The Ocean | Credit: Supplied

The Ocean’s Robin Staps Talks His Favourite Aussie Tour Memories

German progressive metal band The Ocean, FKA The Ocean Collective, are back on our shores in the midst of their first Australian headline tour in almost a decade. They’ve arrived armed with their 2023 album Holocene, their biggest Australian production yet, and a tour package of their own featuring legendary US metal/hardcore pioneers Cave In (for their first-ever shows down under) and Danish label mates LLNN.

As his band prepare to round out the run in Melbourne and Adelaide this weekend (suss the details down below), frontman Robin Staps sat down with Music Feeds to look back on his favourite Aussie tour memories from previous trip.

The Ocean – ‘Subatlantic’


“In 2012 after our first Australian tour that finished in Perth, I bought myself a shitty little van and drove up the west coast of WA all the way to Broome and then all the way along the Gibb River Road to Darwin. I was gone for like two to three months. That was definitely one of the most memorable trips of my life. I was by myself sleeping in my shitty van, which somehow made it to Broome. I’d bought it for $2,500 and I sold it for $3,000 to a French guy two months later. It was a very good move! It was a rattling piece of shit, like a 1989 Mitsubishi Starwagon with a mattress. I was alone. I’m not a car mechanic or anything like that, so if anything had broken along those long, lonesome trips, I don’t know what I would’ve done. But somehow I made it to Broome, and I sold the van there. Then, I had met some guys that had a space on their four wheel drive Toyota Troop Carrier for the Gibb River Road, which you can only do in a four wheel drive. So I joined that all the way up until Darwin. That trip was just incredible. So many good memories, Shark Bay, Coral Bay and the Gibb River Road. The Kimberley is just an otherworldly place. And sleeping in a tent or cooking in the little car, cooking your own food…it was great. Definitely one of my highlights of Australia so far.”


“My second favourite memory is playing the Forum in Melbourne on the last tour. What a venue! A bizarre place, almost surreal. That was definitely something I will always remember. It was not our own show, it was Ne Obliviscaris headlining, but we played an hour long set before them and it was really good. That was probably the most memorable venue I’ve ever played in Australia. That ceiling! It’s like a cathedral.”


“Next up is Progfest, I think it was 2019, that was the last Australian tour we did before the pandemic. And we played, I believe, in the same venue we’re going to play this year in Melbourne, 170 Russell. That was a really good show. We were headlining Progfest, and that makes me really excited about coming back to Melbourne this year and playing that venue again. That was really great.”


“On that same tour with Progfest, I ended up in a rubber cell in Brisbane for drinking on the streets, which is completely absurd. Me and my Australian friends Martin and Paul, we went outside The Brightside which is in The Valley. We went out with gin and tonics into the streets and it was this absolute mayhem of drunk people crawling, like girls in high heels on their knees, crawling across the floor through their puke, kind of like scenes I only knew from the UK. We were talking about it, and Paul was saying, “it’s kind of like the UK here under palm trees”, just these people that get so obnoxiously drunk. Somehow we don’t see that in Berlin. We felt like we were in a zoo just looking at weird animals in their natural habitat – and in that environment we got busted for carrying a fucking drink. We were sober! That was the second drink of the night. But we weren’t aware that you’re not allowed to drink in the streets. You’re allowed to be obnoxiously drunk and crawl through your own puke on the floor, but you’re not allowed to drink in the streets. So we ended up in a rubber cell, and me and Paul took selfies in the rubber cell. That was a definite highlight, and we were fined with around a $200 fine that we never paid. So the next time we got back to Australia, we’re wondering: does that record still exist? But it seems to have cleared in the meantime.”


“And lastly, I’ll never forget scuba diving at Yongala shipwreck in Queensland. That is a memory I will always cherish. It’s a trawler that sank in the 1930s on a sandbank in a storm, and it’s one of the most spectacular shipwrecks in the world. It’s completely overgrown with purple coral and it kind of combines typical reef fauna as well as big pelagic fish that come to the shipwreck. So you see giant trevallies there the size of small cars, and bull sharks and that sort of thing. I’ve been scuba diving since I was 15, so I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time. The trip out there is three hours by boat and it was a very rough day. They’d already told everyone the day before, don’t have breakfast, you’re going to lose it if you do. And so I didn’t and I was fine, but literally everyone else on that boat was throwing up. I thought it’s a cliche that people get green in the face, but it actually happens. People get fucking green like a cactus in the face. Everyone on that boat was green like a cactus and puking. For some reason I was fine, I just focused on the horizon. I’m generally not very sensitive to getting car sick or motion sick or seasick. We got to the wreck and the waves were still massive, and the dive guides were telling everyone, “Just put away the bucket, mates, stop! You can get in the water and you’ll be better”. And once you’re underwater you are better because the waves are only at the surface, so it’s actually true. And you can also throw up into your respirator and you’re not going to choke. So it kind of made sense. But it was just this abstract, surreal scene. Everyone was so fucking miserable and those guys were just like, “Ah, come on, put away that bucket, get in the water!”. I was the first one to get in the water because I was fine. I was holding onto this rope and there was so much current and I was waiting for everyone to get in the water for 10 minutes. It was so long that the palms of my hands started to bleed from holding onto that rope. And there were bull sharks in the area that had just told us that they saw a bull shark yesterday. I was like, “Great, here I am bleeding in an ocean full of sharks waiting for these pukers to eventually get in the water”. Once we went down, it was incredible. That wreck is unreal. And we didn’t see a bull shark that day, so that was good. I’ve done over 200 dives, but that one is very high at the top of the list.”

The Ocean – Remaining Australian Tour Dates

Supported by Cave In and LLNN

  • Friday, 14th June 2024 – 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC
  • Saturday, 15th June 2024 – Lion Arts, Adelaide, SA

* Cave In and LLNN not appearing

General tickets on sale now via

Further Reading

German Post-Metal Act The Ocean Announce 2024 Australian Tour Dates

Lorna Shore Announce First-Ever Australian Tour

Speed Announce 2024 ‘Only One Mode’ Australian Tour

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