Heaven’s Basement has begun the push from media and fan favorites in the U.K. and Europe to the United States having been touring stateside to support their latest album “Filthy Empire”. The fans who’ve managed to take in one of their performances have quickly become as vocal as their counterparts across the pond and lit a fire which will hopefully continue to burn even as the band goes back to Europe for some big festival appearances. I recently had the chance to talk with guitarist Sid Glover about his band, his influences and more, read on…
LRI: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Sid….Heavens Basement has been playing for around five years now but some of us here in the States are just now becoming aware of the band. How much have you guys grown or changed since forming?
Sid Glover: A lot I’d say. When we started out I was pretty young and inexperienced. The rest of the guys in the band were quite a bit older than me and had done a lot more touring. We played a crazy amount of shows all over Europe in the first 2 years of the band which really helped us grow as players and we gained a lot of experience during that time. In 2010 our lineup changed. A few of the guys, each for their own reasons, wanted to move on to other things. That left it to Chris (Rivers, drummer), myself and with the help of our newly found bass player Rob (Ellershaw) to essentially start rebuilding the band from scratch. The Heaven’s Basement you see and hear today is a whole different animal. We have the same aspirations and drive as we did when first starting out but now we’re operating on a whole different level musically and as a live band. We’ve grown into a band that really knows who we are and what we want.
LRI: Your music has glimmers of some things that excite people from classic rock but feels completely modern at the same time. A song like “I am Electric” has a lot of frantic energy but there is always a sense of melody to what you do, is that a product of your personalities?
Sid: I think everything about this band is a product of our personalities. It really is a coming together of 4 different guys with different strengths. For me melody is everything, I don’t want to have to hide behind loud guitars and big lights to capture an audience. If you can sit with an acoustic guitar and sing a song and people still love it then that’s a mark of a truly good song. I think that’s where melody really comes into play. But we also can’t help the fact that musically we are a very frantic and energetic bunch of guys that love playing loud and ripping it up!
LRI: In the time you have been a band you’ve had the opportunity to support some pretty massive artists including household names like Bon Jovi. Is there anything in particular you’ve learned about how to approach performing for an established artists crowd?
Sid: When we play support shows we go out there with the mentality of ‘for the next 40 minutes this is our show’ and we just go for it. Luckily that’s always worked for us so far! It’s a definite buzz when we go out to an audience who has no idea who we are and by the end of the set they’re all kicking off and having a great time like it’s one of our own shows.
LRI: You released your full length debut and are getting great feedback on it….what was the most challenging aspect of capturing your music in the studio as opposed to playing live gigs?
Sid: We’re all about playing live, the chemistry and the experience. So when it came to recording our album we actually only left ourselves a week to track the whole thing. That made us have to go in and nail it first time as we couldn’t spend ages trying to ‘get it right’. Over polishing it would have killed what we’re about as a band and so by doing it fast made it feel more live and performance based. I think that helped somewhat in getting it to have this whole ‘on the edge’ kind of excitement to it.
LRI: As a band is rising up the ranks their fans are so crucial to their livelihood. How have the fans in your home country reacted to seeing the band they’ve supported begun to make waves outside of England?
A. It’s been really touching actually. Our fans are really great. They’re genuine rock music fans and want to see us do well. They’ve showed us a hell of a lot of support and the general vibe is that everyone’s proud to see a British rock band starting to make some noise in the UK and overseas!
LRI: Your guitar playing is very aggressive and has a style of its own but every player takes root from something. What players really had an impact on you as a kid and how do you think their style affected your style or songwriting?
Sid: I’ve been told that I approach everything in my life in the way I approach the guitar. And vice versa. Either way it’s definitely an extension of your personality. It’s like your own musical fingerprint I guess. Growing up I listened to people like Hendrix and SRV, Rory Gallagher, Son House, Clapton, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, etc. and they really helped me find out what got me off and gave me a baseline to jump from, but I also love heavier stuff like Slipknot, Pantera, Prodigy and everything in between. When it comes to songwriters Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Noel Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft and guys like that are all great too so it’s hard for me to pinpoint any one specific influence really.
LRI: Your frontman is a very visual and charismatic singer…how important are videos and visuals or art in general to the overall presentation of Heavens Basement?
Sid: The chemistry between the guys in the band is really important for the full effect. Even people that aren’t necessarily rock fans come up to us saying ‘I don’t normally listen to hard rock but I really fuckin enjoyed the gig. So videos are a good way to help get the personality of the band on screen alongside the music and also to help drive the subject matter of each song home that extra bit more.
LRI: The initial single/video from FILTHY EMPIRE was a song called “Fire Fire”….How did that track come to be written and what inspired the lyrics??
Sid: It’s a song very much born out of frustration. Having a real hunger to get out of a current unsatisfying situation and find something more exciting and fulfilling. The video shows clips of things that have pushed people to the point of snapping back and making a stand. It started out with a couple of guitar riffs and we took it from there.
LRI: There is a considerable amount of buzz around you guys in the British press including the metal “bible” KERRANG. Did you guys grow up reading magazines like that and how does getting reviews like a four K rating make you feel as an artist?
Sid: Yeh, it’s cool to see. It’s very humbling to be given praise from people that have seen and heard all kind of bands under the sun come and go.
LRI: Before I let you go I want to ask you about a story I heard. You guys were performing an acoustic set and your singer put on a pretty electrifying performance, including crowd surfing which is kind of out of the ordinary for a sit down acoustic gig? How did all that come about and what was it like watching it transpire????
Sid: We fully instigated a riot! It was a festival show that we got offered just as we started touring again, so as it was so last minute the only slot left was acoustic. So we went at it with the attitude of ‘if this is gonna be the only set we play at this festival, we’re gonna make it count!’. We wanted to make it as memorable as any other bands electric set so we reworked a bunch of our songs and bent the rules as far as we could get away with. We brought a drum kit, Rob played an electric bass and we set up like we usually would onstage. I even kicked on a distortion fuzz thing through my acoustic guitar to really drive it home haha. There was mosh pits, crowd surfers and everything that there should be at a gig. Good times!
LRI: Thanks for talking to us Sid. Anything else you wanna let everyone know as you invade America ??
A. Come say hey to us online, check out the album ‘Filthy Empire’ on iTUNES and we’ll see you at a show soon!
Jun 04 Knitting Factory Concert House Boise, ID
Jun 06 Pub Rock Scottsdale, AZ
Jun 11 Chinnerys Southend-On-Sea, United Kingdom
Jun 14 Nova Rock Nickelsdorf (Aut), Austria
Jun 16 Download Festival – Encore Stage! Donnington, United Kingdom
Jun 23 Hellfest Clisson, France
Jun 28 Graspop Metal Meeting Dessel, Belgium
Jul 02 The Waterfront Studio Norwich, United Kingdom
Jul 03 Craufurd Arms Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Jul 04 Club Ifor Bach Cardiff, United Kingdom
Jul 05 O2 Academy Liverpool Liverpool, United Kingdom
Jul 06 The Duchess York, United Kingdom
Jul 07 Ivory Blacks Glasgow, United Kingdom
Jul 09 The Tunnels Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Jul 10 O2 Academy 2 Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Jul 12 Sound Control Manchester, United Kingdom
Jul 14 Bochum Total Festival Bochum, Germany
Jul 16 The Cavern Exeter, United Kingdom
Jul 17 Sound Circus Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Jul 18 100 Club London, United Kingdom
Jul 26 Eier Mit Speck Festival Viersen, Germany
Jul 27 Zwarte Cross Lichtenvoorde, Netherlands
Jul 28 Steelhouse Festival Wales, United Kingdom
Aug 10 Into The Grave Leeuwarden, Netherlands
Aug 22 Slade Rooms Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Aug 23 Bramham Park Wetherby, United Kingdom
Sep 14 Discovery Park Sacramento, CA
Sep 15 Discovery Park Sacramento, CA
Nov 29 Fryshuset Södra Hammarbyhamnen, Sweden
Nov 30 Sticky Fingers Inom Vallgraven, Sweden