Ocellus Lucanus is the professional name of veteran multi-instrumentalist recording artist, Basil Angelo. He launched the project in 2012 with his debut album Orbital Variations in EM. That record introduced a multi-talented musician from Texas with a broad stylistic scope and eclectic tastes.
Though he records frequently, Ocellus Lucanus only releases his music to the world when the mood strikes him. Since dropping that first record debut, the versatile producer has released four singles. They range in genre from alternative rock instrumentals to experimental electronic bangers. His latest takes a new look at a psychedelic rock classic.
“Under the Milky Way ” is the brand new single from Ocellus Lucanus, released worldwide via all major streaming services on July 21, 2023. The track is a cover of a trippy 1987 hit by Australian alternative rock band The Church. An acoustic guitar opens the track as a female vocalist steps to the mic with Steve Kilbey‘s iconic hallucinogenic inspired poetry. Bass, drums and keys soon enter the mix as Basil lays down a faithful but modernized take on the classic. The record closes with a stratospheric, reverb-soaked acid-rock guitar solo.
Check out “Under the Milky Way” below. You can also hear the track on the Deep Dive : Pop & Rock playlist, or listen on your favorite streaming service. We had the chance to chat with Ocellus Lucanus about the song. Check out his answers to our 8 questions below. Follow the links at the end of this article to connect with the artist.
8 Questions with Basil Angelo of Ocellus Lucanus
Where are you from?
I’m from the Woodlands, Texas, a sleepy suburb north of Houston.
How long have you been making music?
I’ve been playing since I was a teenager, but have only gotten more serious about recording and releasing music in the past few years.
Who are the musicians involved in your project?
I’m something of a one man band and usually play most of the instruments myself and I arrange, record, produce, and mix my songs myself. However, with this particular project I had some help from a few friends, most notably a lovely singer from the UK named Clara who did an amazing job. This song was mastered by Metropolis in London, so a couple of UK touches on this song.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
This song is a cover of a classic track by a great 80s band called The Church. As a teenager, I was very into that kind of 80s music and later Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, anything post punk, new wave, or dark wave. As I’ve gotten older, I’m influenced by everything from standards from the great American songbook to Texas roadhouse blues. To me a great song is just a great song, regardless of the genre. It’s all about the song.
What is your greatest non-musical influence?
My band name (Ocellus Lucanus) is basically the name of an Ancient Greek astronomer/cosmologist, so I guess you could say I am influenced by the natural world and I am in fact an amateur astronomer myself. It definitely gives you an interesting perspective when you realize we are all floating through this universe on our water marble circuiting the fusion fireball in the sky!
What inspired you to create this project?
I was hesitant to cover this great song. I feel like you have to bring something totally different to the table or really improve upon the original recording. While I’ve always loved this song, the original does sound somewhat dated to me, as you would expect for a song recorded 30 plus years ago. And you just don’t hear it played as much as you should for such a great song.
The bagpipe sounding solo in the original kinda dates it you know? There have been a few notable covers of this song in the past, but in my opinion, they all fell short of the original. So I thought I could make a modern version of this classic song that would make it more palatable to young ears and keep it in people’s ears!
What are your plans for the future (musically)?
Like most musicians, I don’t make any money doing this and it’s really just a labor of love. Playing music relaxes me. Whenever I’m moved to record, I do so, and if I think someone else might enjoy it, I release it. I guess that’s a long way of saying, I’ll keep playing and recording whenever I feel inspired.
Is there anything else you would like to say?