Mark Owen (We Lost the Sea): The CirdecSongs Interview

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My love for Australian post-rockers We Lost the Sea appears to know no bounds. From the very first time I heard them in 2016, I knew I had stumbled across something truly special. (LIFE LESSON: Never underestimate the transformative power of Bandcamp, and the music contained within.)

The first album (and, to me, the ideal place to start with the band) I heard was 2015’s Departure Songs, an album geared around gallantry and the potential for loss that comes with it. Each song has a story, and that story is NEVER a cheery one. But that’s what make the music so special. Among the many brilliant uses of tension and release lie some of the most heartfelt riffs, melodies, and harmonies you will ever hear on a record. We Lost the Sea is doing more than merely playing their compositions. They’re emoting, purging, and trying to free themselves from the feelings that come from the family tragedy that led to this album’s creation.

The follow-up to Departure Songs, 2017’s Triumph & Disaster, is no day at the beach, either. It’s more than just a recording. It’s a WARNING. And as it turns out, a rather prescient one, at that. That doesn’t make the music any less brilliant. If anything, it enhances the foreboding nature of the album’s subject matter. We Lost the Sea is a band with plenty to say, and it would seem they’re only getting warmed up.

Mark Owen is one of the band’s three guitarists. We spoke once before, just prior to the release of Triumph & Disaster. To this day, I maintain that chat as one of the best interviews I have ever experienced. Mark was so open and honest, it was almost frightening. But upon reflection, I realized that our chat was no different than the music we were discussing. Mark was purging, and I could really relate to it.

We Lost the Sea recently completed a tour of Europe and the U.K., where they found a sea (no pun intended) of fans eager to experience the depth of the band’s emotional music in person. Personally, I was relieved to hear tales of fans as rabid as myself willing to move heaven and earth to see the band in person. Thanks to them, I didn’t feel nearly as crazy, even as I contemplate how to get from Chicago, Illinois, to Belgium next spring to see the band live for myself.

On a personal level, Mark is a low-key and thoughtful individual. He’s also more than capable of being able to roll with the punches, as you will see during certain portions of our chat. Even as I think about what took place, I sincerely believe this conversation could have gone on for at least twice as long, if not more. I suppose I’ll have to save that for when we finally find ourselves in the same place at the same time.

This is also the first time I had to stay up rather late to do some work since I retired from my career, where overnight work was sometimes necessary. But since Mark lives near Sydney, my late night was his mid-afternoon. No matter. I would have done whatever was necessary to make this chat possible. I sincerely thank Mark Owen for taking the time to participate in this CirdecSongs Interview.


Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (cirdecsongs) My book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music Through Eclectic Ears, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine book dealers. I’m currently working on my next book, The Wizard of WOO: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell.

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