Why can’t you trust crabs? We chat costumes and crustaceans with Melbourne’s Ogopogo

The colourful, charismatic characters of Ogopogo are hard to pass by without noticing. Robed in every shade of the rainbow and beaming brighter than the shining sun, it’s no wonder everyone in Melbourne is casting an eye their way.

After they dropped their latest jam and silly masterpiece Crabs, we wanted to get to the bottom of what makes these off-centre souls tick. Read on as we chat secret talents, snarling cats and rat house parties with the stupendous six piece.

opopogo band melbourne interview happy mag nina maskiell
Costumes by Nina Maskiell

Crabs, costumes and almost too much creativity to contain: we take five and chat the latest with Melbourne’s colourful comrades Ogopogo.

HAPPY: Hey all! How’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?

OGOPOGO: Hi it’s going very well thank you! Well we’ve just released a brand new film clip Crabs which is very exciting, we’ve been getting a lot of love and admiration from our crustacean friends.

HAPPY: How’s the EP shaping up? Getting pretty close to dropping.

OGOPOGO: The EP is shaping up really well and is currently having its final touches and about to be sent off to be made into some CDs. It will be dropping on the 2nd of June.

HAPPY: It’s your debut release, are you nervous about getting it out there?

OGOPOGO: We’re really excited to get the EP out there and show everyone what we’ve been up to over the past few months.

HAPPY: What’s your issue with crabs? You really seem to think they’re evil.

OGOPOGO: We love all animals, Ogopogo is also an animal but… you’ve gotta watch out for crabs you know, you’ve gotta be on the lookout when you’re at the beach. There was this one time when I was at the beach having a picnic as you do, it was peaceful, the waves were tumbling in, the sun was shining. I didn’t notice anything hanging around my feet until I heard some scuttling of claws and pincers… I turned my head to see thousands of crabs scuttling towards me to EAT MEEEE!!!!! It was terrifying, it was an ambush!

HAPPY: Are there any other crustaceans you’re taking aim at in the rest of the EP?

OGOPOGO: Ogopogo likes animals and is inspired lyrically and texturally by rats, cats, and crustaceans. We have a song about rats, inspired by a true story. Above Charlie’s roof there was a nest of rats having a party and trying to take over and make it into a huge house party. It got way outta hand and they were relentless in their partying. We had to get the cat involved to create some boundaries.

HAPPY: Your cover photo inspires me. Who did you work with and how did that come about?

OGOPOGO: Our cover photo was made by local Melbourne artist Nina Maskiell. We really love her work and wanted to feature her stunning sculptures in the photo.

HAPPY: Can we expect some similar outfits onstage?

OGOPOGO: Onstage we’ve started wearing some crabs as necklaces and hairbands. We’re pretty into it, they look quite surreal, almost like they could jump out at you and come alive.

opopogo band melbourne interview happy mag nina maskiell

HAPPY: There’s a lot of you and you all seem pretty rad. Do any of you have hidden talents?

OGOPOGO: Hidden talents yes, Stephen Brookes is a carpenter by day, he’s very good. Loretta Wilde is a mad roller derby player and equally mad visual artist, she makes a lot of our posters. Mike Jenkins is a photographer, he takes beautiful photos and makes our promo videos. Charlie Woods is a Zumba Instructor 6pm every Monday in Fairfield where she incorporates crab dancing and pincer twisting. Jamie Mcellhinney makes dreadlocks, he fixes dreadlocks, maintains and de-dreadlocks too. Maria Moles is a wild chess player online and offline, give her board and she’ll smash you.

HAPPY: You have one sentence to convince me to come to your EP launch. Hit me with it.

OGOPOGO: Come help us launch our brand new EP into the world on Friday the 2nd of June at Bella Union, we’re going to have an awesome night with supports from STAV, and The Sugar Fed Leopards.

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HAPPY: For those who have already decided to go, what’s your #1 preparation tip?

OGOPOGO: Preparation tip is make sure you have water, a snack, some warm clothes for the trip there but then make sure it’s layers because there will be dancing and you will get sweaty so maybe you could even bring a towel? You could also listen to B-52s, Frank Zappa and Parliament to get you in the mood. Also pre-book a ticket before they all disappear and check out the event page.

HAPPY: What’s next for Ogopogo, after jumping offstage at the launch?

OGOPOGO: After the EP launch we want to have a holiday then start recording our first album, write some new material maybe inspired by holidays and sea life. We haven’t really explored that yet so that’s very exciting for us.


Ogopogo are launching their EP on June 2nd at the Bella Union in Melbourne. You’ll be catching STAV. and Sugar Fed Leopards in the support slots on the night – grab all the finer details on the Facebook event.