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INTERVIEW: HEAVEN’S BASEMENT

 The U.K. has given U.S. rock and roll fans plenty of classic bands throughout the history of music. They have blessed us with The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, just to name a few. There definitely seems to have been something magical in the creative water over there to produce so many legendary bands. There’s a new band making waves in that creative water across the seas and they are poised to take the U.S. by storm. They go by the name of Heaven’s Basement and they have come to chew bubble gum and kick ass. Yes, you guessed it; they are all out of bubble gum.
 

The band consists of Aaron Buchanan, Sid Glover on guitar, Rob Ellershaw on bass and Chris Rivers on drums. The band was founded in 2009 and their debut album Filthy Empire was unleashed on the masses in February of this year to praise from critics and fans worldwide. They came over to the states to play some major festivals, such as Carolina Rebellion and Rock on the Range, as well as do some dates with friends Buckcherry. I was able to catch up with drummer Chris Rivers after a crazy weekend at the sold-out Rock on the Range. He filled me in on the band’s plans for the rest of the year as well as the ladies getting weak in the knees over their accents.

Hey Chris, how’s it going buddy?

Hey Johnny, everything’s good man. I’m so sorry that we kept missing each other at Rock on the Range. Have you recovered from that yet?

I have to say that I am still dragging a bit from all that went on, but it was all well worth it. It’s becoming the big festival here in the U.S. I know you guys have a show tonight and you have a lot on your plate, so let’s get right down to business. How much had you guys toured the US previous to these big festivals?

This is really our first extensive run here in the U.S. Before this we had just come over for one off shows here and there. We played our first ever show in the states in LA last October, so we’re still relatively new to touring here in the states. We’re going back home to do some dates after our run with Buckcherry and the plan is to come back here in the states in September to do a more extensive tour

How has the U.S. audience been reacting to you here at your shows?

It’s been really, really good and we’ve really been pleased with the response. It’s actually been a bit overwhelming at some of these big shows. We were told at our first show in LA that the crowds there could be a little cold, but they were great and we had a really good time there. Then, we come to these big festivals like Rock on the Range which is one of our first tastes to U.S. festivals and the crowd has really been behind us. It’s really crazy to be at a U.S. festival and have the crowd singing the words to our songs. Obviously, those people heard our music on the radio or YouTube or things like that. That’s a new thing to us to have fans discovering us online; whereas in the past it was from touring and playing venues every night. The American crowds have been awesome. They’re really loud and there are always great mosh pits at the festivals and the girls getting their boobs out and everything.

How would you compare shows here in the U.S. to shows back home? Are there any major differences?

I think rock and roll fans around the world share the same mentality. They want to go to the show and have a good time and enjoy the music. As far as differences go, I think here in the U.S. we do play in some remote areas, not always in a major city. We always enjoy going to small places like in Kansas where they don’t get a lot of rock shows coming through. Those crowds are so much different than say New York or LA where fans are sometimes spoiled because of bands playing there each and every night. We’ve always enjoyed going to some of those out of the way places where bands don’t always go because the crowds really seem to step it up a bit.

I wanted to talk briefly about the Carolina Rebellion that you guys played a few weeks before Rock on the Range. That Sunday was almost a total disaster because of the rain, but you guys were one of the few bright spots early on as you took the Jaeger stage and rocked it out for those cold, wet fans out there. Afterwards, both at the show and on-line, you guys earned a lot of new fans and a lot of respect from those in attendance for giving mother nature the middle finger and getting out there and playing.

Hell yeah! We came here from the other side of the world, so we’re not going to refuse to play because of a little rain. I mean, we’re English! We’re used to the rain! I mean, if they tell us that we can’t play because it’s not safe, then it’s out of our hands. Yet, while it’s still in our hands, if we can play, then we’re going to go out there and play for the people.

One of the questions that a few people asked me as I walked through the crowd and talked to them after your performance was if there was a meaning behind the band’s name?

When the band started out, we spent quite a lot of time together hanging out and writing songs and rehearsing in the original singer’s house. We would go down in his basement to work on our music and we just kind of called it heaven’s basement and it just stuck. There have been people who thought it had to do with hell or something religious, but it doesn’t.

Who would you consider to be your musical influences?

As far as the band goes, our influences span everything from the heaviest of heavies to lighter bands, but there are just too numerous to really list. We are all fans of really good music and we don’t really care what genre it’s from. We see when some bands list two or three bands as their influences, but what we’ve found that sometimes a band then sounds too much like their influences and not like themselves. We have staples like Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, the Stones to 60s music to Rammstein and to music that’s out today like Muse. We all have our own types of music that we also like and when we bring all of that together, it combines to make something really special.

Now, you did a short run after Rock on the Range with Buckcherry and Mindset Evolution. What was that like?

It was really, really amazing. A lot of the places that we played with Buckcherry was our first time ever playing there. We already knew Buckcherry really well from touring with them over in Europe and Mindset Evolution is a really good band as well, so it’s made for some really great shows. The crowds have been really awesome and singing along to our songs.

Did you have much down time on the road to take in some sights here in the U.S.?

We didn’t really get much down to do stuff other than travel to the next gig. If we did get any free time it was spent washing our clothes (laughs). We seem to be on the road all year round. I think by the end of this year we will have spent five months in the U.S. and five months in Europe. This is our life and getting up on that stage every night is the sole reason we do this.

Watch Heaven’s Basement – I Am Electric (Official)

  

So, how crazy do the women here in the U.S. go crazy over your accents? Come on now, be honest, I know the women are all over you guys.

Yeah, it’s really funny how they react. That’s kind of all we have going for us other than the fact that we’re in a band (laughs). The accents really seem to shine through and you find yourself sometimes over exaggerating it. It’s really funny to see the reaction on some women’s faces when we start talking.

Well, you guys are definitely winning the crowds over in a major way here in the U.S. I wish you guys nothing but the best as you continue on this.

We look forward to seeing everyone in the U.S. again in September and October. The response from everyone here has really been great and we’re really thankful for all of the fans here.

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About Johnny Price (556 Articles)
Johnny P’s picture should truly be in the dictionary next to “music lover” as he seriously personifies the very essence of the word. He lives, sleeps, eats & breathes music. When he’s not at shows conducting interviews, he’s writing out his experiences for all of you in his wonderful, down-home, “don’t need a damn thesaurus to read it” storytelling way. He is our Knight in Metal/Rock Armour, our tireless attendee of every show, and most importantly – a champion and friend to musicians at every level (he treats everyone like a rockstar!). If you ever get the chance to meet him, you’ll know by his big smile and humble southern boy charm that he is about as real and nice as they come.

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