Interview With The Ocean - 28th October 2010
Photo Of The OceanRob caught up with Robin Staps from The Ocean back stage at Birmingham Academy to talk about their new voalist, releasing two albums in one year, being robbed in Spain and much more.

Hello and thank you for taking time out to do this interview!

You are due to release your new album ‘Anthropocentric’ on the 9th November, how did you find writing and recording the album and are you excited to finally be releasing it?
(Robin Staps) We recorded a lot of it in the same session as the Heliocentric session, you all the guitar and drum parts, and this year we recorded the vocals, and then mixed and mastered it this year, so we knew where it was going basically. I had written the material that had ended up on Heliocentric in a short space of time and at the same time Jona had written other songs that didn't fit into that album, and it was a lot of material that we didn't want to drown the listener, so we split it into 2 albums, this project has taken about 2 years to do and we are happy with it. We have one track left over that didn't fit well into the albums, it will be released at some point next year.

What are the themes and stories featured on the new album?
Its the second part of the critique of religion concept that started with heliocentric so its continuing that, with heliocentric we went with a historical chronological approach starting with original texts from the bible then moving on to the Copernican Revolution the discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo, that the earth isn't the centre of the universe as Christianity proclamates and it finishes with Charles Darwin and his origin of the species book and Richard Dawkins. With this album, were taking a more personal approach with quotes in the lyrics, from Nietzsche which is in 3 of the songs , Parallel Threat,is based on Fjodor Dostoyevsky's novel, The Brothers Karamasov, especially the chapter on the Grand Inquisitor, which is a conversation between an atheist and a monk discussing the theodesy problem, almost all of the lyrics are making reference to that. basically its the about the question of where is mans place in the universe and the lyrics are circling these questions.

How would you say the new album compares to your previous material?
The most striking difference is probably is the addition of our now new vocalist Loic Rossetti on these two new records, The ocean has a new voice, its a big change, the way he approaches vocals is different to our previous vocalist, 95 percent of the vocals were screaming and Loic has a really good singing voice, so we wanted to add that to the songs, we were looking for that when we were looking for a new vocalist, we wanted a versatile guy who can do death metal grunts to solid really souly singing, it took an awful long time to find someone who is able to do that, but Loic is that someone, were very very happy with him, that's the most striking change. Another change is that we have consolidated as a band, we have a steady line up now, that was never the case before, we were more loosely organized collective, with changing members all the time, that has its advantages and its disadvantages, the advantages are thats its good to have different people and that we would have 4 guitarists in the band but never more than 2 live, but on the other side its makes rehearsals more difficult, it slows down the progress and moving forward of the band, now with these people in the band I feel that I've found the musicians that I was looking for a long time, I trust them, I don't program anything any more like I used to, I trust them as musicians to come up with there own stuff, Luc is a better drummer than I can program. There having a lot more input, everyone is a lot more involved in every thing, It sounds more like a band playing rather than a random collection of ideas.

In the past you have had some fantastic reviews for your releases, are reviews important to you as a band?
Were pretty confident about what we do, and of course I pay attention to what people are saying because im interested but on the other hand I don't really give a shit, usually the albums that get the best press are the least successful albums, and vice verse. We've had two good press for Precambrian, and heliocentric had some good press too, I haven't seen too many reviews for the new album, just a few German reviews. Like I said I'm interested in the reviews, but it doesn't affect me in the way I approach the music

Who would you say your main musical influences are?
Thats impossible to answer, you'd have to ask the rest of the band, I come from a hardcore background, I didn't really listen to metal till I was 21, Loic is into 70s prog kraut stuff, jazz, he's also a huge Maynard James Keenan and Trent Reznor fan. We all come from different back grounds but we all have bands that we can agree on, like new roses, Converge, Dillinger Escape plan stuff like that.

How has new vocalist Loic Rossetti settled into the band? And how have the fans taken to the change of vocalists?
He gained a lot of confidence on this years tours, by playing every night, he's gained a lot of confidence in his voice, its stronger, more brutal in the scream parts, when he joined the band, he barley spoke any English, so we had to struggle a lot on heliocentric, doing certain phrases over and over again because of pronunciation issues, that was painful because we couldn't focus on getting the best take, now he's progressed a lot, he's speaks alright English now, but he still has a lot learn, he doesn't feel comfortable talking to the crowd, but were not that sort of band anyway, that needs a vocalist that talks to the crowd. You can tell from his performance that he's grown in confidence

I understand that you had a spot of bad luck in Spain where you got robbed, can you tell us more about this?
What happened is that we were on te Highway going between Bilbao and Madrid, we were about 30 km away from Madrid, we got pulled over by a black BMW, the guy in the passenger seat put a police badge up against his window, they pulled us over, at that point we were more worried about hiding our weed than whether they were real cops, no one was sceptical because its happened a few times before, it wasn't police, the guy came to my window asked for the papers for the car and if we had any money to declare, and even then we didn't doubt if they were real because when you cross boarders you have declare large amounts of money, so I told him we have some merch cash were a touring band, he wanted to see it, and as soon as I opened the wallet he reached through the open window and grabbed it, and ran away and they took off. We couldn't match them for speed. There car was stolen. We've started the pre order for our new album, we are asking everyone who is planning to order Anthropocentric in the next few weeks through our shop to help out. You can do so by donating 5 Euro when you place your order.
Everyone who donates 5 Euro will receive a copy of the police report and a Thank You card signed by all band members. You can donate at: www.pelagic-records.com/shop

You are currently on tour in the UK with The Dillinger Escape Plan and Rolo Tomassi how have you found them to tour with?
This only our second show on this tour, it was good, We were lucky to be able to run our full production on this show, which we weren't able to do so before, because Dillinger s light obstruct our screen normally, tonight they had problems with there computer so we were able to run our visuals tonight. As I said to you before the interview, I'm not a fan touring in the UK much, because you get treated like shit in venues here, everywhere else in Europe you get decent food, and we got here a warm fridge wit warm Stella and two bags of crisps. In places like Poland and Slovakia your made to feel welcome in these places. The shows are good though, I have lots of friends over here, for that angle its good to come here, I'm looking forward to the next few days though. Touring with Dillinger is fucking awesome though, Ive been a fan of this band for 10-12 years and to able to watch them night after night is pretty cool, there cool guys. Loic is guesting on one of there songs, and one of there guys is guesting on the keys on one of our songs too.

Where would you like to see yourself this time next year?
Were gonna be touring massively next year, Were gonna be doing a headlining run for about 3 weeks, but were probably gonna skip the UK on that one, there's also some things I cant tell either, but we will be back over here specifically for the secret reason. And touring in the US too.

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a Zebra and a Giraffe which one would you be and why?
A what? I defiantly want to be a giraffe, they move with an amazing grace, with there head in the clouds.

Thanks for your time, do you have an message for your fans reading this?
If you want to help out, please donate at our webshop,www.pelagic-records.com/shop, take a chance to check us out when were on this shitty island( laughs)

Interview By Robert Lawrence
 Band Members

Loïc Rossetti
Jona Nido
Robin Staps
Louis Jucker
Luc Hess
Nils Lindenhayn
 Latest Releases
The Ocean - Anthropocentric
Release Date - 9th November 2010
1. Anthropocentric
2. The Grand Inquisitor I: Karamazov Baseness
3. She Was the Universe
4. For He That Wavereth…
5. The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots & Locusts
6. The Grand Inquisitor III: A Tiny Grain of Faith
7. Sewers of the Soul
8. Wille Zum Untergang
9. Heaven TV
10. The Almightiness Contradiction
11."The Grand Inquisitor IV

 Band Related Links
The Ocean Myspace