The Ocean Speak Further On Their Controversial ‘Stage Diving’ Comments
The Ocean have further commented on the controversy that followed their their complaints about stage diving policies that were being enforced on this years ‘Summer Slaughter Tour‘. Once again speaking through their Facebook, the band stated:
“Thank you for all your comments on the stage diving issue. Apart from all the useless “you better book ‘baby corpse deep throat massacre’ next year, this tour is not metal anymore” -comments, some of you have made some very legit points.
It is a bit irritating to see that Summer Slaughter‘s reply to our initial post has brought us close to 1000 new Facebook fans within less than 12 hours. That was not our intention and probably not theirs either, but these are the blessings and curses of the internet age…
Do we really need to leap into the crowd to get our point across, some have pondered? No we don’t, and despite some venue’s rigid security policies, we have been enjoying this tour to the max. Then why have we gotten so upset about it?
Because rules and regulations of stage behavior essentially compromise the interaction between band and crowd, and the experience for punters who pay to see a show, as well as for us as musicians… and because metal or hardcore shows with a high security prison atmosphere can no longer be the intimate experience that they are meant to be.
All the bands on this tour belong close to the crowd, and sometimes into the crowd. This is a gesture that builds bridges, and that’s what sets us all apart from mainstream artists on huge stages, where the distance and the height of the stage becomes symbolic for a hierarchy between artist and crowd: the artist puts himself above the crowd, away from the crowd, like an untouchable deity.
This is what we strive to avoid, by close and intimate interaction with the fans. This is why we meet people to trade booze and food for merch, this is why we stay with fans, and this is also why we stage dive. As one commenter has put it: “At least the ocean and bands like them lower themselves and treat their fans like friends. Rowdy dysfunctional friends. It connects a crowd more than it ever separates. Isn’t that what music is all about?”
Obviously, the initial post was written out of a spontaneous fury, and wildly exaggerated. But sometimes voices need to be loud in order to be heard. And while I am not a fan of Facebook dramas at all and agree that these issues should normally be discussed between bands and promoters, this is a hot topic that concerns everyone and there is much more to it than just ‘The Ocean vs. Summer Slaughter‘.
We are very much looking forward to the final 4 shows of this North American run, it’s been a blast so far – see you guys out there for the last 2 Summer Slaughter dates in Seattle and Portland, and our following 2 headline shows in Vancouver and Mexico City!”