With the recent release of the debut, stone fruit themed EP ‘Stoned Fruit Melodies’, Soaked Oats has been setting the live music scene alight with their own breed of contemporary surf rock. I had the opportunity to ask the guys a few questions.
First question, Is there any reasoning behind ‘Soaked Oats’?
In terms of the reasoning behind our name, Oscar loosely had the idea of calling us something oat related (like Rolled Oats or The Oats), not for any particular reason. Our wonderful friend/artist Jack Hawke then made the quiet suggestion of Soaked Oats. Largely due to our ineptitude to make decisions on our own, we went with Hawkes idea.
So you’re new EP ‘Stone Fruit melodies’ is a bit of a different concept to what most bands are releasing at the moment, was it always the intention to release a themed EP/ who’s idea was it?
So pretty much how it all happened is Oscar (Lead Vocals) decided to try his hand at song-writing during a long and luscious Summer 2015/2016. Somehow all the songs he wrote during this time ended up being about stone fruits (he was working for a cherry company at the time). On a trip to Dunedin he then played the rest of us these songs he’d written, and we were like (much to his surprise) “fuck man, these are great”. So, we decided to record demos of the songs ourselves, and had an amazing time in the middle of a brutal Dunedin Winter bringing these songs to life.
How hard was it to keep in line with the fruit theme song writing wise?
It actually got quite difficult, particularly towards the end. ‘Avocado Aficionado’ and ‘Notes of Plum’ were the last two I wrote, and fitting the concepts of the songs (love/drinking culture) inside the stone fruit theme was definitely hard. Interesting test on the old noggin though!
Your sound is to me, quite reminiscent of the whole ‘beach rock’ kind of vibe, what bands or people have inspired the kind of songs that you are putting out?
Yeah man you’re totally right, and for ‘Stone Fruit Melodies’ it was definitely an intention to emulate that sound. Influences were contemporary surf rock like The Growlers and The Mystic Braves, but also older stuff like the Beach Boys etc… With our writing now we are trying to break away from the surf rock vibes a bit, we are playing around with a whole lot of styles, ambient stuff (we love Timbre Timbre) and more folky too. It’s exciting to not feel pigeon-holed and that we can make and release and release anything we want without the constraints of “you sound like…”.
What do you guys pride yourselves on? Is it your performance ability, song-writing, down to earth persona etc…
Geez, we don’t really sit down and talk about what we are good and bad at as a band; maybe we should haha. The best thing about Soaked Oats is that we all have the space to explore what we want to do creatively, as individuals and as a group. There isn’t a dominant personality in the band, and we work together and give validation to each other’s creative energy – because without actively planning to, we are all aiming for the same thing. We’re just mates trying to make some art together, and not take it too seriously.
You guys are starting to pick up a fair amount of shows at the moment with the likes of The Shambles and The Butlers, can we expect you guys to do more of a tour soon?
Yeah, we’ve been playing heaps of shows which is great! I suppose we’re trying to play as much as possible, just to get ourselves out there, get tight as a band, and hopefully build and maintain some momentum as we go.
Can we expect a full-length album from you guys by the end of the year, or even another themed EP?
We are just planning a tour during winter at the moment actually, the plan is to get as far north as possible. There’s definitely another EP coming to your ears in the not too distant future. We’re all really excited to put the Stone Fruits behind us – it is winter after all; and an album not too far after that. Ideally, we’ll have pretty frequent releases; because once you’ve written a song, recorded it, and release it, you tend to be very ready to move onto the next thing!