It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing that our friends in I, The Oracle have decided to permanently call it quits. Following a statement from drummer Chris Shockley, detailing the end of the band and what led to that decision, what’s next, etc… he reached out to us and asked us to conduct an interview with him. Below, you can read the resulting interview, as well as find where to like the page for his new project Seeking Solace. We want to thank Chris for reaching out and allowing us to do this with him, I know it was likely a tough interview to do but it turned out great so read on!
BearlySinister: So, you recently made an announcement that I, The Oracle is finished. You mentioned that it was due to vocalist Sam [Hayes] leaving the band, among other reasons. As tough as the decision was to make, what made this the last straw and when did you know that you would have to carry on in a different way?
Chris: First off, Hi Barrett and i want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. I’ve been meaning to get some stuff off my chest about the end. I, the Oracle was always home for me. I started I, The Oracle and was in the band until the finish. Sam leaving wasn’t necessarily the “last straw” if you will. It hurt and I assure you their were many downfalls to losing Sam. Sam is such a talented vocalist. We tried to keep going but it was a week or two later when Joey, Austin, Dakota and I mutually agreed it was time to put an end to all of it. I was looking to make a switch and step up and do vocals. Joey was interested in playing hardcore music. Austin and Dakota were looking to breathe a bit of fresh and restart, Which is what we did with “Seeking Solace”. I, the Oracle in its five years and two CDs started out as one of the most hated bands in area. In the end, we became one of the most loved. At this point though, it was time to get fresh air and restart. this was not in any way an easy decision. I am confident that it was the right one though.
BearlySinister: Was there any bad blood with the split, between any of the members, or was this just a simple case of different directions in life?
Chris: This is a simple case of splitting for different destinies. Sam, Joey, Austin and Dakota are all great people. The last year of I, the Oracle wouldn’t have been possible without them and thank them so much for all the time spent doing what we love.
BearlySinister: Your new project, Seeking Solace, which was started up during the wake of I, The Oracle’s first separation, is back in full swing. You’ve announced that, rather than starting with all new music, you’re going to kick it off by finishing up the EP that you were recording with ITO. Was this just a decision made to ensure that the hard work you’ve put in got out there or was there a huge fan demand for the release? Personally, I really enjoy the new direction you were taking and look forward to hearing a lot more.
Chris: I do believe it was a little bit of both. Austin, Dakota and myself have countless hours of work put into this EP and I don’t think we could live with ourselves if we just let it go. There were fans excited about the CD and I think the fact that we’re finishing the work we started making in I, the Oracle makes it more of a sweet end then a bitter one.
BearlySinister: Speaking of Seeking Solace, where did you come up with the band name and does it somehow tie into ITO’s history?
Chris: Personally, I believe it does tie in to it for me. The person who originally gave us the idea for the name is no longer a part of the band but at the time, Justin had just left the band. We were all pretty miserable at that time. I believe the name kind of ties in exactly to what we were doing at that time “Seeking Solace’ in our careers as musicians.
BearlySinister: After you release the long-awaited EP, what do you think the material you write with SS will sound like and how will it appeal to fans of ITO, as well as prospective fans of the band?
Chris: This is an interesting question. The new sound will be different in some ways. We’ll still be a metalcore band. I personally would like to see more melodic choruses and heavier breakdowns and in with a slight variation of Djent, with this new lineup we have all the talent we need to do just that, I’m excited to see what we come up with for sure
BearlySinister: The EP, Shattered Memories, has been a long time in the making… what caused these delays and what will ensure that it will finally be released in March, as planned?
Chris: Honestly, There’s been way too many delays. The person who was first producing it quit recording music, then there was a delay with us getting the tracks back. Now, we have all the stems. I’d Love to get this CD done in march and released on time, We’re kinda pressed for time right now though, i do believe that you will definitely see the release before the end of april though. We had to go back and redo some guitar tracks but we’re 99% done with that and then after that we of course have to re-do the vocals with the new vocalist
BearlySinister: I’m sure we all have our favorites from our favorite bands or, if applicable, our own bands. What has been your favorite song, through the history of ITO, to A) Write, B) Record, C) Perform? Can you give us an idea of why?
- Writing had to be the song called “Sanity” for me off our debut album “Like Feathers We Fall”. This song was originally drafted on one of my ideas and we turned it into more than i ever imagined.
- Recording for me would have to be anything on our first EP, The studio we worked with had two producers and we had a blast working with both of them
- Perfroming for would have to be “Limitless” off “Like Feathers We Fall” just a fun song. Big Ending. Heavy Breakdowns, Stuff people love.
BearlySinister: Naturally, with Sam leaving, Seeking Solace will have a new vocalist (for starters). Who else will be joining you on this next chapter in your journey and what will their roles in the band be?
Jose Couvertier – Drums
Dakota Helton – Bass
Austin Roberts – Guitar
Josh Bailey – Guitar
Shayne Holder – vocals
Myself – Vocals
Shayne and I have decided to run a dual vocals set up. It’s turning out really nice
BearlySinister: Do you have any touring plans lined up surrounding the EP or are you going to jump straight into recording the new material with Seeking Solace?
Chris: At this time, There are no tours lined up. We’ll most likely work on writing and playing two or three hometown shows then maybe touring. I don’t really think we know what’s next for us after this CD. We haven’t sat down and really talked about it yet.
BearlySinister: Let’s get to know YOU. What would you be doing if it wasn’t for music?
Chris: Well, this question is interesting, I most likley would’ve went to school and pursued an engineering degree. I graduated High School with a Project Lead The Way Ohio certification that would’ve helped me alot in that field.
BearlySinister: What made you decide you wanted to be in a touring band or a musician in general?
Chris: I grew up with a love for music. It was an easy decision. I really lacked the know how to start a band when i started one. I really wish i could erase the first two years and start out with the last three.
BearlySinister: Were you self-taught or did you have lessons on drums/vocals?
Chris: I was self-taught on everything I’ve ever done musically. I mean of course band class helped out but as far as drumset and vocals. I’ve self taught myself
BearlySinister: What are 5 albums that have changed your life and why?
Chris: The Emptiness- Alesana. This album played a major role in me actually wanting to start a band. Beautiful melodies and really creative
Reckless and Relentless – Asking Alexandria. Everybody has their transition band. Asking Alexandria was mine, I was never really big on metalcore/post-hardcore until I heard this album and I fell in love with the sound they had going on at that time
Bring Me The Horizon – Sempiternal. this album for me was a game changer for me and this album influenced alot of the things I do on drums. I love this album
The Fallout – Crown The Empire. Anybody who knows me, knows that I am a huge CTE fan. this album was the first transition album for me. It made me a die hard CTE fan. It also led me to listen to more metalcore/post-hardcore
The Sinner – Memphis May Fire. Matty Mullins is one of my favorite vocalist and is a down right cool did. I aspire to be that good some day Harsh and Clean singing wise.
BearlySinister: Finally, what do you want to achieve with Seeking Solace that you weren’t able to do with ITO?
Chris: A lot, I want to make a career out of this. I definitely want to do everything I can to make this band succeed. Do I want to get signed? Well, I mean that would be cool but it’s not the first goal on the list. I don’t really care about making a fortune. I just want to be able to play music and have my bills covered. If that ever happens then, that to me is success
BearlySinister: I know you have a lot you wanted to get off your chest and you’re more than happy to add anything you want when answering these questions, whether it’s a more elaborate statement or whatever you may feel the need to say. This is your opportunity to take the “stage” so to speak and say anything that is on your mind. Thank you for taking the time out to do this and look forward to hearing what’s coming from you guys!
Chris: Not much left i pretty much covered it all in the questions above. Thank you Barrett for the opportunity. Thanks to New Transendence and everything you guys do!