From 2010 to 2012, Basement released three albums; records that quickly catapulted them into the hearts of emo, punk and rock fans from here to across the Atlantic. So it was a shattering moment when the five-piece announced their hiatus, leaving their fans to mourn the Ipswich-bred band.
Towards the end of last year, there were mutterings of a reunion and last Friday saw the release of their latest record ‘Promise Everything’. A step in a new direction, the record is a clever outpouring of ballad-aggression – mixing almost pop-like melodies with straight-up shredding. It’s no wonder we were all so eager for their return.
We had a quick chat with guitarist, backing vocalist and band artist Alex Henery ahead of their date at Bristol’s The Marble Factory on February 7th.
Hi Alex! What did you all get up to during your hiatus?
Alex Henery: We all got jobs and began working on our careers. It was pretty exciting to see everyone excel in doing interesting things outside of the band. Each of us is different and have different skill sets and it’s awesome that we all were doing something that we were passionate about.
Was it nice to approach the band again with fresh eyes and ears?
AH: The break we had gave us time to assess where we were at and where we wanted the band to go forward sonically. We looked back on past records and began to discuss where we thought we could improve and what we should focus on in our song writing.
Obviously over 2 years you listen to new music and are aware of new influences and that makes it’s way into our song writing. But yeah it was mainly a natural progression for us. We didn’t sit down and say “yeah we should sound like this band”. We just kept writing songs that we liked and would enjoy playing live.
Were there any lessons learnt from the first few years of the band that you’re applying now?
AH: Don’t pay someone to do something you can do yourself.
The new record looks stunning – did you have much say in the creative process there?
AH: Thanks! When I first saw the image I was immediately drawn to it. It took days of searching online and sending emails to find out who actually drew it. I eventually got put in touch with a university in Germany who owned the rights to the image. They were kind enough to let us use it for the LP.
Up to this point we have always designed our own records, so this was different for us to use an image that we hadn’t created. I still designed the layout of the record, and RFC has always given us 100% creative freedom which is awesome. We will always be the ones who make all creative decisions with the band.
You guys are pretty big in the states – were/are you inspired by a lot of the scenes over there?
AH: We did our first ever tour with Tigers Jaw in the UK, we’ve been good friends with them for years now. I even lived down the road from Brianna when I moved to Philly. The RFC roster has always felt like a family to us, and it’s been really exciting to grow with all our label mates.
It looked like you had so much fun last summer when you were touring – any highlights? How was Disneyland?!
AH: Our tour with TSSf was one of the best tours we have been on, we went paint balling, road a bunch of rollercoasters, went swimming, got invited to a frat party and chilled in a 5 star spa in Vegas. Honestly we went out of our way to have as much fun as possible and it was awesome. Disneyland was a huge highlight for us. We woke up at 7am and spent all day there before our show.
What made you choose to go with Run for Cover?
AH: They have always been my favourite label, I remember finding them on mySpace back in the early 2000’s. It was a dream come true to be on that label. I still remember getting the email from Jeff, it was a big deal to me. So it’s been awesome to be able to work with the label for the past 2 and half years. I really believe in them as a label and as people. They are genuine and just want to release great music.
What are you guys most excited about for 2016?
AH: Just excited to play these new songs and tour with our friends. It’s going to be a busy year but a real fun one. Very excited to go back to Australia. Who knows what else the year has planned.
Basement, Tigers Jaw and Alex G play The Marble Factory on Sunday 7th February.
Check out ‘Aquasun’ right here: