Ocean Blues – Making Waves

This act seems to be south Surrey based and play blues-based music. We offered the group one of our (customised) 20 Questions sets and as you will see from their responses, they know their music..So thanks Ocean Blues, from Just Listen To This

Supplied By Artist

Gareth Gittins (Guitar)
What are your favoured stage guitars and why?

My favourite stage guitar is the Fender Stratocaster I play a wide range of music and find it’s the most versatile for the things I do. Plus, you can treat them mean and it stays in tune, haha! I tend to use bareknuckle pickups with Strats because I find they give me a clearer sound – better than the standard pickups which are still great but I can’t say enough good things about bareknuckle.

What are your aims when performing as a band?

My aims when performing? First it’s always got to be fun and I try to play with as much passion as I can really. How the audience is liking what we do is always in mind. If they’re having a blast then that always inspires the band to up there game. There’s no better feeling than coming off stage buzzing because of the energy in the room – it’s very addictive!

Steve Vai or Adrian Belew?
Steve Vai or Adrian Belew…..Woo that’s a hard one! I love both but I’d go with Vai. I’ve seen him in concert a few years ago and he blew my mind! A three hour concert and at no point did it get boring which is very impressive considering it’s instrumental all night. The way his show built was amazing as your mind starts to wander he hits you with a new focal point.

 What music would you run across the room to turn up if it came on the radio ? (Artist /title ) – and what to turn OFF?
Def Leppard I’m a super fan haha! As soon as I hear them I turn in to a groupie.

I like most types of music but I’d run away from anything that’s played badly or unmusically.


Name a great live album and outline its appeal to you plus any favourite tracks
Woo another hard one there’s so many to list. My all-time favourite album is Gary Moore Still Got the Blues’. I spent years obsessing over the guitar playing on that album. The last solo on the song still got the blues for me is just perfect the feel the power pure taste in my book. But the whole album is a guitarist’s dream oh pretty women and midnight blues just a wealth of talent.


Andy Gray (Drums)


Are you a fan of Terry Bozzio or Chad Wackerman? Any favourite tracks and why?

That’s a tough one! They’ve both played for the legendary Frank Zappa and have played the Black Page as a duet! I guess in the long stretch I’d go with Bozzio for the chops and Wakerman for the feel? Also Wakerman is a great name for a drummer and he’s also played for James Taylor whose one I’ve my all time faves!


Three tips for a novice drummer, please AND two things to avoid doing on stage whatever!

1 If you’re playing in a band listen to your bandmates and complement what they are doing. They’ll love you for it.
2 Practice hard, practice it right and practice what you don’t know. If you love what you’re doing you will reach your musical goals
3 Have a laugh! Music is there to be enjoyed.
Things to avoid on stage whatever!

1 We all make mistakes but if goes wrong try to avoid the gurn, raised eyebrows or other dismissive gestures. Smile like it was meant to happen!

2 Think about the next tune on the list, set the right tempo and hold it. Don’t forget how the tune starts – your band mates are relying on you. Try not to rush or drag unless the song needs it or you’re getting angry looks from the singer!

3 Don’t be late; you’ll be stressed, your band mates will be stressed and the venue might not book you again!


Name a recording (Artist /Title/ Source Album) that fades or ends too soon for you

One of my favourite tunes of all time is Let There Be Love’, by Nat King Cole – its two minutes and 47 seconds of sheer musical bliss and always leaves me wanting more!


Which are the best sticks you have used and why?

I use Vic Firth with various weights dependent on the music but there’s a lot of good makes out there and I don’t want to start a stick debate – is there such a thing?


What’s your favourite film soundtrack and why?

There’s lots of those, Song Remains the same and A Hard Day’s Night are pretty good for a bit of rock n’ roll, Somewhere in Time for those beautiful John Barry arrangements and Shawshank Redemption for the other worldly piano bits.


Kez Benford (Bass)

Can you dance? Do you dance?
I won’t dance don’t ask me, Monsieur with you! And if you’ve seen my Paso Doble you’d know why!


Name your favourite James Brown track and explain its appeal to you…and the
same for Stevie Wonder, please

James Brown was the master of groove and the interplay between bass and the drummers has been discussed to the nth degree. I guess for me it would be Cold Sweat. Its an uncomplicated groove accenting the “and” of the beat with the drums, again coming along for the ride. Effortless, musical and grooves like crazy – it ticks all the boxes!
For Stevie there are so many Motown and latter day examples. Nathan Watts is a monster and put down the bass for great tracks such as I Wish and Sir Duke. However, if you’re looking for the one where the music just jumps out of the bass and fills the track with love then its James Jamerson on I was made to lover her. You can hear the Funk Brothers isolated track (and later with Stevie) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4H_pWQaa2I


What basses do you prefer to take out to gigs? What strings do you generally use?
I use a Status 5 string Empathy bass and Rotosound Swing bass strings.


Jack Bruce or Les Claypool? Any favourite tracks of theirs or that they appear on?
Blimey! Tough question. They were both ground breakers in their own way and highly skilled musicians. I’m stuck on the fence on that one!


Name two recordings that are fine to drive to (Artist /Title /Source Album)

There are so many but as I have a choice of two I’ll reign it in.

Perhaps a little obvious but the first track is The Who’s “Going Mobile” from “Who’s Next”. Its an iconic album for starters but for this question the track’s got energy, Keith Moon alone sees to that with the ebb and flow of orchestral like fills and stabs! Of course the subject of the tune lends itself to being out in your jalopy too. Add to this electric and acoustic guitars (and I think some mandolins), Entwistle’s melodic bass playing and then Townsend’s quirky guitar solo and you’ve got a great driving track – see what I did there?
For the second I’ve picked a track that unwind to, driving home from a gig. The Hissing of Summer Lawns is one favourite albums. Joni Mitchel paints wide landscapes of sound on this album and its so soothing. I’m going to choose the title track “The Hissing of Summer Lawns”.


Debby Bracknell (Vocals)

Which makes of microphone do you favour and why?
I really love my Sennheiser mic – It brings such a lovely warm tone to my vocals and although it’s heavier compared to other mics it is very comfortable to use and well made – I’ve had it for years now and it’s been through a lot of gigs, been dropped and scratched, but it still sounds as good as when I first bought it. I find them to be a very reliable brand. I also have a Sennheiser wireless mic and in-ears.

Blondie, Runaways or Rock Goddess? (Do say something about all if you wish, citing favourite songs – PS)
Blondie all the way! Blondie were just such an iconic band of their era and their music has stood the test of time. They managed to merge lots of different musical genres to appeal to the masses whilst keeping their rock edgyness.
Debbie Harry had both style and class and her performances were effortless. My favourite song of theirs has got to be ‘One Way or Another’. It’s such a fun and gritty song to sing, very empowering.

Is there a book that you would like to score the music for and why? What style of music would you go for
I don’t get much spare time to sit down with a good book these days but I used to love reading horror novels so I think something scary would be great to score the music for, when the strings kick in you know something bad is hiding just around the corner!!

Name a track (Artist/Title) that you find really relaxing
I love to chill out to so many different artists and styles of music so it’s difficult to choose just one… Kate Bush, Ray Lamontagne, Gregory Porter, Foy Vance, Sade, Ben Howard… jazz, soul, rock, r&b, all kinds of genres. I love hearing acoustic versions of popular songs, songs that have been stripped back of all studio trickery and still sound just as great. Emotive, well written songs with strong melodies that are sung beautifully.

Boz Scaggs wants to record a song with you – suggest a song that you think would work
Michael MacDonald did a great version of ‘Knew You Were Waiting’ which I think would work well and I could belt my part out Aretha style.
As a huge Bonnie Raitt fan I’d love to do the duet she did with him – Hell To Pay – but as a lover of a good ballad maybe We’re All Alone or Look What You’ve Done To Me.


Pete Sargeant

Ocean Blues


(All Images Supplied By Ocean Blues)

For more information visit the band’s official website here: http://bit.ly/2xcvto7

Ocean Blues