My Interview with Heavens Basement

As I am introducing you to my readers can you describe
what you do – hopefully in a clearer way than ‘Ron Jeremy in a Kamikaze
sex trap’

Haha, well that’s the obviously answer! Heaven’s Basement is an
intravenous excitement injection…an energetic new take on old school
rock and roll. It’s dangerously unpredictable and fresh — in every
sense of the word — new and unapologetically in your face.
We’re a rock and roll band from 4 different locations in England, we
play and write songs with every ounce of energy and all the life we can
possibly fit into it. Our home is the stage, we have the time of our
lives every night on stage. Seeing people get off on our music is the
best thing about being in a band bar none.

You’ve said that you aren’t really part of the current ‘scene’.
Does this worry you at all, or are you pleased not to be lumped in with
other bands in that way?

Being part of a scene is neither here or there for us, many ‘scenes’
do well so I’m never going to knock something that works. The flip side
to that is there are bands that have been around for 20-50 years that
always lived outside a scene, AC/DC, The Stones etc..they might have
been part of something at the start but how many scenes have those bands
lived through ? At the end of the day people will stand by good music,
that’s the true test for any band. Look at any great scene from the past
40 years, the ones still standing like AC/DC, The Stones etc are there
for a reason. Slipknot are of one the last great nu-metal bands because
they are the best and even though they broke up, Oasis are the biggest
Brit-pop era band because they are the best.
We’ve not really been part of a scene so far because there doesn’t
seem to be many bands like Heaven’s Basement. if that changes then
great, we’ll just aim to be the best in what ever scene that is. Our
ambition is to stand the test of time like our idols. We’ll carry on
making the music we love regardless of what goes on around us.

You have been getting plays from Daniel P Carter and Kerrang!
Radio in the last week. What are the common responses you are getting
after the plays? Are they indicating the direction of things to come?

Yes, its was awesome to hear ‘I am Electric’ on the Daniel P Carter
show. Whenever a dude like that gets behind your music it feels awesome!
Our fan base has responded really well to the new material, we’ve been
playing a few new tracks each night on the tour, it’s a really
refreshing edition to our set! Everyone knows what the meat and potatoes
of Heaven’s Basement’s sound is, so they’ll be no massive surprises
with the album, but there is a good mix of dynamics on there – we didn’t
just want to make a one dimensional album.

You performed your first full on show at Download Festival this
year. You sampled some of your new tracks. Did you get feel a good
energy from the crowd in response?

Yes, an absolute killer day it was! It’s always a fine line
performing new songs before people know them but we couldn’t resist
putting some of the new songs into the set. It fucking kicked off, the
30 min set passed in the blink of eye for us.

If they hadn’t gone down well would you have taken another look at
the songs and reconsider the album, or are you completely confident
with the sound created on your debut?

We’ve had 3-4 years building up to this album so we’ve got a good
idea of what works and what doesn’t. Not everyone in the world is going
to fall in love with every single song on the album, but if we get off
on playing songs and feel a vibe when performing them, that alone is
usually a good enough indication that we should see a song through to
the end.

John Feldman has created some hugely successful US records, but
has also become a go to go for a lot of UK rock bands in recent years.
Was there a record on his discography that particularly convinced you
he’d be a good choice?

Not really to be honest, we didn’t even know much about John
Feldmanns track record! We’re a different animal to most of the other
bands he’s worked with. We were in LA to meet with different producers,
on paper he wasn’t the obvious choice, but once we got into a room with
him we hit it off and that’s all that mattered for us. I personally
really enjoyed tracking my drums with Feldy, he really kept me on my
toes and encouraged me to think out the box more.

He has a definite way of doing things and has a very strong,
energetic personality. Some bands haven’t adapted well to his studio
style. How did you find his way?

Whenever anyone comes into the band circle for the first time it
always takes a moment for everyone to figure out each other in terms of
personalities etc. Feldy has a strong personality, but so do we, it
worked for us and that’s all that matters. I don’t know much about other
bands experiences with John but I know he had to adapt to our style and
approach, which took him out of his comfort zone too.
It was a roller-coaster at times, but that’s fine because at the end
of the day everyone was pushing in the same direction and we’ve come out
with an album that we’re really proud of. The actual recording process
was very quick and impulsive and there was never a calendar or anything
like that. We recorded very quickly around the clock and in a very short
period of time.

LA can be a pretty distracting place. Did you use this to your
advantage – inspiring lyrics, thriving off the energy of the place and
its ability to change your mood?

A lot of the songs and ideas were already in place from England.
There were riff ideas that Sid found scribbled in one of his school
books the other day that have ended up on the album, so that’s an
example how far back some of the ideas go that have developed into
songs! We actually wrote a few songs inspired by our time in LA as well,
so it was all good. Originally we planned on doing the album in the UK,
but once we hit it off with Feldy we just wanted to get into the studio
and get it in the bag. Next album, who knows, maybe we’ll do it in

It sounds like you managed to maintain focus then. I hear that
through jamming you pretty much wrote a batch of coherent songs in 7

Yes, following on from above. We didn’t mess around too much. We
tended to work in shifts, myself and Aaron during the day, Sid and Rob
in the evenings. I don’t think anyone tracked any more than 3 takes for a
song, capturing energy was more important than perfection for us. A lot
of the writing was done with us guys tracking ideas together in the
live room.

I’ve heard that you are surprised people have stuck with you
through all the line up changes. What do you think it is about what you
do that maintains this loyalty?

I think most people always respect anything that shows unconditional
loyalty to something. Rock fans are generally the most loyal fans out
there so there is an instant connection and mutual feeling between the
band and our fans. We’ve grown up as a band with a lot of our fans so it
goes beyond Heaven’s Basement just being a band they like. The line-up
changes happened way before we got in the studio to do as our debut
album, so as far as we’re concerned it was the essential they happened
when they did to end up in the position we’re in now.
Our fans are awesome, the support they shown us when we were down to a
three piece for a while was amazing, it gave us lot of encouragement.

How early on did you realize that the current band line up felt
right, and that this may be the one to take you to the next level? What
elements do you think are of primary importance in creating a good band

I knew we were onto something after Aaron’s first audition, but that
was just the start, after that we spent 6 months with him living
together, partying, writing and generally doing everything that band
mates do to makesure it was going to work! The strange thing is the band
has always felt right to me. Even when we were down to a three piece it
still felt strong due to the connection and mutual level ambition
between myself, Sid and Rob, so we really took our time in making sure
Aaron was made of the same stuff – which of course it turned out he was.

We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band at the end of the day, it’s not
rocket science but it’s not the easiest thing to find a group of people
that click together. Beyond the obvious musical connection the main the
elements that make a band work are mainly fundamental social skills you
learn as a child haha. Being good friends helps. I’ve always been in a
band with friends, so that’s all I’ve known. I’ve personally never
understood bands that travel separate, have separate dressing rooms etc.
You’ve got to learn to accept that everyone has a different
personalities. If you’re the type of person that can’t adapt to the
surroundings or feels out of their comfort zone when things don’t go to
plan, then I don’t think it’d work. I can think of a million examples –
being on tour you’re lucky to have six hours sleep a night, but it’s the
same for everyone else in the tour group, so nobody wants to hear
someone get arsey about lacking sleep or missing a meal because
everyone’s in the same boat. Sure, certain things get on each other
nerves but that happens in any walk of live from growing up with
brothers or sisters, to working in a office with people. Spending 24/7
with a group of people on the road you quickly figure out what everyone
is made of and what you’re made of. it’s just about not letting things
get to you and generally taking a laid back approach. Some people can do
that, others can’t. If you understand that you’re not the most
important person in the world and have a great time, then what we do is
the best thing in the world. Every night on stage is our Saturday night
and we’re lucky to be able to say that.

You are touring with Halestorm and Seether this A/W. Young Guns
are currently out in the US with Seether, and getting some great radio
play over there. Do you see that touring with bands like Seether might
be a good way in to the US market perhaps?

We’ve never toured the States, it’s something we’re looking forward
to for sure! Who we’ll tour with over there ? We don’t know yet. All we
know is we love getting in front of audiences who are up for a high
energy night, if that happens to be with a band like Seether, or a more
mainstream band that people might not expect us to tour with then so be
it! We’ve toured with a lot of U.S bands in Europe like Papa Roach,
Shinedown, Halestorm , Buckcherry etc, so I’m sure we’ll share the stage
with some of those bands at some point.

Recently played on your Ipod?
Actually listening to Muse record right now! Big fan of their new single Madness!

Guilty pleasure?

Dream tour?
Aerosmith or Black Sabbath..

Stage you’d most like to play?
I’d love to play Madison Square Gardens, also my home town Arena in
Manchester. just from all the shows I’ve seen there as a kid.

Something that might surprise us about you?
We’re actually from four different locations in England so there’s a whole mix of accents going on!

Sell ‘Filthy Empire’ in one sentence…
Filthy Empire is the debut rock album you’ve been waiting for.

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