Finch – Across The Ocean


Finch front-man Nate Barcalow has seen a lot of changes to the post-hardcore scene over the last decade or so. With their third album, Back To Oblivion, soon to be released, Nate opened up to Across The Ocean about the pressures that lead to a nine year hiatus and some of the challenges artists experience these days in the face of online interaction.


Back to Oblivion is a long awaited comeback for you guys… nearly nine years you’ve kept us hanging! Was the material for this album written recently or spread out all over that nine year period?

This is kind of recent, we had other material from a long time ago that hasn’t made the cut but after the reunion tour we started writing right after that.

This album is a slightly different sound for you guys. Was that intentional or just a natural evolution?

I think it was just what happened when we started writing. I don’t know… we don’t really think like other bands in the sense that some just wanna keep making the same record over and over again. That was pretty apparent on our second record which was also different – even though people didn’t like it. I think change is just a natural progression for us.

How was it working with producer Brian Virtue?

It was great.. for me! We got along pretty well which is important cause to make a record it’s like being part of a drill where you just go over and over and over stuff. But he was really good at pushing me in the right direction as far as getting the best out of me.

Why the long break for Finch and what inspired you guys to re-form?

I don’t know. The genre kind of out-grew us for a time. We didn’t really fit in anymore. We weren’t doing things that people liked it seemed. Our second record wasn’t received well . We tried to write new music and recover from that but it didn’t really happen so we just called it a day… which was frustrating when everyone was like “where did you guys go?” or “Why’d you break up?”. We’d released a second record and everybody hated it so we thought well what are we s’posed to do? You know? But eventually we started writing again and now it’s all kind of cool so we kept going with it and before we knew it we had a record on the horizon so we thought we’d give it another shot.

It must be difficult to stay on the same page creatively together as a band. What is it that’s kept you going back to each other as a unit?

Ah I’m not sure really. I think it’s more of a relationship with the band musically, not really as people. Does that make sense? More of like a romance with our history as a band, not so much like a thing between like five buddies or anything. I guess what I mean is, it wasn’t a human thing. It was more like a spiritual thing. Kind of like the music was calling us back.

Back to Oblivion is a cool title. Where did it come from?

Well that song was written fairly early in the process. We titled it and it sounded like the title of a record as well so we just kind of went with it. It started forming the rest of the vibe for the record kind of based off that phrase. It wasn’t anything methodical. We didn’t plan it out too much. It just happened naturally.

It’s been said that this is a more introspective album lyrically. Is that actually the case?

Ah not really. It not really about us as a band or what we’ve gone through as people. It’s more of just an observation about the world today and how society functions and the possible threat of destruction, you know? There’s a lot of things wrapped up in there. But we kind of let it come out and have people listen to it and pull their own ideas out of it, which is what I really like to hear.

I understand this is the first Finch album to feature bassist Daniel Wonacott. What do you think he brings to it all?

He’s a completely different personality to what Derek was. He’s very motivated which is good. I kind of sit back and watch the other guys gel with him. I mean he’s my cousin so I’ve known him my whole life! So him fitting it keeps things ticking along well on a personal level and helps when we’re writing too.

Since your last album came out all those years ago, online interaction now plays a much bigger role in the release of new music. What are your thoughts on this new landscape?

I’m not really a huge social media fan. It has a lot of uses and keeps people in touch which is great. But from a musical standpoint, it’s not very kind to artists I don’t think. Like today for instance, I found out that our record leaked. So people already have it. Also everybody’s got opinions about things. In this day and age everybody’s comfortable sitting behind their computers saying whatever they feel like saying with no consequences. It’s just a different beast for musicians and artists I think cause every part of their life is now tangible and there’s no mystique left behind bands or who they are and what they do or what they like. You can go on someone’s page now and see what they’re listening to right this moment and it’s just pretty strange to me. I mean it’s got its pros, it’s got it’s cons. I don’t know that it’s changed our band so much. We still function the way we’ve always functioned which is writing music that we like and hopefully other people like it too. But in this day and age it’s just hard to keep up with everybody’s wants and needs on the internet so I try to keep my head out of that world.

You guys were part of the Recent Warped Tour in the states. I understand you were on this tour many years ago as newcomers to the scene. How was the experience different now that you’re big?

Well we weren’t on the main stage the first time around and this time we were. It was kinda wierd cause of all the bands that were there I hadn’t heard of maybe 90% of them. They were all really young kids and it seemed to be a completely different generation of music that we hadn’t tapped into. On the one hand it was a good experience. It was fun and it was exposure and it was cool to get back up there. But the majority of people probably didn’t know who we are, so at the same time I feel like we didn’t really belong there. I guess if we’d known that was going to happen we probably wouldn’t have done it. It wasn’t really our scene.

How did this compare to your experience at Soundwave this year?

Soundwave was great! It’s so eclectic and there’s so many great bands who all work well together and the kids there all love everything. It’s a very inviting, cohesive tour where it doesn’t matter if you’re playing on the same stage as some crazy metal band, kids are still gonna watch you. It’s not really cliquey like it is in the United States at festivals and stuff where you’ve gotta be lumped with the right band and it’s gotta all make sense. Soundwave makes sense for everybody cause it’s like awesome! We love doing Soundwave.

Any plans to tour Australia soon?

I would hope so. With the new record out we’re gonna have to do a whole new run so I’m sure we’ll make it over there. I hope we do. I love Australia!

Kat Gilbert

Kat Gilbert

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kat Gilbert comes to ATO with no further credentials than a love of live music and a passion for penning her two cents worth.

When Kat’s not catching a gig you can find her pondering the meaning of life at her graphic design day job or taking long walks on the beach in fluffy pink moccasins.
Kat Gilbert