The Ocean have been around for quite a while. They are as hard to categorize as they are easy to listen to, especially on this new album Pelagial. A 53-minute opus that you can almost see as well as feel, they have created something that is truly one-of-a-kind, and both critics and fans alike are going nuts over it. Guitarist and songwriter Robin Staps checked in briefly between tour rehearsals from Berlin to give us the update on how things are going:
Amps: How does it feel to already be on pretty much EVERYONE’s Top 10 Albums List only halfway through the year?
Robin: It feels great! I’m so excited that people are really digging the album. I can’t wait to see the American audience vibe, because here in Europe the reaction has been crazy. And I’m personally very happy with the way the album turned out, so I’m really looking forward to playing the songs from it.
Amps: Are you ready for Summer Slaughter?
Robin: We start on Friday the 19th in San Francisco, and we can’t wait. It’s an awesome line-up, and we are really excited to be on it. So many great bands, like The Dillinger escape Plan and Periphery. Gonna be great!
Amps: You put out two albums last time. Is there going to be more of a breathing cycle this time out, or are you constantly writing new material?
Robin: No, we’re not writing on the road. That’s something I’ve never done, nor do I want to. I run a record label as well, and I have so much else to do with the administrative side of that. I don’t write until I get off the road, and can find a nice quiet place with no distractions, no e-mails, nothing. Just a big space with wide open sky, like my place in Spain. That’s where our last three or four albums have been written, and it’s very inspiring. But, right now I can’t even think about another record. I just want to get out and play.
Amps: This is a very grandiose, epic piece of music. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard in my life.
Robin: Awesome! Good to hear that. I think with this album we have brought people in who maybe weren’t aware of us before. Someone likes us, then they tell friends, who tell friends, and it just grows and grows. You know, the way people should discover music.
Amps: What do you do, away from the band, and playing?
Robin: I go backpacking and visit places I’ve never been. I’m into sports, too. I like to go snowboarding and I’m also a diver, but I don’t get as much time for those things as I’d like. Plus, when I’m home, I like to go out with friends who I haven’t seen in awhile.
Amps: What’s in your iPod/CD player these days?
Robin: I don’t really listen to much music when I’m not working, and when I do it’s usually something pretty quiet, and not much metal. An exception would be the last Baptists album, which is outstanding. That’s a fuckin’ awesome album! The spirit of old-school hardcore. And of course the latest Dillinger Escape Plan album.
Amps: “Hadopelagic II” is my favorite song on the record. Any one in particular stick out to you?
Robin: I would pick that one, too. I think “Hadopelagic II” really captures the vibe, and the essence of the whole album.
Amps: Anything you’d like to say to fans of The Ocean?
Robin: Come check us out on Summer Slaughter. In order to really understand the music, you have to come see us live. Unfortunately we can’t play the whole thing in its entirety this go round, but we want to share it with all of you, and thanks for listening to us!
Amps: Robin, best of luck on the tour, and we hope you’ll come back in 2014.
Robin: Alright, man. thanks so much!
The Summer Slaughter Tour hits Dallas, TX on Friday, July 26.