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Interview: Alex Henery of ‘Basement’

Basement Interview

UK rockers Basement are raising eyebrows everywhere following the release of their third album ‘Promise Everything’. The 5-piece are also preparing to crowd surf their way through Australia with their upcoming tour that’s only days away. We were stoked to have a chat with guitarist Alex Henery, where we spoke about everything from new music, The Story So Far controversy, and avocados.

I’ll jump into the musical aspects first man, ’Promise Everything’ has had a few months to find its feet, how’s the reaction been first of all?

Yeah it’s been great! You know I wasn’t 100 per cent sure how people would respond to the album, but we’ve done two tours now (one in Europe, one in the US) and people seem to be buzzing off the new songs and that’s super exciting! You know, you mix your set with old stuff and you get to play new songs and people are still going off and excited and the crowds were really responsive so I can’t really ask for much more!

Was the recording process any different this time around staying in the UK rather than hiking out to the US?

Yeah it was a bit different being in the UK. I really wanted to go to the states but everyone was more comfortable just being in the UK and at that point we hadn’t committed to being a full time touring band so I think it just made it easier staying at home. A lot of the guys had to just record their parts then leave which was pretty hard, I don’t think we’ll ever do that again. It was a bit of bummer cause not everyone could be there for the whole thing, so we’ve learnt from that but I guess at the time, everyone had jobs and we were just trying to balance everything so that was a bit of a challenge. But it was nice being in the UK overall, it was refreshing for sure.

The album shows a lot of progression and maturity, it also features a new side to Basement sonically with Oversized and Halo springing to mind. When you get into the studio to record, is it always a thought to try new things and experiment a bit? 

Definitely, this time we brought in a bunch of ideas and most of the songs were already pretty much done. But being in the studio, it gives you a chance to just mess with the ideas and to just vibe off the studio and seeing what we could do and what we could change. We’d stop recording sometimes and just go “we need to fix this” cause it wasn’t ready. So, I mean there’s good and bad things about that, I suppose if we wanted to have it all ready fully, we should have done weeks of pre production and getting everything ready so then when you record you know exactly what you’re doing.

But I think with us, and all the records we’ve ever done, we kind of make things up as we go along a little bit and experiment. That doesn’t always help, sometimes you get a little bit caught in that and can sometimes drag you down a bit cause you don’t have things a hundred percent ready to go but we made it work! I think we learnt from that too, when we go to record again, we’re really going to spend a lot of time demo’ing songs and trying new things before we get to the studio but in a way, we work better under pressure. I know it doesn’t work for everyone but for us, if we know we have a deadline to have it complete then it kind of helps us get things done.

You guys will be in Australia in just under a week, the reception and hype down here has been insane! Basement shows are known for copious amounts of stage dives and crowd surfing, what’s the insiders guide to the perfect stage dive?

(Laughs) One that isn’t feet first! We just came back from a tour with Turnstile and I saw so many stage dives I just couldn’t even watch! I was so scared people were going to get their necks broken! Umm I don’t know really, I’ve seen a lot of crazy splits! But I think the perfect stage dive is just, get on stage and you just run and jump, you know, you’re on and you’re off. Hopefully you can jump and turn on your back so you don’t crush someone, everyone brings their own personal flair to it. When people stay on stage too long it sometimes bugs me but other than that, do your thing you know! (Laughs)

Well, just on the topic of people staying on stage too long. We’ve recently seen the big public uproar surrounding The Story So Far and Parker kicking a fan off stage, how did you feel about that?

Umm, I mean it was the wrong way to handle it for sure. Do I think he was doing it to hurt someone? No. I think he intended it in a jokey kind of way, but it still doesn’t make it okay. But I know there was no malice in his actions. People get on stage sometimes, and are on for too long, they run around the stage. I think if you’re going to complain about it you just have to get a barrier, otherwise you shouldn’t really do anything like that. I don’t think it should result in physical violence. But I guess yeah, if a person is running around on stage too long, I’m sure anyone would try and get them off in some way, or usher them off in some form.

I think the biggest issue isn’t so much them running around, it’s more them just running into your stuff! They’ll hit your guitar, how can I play the songs for you if you’re stopping me from playing? (Laughs) I mean, people get excited and don’t often think, but sometimes I see them jumping on Andrew which I think is a bit uncool. Like, come on man, he’s just trying to do his thing, just leave him alone (laughs). Well y’know, don’t leave him alone, just don’t jump all over someone (laughs). But as I said, there’s a solution to that, just get a barrier and have security. It’s just something you have to decide as you go along what you want for your live shows.

You’re also bringing Turnover for their first ever Australian tour, do you have any favourite spots in Australia you plan on taking them to teach them the ropes of Australian lifestyle?

Yeah! I want to take them to this chicken place, umm… Apollo? Oh, what’s it called…


Yeah that’s the one! (Laughs) I want to take them there! I love going to that place (laughs). I’m sure they’ll head to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and hold the Koala’s, everyone does that, which is pretty sick. I saw someone post on Instagram, this swimming spot outside of Sydney, I forgot what it’s called but I was like “damn I’ve gotta go there!”. But usually I just ask the local kids where we should go and they usually advice us to go to some cool places so I’d say we’ll just do something similar this tour and just explore around. But I think they’ll love it [Turnover], Australia is an incredible place to tour so I’m looking forward to it, can’t wait!

How do you guys usually prepare for a big international tour like this one, and what are three things you can’t tour without?

Oh I’m not like that! (laughs) The other guys would probably say “I have to have a shower every day and…an avocado” or something (laughs), but I’m fine! This tour, I’ll probably just pack a backpack, I don’t need a lot of clothes or anything. I suppose just a toothbrush, deodorant, just the basic things you need so you don’t stink and you stay healthy on tour. Other than that, I’m down to just wing it. I like to pack light so, if I had my way I’d bring a skateboard, that would be super fun, I love to be able to skate on tour.

Unfortunately it’d probably take up too much room so I may just have to get a cheap one while I’m out there. I’m not so much a tour essentials guy, the only thing I really love bringing is my camera. I love bringing my camera so I can take pictures and videos but other than that I’m pretty good! Oh! And sunglasses (laughs), can’t forget those (laughs).

Will audiences see a much more new material focussed set or a nice mix between old fan favourites and the newer stuff?

We’ve been working really hard on a setlist that manages a bunch of the records. But we’re trying to push it, we’ll try and play as much new stuff as we can without making it too ‘Promise Everything’ heavy, but it’ll definitely be a mix and a lot of stuff from the new album.

Lastly, I always ask this one before we finish an interview, what should we expect when Basement hit the stage?

Hopefully energetic! We’ll push ourselves to get to every show and give it everything. We want people to know that we’re passionate about the music we make, you know, I want people to have a good night and if they want to come up onstage and stage dive, I want them to feel comfortable to do that. So, yeah, I just want to put on a good show, I want us to sound tight, we practice a lot, especially with our new songs now in the set, we have different transitions and yeah! I just want it to be a mix of the heavier stuff and softer stuff. I want it to be impactful, I want people to leave and go “yeah I want to start a band”, just to put on a show people remember would be really cool!

Read our album review of Basement’s ‘Promise Everything’ HERE


Basement 2016 Australian Tour
w/ Turnover

The Triffid, Brisbane
The Lab, Brisbane (All Ages)
Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle(All Ages)
Factory Theatre, Sydney (All Ages)
Arrows on Swanson, Melbourne(All Ages)
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Fowlers Live, Adelaide AA
Amplifier Bar, Perth

Get Tickets HERE

Written by Sam Muggleton