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Ocean Grove

Ocean Grove: Letting out what’s naturally within

Anyone else entirely sick of being miserable?

No pressure; there’s plenty left to still feel miserable about. In fact, it might even be somewhat of a civic duty to keep our receptors to malaise open, just to ensure we don’t go full Thunderdome. But it’s high time we start stockpiling positivity. Not the toxic type, that tells us we suck for feeling any other way, but the realistic type that urges you to grab ahold of whatever strands of hope remain intact.

This is the same type that three beaming rays of sunshine – Twiggy, Sam and Dale, otherwise known as Ocean Grove have tapped into with their new cut Cali Sun; a much needed shot of Positive Mental Attitude right into the parts of our brains that need it most.

With their previous release knee-capped by the pandemic, it’s a wonder Ocean Grove had anything nice to say at all, but as BLUNT would learn speaking with Sam and Dale, this is something that was inside them this whole time.

It’s been such a minute since we’ve touched base, like a year now since I saw you guys in real life. Geez. How’s everything been in the world of OG in the past 12 months?

Dale: It’s definitely unique. I look at this time as being actually overall quite a positive time for OG. In ways, I kind of look at this time personally and within the band as a bit of divine intervention in ways. I felt like had this not happened the music and the art that we’ve been able to create in the last 12 months may not have happened.

It’s definitely changed the trajectory and the arc of OG’s history and what is to be. I’m definitely taking that silver lining positive approach about it all and trying to remain optimistic that this was just meant to be and take it in our stride.

We just got to get back on the horse and do what we do best. And that’s where we find ourselves now, at the precipice of about to release a whole bunch of new music and it feels awesome. We really took the opportunity to just not let it get the best of us.

Grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat, as they say…

Sam: Yeah, I think so. We started off 2020 on a bit of a high, because we had just done a full month long tour with Amity in Australia. And then we went directly to Europe after that for another month. So by March, right before everything had sort of come to a halt, we were up and about and ready to give it a real shake with the album. So as you can imagine, as Dale said, you put so much work into an album and you just want to tour it. You want to get it out there. Just like a lot of other bands, we weren’t able to do that. But as Dale said, we were able to knuckle down and go have a bit of a reset. We took a short break personally, just to be like, all right, let’s just reset. Let’s start back up and see what we can do and I think that was a great little refresher and we’ve able to really make some magic in the time we’ve had.

Cali Sun’ is beaming in positivity. I understand that was always the intent with the song. How difficult was it to be so positive in this current climate?

Dale: On this record now more than ever, this notion of PMA is really getting pushed to the forefront in a lot of what we’re talking about and that ethos of Ocean Grove is now very much getting centred around PMA, a positive mental attitude, no matter what the circumstance.

I don’t see it as some flimsy, wishy washy ‘Ah, the secret to being happy is just thinking positive’…A lot of people would probably just discard it as that, but I think there’s a lot more to it. I really believe in the power of thinking positive and really trying to put your thoughts into action and manifest a lot of things just through being positive and really wanting it. And so it was put to the ultimate test this year for all of us. And I think we definitely had to confide in one another a lot and pick each other up because there was just so many moments where the enemy mind does come in and say, ‘Ah, give up or it’s not worth it’ or ‘It’s too hard’, or all these things that go through all our minds.

And it was such a good reminder that if we are going through this, that means that there’s probably a lot of, if not most or all people right now are feeling a very similar thing.

Sam: I think that’s an important note based on, yeah, this song is fun and it’s upbeat, but that’s just naturally how it came out. That’s naturally us. That’s what we do. It’s what we’ve always done.

Let’s get into the guts of ‘Cali Sun’. Have you extrapolated what actually made it more natural?

Sam: I think from a music standpoint, being a core group now, we found out with the last record, that was our first taste of writing music together; Twiggy, Dale, and I. We worked out what we like, what feels best, each other’s strength again, within a new realm. And it’s just the most natural thing that if I pick up a guitar and Dale starts singing, or Twiggy picks up a guitar and hums something out, the sound almost writes itself. You know what I mean? It’s just what is naturally within, wanting to come out…

The theory that I’ve had is that when scholars and historians look back at these couple years, they’re not going to identify COVID as the problem. What COVID was, was the great accelerator of the problems. It made everything that was going to happen, happen way fucking quicker….Do you guys feel as though this was a natural arc that may have taken you a few more albums, may have even been something that you wouldn’t have even naturally have had the time to achieve? Do you feel as though being in this position accelerated you to get to that point quicker?

Sam: That’s a great question. Honestly, I think that’s a great point because I personally feel the sound that exists now is something that was always going to happen. It was always going to get there. It was always going to end down this path. And I think, like you said, certain things over the last few years have happened, which have presented this opportunity as to why I think the music we create sounds this way.

Dale: Yeah. I’d have to agree. I feel like my integrity is being addressed with this, I’m in line with my integral values with this album more so than ever. I can feel if I was to talk about and explain this record, it’s very much in line with the type of music, themes, lyrics and things that are very much me and us.

As Sam said, it feels like a record that we were always destined to make, but maybe we didn’t realise it was going to come so soon and it might come as a shock for a lot of our fans. But honestly, I reckon five years ago, this is where I knew things were heading. I couldn’t have predicted the lineup changes. I couldn’t have predicted COVID. I couldn’t have predicted any of this stuff, but in my heart of hearts, I always knew that I could just see us doing this type of sound and having this energy and message.

I know that every single person that’s had something to do with Ocean Grove has built up to this point. And if it wasn’t for them, then we wouldn’t be at this point. It’s all been a beautiful story leading up to this point and I feel like we’re finally getting to flourish in the form that Ocean Grove was always destined to become.