Interview: Heaven's Basement
Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:38:14
Heaven's Basement play rock 'n' roll the way it's supposed to be played. On Filthy Empire, they channel a viciously vibrant energy that slithers to life with raw, real power. It's dangerous at times and dark at others, but it's always definitely genuine. Their Empire is only starting to rise though.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, guitarist Sid Glover talks Filthy Empire, the state of rock music, and so much more.
What threads Filthy Empire together for you?
It's that every song on there deserves to be on it. When we set out to make the album, we really did want to make a record that could stand the test of time you wanted get bored of it. We wanted to be able to headline a big show and play the album in its entirety and have it be a satisfying set. I'm proud of all the songs that are on there. They all bring a different quality to the record. The thing that ties them together is a sense of frustration in a lot of the songs and a hunger for something greater or that's missing. You feel unsatisfied in your life. Throughout everything, there's a sense of hunger and vitality to get out there and fucking make something.
Does that reflect the band's hunger?
I think so. We've been playing together for a few years, and we had a few lineup changes along the way before we got to do the album. It always felt like we kept having setbacks. We never were allowed to hit our full potential or were given the opportunity to break free. When it came to actually do the album, there was a sense of frustration in the band as well like, "Fuck, we just want to get out there and play!"
What's the story behind "Executioner's Day"?
The funny thing about that is it's one of the first songs Heaven's Basement ever wrote way back before Aaron Buchanan was in the band. It's one of the first we did. Part of it, the solo-y section in the middle, I think I wrote when I was 15-years-old or something. I found a note written down the other day, and I realized it was the middle section of "Executioner's Day". That was when I was a kid. That one is Heaven's Basement's first real song together. We wanted to close the album with it because it felt like the right thing to do. It's essentially seize-the-day tune. There's a great unknown out there. Don't sit around moaning about not being able to be a part of it. Go out and find it! It's an inspirational kick up the ass. It's a motivational song [Laughs]. There's only been one Heaven's Basement show ever where we haven't finished the set with that song. That's just because we got kicked off before we could finish the set.
What song resonates with you the most from the album right now?
At the moment, I'm really enjoying "Nothing Left to Lose". We've been playing it acoustically and having fun with it. It's a fun song to play live because we do a playoff on the vocals between Aaron and myself. I enjoy that. That came together really quickly. It was actually the first song we did when we got together in the studio. It's the song that made us decide to do the record with producer John Feldman. We ended the first day with that song.
What artists shaped you?
It's The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Who as well as of those sixties and seventies greats. The last thing I listened to was Abbey Road. There are also a few modern bands like Muse, Biffy Clyro, and Arctic Monkeys who do some cool stuff. However, last night we were driving in the bus, and The Who's Live at Leeds came on. It feels like there still aren't bands who compete with that. There was something about those bands like AC/DC.
Why do you think that it is?
I don't think people are trying to reach for that. Fashion changed in the eighties. It became more glam. Then, it became more metal. Then, grunge came in. Then, it was Brit Pop. It felt like people were trying to get away from different genres. If a genre becomes cool, the next step is for it to become uncool, and everybody tries to do the opposite! There haven't been enough bands reaching for it. Regardless of fashion, genre, or sound, you can't overlook how fucking good they were. Whether the songs they were singing weren't your cup of tea or the imagery wasn't, you can't deny there was something great about the chemistry. That has gotten overlooked. Look at Rage Against the Machine. They have that thing about them, but they did it in a different way. They've got that believable, real fucking raw talent. Everyone is out for the quick fifteen minutes of attention, and they think the way they can do that is by being the dreaded word "Cool". Fuck cool. Be awesome!
What does the album name mean to you?
It actually came out of a car crash of two different titles that we said incorrectly [Laughs]. By mistake, we put the two words together. As soon as we had them, it resonated with all four of us on different levels. People could jump to different conclusions. Whether we were talking about the music industry, the sex industry, government, or Heaven's Basement creating its own Filthy Empire, I like the fact you can put your own interpretation to it and that it made us all think. It felt like it fit the album.
If you were to compare the album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
It would be Memento because we did the album backwards [Laughs]. The first song we ever wrote was "Executioner's Day", and it ends the album. The last song we wrote was "Welcome Home", which starts the record!
Have you already begun writing the next record?
Well, we just a bit of time off. I personally did some writing and came up with some ideas. Rob's been doing the same. We're in the sketchbook stage really. We're starting to get little ideas together, but we haven't sat down and shared them. You can tell it's in people's minds. We're still in tour mode though really.
Heaven's Basement - Be Somebody
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