It’s all weird and wonderful again for Melbourne eccentrics Ocean Grove as they release their third studio album ‘Up In The Air Forever’, returning to their Oddworld universe with a living testament to maintaining a positive mental attitude. .
“Our main goal with this album was to present something that was fun and inspiring, and that showcased this philosophy of PMA – a ‘positive mental attitude’,” says frontman Dale Tanner.
“We wrote it in the middle of lockdown when everything around us felt so negative; everything around us seemed to drag us into this mental realm of not knowing what was going to happen next and that was a bad thing, being trapped inside and unable to spread your wings and be fully creative as we are.
“We enjoyed the moment we were in, and for us, the cathartic antidote to how we felt was to be in the room together writing music that was going to make us feel better.
“But we were like, how great would it be to expand this to our wider audience? To embolden them and give them the inspiration and the passion by hearing this [album] go out there and achieve their goals and become the best person they can be, seeing every obstacle as positive fuel to rise above.
“It was at the heart of what we were doing.”
Nothing is ever static in the world of Ocean Grove, where chaos reigns and change lurks around every corner.
Since releasing their second album “Flip Phone Fantasy” in 2020, Ocean Grove have bid farewell to guitarist Matt Henley and now operate as a trio with Dale, bassist Twiggy Hunter and drummer Sam Bassal.
“It was a very natural and amicable separation, and in the midst of the pandemic, no one could ever question anyone for feeling like that,” Dale says of Matt’s departure.
“If there was ever a time to feel like change needed to happen, this was it.
“We thought our fans had gone through enough line-up changes, why not try to simplify it and see what it feels like to come in three parts.
“For us, that makes sense because we’re the trio that put this album together, we’re also the trio that wrote pretty much the entirety of ‘Flip Phone Fantasy’, so as a creative bundle, we’ve feel like going forward, it’s a trio anyway, whether it’s presented publicly or not.”
‘Up In The Air Forever’ is yet another phase of evolution for Ocean Grove, a band that seems to morph into a new form with every musical release.
Introduced as a nu-metal quintet on their 2017 debut album “The Rhapsody Tapes,” Ocean Grove has since dropped several skins and appendages to assume their current form as a grungy punk-rock trio.
“It’s funny how when we started, released our early versions and people started to associate us with this notion of ‘you don’t know what’s going to happen next,'” he says.
“Whether we manifest it or others around us manifest it through word association, it’s as if the unexpected hook turns are also starting to happen in Ocean Grove.
“It wasn’t just the music we were creating, it was these misfires and evolutions of the band. We had no choice but to take it in our stride and see that it was just a part of history. Resisting that would have really stopped us in our tracks.”
With a new album, Dale has a new perspective on the catalog of music Ocean Grove has produced so far and how he’d like listeners to take “Up In The Air Forever” on its own merits, rather than in light of previous versions.
“I think it’s so crucial for fans to note that even though this is an evolution of Ocean Grove’s past that they may be familiar with, this package that we presented is an intentional idea. in and of itself; and as a standalone idea it should be judged that way because there’s no way we could deliver the strongest, most energetic powerball if we hadn’t taken that approach.” , he said.
“It’s a standalone album because it sets out to do something different than anything Ocean Grove has done before and I think it deserves to be judged that way and experienced that way.”
Ocean Grove hits the road in May for the “Up In The Air Forever” album tour, their first chance to perform live in two years.
Dale says he’s curious to see how all the changes during the pandemic will impact the dynamics of the band’s live performances. “It’s harder to put into words than I thought,” he says of the possibility of performing live again.
“Obviously it’s exciting, but none of us have ever experienced what it’s like to be locked out of playing for so long and put live music on hold.
“I know we’re not going to get up there and be the same touring band we were in 2019. How could we be? But that’s what Ocean Grove is for, we’re made to play live. I don’t think we’re just a studio band.”
Despite their transformative nature, Ocean Grove never strayed from ideals of individualism and embraced our innate quirks and quirks as a personal strength, which Dale considers the band’s defining legacy.
“Ocean Grove’s mission and therefore its legacy will be to inspire our listeners to always embrace their individuality, to embrace anything that makes them weird or different or anything that can be perceived as negative, to embrace that as their greatest positive,” he said.
“To bring out that element of the human spirit that is present in all of us. We want to embody these key principles of love for each other, to inspire each other and to be there for each other.
“If we can inspire people in this way, we’ve done more than we could ever ask for.”
“Up In The Air Forever” is out now.
Ocean Grove 2022 Tour Dates
Sun 24 Apr – Pop-up Shop @ Claw Creative Studios (Melbourne)
Thu May 12 – Altar (Hobart)
Wed 18 May – 170 Russell (Melbourne)
Thu, May 19 – 170 Russell (Melbourne)
Thu 26 May – The Gov (Adelaide)
Fri May 27 – Badlands Bar (Perth)
Wed 1 June – The Triffid (Brisbane)
Thu June 2 – The Metro Theater (Sydney)
Ocean Grove also plays at Full Tilt Festival and Monolith Festival.
Full Tilt Festival 2022 Tour Dates
Sat 16 Jul – Eatons Hill Outdoor And Ballroom (Brisbane)
Sun Jul 17 – Bella Vista Farm (Sydney)
Sat 23 Jul – PICA (Melbourne)
2022 Monolith Festival Tour Dates
Saturday 13 August – Eatons Hill Outdoors (Brisbane)
Saturday August 20 – Bella Vista Farm (Sydney)
Sat 27 August – PICA (Melbourne)
Saturday September 17 – Red Hill Auditorium (Perth)