With The Ocean being one of the world’s most prolific progressive metal bands, I have to say I found it quite surprising when I found out how the groups lead guitarist, singer and songwriter, Robin Staps spends his time off…clubbing in Berlin.
“It’s a very exciting place to go out; since I’ll be on tour for the next three months I’ve got this month to properly celebrate with my friends,” Staps states. “I’ve always had a very diverse musical taste. These days I would say I actually listen to electronic music more than I listen to metal, but metal will always be my roots and where my heart is.”
After discussing the state of Australia’s electronic music scene we quickly moved onto Phanerozoic 1: Palaeozoic, the German post-metal outfit’s first album in five years.
“We didn’t really know what to expect because it’s the first album we have released in five years and that’s quite a long time in between albums,” he explains. “When you do release a record after such a long time you never really know if people give a fuck about it, but, they do and that’s been great to see.”
Expanding on the new material, Staps spoke of how refreshing it has been to perform new songs live.
“It’s really important for us to start a new chapter,” he says. “I still love our last album, Pelagial, but it got to the point where we were getting a bit tired of it, especially considering that tour cycle we played over 300 shows and each time performed the album from the beginning to the end as that is how it was written. We just got to the point where we were craving something new and fresh.”
With Part Two set for release in 2020, Staps spoke of why the band decided to not release Phanerozoic as a double album.
“People’s attention span is short these days. I feel if you release a double album with over 90 to 100 minutes of music on it, most people won’t even finish the album because they are already distracted and listening to something else.
“We wanted to release a very concise album that has a very clear theme and sound and the second part is going to be more stylistically eclectic and diverse,” he continues. “I think it was wise to split it into two different records. Even though the second part kicks off where the first part finishes, it kicks off into something different all together.”
Fans will be able to witness the magic of Phanerozoic when The Ocean headline the 10th anniversary of Progfest in January.
“The last two tours were really good and now with Progfest, it’s a great chance to play even bigger shows and for me to check out a lot of bands. I think Australia has a very interesting and vibrant scene in regards to progressive heavy music so I am very excited to see a lot of Australian bands perform.”
The Ocean will headline Progfest 2019 at The Croxton, Melbourne on Saturday January 26. Tickets available now from wildthingpresents.com
Written by Alex Callan