What a crazy trip it’s been…
2014: DC Breaks revealed to us that the album they’d been working towards since 2011 was taking shape and would be with us relatively soon
2015: We catch up with them a year later and they explain how major label interest has influenced the creative path and given them access to resources such as strings and major league songwriters.
2016: We gave up hope on ever hearing a DC Breaks album.
March 10, 2017: We can finally confirm their album – entitled Different Breed – will land next month, April 3. It’s 15 tracks deep and in many ways sees the Ram duo coming full circle on the sound they’ve spent well over a decade crafting.
Comprising their precision balance of shades and dark, peaktime energy; some of Different Breed you’ll instantly recognise in the form of updated favourites such as Swag 2017 and Gambino VIP, but most – especially notable bangers such as Organism, Step Up and the vocal hurricane that is Remember – will slap your senses with freshness.
They’ve lost count of how many versions and works in progress the album has gone through to get here, but thankfully they’ve arrived… And they’re already working on a deluxe package that will include a lot of cool resources for die hard fans and producers. They’re also putting things in place for their next album… But let’s not get ahead ourselves.
Here’s what we know about Different Breed so far…
Congrats on the album – what are your states of minds right now?
I think if we had time to be relieved we would be! We’re currently very busy putting the finishing touches to a Deluxe version of the album which will be available on a limited-edition full artwork USB stick and include a sample pack of sounds and synth presets used on the album, bonus tracks, acapellas and lots of other goodies. Basically we want to give back a bit to our fans a bit because things have been delayed and delayed and delayed (completely out of our hands!) so we’re pulling out all the stops to do something a bit different and a bit special with that. Then we’re off on a North America tour with Bad Company and Loadstar.
This one’s been long hasn’t it? Please tell us what you can about this epic album trip you’ve been on…
We could / should have done an album in 2014. We had the tracks, there was plenty of hype on us after we put out tracks like Swag and Gambino, but somewhere along the way we were encouraged to add some more musical ‘songs’ to the album to diversify it a bit. So we went off, recorded some great singers and produced a couple of great records. The problem was they were almost too good and it moved the album into a different vibe and before we knew it a major was interested in licensing the album and encouraging us to make more and more songs. Luckily BMG came along and as part of that deal they really wanted to bring the album back into their fold so we could regain some control and put things back on track. So it’s been a hard, strange, steep learning curve but we’re super happy with the album now; it’s more mature, diverse and more ‘us’ than it ever was in previous iterations and perhaps that wouldn’t have happened without all the difficulties along the way. Perhaps it was meant to be?
As with everything you do there’s a fine balance of dark and light / banger and ballad… That’s really important to you isn’t it?
Yes it is. We’ve always been as into the musical side of DnB as much as the heavier stuff. At times we weren’t sure how the album would hang together because it is quite diverse and at times perhaps a bit of a weird mixture, but now more than ever we feel it really reflects who we are as artists. It’s not just a collection of singles and it’s not just a listening album, it’s a big mixture of dark and light and several shades in between. I think because we’ve both been in and around DnB for 20 years and we like all the sub genres within it, we end up making all kinds of different tunes; the album has songs, jump up, heavy techy stuff, chilled liquid, rollers and more! Ultimately that’s who we are and so it’s only right that’s how the album has turned out.
Which tracks do you feel you really pushed or surprised yourselves on musically, technically and sonically?
Towards the latter stages of the album we increasingly felt like we had come full circle and were finally releasing the album we wanted to always put out. With that in mind we wanted to get in a nod to one of the tracks that really got us noticed at the start of all this: SWAG! So we went back in and beefed it up for 2017. We had tried a few times before but could never really top the original – but I think we finally did! It was hard but we’re really happy with how it’s turned out and it’s been getting a great reaction in the clubs.
How many WIPs versions of the album have there been, and how many tracks were in the melting pot, before this final one that’s coming out next month?
Honestly no idea, I mean we must have written three or four albums worth of tunes over the years since we were first ‘album ready’. This current version of the album alone will have had about five singles plus B-sides. But we consciously didn’t want to have all the tracks on the album out already before it came out, so tunes like Arcade and Bad Flow, which were for ages sure fire album tracks, didn’t make it in favour of brand new tunes. I guess in its latest iteration we whittled it down from about 25 tunes to 15 but some of the tracks that didn’t quite make the cut will be on the limited edition version so will still see the light of day alongside some of our unreleased VIPs from down the years.
How many album-related arguments did you have and what was the main cause of them?
We don’t have that many surprisingly. I think we’ve become so used to working with each other over the years that we just tend to accept each other’s opinions on stuff. Some tracks were really hard to get right which lead to a lot of frustration when one of us would spend ages on a track only for it to be scrapped or completely changed. I think the hardest tune for us to get right was ‘Vendetta’. It had been around in some form or another since 2013 but we never felt like it was quite right and it ended up being the last album tune to be finally finished. But otherwise things like agreeing on album name, artwork and final track selection were all fairly trouble free. A big shout has to go to Jim at Ram for allowing us full creative freedom and trusting us to decide a lot of this stuff ourselves and our artist Simo who smashed all the artwork every time which made life a lot easier!
What happens now?
No rest for the wicked! We’re off on a 12 date tour of North America, we have some remixes to do, a brand new DC Breaks mix, merch to organise (we’ve got some great looking tees coming soon), our next and last album single ‘No One Like You’ is out in a week or so and before you know it we’ll be back into festival season. We’re also back touring Australia and New Zealand later in the year.
And when can UKF start pestering you about the next album?
Well, having been through A LOT this time round, we feel we know what to do and how to get it shall we say a lot more streamlined next time. We don’t want to curse anything by saying when we hope to release album two but hopefully it will be much much quicker next time round and work has already begun!
DC Breaks it out April 3 on Ram BMG. Pre-Order now.