5 Things You Didn't Know About Ocean Grove's 'Up In The Air Forever'

  • 5 Things You Didn't Know About Ocean Grove's 'Up In The Air Forever'
    POSTED 28 Apr 2022

    OG MGH
    Credit: Michelle Grace Hunder

    Insatiable genre-bending Oddworld aficionados Ocean Grove dropped their third full-length Up In The Air Forever on Friday via UNFD. A band renowned for innovation and their chameleon-level creations since forming in Melbourne in the early 2010s, Ocean Grove have consistently sought to challenge perceptions and entire listeners into their creative nucleus: the Oddworld, fittingly for an album driven by a manifesto of "the power is in the Shoe",  Up In The Air Forever is a giant step forwards in Ocean Grove's seemingly endless sonic exploration, maintaining the oscillating spirit of earlier Ocean Grove releases, but with significant, finessed evolution, that sees the band dabbling in hard rock, grunge, Brit Pop and beyond.

    Perhaps not surprisingly for an album powered by the colossal sneaker dominating the Up In The Air Forever artwork, there's a lot we still don't know about the creation of this latest trip to the highest frequencies of the Oddworld, enter Ocean Grove's bassist Twiggy Hunter and drummer Sam Bassal who kindly divulge some of Up In The Air Forever's secrets.

    5 Things You Didn't Know About Ocean Grove's  Up In The Air Forever

    1. There were multiple possible album names in contention for Up In The Air Forever, and a lot of songs didn’t make the final album.

    Twiggy: "We had a list originally, we threw around a few album names at the start. It's kind of a process of like: right, we’ve got a package of songs, and we’re gonna have to pick and choose. The hardest part is having to scrap a songs here and there, or we don’t wanna use one or we’re not gonna complete this other one because it doesn’t make sense for this album. If it were up to me - I’d put a thousand songs on one album, and it would take someone 150 years to listen to the whole album. So it’s probably good that Sam Bassal cleans up the mess and helps finesse it all."

    "Throughout the process, once we had the final songs together and had the album concept, I reckon we refined the possible album title down to a list of about six possibilities. Up In The Air Forever was actually the first one, I believe, that Sam threw it in the mix because our ideas and shit at the time were up in the air…always! Maybe Up In The Air Sometimes could be a great alternative?!"

    "We had a mix of about six names at the time, and Sam’s first suggestion was Up In The Air Forever…and we were all like: “oh yeah, sick, sick, sick!”. It sounded right. And I’m pretty sure it was one of the song names at one point as well that was definitely making the album."

    "Then something came about, it was getting closer to crunch time and we still hadn’t decided, and it was one of those things you when you step away from things for a moment, we were getting in our own heads too much in the eleventh hour. Then you come back to it and you’re like: “that’s fucking fresh!”. It was the same with making the Oddworld 3000 shoes and the colours and design to accompany the album artwork."

    "But we stepped away from the album name for a while and worked on some other shit in the meantime and kind of let it simmer.  When we came back to it, once all of the songs were put together, and some things had occurred in our personal lives, we’d lost a couple of friends and all of these different things had happened all at once - and finally Up In The Air Forever felt like the best and most fitting title for this collection of songs."

    2. Up In The Air Forever came to be because Twiggy tricked Sam into Zoom sessions during lockdown

    Sam: I personally was pretty bummed after our second album Flip Phone Fantasy was kind of ruined by COVID. So, I probably actually wouldn't have started writing an album if it wasn't for Twiggy tricking me to get on Zoom. 

     

    I was so bummed out after COVID ruined what I thought would be “the” album that the only way for Twiggy to get me to start writing songs again was: he would trick me to get on Zoom at like 2:00am every night and be like: “oh, let's just, let's just make a track real quick. Let's do something fun”. 

    Twiggy: "We got back from Europe and the UK on March 10 in 2020, released Flip Phone Fantasy on March 13, did a few signings then went into lockdown.We were planning to tour that album for the next two years and all the shit. Obviously everything, like what happened with a lot of other people, got scrapped. That was a real fucking massive kick in the guts. We put so much fucking work into the previous album that it was actually very painful and still, to this day, almost a triggering moment, not being able to tour that album."

    "So, Sam was balls deep in a depression and locked away in his little studio. We live around the corner from each other and I was like: “you know, let's not think about band stuff for a while. Let's just jam, let's have fun and fucking write some music and jam and whatever”.

    "Sam had no idea, I thought I was a fucking genius actually getting him to do this shit. I'm sitting there going: “fuck yes! We're writing the next album and he doesn't even know”. Basically, Sam’s there writing and producing this new album with me thinking it's just like some fun music back and forth. We'd be on zoom at like 3:00am and 4:00am sending shit back and forth. Which leads us to #3…"

    3.Why Up In The Air Forever sounds so largely upbeat

     

    Twiggy: "I have Zoom recordings of Sam with this fucking voice effect thing on, genuinely on for an hour and a half straight just making noises. And I'm sitting there like: “what the fuck is he doing?” Like, what is going on, he’s actually losing the plot! Humans aren't supposed to be, you know, locked inside for long periods of time. So, it was basically like we're in prison, you know, banging our heads against the wall." 

    Sam: "I feel like for me personally, I think the reason why the album sounds really fun and upbeat and very naturally like, kind of, “feel good” is because we were writing it at three in the morning having fun. And we were in a lockdown, it’s like we were doing anything to make us feel better, it was just coming out like that naturally. So, I feel like that's the reason why a lot of the songs are super upbeat, just because we were fucking locked inside!"

    Twiggy: "And trying to defeat that feeling that nothing mattered - we’re all fucked! What better way to cheer ourselves up than write some pump up shit! And I think we did that with this album, I hope people feel the same."

    4. Sam plays everything on the album, and nothing is lacking now that Ocean Grove are a trio

    Sam: "Something people may not know about the record: I play everything on the record. And! Twiggy sings just as much as Dale. People can't pick it sometimes, but it's very, very close. People think that we’ve lost all of these members and that it’s all going to be different - but it’s always been the same." 

     

    Twiggy: "Since Sam’s been in Ocean Grove, he’s written and recorded all of the guitars. I write the best riffs, he writes the OK ones (laughs). No, he writes most of them, I’ll bring him ideas though, and he’ll pick and choose and take bits from it. And he writes most parts of the actual instrumentation. And on the final recordings is Sam!"

    "I’ll be like: “let me record this”. I like jangly fucking hard-hitting guitas, and Sam’s like: “oh, it’s clipping, we can’t record that”. So, he comes in and then re-records it, that’s why it sounds fucking incredible. I reckon, personally, if I was playing guitars it might sound better (laughs) but we may never know what that sounds like, because Sam plays it all." 

    "But I think fans need to know that, even a lot of fans who have dropped off, they probably think that we’ve lost the guitarist and it means our riffs are gonna change. But the riffs have actually changed because the guitarist has just changed. We’re just constantly growing and trying new things and we really don’t give a fuck at the end of the day. We go into it having fun and doing what we want to do and setting an example that people can do the same."

    "We would rather be leaders than followers and do some shit. I love when people fucking hate our shit, and I love when people love our shit. I love when people are a bit on the fence and eventually come around to our shit. It's like: that's the whole point, that's the whole point of doing anything in this life is to fucking put something out there and get a response. Pick and choose what you want to change for the better and things like that. But like at the end of the day, I'm gonna be fucking six foot deep in the ground someday. When I'm dead,  I'm not gonna give a flying fuck, all I wanna do is create good music for people who are willing to open their world to our sound and push the boundaries themselves in their own taste and the things that thety like. And I think that's definitely a big part of our ethos when writing the music."

    5. How Ocean Grove “wrote a Dune Rats song” to get Dune Rats to feature on BORED on Up In The Air Forever

    Twiggy:  "I've known the Dunies, the Dune Rats boys for years. And for years and years and years we were like: “let’s write a fucking song, let’s do a song, yeah, yeah, yeah!”. But we never, ever got around to actually doing a song. Me and Sam wrote BORED, and it sounded huge, it’s such a fucking pump up song. The second it was done, we were sitting here; we literally looked at each other and we started  yelling…there’s a line in the Dune Rats song Scott Green where they scream “Scott Green!”. And in, like, every bar of the chorus for BORED we could just hear “Scott Green!”, we’d scream it for fun every time we listened back. And I looked at Sam, and I was like: “bruz. We fucking have to get Dune Rats on this song!”. It just has that feeling as a big pump up song, and this is the moment! Like - I’m only getting older, I need the boys to be on this song! "

    "So on that same day, we were just walking the streets, got on the phone with the Dunies, I called Danny Beus and was just like: “we’ve written this song, it sounds massive, you’re gonna be on it, let’s do it!”. After their first listen they were in love with it, and so pumped and said: “let’s fucking do it, let’s get this thing done!”. "

    "From the get-go, I knew we also had to get the Dunies involved in the video for this one, so I also mentioned that to them…and they’re just like us, the willingness is at a thousand all the time. No matter where you get us, what we’re going through, what we’re feeling like, what life's fucking throwing at us at any given time -  you throw a crazy idea at us? We’ll probably fucking go with it, like, take risks and just experience all forms of adversity because it’s good for you."

    "And I think that’s a big part of the OG ethos is: just be willing and ready to go at all times, and the Dunies are the same. Getting them on BORED was just really like asking ourselves to be on an OG song."

    og
    Up In The Air Forever is out now via UNFD.

    Listen To Up In The Air Forever
     

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Submitted by wordsbybrenton on Thu, 04/28/2022 - 06:49

OG MGH
Credit: Michelle Grace Hunder

Insatiable genre-bending Oddworld aficionados Ocean Grove dropped their third full-length Up In The Air Forever on Friday via UNFD. A band renowned for innovation and their chameleon-level creations since forming in Melbourne in the early 2010s, Ocean Grove have consistently sought to challenge perceptions and entire listeners into their creative nucleus: the Oddworld, fittingly for an album driven by a manifesto of "the power is in the Shoe",  Up In The Air Forever is a giant step forwards in Ocean Grove's seemingly endless sonic exploration, maintaining the oscillating spirit of earlier Ocean Grove releases, but with significant, finessed evolution, that sees the band dabbling in hard rock, grunge, Brit Pop and beyond.

Perhaps not surprisingly for an album powered by the colossal sneaker dominating the Up In The Air Forever artwork, there's a lot we still don't know about the creation of this latest trip to the highest frequencies of the Oddworld, enter Ocean Grove's bassist Twiggy Hunter and drummer Sam Bassal who kindly divulge some of Up In The Air Forever's secrets.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Ocean Grove's  Up In The Air Forever

1. There were multiple possible album names in contention for Up In The Air Forever, and a lot of songs didn’t make the final album.

Twiggy: "We had a list originally, we threw around a few album names at the start. It's kind of a process of like: right, we’ve got a package of songs, and we’re gonna have to pick and choose. The hardest part is having to scrap a songs here and there, or we don’t wanna use one or we’re not gonna complete this other one because it doesn’t make sense for this album. If it were up to me - I’d put a thousand songs on one album, and it would take someone 150 years to listen to the whole album. So it’s probably good that Sam Bassal cleans up the mess and helps finesse it all."

"Throughout the process, once we had the final songs together and had the album concept, I reckon we refined the possible album title down to a list of about six possibilities. Up In The Air Forever was actually the first one, I believe, that Sam threw it in the mix because our ideas and shit at the time were up in the air…always! Maybe Up In The Air Sometimes could be a great alternative?!"

"We had a mix of about six names at the time, and Sam’s first suggestion was Up In The Air Forever…and we were all like: “oh yeah, sick, sick, sick!”. It sounded right. And I’m pretty sure it was one of the song names at one point as well that was definitely making the album."

"Then something came about, it was getting closer to crunch time and we still hadn’t decided, and it was one of those things you when you step away from things for a moment, we were getting in our own heads too much in the eleventh hour. Then you come back to it and you’re like: “that’s fucking fresh!”. It was the same with making the Oddworld 3000 shoes and the colours and design to accompany the album artwork."

"But we stepped away from the album name for a while and worked on some other shit in the meantime and kind of let it simmer.  When we came back to it, once all of the songs were put together, and some things had occurred in our personal lives, we’d lost a couple of friends and all of these different things had happened all at once - and finally Up In The Air Forever felt like the best and most fitting title for this collection of songs."

2. Up In The Air Forever came to be because Twiggy tricked Sam into Zoom sessions during lockdown

Sam: I personally was pretty bummed after our second album Flip Phone Fantasy was kind of ruined by COVID. So, I probably actually wouldn't have started writing an album if it wasn't for Twiggy tricking me to get on Zoom. 

 

I was so bummed out after COVID ruined what I thought would be “the” album that the only way for Twiggy to get me to start writing songs again was: he would trick me to get on Zoom at like 2:00am every night and be like: “oh, let's just, let's just make a track real quick. Let's do something fun”. 

Twiggy: "We got back from Europe and the UK on March 10 in 2020, released Flip Phone Fantasy on March 13, did a few signings then went into lockdown.We were planning to tour that album for the next two years and all the shit. Obviously everything, like what happened with a lot of other people, got scrapped. That was a real fucking massive kick in the guts. We put so much fucking work into the previous album that it was actually very painful and still, to this day, almost a triggering moment, not being able to tour that album."

"So, Sam was balls deep in a depression and locked away in his little studio. We live around the corner from each other and I was like: “you know, let's not think about band stuff for a while. Let's just jam, let's have fun and fucking write some music and jam and whatever”.

"Sam had no idea, I thought I was a fucking genius actually getting him to do this shit. I'm sitting there going: “fuck yes! We're writing the next album and he doesn't even know”. Basically, Sam’s there writing and producing this new album with me thinking it's just like some fun music back and forth. We'd be on zoom at like 3:00am and 4:00am sending shit back and forth. Which leads us to #3…"

3.Why Up In The Air Forever sounds so largely upbeat

 

Twiggy: "I have Zoom recordings of Sam with this fucking voice effect thing on, genuinely on for an hour and a half straight just making noises. And I'm sitting there like: “what the fuck is he doing?” Like, what is going on, he’s actually losing the plot! Humans aren't supposed to be, you know, locked inside for long periods of time. So, it was basically like we're in prison, you know, banging our heads against the wall." 

Sam: "I feel like for me personally, I think the reason why the album sounds really fun and upbeat and very naturally like, kind of, “feel good” is because we were writing it at three in the morning having fun. And we were in a lockdown, it’s like we were doing anything to make us feel better, it was just coming out like that naturally. So, I feel like that's the reason why a lot of the songs are super upbeat, just because we were fucking locked inside!"

Twiggy: "And trying to defeat that feeling that nothing mattered - we’re all fucked! What better way to cheer ourselves up than write some pump up shit! And I think we did that with this album, I hope people feel the same."

4. Sam plays everything on the album, and nothing is lacking now that Ocean Grove are a trio

Sam: "Something people may not know about the record: I play everything on the record. And! Twiggy sings just as much as Dale. People can't pick it sometimes, but it's very, very close. People think that we’ve lost all of these members and that it’s all going to be different - but it’s always been the same." 

 

Twiggy: "Since Sam’s been in Ocean Grove, he’s written and recorded all of the guitars. I write the best riffs, he writes the OK ones (laughs). No, he writes most of them, I’ll bring him ideas though, and he’ll pick and choose and take bits from it. And he writes most parts of the actual instrumentation. And on the final recordings is Sam!"

"I’ll be like: “let me record this”. I like jangly fucking hard-hitting guitas, and Sam’s like: “oh, it’s clipping, we can’t record that”. So, he comes in and then re-records it, that’s why it sounds fucking incredible. I reckon, personally, if I was playing guitars it might sound better (laughs) but we may never know what that sounds like, because Sam plays it all." 

"But I think fans need to know that, even a lot of fans who have dropped off, they probably think that we’ve lost the guitarist and it means our riffs are gonna change. But the riffs have actually changed because the guitarist has just changed. We’re just constantly growing and trying new things and we really don’t give a fuck at the end of the day. We go into it having fun and doing what we want to do and setting an example that people can do the same."

"We would rather be leaders than followers and do some shit. I love when people fucking hate our shit, and I love when people love our shit. I love when people are a bit on the fence and eventually come around to our shit. It's like: that's the whole point, that's the whole point of doing anything in this life is to fucking put something out there and get a response. Pick and choose what you want to change for the better and things like that. But like at the end of the day, I'm gonna be fucking six foot deep in the ground someday. When I'm dead,  I'm not gonna give a flying fuck, all I wanna do is create good music for people who are willing to open their world to our sound and push the boundaries themselves in their own taste and the things that thety like. And I think that's definitely a big part of our ethos when writing the music."

5. How Ocean Grove “wrote a Dune Rats song” to get Dune Rats to feature on BORED on Up In The Air Forever

Twiggy:  "I've known the Dunies, the Dune Rats boys for years. And for years and years and years we were like: “let’s write a fucking song, let’s do a song, yeah, yeah, yeah!”. But we never, ever got around to actually doing a song. Me and Sam wrote BORED, and it sounded huge, it’s such a fucking pump up song. The second it was done, we were sitting here; we literally looked at each other and we started  yelling…there’s a line in the Dune Rats song Scott Green where they scream “Scott Green!”. And in, like, every bar of the chorus for BORED we could just hear “Scott Green!”, we’d scream it for fun every time we listened back. And I looked at Sam, and I was like: “bruz. We fucking have to get Dune Rats on this song!”. It just has that feeling as a big pump up song, and this is the moment! Like - I’m only getting older, I need the boys to be on this song! "

"So on that same day, we were just walking the streets, got on the phone with the Dunies, I called Danny Beus and was just like: “we’ve written this song, it sounds massive, you’re gonna be on it, let’s do it!”. After their first listen they were in love with it, and so pumped and said: “let’s fucking do it, let’s get this thing done!”. "

"From the get-go, I knew we also had to get the Dunies involved in the video for this one, so I also mentioned that to them…and they’re just like us, the willingness is at a thousand all the time. No matter where you get us, what we’re going through, what we’re feeling like, what life's fucking throwing at us at any given time -  you throw a crazy idea at us? We’ll probably fucking go with it, like, take risks and just experience all forms of adversity because it’s good for you."

"And I think that’s a big part of the OG ethos is: just be willing and ready to go at all times, and the Dunies are the same. Getting them on BORED was just really like asking ourselves to be on an OG song."

og
Up In The Air Forever is out now via UNFD.

Listen To Up In The Air Forever
 

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Brenton Harris, Twiggy Hunter & Sam Bassal
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