We Lost The Sea are telling stories without using words

We Lost The Sea are telling stories without using words

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But before rocking stages across the northern hemisphere, the Sydney sextet are heading down to Melbourne to play Progfest. This isn’t their first time on the lineup, even if their drummer Nathaniel D’Ugo can’t remember when they last played the festival. “It was quite a while ago, it was at the Annandale Hotel, I can’t think of the year. I should remember it because it was at a time where I was a cranky piece of shit and it was actually going to be my last ever show with We Lost The Sea.

“We had a problem with one of the amps and I stormed out afterwards and said ‘That’s it, I’m never playing again,’ but for the life of me I can’t remember what year it was. It was an interesting time at We Lost The Sea, a very interesting time. We were probably a very different band back then.”

It’s been quite the journey for the group, who have been playing as an instrumental outfit since the unfortunate loss of their lead singer Chris Torpy, who took his own life in 2013. Together they worked through those emotions, putting out an exceptional album in the new band format, but even the band were surprised by the response to Departure Songs.

 

“It’s been received very well, the reception’s been quite surprising,” D’Ugo says. “Obviously the fans we had were fans of the music with Chris, and when we lost Chris we were really nervous about how it would be received.”

The decision to not look for a new vocalist seemed to be the right move for the group. “We were obviously asked a lot after Chris’ passing about replacing him. I feel taken aback by the people that are still buying the music, a bit of shock.”

The challenges the band now faced were not so simple, considering the nature of their style and genre, and to get their ideas across in a wordless realm they needed to evolve and become truly cohesive. “Being a band that tells stories and being conscious of not being boring, it really changed how we were going to go on,” D’Ugo says. “We had a general idea of what we wanted to say but then the new problem, saying it without vocals, it really forced the six of us to work differently together.

“There was always, like in any band, people fighting for their space like ‘I want my riff here and my riff there,’ and we put that aside and just concentrated on the greater good. We concentrated on what makes the song tell the story we want to tell. How are we going to tell it and how are we going to tell it without boring ourselves or our audience?”

It seems that ethos has paid off for the band, playing a string of successful shows on their national tour that even included one with the Sydney Philharmonia Choir. “It started off as a joke really ‘Maybe we should get a choir,’ and a couple of weeks later we had one organised,” says D’Ugo. “We thought ‘Oh crap, we’re in over our heads.’ It easily could’ve fallen solid on its face but it ended up going really well, and we were really stoked.”

Even after the success of the tour and the albumit doesn’t get easier. “We didn’t expect Departure Songs to get the response it got and now we’re in the process of starting to write a follow-up album. You always have in the back of your head ‘What if this doesn’t tell the story the same way and what if it’s not as cool,” says D’Ugo. “You try to put that to the side and just not worry about it.”

By David Ohaion