HEAVEN’S BASEMENT (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with HEAVEN’S BASEMENT?

Currently I (Aaron) am sitting in BilBao after a 15 hour drive last night from some place in France!

– First off, as you are about to release your debut album; could you please make some history of the band?

This line up of Heaven’s Basement has been together since February 2011, we’ve spent since that time writing and producing the debut album ‘Filthy Empire’. It comes out in February 2013!

 

– You recently played your first gig in America alongside THE DARKNESS. How did everything go? What are your memories of that show?

I’ve spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, but this time was my favourite. We flew over a couple of days prior to the show from Copenhagen to do some press and stuff and then before we knew it we were at the venue. I bumped in to Justin at the dressing rooms and was like ‘This is weird, i’ve travelled half way across the world to play a show and you live four miles away from my house in Suffolk’ to which he exclaimed ‘We should totally be friends!’ – it was a comical moment. The show was killer, the LA audience were actually really good to us.

 

– As I said earlier, you will soon release your first album, «Filthy Empire», which will come out early 2013. How are you feeling about it? And considering the feedback your EP got; what are your expectations on it?

We feel positive. This is the mark on the industry we’ve been waiting to leave for a long time. We feel strong and ready to fight our way to every country possible. We’re privileged enough to have a pretty extravagant label – they send us all over the place… Although I think they’re hoping we’re going to pay off the label debts we’ve racked up… Ha…

 

– Anyway your EP was released in 2008 so, why has it taken you so long to finally release your first full-length album? And considering this, when did you start to write this effort?

2008 was a long time before I was in Heaven’s Basement. In the life of a band that aims to fully commit to the road, people come and go, and sacrifices have to be made. I think this band was a prime example of all of that. I was just lucky enough to get the job when I walked into the room and nervously tried to sing songs that at the time were so far out of my range it was untrue!

We wrote the ‘Unbreakable’ EP in a matter of weeks, it was a good first push, and thankfully, it was strong enough to allow for the label to take an interest in us and sign us. This was the ammunition we needed to start on making something bigger and better. We spent a year on it. I think it’s a pretty good first album!

 

– I guess you also took your time looking for a suitable label to release «Filthy Empire», and it will finally be released by Red Bull Records (a label I personally didn’t know about until we got the promo of your album). Would you mind to tell us how did you hook up with them and why did you decide to go with this label? As I guess you may got offers from some other companies as well.

Red Bull had been coming to see the band play for a year or so before I joined, I didn’t know anything about them either. I just joined a band like every other guy out there that wanted to play in a band and hope for the best… But they were a label that got to know the band a bit before I joined and when they showed up to our May 2011 show in Manchester, we hit it off with each other, they came across really well and it was obvious they saw a much bigger picture than the other labels – most labels these days are interested in signing bands just to say they have them… Red Bull only have a few artists, we are one of the lucky few.

 

– Anyway you joined the band after the EP came out, so «Filthy Empire» has been your first time recording something for HEAVEN’S BASEMENT. Are you 100% satified with your vocal performance on the album?

Actually, there was a small release done by the band between the self titled EP and this album. It was a seven track EP called ‘Unbreakable’. It was a good start… Vocally, i’m very picky. I’m a perfectionist. There are many things I would change on the album – but, it’s a good mark of where we are right now as musicians.

 

– Due to the line-up changes the band has been through I would like to know how was the songwriting process behind «Filthy Empire» and if all of you are involved equally, not just the founding members.

Heaven’s Basement write together. Always have done. And will continue to. Whoever is in the room at the time of a song always gets a tip of the hat in royalty splits. That’s how we work.

 

– In fact this time around you’ve managed to create a really diverse album. Each song is different and have diferent influences (from 70’s Rock to Sleaze and even Punk Rock or Alternative Rock/Metal). Due to this I would like to know what have been some of the most influential bands for HEAVEN’S BASEMENT, as I bet they may be quite varied.

Personally, i’m not interested in conforming to a scene or worrying about what people compare us to. It’s just nice that people take the time to listen to our music and give us their thoughts. Music is a very personal thing. And just like aftershave or make-up, it varies for every single person. For me, I learned to sing by imitating Freddie Mercury. I’d spend hours in my room just singing tracks as a kid while playing on my computer or building some crazy meccano machine…

 

– You have also captured a heavier and even more modern sound. Was this something you were striving for?

We just play whatever we think sounds good… Sure, we love that romantic 70’s sound and the gnarl of the sound of the few bands that didn’t die a death in the 80’s – everyone appreciates good music, we just want to play what we think is good music!

 

– And could you say the production (handled by seasoned John Feldmann) has had something to do with this? In fact he has worked with bands that also share this modern flavour and really thick sound.

Actually, I think we took John out of his comfort zone. He was an equal in the room that we wrote the songs in. That’s what we do. There’s little time for egotistical arguments, sure, they happen, but they become pretty pointless when the aim of the game is to just make a great sound.

 

– Anyway this heaviness we can find on tunes such as «I am Electric» (which also give a certain chaotic feeling) contrasts perfectly with more classic and rockier songs as «Fire, Fire», which is pretty catchy. Are this kind of contrasts something important for the band? As I’d dare say provide a more enjoyable final outcome, moreover I guess it may help you opening fora broader audience, as there is a little bit for all tastes.

Album dynamics are important. We’re not a concept band. And its hard to really put a finger on exactly what scene Basement belongs to right now apart from ‘Rock’, i’m happy with the title ‘Heaven’s Basement – Rock’ – its true to its word.

 

– Anyway, from your point of view, what will people find on «Filthy Empire»?

Excitement, testosterone, balls and vibe. The chemical formula I believe conjures ‘Rock music’

 

– And how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Super. Smashing. Great.

 

– I’ve mentioned earlier the song «Fire, Fire», and in fact you have already done a video for it. How did the shooting go? And do you plan doing any other videoclip for this CD?

The ‘Fire, Fire’ video shoot was very hot, and very exciting. Heaven’s Basement always have a plan. And we will announce more about further video footage shortly.

 

– You have already toured with well-known bands as BUCKCHERRY or PAPA ROACH among others but, which bands/artists would you like to tour with?

I want Freddie Mercury to be resurrected from the dead so I can go on tour with Queen.

 

– And finally, what are your near-future plans? What does future have in store for HEAVEN’S BASEMENT?

The future is a Filthy Empire. Be afraid!

 

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

 

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