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Ethan Thompson, Pete Nappi, and Samantha Ronson have come together to form the LA based indie-pop trio Ocean Park Standoff. With the release of their debut EP and fresh new track “Good News,” this new act is emerging as one to look out for. They will be on tour with Third Eye Blind and Silver Sun Pickups soon.
GroundSounds recently caught up with the band to talk about their debut EP and more, check out the exclusive interview below.
For those just discovering Ocean Park Standoff, how did you all come together and start making music?
We came together because Pete and Samantha had been doing sessions together. Pete and I had been working together for about two years and always pulled each other into each other’s sessions. Pete called me up and had me come to a writing session with Samantha and that was how the three of us first got together.
What do you enjoy most about LA and the SoCal lifestyle?
I’d say that I most enjoy that you can get out so easily. LA allows me to do what I love which is music, but being from Montana my other passion is the outdoors. Being close to so many nature-filled areas is a bonus.
We had just decided that we wanted to become a band and the next day, when Pete and I were on our way to the session with Samantha, we couldn’t make our way to her house because the cops had the road blocked off. When we finally got to Samantha’s house there were helicopters going across her backyard. We looked up what was going on online and finally found out on Venice’s 311 Twitter that there was a stand-off happening on Ocean Park. Samantha immediately said “That’s our band name,” and we went with it.
Can you tell us about the writing and creative process involved with your fresh new track “Good News?”
For Good News, Samantha, Pete and I were all going through our own struggles at the time and we were venting to each other about it in the session. Then we started talking about the news. I don’t remember this, but Samantha quotes me as saying, “It’s not the news, it’s the bad news.” After we finished our conversation and writing, Samantha started playing an old guitar chord progression that she’s had for pretty much her whole life and immediately we started singing “Good News” and we finished it in about an hour.
The bands tracks have great vibes and energy, can you tell us about developing the sound of Ocean Park Standoff?
One of the main factors in our sound is Pete. The kid’s a genius in my book and watching him produce is so much fun. Samantha and I throw in our own vibes and he figures out how to put it all together. There’s a lot of trust between the three of us. Just like Pete trusts Samantha and I to write the songs, we trust Pete to produce the songs. Another big influence are whatever instruments we can get our hands on in the studio.
One of the things I know about the EP is that we enjoy the heck out of playing it live. We wrote some of these songs over 2.5 years ago and when we were finally able to bring them to the stage I remembered why I loved them in the first place. It’s a self-titled EP. We went through about twenty different names for the EP and we all ended up agreeing that Ocean Park Standoff would be the best title for our first release. Working on it has been tons of fun, tons of work and we also battle each other all the time. All three of us have a lot of passion for the music we like. We’re all leaders and we’re always pushing as hard as we can to make the best music we can, so it’s been a blast seeing our three worlds collide.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind “Photos & Liquor?”
When writing, Samantha and I always try to find the deepest connections to what we’re writing about. With Photos & Liquor, we kept talking about this idea, that when you take a photo with people, you’re always taking photos of happy moments. So, when you look back at photos from a past relationship, you can often get confused in your own mind of what that relationship really was because the pictures are so perfect. For the liquor side of it, that for me revolved around a certain photo I had that Sam and I kept talking about throughout writing.
What are you all looking forward to most at SXSW?!
Playing for new and old faces! Every time we play a show, one of our favorite parts is talking to anyone and everyone, especially those we saw in the audience while performing.
What bands/musicians are you currently listening to?
Some of the artists I’m listening to Snoh Aalegra, Citizen Cope, Coldplay, Tom Petty, Chance The Rapper, Hank Williams and Sarah Walker…
After the EP release what’s next for Ocean Park Standoff, what can fans look forward to?
We’re going on tour this summer with Third Eye Blind and Silver Sun Pickups which is hitting a lot of big cities across the US and a couple in Canada. We are also constantly working on new music and have a ton of unreleased material that we hope to release soon!