Not Much I Wouldn't Do For You: An Interview with OCNS

One of the biggest obstacles of turning a local band into a national act is garnering the attention to be able to tour beyond the local scene. For North Carolina-based alternative band OCNS, playing outside of the state was a big accomplishment this year.  

The band’s musical backgrounds range from post-hardcore to metal to pop and worship songs. They’ve played in church groups, high school garage bands and successful touring bands. Esdras Bouassa, Grandy Zodulua, Isaac Buna and Drew Cooney met in high school and originally got together in the back of their church to jam their favorite covers, followed by adolescent versions of original songs. David Pierce joined when his high school band dissolved and after an arduous search for a vocalist, Andrew Wackerhagen rounded out the lineup. 

“The conversation about playing music started out as just a dream to play good shows, and slowly grew to being a bit bigger as we all improved collectively as musicians,” Cooney said.

When the band name came about, it was as simple as four letters but its impact on each of the band members is so much more.

“The band name is just set of letters that represents a sound, but for us it’s really the thing we get to look forward to at the end of every week,” Cooney said. “It’s the thing we all think about while we are stuck at work, driving in the car, or wherever else being away from what we actually want to be doing. For a lot of us, it’s been one of the only real things we have had to consistently look forward to, to constantly improve upon, and have grow as we do.”

Their latest single, “You”, comes from wanting to create a danceable track with a side of infatuation. It has a summertime vibe from a musical standpoint while lyrically it addresses the darker side of becoming addicted to a feeling.

Their songwriting process usually starts as simple as a guitar chord progression or as complex as an entirely written song.  Once the idea is brought to the table, everyone’s input is scattered throughout. It’s a natural process for them to each add their own interests and inspirations and make the songs an equal effort.

“Every single person in OCNS has a great ear, so at any given time, someone could come up with a perfect part for any other instrument, and it’ll be nothing short of fantastic,” Cooney said.

From North Carolina to whichever state they end up in next, each member of OCNS shares an ambition that needs to be shared on a national level. They know how they work best individually and as a whole, and that is truly where the passion lies.