UK’s five-piece, Basement and The Story So Far will be returning to Australia in 2019 for a national co-headline tour which will see them perform at The Gov on Monday 22 April.
Basement who two years performed at The Gov supporting AFI are returning with their extraordinary new album ‘Beside Myself’.
Before they touched in Australia we chatted with guitarist Alex over the phone while he was in America, to hear about their recent massive stadium shows, how their hiatus was a blessing in disguise and how their little hometown of Ipswich unexpectedly kickstarted their success.
You’re currently in America on tour with the Pixies and Weezer and you recently played Madison Square Garden, that’s a massive show and a massive tour, what was that experience like?
It’s been crazy to play arenas every night. You play a smaller room some nights and you’re like ‘Woah this is small’ but it’s still 8,000 people. It’s definitely an interesting experience, just walking around and seeing all the different live photos and different acts that have played there like Jimi Hendrix and Pearl Jam. All these legendary acts have played there and we can now say we’ve played there.
Ronan our guitarist is a huge Pixies fan, we were watching them play every night. For me and the other guys, Weezer were definitely a bigger band we would listen to. So we were stoked to check out their set every night.
Basement doesn’t seem to be getting pigeonholed into a particular genre like pop punk or rock, you’ve come to Australia with Turnover, AFI and now Story So Far, but you’re also touring with massive rock bands like Pixies, Weezer and Bring Me The Horizon. Have you always toured with a wide variety of bands and genres or is this something which has progressed in the last few albums?
I’m glad you raised that because we’ve always tried not to be put into ‘oh it’s pop-punk or hardcore or punk’ but we want to be a band that can play with a wide variety of acts and we try to pride ourselves on having some different lineups when we do our own headliners.
It can be hard because you want to do a tour that makes sense but at the same time, you want to push the boundaries. There are obviously some bands where we’d maybe never tour with them, but for the most part, we’re pretty open to most things and try to see what makes sense and what acts we haven’t toured with. I’m glad we’ve been able to tour with different types of bands across the rock/alternative world. I hope we don’t get pigeonholed.
I was reading an old interview from you and you mention how during Basement’s hiatus the band just kept building momentum even though you weren’t even active. Now with these new albums, you seem to be riding this wave of newfound success, do you think the hiatus a blessing in disguise?
Oh yeah. At the time I was bummed out when Andrew said he wanted to go back to school. At that point, I thought we were going to go full time and fully go for it. But we ended up doing the opposite, and it was the best thing ever. I ended up moving to the states and ended up working on the label we’re on, Run For Cover. I followed my interest in filming, music videos and web content and these are the things I ended up doing as a career.
We honestly didn’t plan it, I truly thought we weren’t going to play shows again.
Did living in Ipswich influence the band in the early days when writing and does it still influence you?
It’s weird because Ipswich influenced us in kind of a bad way. There were no shows. We had to put on our own shows if we wanted to play. We would just find local pubs and hit up bands on Myspace and try to get them to play in Ipswich and figure it out. We’d give them all the money we could from the door and we’d just have a good time with our friends. Because there wasn’t very much going on in Ipswich it forced us to try and find shows outside of Ipswich.
If anything it was a sort of catalyst for us and we were like, okay, can we get a show in London? Nottingham? Where can we play shows? We’d do anything to play outside of Ipswich, there wasn’t really much of a scene going on. Which was a shame. I wish we had grown up with a scene of bands and we all would have grown up together.
Basement and The Story So Far co-headline The Gov on Monday 22 April