Heaven’s Basement Talk New Album ‘Filthy Empire,’ Touring + More
The British rockers of Heaven’s Basement just played their first show in New York City at the Bowery Electric in promotion for their new album ‘Filthy Empire.’
Prior to the show, we had the chance to speak with vocalist Aaron Buchanan and guitarist Sid Glover before their show to talk about the new disc, their experience of trekking around the U.S., upcoming tours and bands that they would love to share the stage with.
Tell us about the disc ‘Filthy Empire.’ What does this title mean to you?
Sid Glover: When we came up with it, it instantly struck a chord with all of us for different reasons. You can either look at it from the point of view of us, like we’re creating our ‘Filthy Empire,’ or you could look at it as more politically based with all the things going on or maybe about the music industry or anything really. It’s the same thing about the name Heaven’s Basement, it says different things to different people.
How was the recording process for you guys?
Aaron Buchanan: It was interesting, it had its moments. I’ve said to various interviewers when we were talking about this – John Feldman was the right man for the job, but there was definitely a friction there and I think if there wasn’t a friction the album wouldn’t sound as angsty as it does. It’s a good thing, I think it came out well.
SG: It was like a creative friction because he’s from such a different musical background than we are, so there’s obviously going to be a clash of the worlds, but it was good because there was a lot of passion going on there. Personally, I thrive off of being around creative and energetic people
How important is it for a band not from the states to break through the U.S. and why?
AB: The U.K. is a tiny country and it probably seems easier to make it there than America because America is such a massive country.
SG: It’s kind of like the history of the British invasion bands, the Beatles came over, the Stones came over, Zeppelin ... there’s a heritage of America welcoming British bands.
AB: I think it’s probably just a bit of like a stamp on your passport. I mean, we’re estranged cousins essentially.
How would you compare the touring experience in the states versus Europe?
AB: I don’t see a massive difference because and this is a positive thing. When we came over to America the first time, we were told that American audiences were a bit reserved and chilled out and we’ve never, ever, not a single show we’ve done, have we had that problem. Every single show that we’ve done has been consistent and very similar to the U.K. and Europe if not the same. I think that’s to do with the mentality that we go up on stage with, we’re there to entertain people, that’s our jobs. We don’t go back to some café job at the end of this. If we walk off stage and we feel like we haven’t done a good job then we spend 24 to 48 hours until the next show being pissed off at each other because we want to do the best job possible.
SG: People just respond to good rock music, so if people say the crowds suck here, it’s because they’re not inspiring them to be good.
Aaron, you had said, “We want to bring back that element of danger. We don’t want to be a safe band.” Can you elaborate on this a little bit?
AB: We know exactly what we want to do. 'Danger' is a weird word. What we essentially mean is unpredictable. It’s not like we go onstage with hand grenades or anything, it’s just that it’s a little bit on the edge - it’s not the same show every night because there’s four guys in the band that like to be spontaneous and push themselves to the edge. We like to interact with the crowd. We don’t see it as a band and a crowd, we see it as a massive room full of energy.
You have a trek with Black Veil Brides coming up soon, what are your thoughts on that?
AB: I think it’s going to be great, I have no idea really what to expect. I’ve met the guys a couple of times, they’re pretty chill guys. I think we’ll have fun on the road, their fans are super intense about it and we’ve had really good feedback so far. I think it’s going to be really good.
You guys are also playing a few major festivals this year. Out of all of them which one are you looking forward to the most and which bands are you looking forward to checking out while you’re there?
AB: Download for us because it’s our hometown.
SG: I grew up not far away from there so I’ve been going to that festival since I was a kid.
AB: Yeah, and we’re doing Austria the night before with Rammstein, so that’ll be sick. When we did Sonisphere one time, Rammstein headlined and they brought like 22 tons of pyro - I don’t even know what that looks like. How can you quantify that amount of explosives?
We’re looking forward to seeing a lot of friends from America because we’ve toured with a lot of American bands because when they would come over to England. We were kicking it on the live circuit with bands like Papa Roach, Buckcherry and Shinedown.
What band you would love to do a full-blown tour with that you have not toured with before and why?
AB: Okay let’s be sensible here, we could easily be like, “Oh yeah, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath!” or some ridiculous band that would make us look like children. Realistically, I’m going speak off my own accord and Sid can be like, “No, no” in a minute, but realistically an ideal band for us to tour with at the moment would probably be a band like Stone Sour because they’re a pretty legitimate and cool band as well. I think I would feel comfortable with them.
SG: I’d say Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath. [Laughs] I really want to go on tour with Rage Against the Machine because I just think we’d get schooled every night. [Laughs] They’re such a great band because you know most frontmen in bands are onstage in front of everyone and they're like, “Come on everyone go crazy,” whereas with Rage, the whole thing is crazy where they have to stop playing in order to calm everyone down. That's the sign of a f---ing great band.