INTERVIEW: HEAVEN’S BASEMENT

Heaven's Basement

British hard-rock band Heaven’s Basement are currently touring Australia as part of Soundwave Festival. Mere hours before their sold-out show with Black Veil Brides, we sat down for a chat with guitarist Sid Glover to talk about the tour, Filthy Empire and staying motivated.

By Meghan Player

Hi Sid! How are you?
Great thanks! About to play a side-show in Sydney. They tell us it’ll be the hottest show on Earth.

How are you enjoying Australia so far?
We’re having an amazing time. All of us have fallen a little in love with Sydney. We’ve only been here for a few days, but had enough good times to last a lifetime already!

Of course, you’re in Australia for Soundwave Festival – how have the shows been going so far?
They’ve been a lot of fun, the crowds are so up for it, there’s a real buzz in the air. Australian rock fans are up there with the best!

You’re also doing a couple of sidewaves with Black Veil Brides –  tonight in Sydney, then one in Melbourne – are you looking forward to those sets too?
Yeah, it looks like they’re going to be pretty memorable. Tonight’s show is sold out and given the electricity of the festival shows we’ve been warned to look out for people passing out. It’s more of a survival test than a show I think [laughs]

Do you find that you need to alter your sets at all between a festival set and a club show set?
No, we always just go out and do our thing. It works well for both situations. We get to play longer at the club shows so we’ll just throw a few more songs in and have some fun with it.

This trip to Australia you’ve been able to bring your latest album ‘Filthy Empire‘ with you – is it great to be able to play the new tracks for your Australian fans?
That’s been one of the most exciting things, playing to people on the other side of the world who are singing our songs back to us. That’s a pretty special feeling.

What I love about the album is that from the moment it starts, the adrenalin and energy doesn’t stop – was that your intention when you wrote and recorded it?
Yeah. I mean that’s the kind of band we are really. The goal was to make our album feel as much like you’re listening to us play live as we could.

How do you manage to capture that energy within the recording?
We tracked the majority of each song live. We only took 8 days to record the whole album. That meant you had to play it once and play it good because we didn’t really have time to fuck about with going back and making everything ‘perfect’. So it really is a performance that you’re hearing.

The overall sound of the album is incredibly big, anthematic and very stadium rock – were there any albums that you listened to – or bands that inspired you – to create the incredible presence that this album has?
Not really. We all grew up listening to debut albums like ‘Appetite For Destruction’ and ‘Rage Against The Machine’ so we knew that we wanted our debut to be able to stand the test of time and be made up of songs that we’d want to play for the rest of our time together. So it was more of a bar that was set by albums like those rather than being actual musical inspirations.

Interestingly, each track is different – without straying away from the core sound and style of the band – did you explore new melodies and styles this time around?
I think we did. We’d work on every idea no matter how ‘off centre’ it felt at first. Then we’d just twist it around until it felt right to us all. That’s how we kept a constant sound throughout the album. For instance, ‘The Price We Pay’ started out as some kind of reggae piano riff that I then flipped on its head and it became something totally different. But if we hadn’t of entertained the idea at first then we wouldn’t have gotten the end result. There’s a lot of variety on the album but it all sounds like it’s played by the same band.

Do you have a favourite track on the album that you like playing live? What track gets the best response from the crowd?
They’re all good to play live, ‘Welcome Home‘ is a real fun intro to the set because it’s like getting shocked with a fucking defibrillator or something. That really gets us all going.

It seems like there is no rest for the wicked after Soundwave, as I understand you’re heading out on tour through the UK and Europe nearly as soon as you get back – how will you keep yourself motivated for the rest of the tour?
We don’t need any help being motivated to play live. It’s what we live for! We only really saw the album as a ticket to get out on the road. We’re a live band through and through. Also, it’s the biggest UK venues we will have headlined yet and it’s our first time headlining in Europe so there’s a lot of exciting stuff to look forward to.

Well, thank you so much for your time today – all the best for the rest of Soundwave and the rest of your tour – hopefully it won’t be too long before you’re back in Australia again.
Thanks, we hope so too!

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Many thanks to Sid for taking the time to chat to us. Heaven’s Basement play as part of Soundwave Festival 2014. For information on tickets and venues, head to: www.soundwavefestival.com

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