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Lost Ocean Interview: Dr. BLT interviews ďBakersfieldís BeatlesĒ on the heels  of a projected summer CD release 

Ironically enough, Lost Ocean is one of those bands Iím not out looking for, but always seem to find.   


Every time I find them, I find myself thrilled at what they are doing musically, and I find a story behind every song.  Most of the time, their stories inspire me to write stories of my own and put them into song, like this one, inspired by their courageous determination to press on, even after their emancipation from EMI:

Said Good-bye to EMI 
Dr. BLT 
Words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2009 

There is another song that was inspired by the interview youíre about to partake of.  Itís called "Beatles of Bakersfield," but Iíll save that for the end so that I can get off the stage and make way for the band.   

Go ahead. Donít be shy. Step up, and listen in to our latest conversation.  Eaves-dropping is allowed when it comes to these sorts of interviews, in fact, itís encouraged!

Dr. BLT: Is the song you ended with from your forthcoming CD? 

Skyler Johnson (keyboard player):  Correct.  That oneís "Every Word She Said," and thatís up on our My Space right now.  Itís one of the oneís we recorded early last year.  We will be recording the rest of the record over the next couple of months, and we plan to release it over the summer.

Dr. BLT: What have you guys been up to lately?  

Sky: Writing, recording---rehearsing the heck out of the songs.  Weíll be laying them down ourselves---doing everything ourselves again.  Itís fun, itís refreshing, and itís completely different.  Itís great for us.  

Dr. BLT: What are you guys doing here today? 

Jeff Grey (lead singer/guitar player): Well, weíre just doing an event--theyíre re-opening Solomonís Porch.  Itís a fun event for families to come and enjoy some music.  There are some worship bands here today as well.  Weíre just helping to support that, and just having some fun in the community.

Dr. BLT: You know, my wife actually started Solomonís Porch, so itís good to know that itís still going on after all of these years.

Jeff:  So, whatís the story.  Iím a little out of the loop. 

Dr. BLT: Well, this was way back in the early 90s.  Her and a friend got together and came up with the idea and then got it off the ground.  It wasnít located here, it was actually just around the corner, and it was smaller.  

Jeff:  And then it was closed for awhile? 

Dr. BLT: Thatís right, and you guys are helping to bring it back.  So, can you tell me what type of music youíve been getting into as a band?

Jeff:  Songs that we love: Verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge sort of stuff.  Weíre making sure that we love every part of it.  Weíre done with the writing, so now weíre working on more exciting introís and more intricate playing parts.  The songs are there, and weíre ready to record our next CD.  

Dr. BLT: Whatís giving you inspiration these days? 

Jeff: You know, life is changing a lot.  Iíve been seeing my friends grow in Christ, and my relationship with my wife is inspiring me a lot lately.  

Letís see, musically, I just got the new Fray CD, thatís a really poppy CD, and Iím still listening to and enjoying bands like the Arcade Fire and that kind of stuff.  

Dr. BLT: You guys seem to me to represent a new wave of music in Bakersfield---not new wave style, but on the cusp of a new local musical movement.  First we had the Bakersfield sound, then, years later, it was Korn, and now itís sort of a Bakersfield post-British invasion emerging, with you guys taking the lead.  

Jeff: Yeah, thereís a bit of a British influence in there, and we also focus in on Sky, our piano player, making sure his parts are able to stand out and be unique.  A lot of bands have pianos and maybe the lead singer plays piano and real simple chords, but in our band, I play simple chords on the guitar, and Sky will take over with more complex parts on the piano.  

Dr. BLT:  Well, letís talk for a moment about the nu Bakersfield sound underground, and how you guys tie in with the whole Kccrocker movement or Nu Bako sound.  You guys kind of remind me of Buck Owenís favorite band---the Beatles.  

Of course you have your own, unique and new sound, but there are certain aspects of the band, and of the music that contain that Beatlesque quality.   

Jeff:  Iíve always been very influenced by them, there was something about seeing their comradery­they were such great friends.  The four of us have that.  Itís coincidence that we all have the same hairdo though.  But we all get along really well.  

BLT: Well, thatís why Iíve nicknamed you guys The Beatles of Bakersfield. 

Jeff: (laughter, thenÖ) Hey, thatís okay with us! 

Dr. BLT: Hey, great talking with you, thanks for taking the time. 

Dr. BLT: And, Bret, how are you doing today? 

Bret Black: Super! 

Dr. BLT: So tell what youíve been doing with your band mates. 

Bret: Well, weíve been writing since last year, and weíve kind of just decided the songs we want to record.  So weíve been transitioning from writing to recording.  Since weíre planning on recording, we plan on doing any touring out of town until the CD is complete.  Itís a really normal lifestyle for the time being.  

Dr. BLT: Would you give me a little sneak preview of what to expect about the new CD in terms of the style, and the flavor, maybe a description of one or two of the songs?

Bret: We have 2 songs on our My Space---"Good Morning" and "Every Word She Said".  Iíd say the stuff is somewhere between that and the first CD that we put out.  Itís not quite as poppy.  I would say those two are the poppiest out of all of the songs.  Itís not as dark, and moody as our last CD.  It has some cool stuff in it.  

Dr. BLT: You guys sound really great­, really vibrant today.  

Bret: Thank you. 

Dr. BLT: Youíve got some awesome stuff.  Good to see you and good to hear you play once again.  

Dr. BLT: So, howís it going for you today, Chris? 

Christopher Short (drummer): Itís good.  

Dr. BLT: I want to thank you for inviting me here today.  It was kind of like a divine intervention, or a divine appointment, the way we met up at Starbucks early this morning.  

Christopher: Absolutely! 

Christopher: Thatís the place where Iím working on my CD, and that brief encounter that led to this may actually be incorporated into a song Iím working on.  The CD is about my experiences and encounters at that very Starbucks on Rosedale Highway near Calloway.

(laughterÖand thenÖ) Thatís awesome!  Thatís absolutely awesome! 

Dr. BLT: Well that brief encounter led to this, and I must say, you guys are doing a great job up there on that stage.  I arrived a little late.  What songs did you play before I got here?

Christopher:  We played several off of the upcoming record, scheduled to be released early this summer.  We played one called "Lose Your Love Like That," and "Good Morning," the ones on My Space---<>, and we played some off of the old record.  We now have an online merchandise store and weíve added a couple of other plugs on there.

Dr. BLT: (Knowing that losing oneís label can be a sensitive subject with bands and artists, I wasnít sure how to bring this one up, so I just threw it out there, up front and center)..Are you still signed with a major label, or are you independent? 

Christopher:  We are independent now.  EMIÖ our Credential recordings, kind of went under, a lot of the bands on the label kind of imploded, andÖweíre doing this new record ourselves.

Dr. BLT: I like that independent spirit.  Thatís what the Bakersfield sound underground is all about---that and the whole idea of the old and the new coming together.  You guys certainly are all about that as well.  As Iíve mentioned to some of your band-mates, I call you guys the Beatles of Bakersfield. 

I think you guys are going to start some kind of Bakersfield post-British invasion or something, you and acts like Boasting Weak, youíre really onto something with this refreshing approach.

Christopher:  Possibly.  Hopefully. 

Dr. BLT: I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.  


WellÖ there you have it, another classic interview with another classy band, possibly one of the classiest acts to surface in a long, long time).  I wonder where Iíll find Lost Ocean next time, and what they will be up to.  I know this: It will be something worthwhile and worthy of praise.  

Beatles of Bakersfield 
Words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2009 


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