THE SHADOWHEART MIRROR which was released in 2009?
Well, really DOMAIN is more of a sonic improvement upon THE SHADOWHEART MIRROR more than a musical evolution. I think we've pretty much built a solid music foundation and established the Oceans of Night sound and style. Now it's really more a matter of expanding the sounds and song arrangements more than the musical style so to speak... and I think that DOMAIN does that. It's just more of everything at a higher quality of sound, material and execution than anything previous. The "progress" now between releases will be more subtle, I think, than it was in the pass which for me is a good thing. I'm as comfortable operating in this musical genre as I am wearing Eddie van Halen sneakers while drinking a cold, frothy Dr. Pepper. :)
5 Have you been playing much of the new material live in the LA area? If so how are fans reacting to the new material?
Haha! I wish! Oceans of Night is a studio band only. We don't perform live.
6 In 2008 you put out a book called MONUMENTS OF CHAOS and in 2010 THE VIEW OF THERE so what made you too publish these books and are there plans to release more in the future? Does music come first or publishing photo books as a graphic designer?
I've been a professional graphic artist for the last 15 years, so the books I've (self) published are just an extension of my creative entreprenuial spirit. I do plan on future volumes of both, they just require quite a bit of time and effort to produce, as with Oceans of Night, I function on all levels of the spectrum in my artistic endeavors. Basically, since they are self-published, I handle ALL aspects of the production, distribution and promotion, and that takes a lot of time, energy and most of my massive drug supply. Haha, just kidding on that last one. Music is my first (and original) passion, but it doesn't pay the bills or serve as an occupation, whereas my full time job is a freelance art director and graphic artist and THAT pays the bills, as well as being an enjoyable if not always altogether profitable profession. As you can tell, I'm definitely a right-side of the brain guy.
7 Can you tell me some of your gear that you use to record in the studio? Do you record at home or just at your studio?
All of the composing, arranging and recording is done in our home studio(s). The mixing and engineering - the vast majority of it - is handled in Joey Vera's home studio by his more than capable hands. I have about as stripped down and basic a set-up as you can imagine. The end results are really what matters and I get there in a very simplistic but productive fashion. I'm more about the destination and how you got there, than what it takes to get there.
8 When did you actually start recording and who were the artists that inspired you back then and even today?
DOMAIN is the second Oceans of Night CD, and my 6th overall, the first being a rock-influenced new age CD titled AMBIENT EARTH I recorded eponymously back in 1995, and released in 1996. I recorded a few cassette demos in the mid 90's as well. As far as my musical influences, they really are all over the map, as I listen to a wide variety of music, from rock to pop to new age and electronic to R&B and hip hop, techno, country and jazz. But my forte is definitely progressive rock and metal. I'd give you the laundry list of influences but it might tire out my typing hand and your eyes. I can say my favorite record of all time is OPERATION: MINDCRIME.
9 Over the years to you find you have changed your methods in recording or is it the same?
My Pro-Tools skills have improved as have my songwriting and guitar playing, I hope! Basically, since I write all of the music, it's pretty much remained the same... and I don't really anticipate it changing or having a reason to change "the process".
10 Can you give us a tiny hint of what we can expect musically in 2012 and beyond?
Continuous promotion of DOMAIN, and Scott and I are still working on the vocals for the next one, which shouldn't be too far removed - musically and stylistically - from DOMAIN. Much of the music was written in the same time period (the last year, basically!) and therefore, some of the themes and musical atmosphere, will be similar in scope... a natural continuation I hope... with some special surprises and guests sprinkled here and there. Maybe a cherry on top for the patient ones!