Burr Oak presents ‘Somewhere We Belong’; a meticulous masterpiece of pure art and energy in every form as Nicolas Levy (Opsen) and Julien Carbou (The Clamps) transform into their alter egos of Scruggs and Sonny Jim for this epic adventure through the production of a lifetime. The saga of Scruggs and Sonny Jim was born on Eatbrain in 2022 with the ‘Hawkeye EP’ spinning its tales through the ‘Roots of Evil’ and the ‘Dark Age’ now arriving ‘Somewhere We Belong’, the first full chapter of the entire Burr Oak story.
If you’re looking for a bag of standard bangers it’s best to turn back now. ‘Somewhere We Belong’ is intricately designed, intelligent music for a fully immersive experience with thought behind every note weaving a story through space and time into an abstract reality that will bend your mind. The story of these two trailblazers coming to fruition before our eyes is bursting with soul gripping emotion flowing through monumental soundscapes emitting raw, organic energy as Burr Oak carves their own trail through the Wild West, and drum and bass, in an eternal journey to fulfill the prophecy which has only just begun. True bards of the time all pieces are carefully curated and no detail has been left behind, ‘Somewhere We Belong’ is meant to engage with the listener and fascinate your mind aurally, visually and beyond!
Now is the time to travel deep into the visions of Burr Oak as we go behind the scenes uncovering the secrets and treasures that lie deep within the meaning of each song and the entirety of the ‘Somewhere We Belong LP’.
Welcome to The Burr Oak Period where unparalleled artistry flows flawlessly, unrestrained as the two adventurers Scruggs and Sonny Jim bring us on a spiritual journey into another world, another time, ‘Somewhere We Belong’.
BURR OAK ‘SOMEWHERE WE BELONG’
Congratulations on releasing your album! It truly is a masterpiece inside and out from every angle and I am honored to relish in the details of this production with you! Tell us a bit about the goals you had when you first started writing for ‘Somewhere We Belong’.
Hi, thank you for having us here.
We wanted to write an epic story about our characters, following the previous stories already done with the EP on Eatbrain. Each EP is connected and the album is the rest of the story.
For the musical part, we really wanted to give the same emotions to our audience as the ones we had when we were younger listening to bands like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Deftones…quite like a life revelation, something like a light in the dark.
The personas of Scruggs and Sonny Jim have been coming to life over the course of Burr Oak’s Eatbrain releases between prior EP’s and the singles from this release so essentially you’re writing music while spinning this other narrative entirely. Take us behind this, the reason each song has its own story and the story of the album as a whole.
When we started “Burr Oak “, we already had in mind the story for our music, with different chapters.
Everything we‘re living, the world, people we meet, inspire us or have strong influences on our lives. So we included all what we’re living or feeling in the storyline of “Burr Oak”.
For the “Somewhere We Belong” Album especially, we had in mind to do it like a movie (a kind of mix between Western, Thriller, Sci-Fi movie and Drama). The story of “Burr Oak”, why the world is collapsing, why all the symbolics, why “Burr Oak”. It’s just the first chapter of the whole story but already you can know a bit more of what’s happening in Scruggs and Sonny Jim’s adventures. We put inside a lot of our references in terms of story, in a weird crossover, a bit like if Tarantino was shooting “Lord Of The Rings”, blending “Aliens” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.
Each song is like a main scene of the adventure, with their very own particularity, and in which each title describes a specific moment.
Do we ever get to find out who is Scruggs and who is Sonny Jim?
“Sonny Jim” is supposed to be Niko, and “Scruggs “Julien, because of physical resemblances drawn by László Tringli, and considering the storyline developed by Gwen Kubik. But who knows what will happen next…
With all the available outlets what made Eatbrain the perfect fit for the home of these two travelers to spin their tale?
After several releases on Eatbrain, Gabor “Jade” asked us if we were interested in doing an album. And you know the answer now 🙂 And it was perfect with the story we wrote with our characters created with the label considering the Scruggs and Sonny Jim adventures are exclusive to Eatbrain.
To note, when we’re working with other labels like Trendkill or Blackout, “Burr Oak” story is totally different universes, which lets us express ourselves in different ways.
We love to work with each of them, but for the first album, Eatbrain was the one.
Are you writing the story to the music or the music to the story? Or maybe a bit of both?
We’re doing both, some tracks were already in mind about the story we were thinking about, but it happened that we wrote a track and we put it in the storytelling as it fitted well with it.
But yeah for the album all the tracks were written thinking of each other, so the connection between them is strong from the very beginning.
Talk a bit about writing personally, which I feel Burr Oak is very much doing with this project, versus writing for an audience.
For the album we clearly thought for ourselves and what we were thinking about the journey we wanted to suggest. For sure there are some great drops and bangers in it, but we did not think very much about an audience but really about what we wanted to tell in music. But yeah it happened to write thinking about an audience, how it will work on a dancefloor etc. Both are good experiences, even more for dancefloor music. It helps us to send messages to people supposed to just enjoy their moments at parties. Sharing is caring.
There will be many who do not understand the complexity of this work of art how would you guide them to further explore the true meaning?
We could talk for hours to explain everything in detail, but isn’t it the main purpose of music to share emotions mainly? It is therefore quite normal that people cannot fully understand the “true” meaning.
The main thing is that they have a good time listening to it, and then if they can dig into it, they’ll probably find something that could touch them even more deeply.
I feel a lot of outside influences pouring into this album pulling inspiration from other artists and other art forms and interests as well as personal emotions and social struggles on a global scale perhaps? Talk a bit about what instigates the ideas throughout a project like this.
Yeah everything around us, what we love, what we’re living, what we see, inspires us.
The world is evolving a lot, not always in a good way. Music is our outlet to transcribe what we feel.
So it’s normal to talk about what happens in the world, about everything which does the complexity of the earth planet. We’re very upset about what happens in some parts of the world, to all the injustice we see every day. Excessive liberal economics plunges us into chaos.
We think it could be great to find a balance to create a better world, something with more humanity and equity. We don’t have the solution but we keep searching.
Most of the tracks you sent over from the LP have what appears to be extensive edits such as “Criminal Romance” labeled V55 or “No One Is Innocent”, for example, with the tag 2022-37 Final 2. Describe your process as you revisit the tracks in the writing process, tweaking them until the final master is achieved and how the tedious attention to detail makes a difference in the sound design behind Burr Oak tracks.
Yeah we are quite perfectionists, and we work a lot on different versions of tracks, testing them in gigs, seeing what could be pushed better.
Being two in the studio helps us a lot to determine the final decision, but you know, no one is super satisfied with his work. It forces us to always do better and at the end Jade (who was the only one to listen to our album after we composed it) shared his feedback and we put the last touches.
We did more tracks than expected; some went to the “dub forever” folder, to keep the essence of our story.
Let’s talk a bit about time management. How do you approach a project of this magnitude while maintaining your personal personas, traveling and performing shows, etc? How do you maintain focus or regroup to get back into the mood of the album?
It’s very easy for us to be in the studio together. We spend most of our day together, making music, speaking a lot about everything. We share a lot of the same taste in music and life vision, so we feel comfortable to be together. I think it’s more difficult for our friends around us to take us out of our world.
But still we have separate lives, and we try to keep a good balance between making music together, alone or with other projects, our personal lives, our friends and families. “Burr Oak” is more than just our musical project, it’s our way of life.
The artwork that encompasses this album is phenomenal from the immense detail and imagery in the covers to the animations and the story in its entirety. Take us behind the process of bringing these ideas to life with other creatives involved and how that helps accentuate ‘Somewhere We Belong’ as a whole.
Thanks to Eatbrain’s graphists László Tringli and Ádám Juhász, it was very interesting to share our imagination and create the visuals around the projects. We told them what we were thinking and they drew it. All the team are very attentive to our vision, and a perfect symbiosis was created.
For the Video Clip, we did by ourselves using the latest AI technologies and the bad skills we have with After Effect and Photoshop. It’s not perfect but a good representation of our universe.
Let’s explore the tracks individually a bit more!
FAR FROM HOME
“Far From Home” is the first step into the journey to ‘Somewhere We Belong’ it’s a very emotive and intensely organic tune. Admittedly a tribute to Noisia explain your process of the deconstruction of their tracks for recreation in this homage to their music. Additionally I’ve read this is the first time you both sing on a track? Tell us a bit about that.
After “Dark Age”, our protagonists continue their journey. Far from their home.
For the introduction to this long chapter, we wanted to pay homage to Noisia for what they brought to us and to the music in general and more specially with “Could this Be”. We consider it as one of the most epic soundtracks ever, and we started to recreate the sounds from scratch. At some point we were very close, and we thought it could be great to create a whole track from what we learned. We added some of our vocals in it. It was not the very first time we sang together, we already did on “Hawkeye” and “Mind & Dolls” for example, but it was the first we pushed it to something very focused on vocals, playing with harmonics of our voices, and seeing where we could go. We both have a big passion for alternative rock from the 90’s, bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Deftones, so we tried to include all these influences inside.
It was the very first track done for the album, we had a lot of fun composing it and it defined how the album would be.
There are lots of drum and bass connoisseurs who feel Burr Oak are the ones to carry the torch so to speak and a lot of ‘the next Noisia’ comments are floating around already, how do you feel about the stigma that comes with that comparison?
We’re taking it like a super compliment, but there is only one Noisia. If we could have such an amazing career like they did, it would be awesome. Having them for influence pushes us to work hard and do the best we could do.
“Symbolic” seems to encompass the album as a whole, in a way, the video really pushes the imagery and honestly it’s just unreal to watch the progression as it winds through the tune with pure euphoria. Now we are one with this journey. Talk a bit about the symbolism between the song and the video. I’m particularly interested in the part where you’re bonded with the wolves and color bleeds in and really just the whole process of the video as a whole and how this amplifies the message you’re trying to send.
“Symbolic” in the story, is when “we” discover the monolith and some artifacts around, then we meet the wolves and we mere together which let us know something is happening in the world.
They’re our totem animals.
In the Video we gathered “Symbolic”, “Broken Bonds”, “Twains Wolves” and “L’Effondrement”.
The color switch happens when the Monolith wakes up, and when, fusing with wolves, we go in a psychedelic trip, where everything is clear at the end. The World is dying and we need to do something…
It’s like a spiritual awakening, and it’s something we had in our life. Probably for that we’re both into music. Because it’s one of the only places where everything could happen.
We used AI for doing the video. It’s a controversial topic, but we love the result and how it could inspire us in our music too.
“Broken Bonds” brings your vocals back onto the album and carries a deep meaning ‘the broken bonds between all living beings will destroy this world’ … take us behind the message in this track.
On this one, Niko is alone singing, Julien just added a few back on top.
We wanted to give a lot of ourselves on this album and by singing we open up a lot, that’s why there are a lot of songs where we can hear our voices (and not only because we are fan of rock bands).
The message on Broken Bonds has a double meaning.
During the writing, the lyrics were basically not meant to talk about the broken bond between humans and the nature that surrounds us, but rather about accepting that life is made up of problems, from harder passages to live than others, of people that we lose sight of or that we lose forever and of links that are made and broken. What makes us what we are and we must succeed in living in harmony with it.
There is a double meaning and it can be interpreted in a completely different way.
It is obvious that the link between humans and nature is broken nowadays and that in spite of the efforts of a few to warn us. Things do not change and remain the same. This laziness leads us to a common shame that we will, in our opinion, find it very difficult to assume (if we survive) in the face of future generations.
“Twain Wolves” is something special and a very progressive song. This is the point in the story where Scruggs and Sonny Jim meet the messengers and intertwine their heart and souls with their kindred spirits. The tension and evolution through this track; it keeps morphing and changing with the most epic sounds, this is where the video splashes with color in “Symbolic”. Take us deeper into this part of the saga.
Like we said above, it’s the moment where our protagonists have their spiritual awakening.
We’re becoming one with them and their spirits are inside of us. This telepathic connection helped us to translate all the symbols from the monolith, and we discovered the way to a sacred temple where we could find some answers to the collapse.
There is a lot of mysticism about wolves and we infuse some of them into our story.
We love the connection with animals, are Humans not supposed to be animals too?
“L’ Effondrement” stands for the collapse, correct? I feel a lot of ‘man vs. machine’ in this piece, there’s a lot of tension and the sounds just sort of consume control over your whole body. The beast is alive with a monstrous force! What are Scruggs and Sonny Jim facing at this point in the tale?
It’s the moment when they understand that all the eerie moments they had since the beginning of their adventures (since Hawkeye) are coming from the world collapsing. This is the triggering moment of their epic journey which will follow. They could stop there and go on with their lives, but they chose to go all the way.
I noticed you mentioned in a post about this track you were deeply into SNK; can you give us a bit of a back story on that and how it influenced your writing process?
Yeah we’re both fans of SNK; we watched the anime each day when we took breaks during our days in the studio. The story is very much in line with the album story and even more with what happens in the real world. Such an epic adventure with great messages.
We used a French version sample from a conversation between King Uri Reiss and Kenny Ackerman. Such an intense moment in the anime.
You all need to watch or read it 😉
NO ONE IS INNOCENT
As we carry on we come to realize that “No One Is Innocent” and we are getting a filthy, bass filled, forceful beat down because of it! Seriously though there’s a lot of aggression that vibes and harmonizes through this track it keeps flipping and building upon itself. Some of the vocals in this one hit pretty deep as well. ‘The world needs a new vision’, ‘the rave generation, Against the Oppression’ … can you elaborate on some of that? And how about that last lick of a bass drop at the end. It literally shook the whole house! You’re pulling sounds from the depths of another dimension I swear!!!
This track is very special for us. We wrote it when all the big protests happened (and still) in France, and it reminds us of when we were younger and we used to fight for our rights. Coming from Illegal rave culture helped us to open our minds and to take care about what was happening to the world around us.
Some call it political consciousness; we call it common sense…
We don’t want to lay the blame on someone but we’re all guilty of what happens on our respective scale. Time has come to stand up for the next generations.
In the track you can hear some 90’s rave influences with a pinch of The Stooges, and we tried to turn it into a dnb slapper. Second drop is typically our signature sound vibes. Pushing it into something more harmonic but keeping the energy.
And the sentence “be a raver” could be translated to be a dreamer as both words, raver and rêveur, sound the same in French.
RUNNING NEXT TO THE BISON
As Scruggs and Sonny Jim continue the journey they’re “Running Next to the Bison” and this one has some giddy up for sure. I’m feeling a lot of futuristic vibes with intensely primitive emotion and some more hidden messages to be uncovered; take us behind what’s going on in this tune some more, it seems to have a very special meaning for both of you.
Everything starts with a super long intro, taking in all the new info we got, wandering the plains, then a radio switch happens and you can hear a voice speaking about people getting sick and losing their jobs (pandemic period?), Then a message speaking about climate change, then a hint to maestro Ennio Morricone which is a call to hit the road again, riding our horses next to the bison. It drops on something very brutal, quite animal, as the road is full of pitfalls. A kind of roller coaster in the middle of a bison herd.
We could develop during hours about each subject of this track, but you have to do your own interpretation.
GO OR GET SHOT
Coming up to the climax of this album we have “Go or Get Shot” featuring TheReal King Jay on the vocals. This one chugs in like a freight train, immensely thick it’s where Scruggs and Sonny Jim are facing these deformed beings and you can feel the tension in the track it’s like this symphonic suffocation with a surging bassline and the drums just snap through the whole song keeping the momentum rolling even though it seems time is frozen. How does this all tie together with the story so far?
Scruggs and Sonny Jim arriving close to the Temple, in an arid landscape. They first meet the guardians’ temple and they understand that they will not escape a merciless struggle.
As with every battle, there are realizations and that’s why the track swings between moments of questioning and more brutal passages. In the end they need to go or get shot.
RING THE DEATH KNELL
“Ring The Death Knell” brings inherent moodiness without a doubt, the duo is roaring into a relentless battle which ends with them basically in a new realm of existence. The way this album just builds and plays upon itself is becoming so clear yet every replay of the tunes reveals something new. It’s like living a movie and the anticipation for what’s next just doesn’t end. Take us behind the process a bit more. I feel like we’re just about to hit the turning point and this is nearing the climatic high of this chapter?
“Ring The Death Knell” is when the battle starts. It starts with a quite intense and epic intro, announcing the fight. We went into our childhood for this one, re-sampling some fight sounds from Bud Spencer & Terence Hill movie. All the breakbones, head crush and slappy sounds in this track came from these. We love sometimes to include some “Spaghetti Western” influences in our music, and it was really cool to add a bit of levity. It helps us to stay creative, even if at the end the message could be very serious.
In a flash of light Scruggs and Sonny Jim find themselves facing the “Supreme Entity” and this composition is literally out of this world. The contrast and harmony between dark and light brings a sort of softness to the suffering so to speak and I feel like there are a lot of hints here toward internal struggles and self identification as well as finding balance without destruction. Elaborate more on this track, please!
We‘re coming into the climax of this chapter. After the battle, we meet this creature, the “Supreme Entity”, and a long conversation leads us to discover that she is the author of what is happening in the world at the moment.
It’s a very intense passage. The power released by this creature that in other civilizations, some would call God.
We learn the world is collapsing because the balance between all the creatures of the world, all the life being, is wrecked. And she decides, as the original creator of the universe, to reset it using the “Burr Oak” who was supposed to maintain equity.
We will learn afterwards, with “UNO”, “You Will Be Mine” and “Criminal Romance”, what is at stake, and our guys will have to make the choice of their lives.
On this track, we kept the balance between hard and soft, raw and refined, pure and impure. First section is very intense, as an introduction to the power of the entity, while the second section is more soothing, as we’re discovering she’s not bad. She’s not good either. She is the balance.
A fun fact at the end of the track, the looped vocal you can hear on the last 16 bar, is coming from TV show Malcolm. For no reason, when we were working on it, it came in our minds singing it by ourselves, so we decided to include the original sample in it. “Poupi Poupi Poupi Pou”
Now we find out “UNO” is the creator and the Burr Oak being the rightful ruler holds an infinite power that is limitless yet uncontrollable due to the broken bonds within the world. DEEP! This track is raw AF, a primitive prowess with tribal energy but there’s softness to the savagery and it’s a very focused tune. An eclectic being it’s as if “UNO” is everything and nothing all at once… The playfulness between the melody and deep, hypnotic control of the low tones, it’s just this irresistible draw and by the end it’s almost overpowering. “UNO” means business and won’t settle for no! Take us deeper into making this track for the album and what it means to you as the album begins to pivot toward the conclusion. Talk a bit about the visualizer for this one as well and how the animation of your idea enhances the song.
After the long talk with the Entity, she plunges our heroes into a psychedelic trip, like a test to see if we’re able to continue our journey through our lives. It becomes a real nightmare. A mix between madness and fear. Something really unsettling that in the end will elevate our characters. You can distinctly hear the two sections in it, the madness and the fear. At the very end you can hear a light melody, a bit like waking up from a disturbing coma.
All along the track we added our voices, saying crazy things, like “Uno”, Tricheur , Menteur, J’ai Gagné”, like the game of our lives with the Entity.
We remember this day, we had a close friend at home (Ju SKS) during the process of the track, and he was coming back from a long evening, quite tired, and chilling on the sofa. We made jokes all together, and the sentence “J’ai l’oeil qui doute” went out (which means I have a doubting eye).
We love to include our life’s moments in making music, so yeah next time you see your friends tired after a party, just launch a “Tu as l’oeil qui doute”.
For the Video, we went into our sci-fi/horror influences a mix between Alien, Hellraiser, Freddy and more.
I (Julien) have always been fascinated by horror movies and sci-fi, both are pushing my mind into reflection. There are a lot of reading grids in this kind of movie and we tried to add few in this story.
YOU WILL BE MINE
“You Will Be Mine” is where I felt the story really warmed up and things started to change as Scruggs and Sonny Jim come to accept what is and what needs to be as there is no other option. Building the perfect mood with sonic waves of softness and a soothing serenade they must submit to the suffocating force. Is that on track with where we’re at in the timeline of the story?
Definitely, they need to accept they’re nothing in this world, but still a part of this.
Meeting the original creator is not an easy moment; you can feel so small and guilty of everything happening in the world. How is it possible we let it go like this, etc…?
It will be a very intense moment in real life if it’s happening. We dunno how we can react if we meet the creator (if there is one?). It’s complete nonsense in our small lives.
But in the end something could be changed.
It could be one of the most difficult tracks we composed, because the drum programming, the intense power but still keeping the emotional musicality. At the end we were happy with it, and we pushed it into a grandiose ending.
“Criminal Romance” is a radically mind-bending soundscape… The music, the vocals, every hair stands on end and the blood runs cold floating in an alternate universe of uncontained power. This track signifies the bond between the world and Uno, correct, and restoring balance to bring the Burr Oak to being again? Take us through the construction of this tune. We hear your vocals on this one again as well and it’s so passionate with pure energy flowing through every note. Where are you at both personally and production wise in this album at this point?
The intense moment of production. With this one we really tried to push our music into something more like a “classic” rock song without adding guitars or usual stuff we could put in for doing it. (We did a few others, sadly not picked for the album).
We stayed straight electronic Drum & Bass. So it’s all about the vocals, the structure and the atmosphere. So we put all the elements at their place to sound like a band. It was very emotional to do, as we both come from rock music, and def it’s something that could happen more.
For the vocals, Julien fumbled the lyrics when he was alone in the studio during the night, then wrote the lyrics. The melody came easily having the track in loop in headphones and the day after we recorded the vocals.
It was not a track we were supposed to play in mixes, but at the end it is always in our set now 🙂
ALL I DREAM
We definitely get to see an uncharacteristically smoother side of the scale in “All I Dream” evoking emotion with a soft caress of carnage; it is Burr Oak after all. This track emits feelings of warmth and hope through its thickness, like the light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps? Take us deeper into the meaning of all this!
“All I Dream” comes in the album moment, where Sonny Jim & Scruggs learnt that “Uno” is more empathetic as one might think.
It could be considered as the opposite of the track “Uno”, which was a nightmare. This one is a dream, with all its sweetness. That’s where the balance is. Something is hard because aside something is soft etc etc…
That’s the way life is. This wealth of emotions.
RELISH THE MOMENT
“Relish the Moment” hit me as the epiphany track, it’s the point in the story where Scruggs and Sonny Jim are recollecting before their journey to the Burr Oak and realize it’s time to stand up and take on their calling to the prophecy. The deep militant drive behind this tune paired with the vocal structure really resonates a meaningful message incorporating more drum and bass/jungle elements then you can even imagine resulting in infinite, tender emotion flowing throughout. Take us behind piecing this all together.
It’s a very special one, as much for its writing as for its history.
You know these moments when you’re relishing what you’re living. This intense emotion pushes you to think you find the meaning of life.
It’s the moment when our protagonists, accepting their burden, continue without knowing how the future will be, and they don’t care. They choose to do it.
How did you go about selecting the vocalists to contribute to the message here?
We asked Izela & Lilø, who are our friends, to sing on it. We love both voices and they fit very well together. They harmonize with each other. Then we had the idea to ask Lifesize to add his voice on it.
We already worked with him on “Dark Age” so it was very logical to add him in this project. We love his voice, his flow and his mindset.
Who is responsible for writing the lyrics? Fill us in on the time and emotion that goes into writing a message such as “Relish the Moment”.
We just told them the main idea, meaning of life, and each wrote their own part. We gave them the freedom to describe how they feel. We trust in them and it was such a great thing to do all together.
We recorded the first vocals from Izela & Lilø, then sent it to Lifesize, and he sent us back his own.
We love the balance between everything here.
We added our vocals on it too, but not as lyrics but more as harmonics, for example the main Bass Reese has a lead done by mouth (the creepy tremolo one). We added a lot of organic sounds in it, some artifact noise, random harmonics. As the life is. We are just Humans.
SAVE THESE DAYS
“Save These Days” continues the wind down to the end of ‘Somewhere We Belong’ and it’s a true point of reflection on the journey so far. The warm, passionate vocals are very stimulating to the senses and this seems to encompass everything you are and all you are meant to be, the struggles that bring us to life and new beginnings as the chosen ones for the journey of a lifetime. This track has pure euphoria written all over it with an underlying bubbling drive. Take us deeper into the production and story of the salvation.
It’s a quite old track we did, already thinking about doing the album, but not in the full process.
It stayed for years in our folder and when we worked fully on the album, we thought it could fit well in the story. And it was a great complement to save that relishing moment.
We both are quite nostalgic about some part of our life and we saved it as it was just yesterday. Our present is full of past, present and future. We love that philosophy to live the moment as it could be the last. Our family and friends know that. Each day is very intense with us.
BLIND AT NIGHT
Scruggs and Sonny Jim are about to adventure into the unknown and “Blind At Night” tells the story of them finally coming to the Burr Oak as the ones to carry the torch on this eternal quest to restore the balance in the world among all living things. Talk about the significance of this to both the story and album.
Yeah that’s the last straight line for them before the very unknown. They don’t know what they will discover but they’re feeling they’re very close to. Intensity is getting heavy. The last road during the night before the D-Day (considering they traveled during weeks in between).
The emotion is becoming exhilarating, a mix between worry and relief. They still don’t know what the future will be, but they go there determined.
On this one we went more into a kind of cloud rap with a lot of auto tune to push the vocals as a brand new instrument. You can hear some reverse vocals in the development, which give that kind of “eastern” melodic vibes.
We worked hard on the drum groove, as everything was done by synthesis, but we pushed it to give a natural color to it.
SOMEWHERE WE BELONG
The final track on the official release undeniably had to be “Somewhere We Belong” it’s the point where our travelers reach the majestic Burr Oak in its desperate form and as the grand finale of the LP there’s no holds barred as it’s all coming to fruition to blaze on; building angelic anguish in the drums, piercing through that ultrasonic bassline, opening portals to new dimensions the technicality in your production is over the top and “this… this is fucking real”, it’s just perfection and really the ultimate way to resonate your message as this chapter comes to a close. The end is only the beginning for Scruggs and Sonny Jim in this boundless adventure and we are here for all of it! Take us into the depths of “Somewhere We Belong” and how it solidifies your message and intent for this project.
The meeting with the “Burr Oak” needed to be epic. Imagine if you find yourself in front of a gigantic Tree, connecting all beings together, keeping the world alive. It could be impossible to describe.
That is what happens to our heroes. This raw power in front of them, dying, and bringing the world as they know to an end.
This is what we call an EPIC moment. This is fucking real!
We pushed this feeling into a pure song, which could be disturbing, putting the emphasis to the sonic power of harmonics. Drums editing was quite epic too. They have as many rolls as the burr oak has roots. As satisfying as exhausting to create. The track is just the final of this chapter, letting all the doors open for the rest of the story.
A few more questions to wrap it all up:
Which track would you say is the most sentimental to each of you individually on the album and what’s the reason behind that?
Really hard to pick one…as they’re all very sentimental all combined.
For me (Julien), it could be “Twain Wolves” as I added a lot of my Electronica influences in it, like Boards Of Canada, in the harmonic synths (even if the track doesn’t sound at all at the end).
But still “Far From Home” will be the one for me, because of the process on it and the story. It was our heart opening.
And for me (Niko), there are so many that I love but without hesitation « Far From Home » because it’s the first track we composed for this album and it’s this one who led all the writing that followed. The process of this track was also something special so yes without hesitation « Far From Home »
Now that all the work is done and the album is available to the world reflect on a few of the high points and/or challenges in writing this album and how it helped you grow artistically.
It pushed us into other directions in terms of storytelling. Confirming us to go in that way. To make mistakes, but keeping it as a cement of our work. And adding a lot of messages but still giving the freedom to the audience to do their own. It’s an introspection shared with everyone. A conversation between each of us.
What does the future look like for Burr Oak? Clearly the end of ‘Somewhere We Belong’ is only just the beginning of this incessant story. Will Scruggs and Sonny Jim always call Eatbrain home? Where will the prophecy lead them next?
Yeah Sonny Jim & Scruggs are an exclusive story to Eatbrain. So the next chapter for their adventures will be on Eatbrain naturally. We already are in the process for it.
We’re preparing some stuff with Blackout too, which it’s more our Dark and Sci-Fi version of us.
Burr Oak project is a multiverse with a lot of parallel universes. So you can expect different things from us.
If there’s anything else you’d like to add please do so here:
We really hope people will have the time to hear it as a whole. We know time is rare these days, and releasing an 18 tracks album (20 in the USB) is quite uncommon nowadays but yeah if you could take time to hear it from the beginning to the end, you can touch the essence of the story we wanted to tell.
Thanks everyone supporting our music since the very beginning, to Gabor for trusting in our album project and accepting our requests, to Giles, Juliette & Elisa and TheReal King Jay for singing and sharing our vision on tracks, to László Tringli and Ádám Juhász for the beautiful artworks, to Gwen Kubik for developing the storyline, to Tom and Clockwork Artist Agency for bringing us on stage and to all our friends, family and all of you.
Much love to you Amy for such an intense interview and your devoted life to Drum & Bass.
Thank you so much for doing this interview for Best Drum and Bass. I am beyond honored to have had this opportunity to showcase your music and visions within the album. I really appreciate your time and letting our audience connect more intimately with your fascinating work! We can’t wait for the next chapter for Scruggs and Sonny Jim and all that is Burr Oak!
Grab your copy of ‘Somewhere We Belong’ from Burr Oak out NOW on Eatbrain. Fully immerse yourself from beginning to end an enjoy the journey! CLICK HERE