Before Heaven’s Basement smashed it on The Welcome Home Tour at The Cockpit in Leeds (16th March 2014), RAMzine’s Cherry Welford sat down with guitarist Sid Glover and drummer Chris Rivers. Seated backstage they discussed touring, song writing and who they would like to tour with next.
I saw you guys play on your UK summer tour last year at The Duchess in York. The Duchness is a very nice smaller venue, it’s nice and imitate. Do you prefer to play at smaller or larger venues?
Chris: “We like mixing it up.”
Sid: “We’ve toured a lot and we travel a lot but I think what keeps it so fresh is that the variety is massive. We’ll do like tonight which is essentially a club gig and it’ll be a dirty, rammed, hot, really leery gig. Then we’ll go to America and play Kansas City Rock Festival to like 60,000 people in the afternoon.”
Do you think smaller or larger venues have better crowds?
Chris: “Probably smaller. Large crowds are great as well cause it’s so vast and so many people it’s a good buzz to play in front of but in terms of the actual energy back off the crowd when it’s right in front of you those are usually the best gigs cause the interactions are literally eye to eye.”
Sid: “It becomes different like at Download or Reading and Leeds Festival that kind of thing it becomes something else cause then it just becomes massive. It’s equally as good just different. It’s just personal I guess.”
You have toured across the UK, U.S, Australia and Europe, which has been the best country to play in?
Sid: “Australia – That’s nothing against any other country. It’s just the fact we had such a good time there. It was an obnoxious amount of fun.”
Chris: “Being in Australia it’s such a great country and everything from the weather to having days off in these amazing cities was really good fun.”
Sid: “I mean cause Soundwave Festival is like 125 bands that you’re kind of mates with at least 50% of the bands already from just the amount of touring we’ve been doing and we all just travel together and stay in the same hotels. All the hotels are booked up with the bands. It’s just a two week none stop party really, so it’s amazing.”
Having played with the likes of Papa Roach and Black Stone Cherry to name a few, which has been your favorite band so far to tour with?
Chris: “Papa Roach was amazing. That was probably our first big support slot, with venues like Brixton Academy and other Academy ones round the country. The crowd, the fan base was perfect. It was great for us.”
Sid: “We’ve been really lucky. Every band we’ve toured with has been great like Halestorm, Black Stone Cherry, Buckcherry, Shinedown, Black Veil Brides who we’ve just been out with. We’ve just been out with The Pretty Reckless to. Hopefully we’ll run into them at other festivals and maybe do some more stuff but yeah we’ve been lucky. All their fanbases are quite different like Siva to Black Veil Brides are completely different crowds but they’ve been equally as good. So yeah I think we’ve been quite lucky really.”
After touring for most of 2013, is 2014 going to be the same?
Sid: “Pretty much, yeah I mean we’ve already done some stuff in the states. Then we went to Australia for a couple of weeks and New Zealand. Back on the headline tour, first headline tour in Europe, that is like a six week long thing and then back to the States to do some festivals. Back to Europe to do some festivals, and then we’re going to hopefully do some more stuff in England.”
Any plans to hit the studio anytime soon?
Sid: “No, not soon.”
Chris: “No, not as in specific dates or months, we’re thinking sometime in 2015 we’ll probably start.”
Sid: “I think we’ll start running into it at the end of this year but not into a studio just into album mode. Unless you never know what might happen, we’ll just play it week by week. We didn’t even know we were gonna put out ‘Can’t Let Go’ as a single.”
Chris: “We’re on our second single in the states which is actually looking pretty good for us at the moment. So as that continues to grow in the way we hope it will grow that’s gonna give us some more month’s tour in the states. That’s such a huge country but we are playing it month by month at the moment.”
Tell us about your song writing process, do you all get involved with the writing?
Chris: “There are no rules to it really, someone might come in with a whole song idea and we’ll be like ‘sweet we like that’.”
Chris: “Other times we’ll jam, balloon ideas, everyone’s basically welcome. We’re all very honest and brutal with each other.”
Sid: “I could literally bring a full song idea to the table and they’ll be like this all sucks except this bit and they’re wrong. For instance ‘Heartbreaking Son of a Bitch’ we wrote in the studio. Rob had a riff idea and so we just played that and I wrote a chorus to it and Aaron had a lyric ‘You’re a heartbreaking son of a bitch’, so we changed that. We sat down and wrote some lyrics between us. There’s other things like ‘Can’t Let Go’ that was written differently. We actually had different lyrics for it. It’s just different there are no rules. ‘The Price We Pay’ started off as some reggae piano thing then it became more of a mellow acoustic song.”
Is creating music something you have always had a passion for? And did you ever think it was something you would end up doing professionally?
Sid: “Yeah there was never any question there would be anything else. I mean originally it was more about performing and then the writing. I was attracted to the brashness of playing really horrible electric guitar in situations where people didn’t expect it. I like the feeling when you start trying to write songs it’s a whole different thing because the reward for writing something you think is good is amazing. There’s also nothing more frustrating than writing something that you think sucks. It’s more of an artistic thing.”
Chris: “When you’re a kid obviously you choose the instrument you want to play and you play that and enjoy it and then when you’re trying to start a band you realise you need to have songs.”
Sid: “It’s different for different people. I think you can learn song writing, some people say you can’t but I think you can. Cause I think we got loads better at it. Lyrics are different some people just don’t have anything to say. You can learn how to write melodies. You have to be fairly honest and have something to say to write lyrics that matter to people or you can just be really lucky and write a bunch of nonsense.”
Are there any bands that you would like to tour with that you haven’t already?
Chris: “There are loads. I mean we’re all massive music fans and there are so many bands that we like look up to and listen to. Bands ranging from Rage Against The Machine to old school bands like AC DC, Biffy Clyro and Muse. We’re just fans of loads of bands, whether it’s a good match or what.”
Sid: “You can’t help but watch a band every night put on an awesome show and it not soak into you a little bit. You can’t help it. So to go on tour with someone like Rage Against the Machine that accidentally destroy you every night and you come out the other side pretty good.”
Whats next for Heavens Basement?
“Hopefully we will be touring for the rest of the year and bringing out a second album.”
Plans for the new album have not yet begun, however they did mention that the creation process its in the back of their minds. Watch this space!
Thank you very much for talking to us Chris and Sid.