Alter The Press!


Interview: Basement

Earlier this year we streamed the debut release from up and coming UK pop-punk group, Basement. With 'Songs About The Weather', the Ipswich-based five-piece took US East coast pop-punk and adapted it to their UK surroundings. This resulted with the band receiving much praise from various sites and their peers, including Man Overboard.

Bassist Alex Henery recently spoke to Alter The Press! about the EP, its reaction, their influences, the EPs US release on Lost Tape Collective and more.

Alter The Press: Tell us how Basement came together?
Basement: We all wanted to start a band, so when myself and our lead guitarist Ronan came back from University, we decided to have a practice in my house with everyone else. We used to practice with a tiny electric drum kit, but now we have an awesome practice space, run by our friends Duncan and Liam at Smart Street in Ipswich.

ATP: You class 90's Emo, Hardcore and Pop-Punk as influences. What bands especially influenced Basement's sound?
B: We all listen to the genres mentioned, I would say particulary The Ataris are a huge pop-punk influence and have been listening to them since I was a kid, as for hardcore I don't know of any bands that are a direct influences, but we are all go to shows and help the scene in our home town. So the DIY ethos is definitely clear in our approach as band. 90's Emo bands like Promise Ring, Mineral, Braid are a few that we are influenced by, and recently I have been playing a lot of Smoking Popes and Jets to Brazil, which are having a strong impact on our newer material.

ATP: For those who haven't heard it. What can they expect to hear from 'Songs About The Weather'?
B: 5 honest songs about our home town, relationships and things that impact us day to day.

ATP: The reviews for the EP have been very good. What were your first reactions to this?
B: We never wrote the record to be in reviews and I never thought about it, all I cared was that my friends would like it as I care about their opinions so much. City Of Gold helped us get some recognition and reviews from some cool places. We were really pleased people liked what we were doing and understood it, and I was just glad they didn't compare us to Four Year Strong or Set Your Goals. I'm not saying those bands are bad, I just think we don't belong in that bracket of bands, which so many get lumped into.

ATP: What has the feedback been like from the public?
B: So far we have had the best support from public. We don't play a whole lot of shows, and when we do people seem to have good things to say which is awesome. We get to play hardcore shows and for the most part we have been accepted. People like something different on the line-ups, so that has been a positive.

ATP: In the UK you're signed with City of Gold. How did the partnership come about?
B: We met Adrian in Newport when we played a show there with The Wonder Years and Save Your Breath; both good friends of ours. He straight away asked us about doing a record and we set a time to record, it went from there. He has been the best thing for Basement, he is always trying to put our name out there and get us on shows and get our record reviews, we all owe him a lot.

ATP: Recently the US release was announced with Man Overboard's Lost Tape Collective label. How did you two come together?
B: I had been speaking to Justin for a while on the internet and now I am in America, we decided to meet up. We met in Phily and went to Gavindas, this legit vegan resteraunt and chatted about stuff. He is putting out the 7" and has already released some shirts that sold out in a day, so I was stoked. This is a band-run label, which requires a lot of work as they are touring whilst trying to push other bands music. So support Lost Tape because Man Overboard are one of the hardest working bands I know.

ATP: Can US fans expect anything different to the UK release?
B: There is a pre-order at the moment for the record, and a tape version which is totally limited to Lost Tape Records. The 7" will be different colors so for all the record collectors get on and order some stuff.

ATP: How would you describe a typical Basement show?
B: Fisher (vocals) gets a nose bleed. People sing along and maybe stage dive, nothing long as we only play a 15-20 minute set, but we always have a great time.

ATP: Bands like yourselves, Man Overboard and Transit are slowly starting to bring this "DIY Pop-Punk" sound back. Why do you think this is?
B: There is a need for it I guess, so many people start bands just to make money. They are focused on the image of the band and leave all integrity and passion for the music at the door. These bands are controlled by the industry, who are only concerned about making profit and finding a band they can sell to little girls, as the new heart throb group.

I care for none of that. I am in a band because I love making music with my friends, travelling and meeting new people. We don't make any money and if we do, it is used to pay for petrol and buy new strings. I wanted to part of a real band, not just a generic repeat. We try to make music that is honest, that's it, and if people like it that's awesome.

ATP: What bands should we be on the look out for?
B: Hostage Calm, Iron Chic, The Agent, More Than Life, NeverXAgain, ENFORCER, Malice, Dead End Path, Tigers Jaw, Such Gold, Gypsy, Man Overboard, Title Fight, Bearings, Balance and Composure.

ATP: What does Basement have planned for the next 12 months. Can we expect a full-length release?
B: I am in the States at the moment and won't be back until December. So the band will play only a few shows with my friend Duncan (ex-member of Dungeons) filling in. However we are writing for a full-length, which if all goes to plan is due to be released by a label we are very excited about. After December we will be touring a lot more, with loads of awesome bands.

ATP: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
B: I am staying at the Russin Household in Wilkes-Barre so massive thanks to them for helping me out. Everyone in Wilkes-Barre including the Orphans, the Lost Boys, Cold World, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, Matt Wren, Elko, Uriah, Foose, Hoodrack, Rifkin the dork, all my friends in Phily, Justin O'Hara, Josh and Justin Collier. God Bless America.

'Songs About The Weather' is available now in the UK on City of Gold Records, and is released in the US on Lost Tape Collective on August 10th.

<a href="">Intro by Lost Tape Collective</a>

Basement on MySpace and Facebook.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!