Multi-genre three-piece outfit The Basics return to Adelaide to celebrate the release of their new album The Age of Entitlement.
Kris Schroeder (bass/vocals), Tim Heath (guitar/vocals) and three-time Grammy Award winning Wally De Backer (AKA Gotye: drums/vocals) will play The Grace Emily on Tuesday October 20.
In an intimate gig, the trio will showcase their indie rock, blues, folk, ska, pop-rock, country flavour that has given them a reputation as one of Australia’s hardest working bands.
The group has had a busy year; they’ve played Fringe Festival, released an album, and single-handedly brought down the Treasurer.
Well, that may not be strictly true, but with the album taking its title from the famous ‘Age of Entitlement’ speech from former Treasurer Joe Hockey, Kris Schroeder hopes they may have had some influence on recent events, even if just by telepathy.
“I don’t know, but that would be fantastic if we did,” he laughs. “Aside from that one and only speech, he just went quiet. He was such a strange and enigmatic character. He was on Sunrise for years and had a relatively likable personality and then in one fell swoop, he destroyed it.
“Then he went quiet for a few years. I don’t know what happened to the guy. Maybe it was too much pressure for him and he couldn’t deal with it, but yeah, I think we brought him down.”
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, The Age of Entitlement is a balance between social commentary and skilfully crafted songs, which Kris says needs time and attention to truly be appreciated.
“It’s quite a subtly beautiful record. If you’re just listening to it on your computer, it won’t necessarily capture people’s attention. It wasn’t recorded or mixed like that,” he says.
“It’s mixed to be listened to with some forethought and some time on your hands, so you can enjoy how beautifully it was recorded at Abbey Road; so you can really hear the space and things ringing out like they’re supposed to. I know that sounds kind of self-indulgent, but it’s quite a subtle record and I think people need to give it the time to listen to properly, without distraction.”
The band had a break in between Keep Your Friends Close (2009) and Age of Entitlement (2015), which gave them an opportunity to work on other projects.
Kris contributed the majority of the writing of The Age of Entitilement, which he says is a change for the band, but allowed him to finish songs he’d been sitting on.
“We released couple of live albums, a best of and a collection of b-sides and rarities in that time, which gave us a bit of space to review where our own output had been over the past 10 or 12 years. So there was a bit of housekeeping; a bit of taking stock,” he says.
“The Gotye thing exploded and that impacted the song-writing. Wally’s in a bit of a holding pattern; he’s trying to write and he is writing; he’s working on stuff but the expectation is so great that he’s struggled to finish anything. I don’t have any such expectation so, for me, it was quite easy. Some of the songs, I started a long time ago and I finished them just before recording the album, whereas the other albums were more of a partnership approach. This one was spearheaded by myself but recording was a group effort.”
Kris has attributed the quality of the album to Abbey Road Studios, saying they embraced the opportunity to work with the industry’s greatest.
“Aside from recording one song there, we hadn’t recorded there and the other boys had only visited, so when it came to making a new album, it was on the wish list and the wish came true. It’s every bit as amazing as you’d hope and want it to be,” he says.
“It’s a fantastic facility and the rooms are remarkable; they sound incredible and everyone is amazing. It’s the one place where you feel like an artist; like a professional and not just a hack. It has a profound impact on the output and your approach. You step up because you’re standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Reflecting the idea of listening to the album with time and close attention, The Basics have chosen to play a series of intimate gigs.
The Grace Emily will host the Adelaide leg of the tour, and Kris says he’s looking forward to playing the venue for the first time, and being in Adelaide, a place he has a soft spot for.
“Adelaide is a lot like Melbourne, it’s just finding its feet. And I think it’s a bit more fun in that respect because people are more willing to be themselves and let go, whereas Melbourne is a bit more contrived these days. In Adelaide, people are more congenial and appreciative. We’ve never played at The Grace Emily before so that will be fun. Initially they had us booked at The Gov but we just wanted our shows to be a lot more intimate and something special for the ones who are there, rather than a big, flashy show. I think it’ll be a great show,” he says.
Tickets to the Age of Entitlement Tour at The Grace Emily are available through MoshTix, but don’t delay, because this one will sell out fast.
By Libby Parker
Photo lifted shamelessly from Facebook