If you are yet to jump on the hype train for Melbourne’s Ocean Grove, you better grab your ticket quickly as this band are going to become massive. Already having had tours with Northlane, In Hearts Wake, playing Unified 2017 and most recently currently touring with The Amity Afflitction, without even the release of their Debut record, Ocean Grove are really something special. The outside of the musical box which seems to be so promiment these days.
The Rhapsody Tapes is the exciting debut out this Friday and us here at Spotlight Report, can already tell you what a ripper of an album this really is. We were lucky enough to get to talk to front man Luke Holmes, thank’s to Amy from UNFD, about the album and what Ocean Grove are all about.
SR: Ocean Grove are continuously gaining more fans, and getting more popular especially after the drop of you single ‘These Boys Light Fires’ and now the hype for your album The Rhapsody Tapes is overloaded. Did you ever think it would come to this?
I guess we never really expected anything other than just to play music and have fun with it. It’s been awesome that things have gone well, and we’re really proud of the record that we’ve made ourselves; of the sound we’re putting out in the world. I just think that aslong as we’re happy; that’s what matters most, but the fact that people are getting keen or interested to see what the album is about and putting that hype behind it is amazing. I don’t think we ever expected for things to be at the point they are now.
We’re touring with The Amity Affliction and a lot of people coming to these shows that we’re meeting are seeing us for the first time, or even just coming to their first concert ever. Which kind of weirds me out, because the first concert I ever went to was The Amity Affliction, and now i’m playing with them.
It is a pretty crazy thing and sometimes you need to step back and let these things sink in, but a lot of the time we’re so focussed on moving forward, that we really don’t get to recognize a lot of the awesome things going on.
SR: One of the things that brought quite a lot of attention to you was the Rhapsody Manifesto contract which involves basically OG explaining that you don’t want to just buy our respect you want to earn it. What was the motive behind it?
I think that in terms of the Manifesto we had basically just got to the point where we had signed with UNFD and it was going to be announced to the world, and for a lot of people that would be the first time ever eharing about us, so we kind of wanted to give out a mission statement. We wanted to give everyone something that they could look at and look to, to define our band- with what we’re about and what we want to achieve from all this, as well as the boundaries we want to operate within. A lot of that is just with creative freedom, about pushing boundaries within the music that we’re playing and pushing boundaries within what we’re doing and ensuring that there is a culture around our music; and that culture is built around passion, fun and expression to prosper.
That was just something that we thought was important to give the world a taste of what we’re about. Also for ourselves, so we have these guidelines to operate by. A lot of the things we do we don’t really think a lot about, but once we have an idea we get stuck with it, and run with it. We do a lot of what we do on a whim
SR: The Rhapsody Tapes is the next step to the into the “Rhapsody Saga” with the Rhapsody Chronicles and then the Rhapsody Explained to be coming later. What was the basis in which this stemmed?
While theyre all linked, they’re not necessarily one thing. It’s more about grouping them under one phase of the bands ology, it’s also an exciting way to express. We’re not just doing music in one art form, we can express ourselves through writing. We’ve also got The Chronicle which is basically a newsletter we put out which is a great way of touching base with fans and people that are interested in delving deeper into the band. It’s good [laughs]
SR: OG to some fans is such a mixed bunch of blokes meshed into a band of mixed genres which I don’t think any of us know what to expect from you. How would you describe OG in one sentence?
I think that you’ve really kind of summed it up in one sentence right there [laughs].
The whole point of it is that we don’t really want to beable to be summed up in one line. It is 6 very different people coming together with all the music taste they have, all the things that have inspired them to perform, and inspired us to create music. We have so many influences from Art, or even movies, poetry or musicals. We’re all quite interested in theatre and musicals and i think that the band is just all these different tastes. I feel like it’s music for all the musical misfits of the world.
In todays world people are more welcoming of other genre’s like, our album can be the feature album on Triple J, definately recently so much of the world has been going away from even instruments being played on the radio- sometimes it’s hard even hearing a guitar being played. The fact we can come out and can play Beers; which is the second track which is just a thrash track, can be played at 7am in the morning. It says a lot about the fact that people can be quite open-minded and progessive with their tastes. Hopefully through The Rhapsody Tapes we can touch or inspire people through one song or another.
We’re also a very young band and all up, in terms of time we have probably only released about 45 minutes worth of music. We just haven’t been able to explore all of those different tastes that we’ve got.
SR: Which song or songs off the album do you think we should really look out for?
What I love about the record is that, I showed this record to a handful of people to get their opinion; everyone had a different favourite. I love that! We wanted to make this a record of 12 stand alone songs, which could all be someone’s favourite.
Beers is a heavy track which the metalheads might like. Or it goes a little deeper into Thunderdome which is like Gorillaz meets Nine Inch Nails kind of track. I think that song [Thunderdome] for me, is really well written, i’m not on that song at all, and I don’t know if that’s why- but that’s the song that really strikes a nerve with me, takes me to a place, and makes me feel something profound.
Honestly my favourite is called When You’re This High You Can Say What You Like. That song is good because i’m really pushing my boundaries and I’m doing a fair bit of clean singing. It’s got a really big chorus, we have a lot of really big chorus’ that Dale always smashes out. Yeah, it’s go this Queens of the Stone Age weird droney vibe. It’s so different because I don’t listen to music like that but i’m a fan.
SR: The whole album was recorded in your drummers bedroom. Do you think that you will continue to produce everything yourselves for that “artistic and creative freedom”, or do you think for the next album you’ll bring someone in?
No, i think that when we started out doing this album, we would save some money by going to Sam for the recording part, maybe mixing and then we’d get a big name to master it. But as we went, we knew he was good but he just kept mixing and mastering and we thought “this sounds huge, it sounds like it could be coming from any record studio in the world”. So we were like, “you know what man, you’re 19 years old, you’re such a whiz, we wouldn’t go with anyone else”. The creative freedom part is a big part of the band too, we write our own music, we edit our own music videos, we create our own merch designs. I did a fair bit of design with Sam as well for the album cover, mirror booklet and the CD artwork. It’s just such a massive part of what we’re about- that creative control.
SR: Song you wished you’d written?
It’s really interesting, sometimes I go through these questions in my head on really long drives
There is probably a couple.. I guess Bohemian Rhapsody would be one of the most answered… maybe some Green Day… but maybe some DMA’s record is out, and I wish that I wrote some of those songs, I think that would be so fun to sing with his airy chorus’
Make sure you grab a copy of The Rhapsody Tapes, out February 3rd.
Ocean Grove on tour with The Amity Affliction, Hellions