Take a trip with Melbourne nu-metal band Ocean Grove into a world of pure imagination on their debut album, ‘The Rhapsody Tapes’.
Released in February, ‘The Rhapsody Tapes’ is a step further down the rabbit hole into Oddworld, an alternate realm of the band’s own creation. “Oddworld in its origins is in part a name or brand we could put on our music because for so long we’d get asked, or people would try to pinpoint what genre we were playing,” bassist/ clean vocalist Dale Tanner says.
“We’ve taken that idea and made it more than a word to describe our sound to be something that encompasses what we’re doing. Through this Oddworld, parallel, different universe we create through our music and our visuals; it’s like you can explore the same ideas that a lot of musicians touch upon but from a completely fresh perspective.”
The album further develops the character of Donny Kershaw, a chameleonic inhabitant and emissary of Oddworld who first appeared in the ‘I Told You To Smile’ video and serves as a Loki-type presence tempting people into mischief. In the video ‘Stratosphere Love’ Donny is up to his old tricks, this time luring folk off the street to enter Oddworld.
Despite his penchant for trickery, Dale explains Donny is not a malevolent being. “In ‘Stratosphere Love’ it’s providing a crossover,” he says of the Donny character.
“At the start he can be seen taking people into this place that’s separate to the outside, public world, and a big part of Donny’s personality is that he’s not necessarily good or bad but he’s just this ominous character that is present in the Oddworld and is that energy that Oddworld represents.”
Ocean Grove will undertake a headline tour for ‘The Rhapsody Tapes’. Considering the album was released back in February, Dale says fans have had time to become familiar with the songs. “To play to a full crowd is going to be really special and this tour we wanted to keep it to one singular show in each city and really make it something special,” he says.
“Sometimes bands can jump ahead and put on a headline tour as soon as the album’s dropped and I don’t think it sometimes works in their favour because people haven’t had enough time to digest it.
“Now that it’s been a few months and people have gotten their heads around what this release is and what it’s about, I think they can come to a show and feel a whole lot more about it because they’ve had a chance to think about the lyrics and enjoy the songs.”
As Ocean Grove raise their profile as a cutting-edge metal outfit, so too has their fan base undergone a process of diversification, opening the band up to new sectors of listeners outside of the traditional heavy music spheres.
“I’m also excited to see what type of crowd does turn up,” Dale says, “because in the past 12 months there’s been a bit of a curveball thrown with a change in our fans.
“It’s no longer just heavy music circles; it’s now branching out to different little pods of people. So I’m really excited to see the kinds of people rocking up and meeting a whole lot of new fans who have jumped on this record.”
Ocean Grove Tour Dates
Fri 4 Aug - Woolly Mammoth (Brisbane)
Sat 5 Aug - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney)
Fri 11 Aug - Fowlers Live (Adelaide)
Sat 12 Aug - The Corner Hotel (Melbourne)