Interview With Heavens Basement - 17th December 2009
Photo Of Heavens BasementBen caught up with Chris and Ritchie from Heavens Basement before their show at Manchester Academy to talk about how 2009 has been for them, plans for a full length album and what they have planned for 2010.

Firstly can you introduce yourselves and tell us what you do in Heaven’s Basement?
(Chris Rivers) I’m Chris Rivers, and I play drums in Heaven’s Basement.

(Richie Heavanz) (Stuffs a sizeable amount of crisps into his mouth) I’m Richie Heavanz and I eat crisps and sing!

How has 2009 treated Heaven’s Basement?
(Chris) It’s been amazing, we’ve been on the road for eight months out of this year, and we’ve had some really good support slots: Papa Roach, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry and Buckcherry. We’ve done three tours of Germany, a few festivals, it’s been pretty faultless!

(Richie) (Still munching crisps) I agree!

How has this tour been so far?
(Chris) Well we know all the guys in all the bands, so everyone’s been getting on really well, we’ve been having a good time! There have been amazing crowds everywhere we’ve been and it’s flown by, we’ve got our last date tomorrow night and then that’s it! It’s been great!

You’ve toured quite a few times with Dear Superstar, are they fun guys to tour with?
(Richie) Everyone in Dear Superstar is a wanker! No, we seem to have a good connection, we seem to be able to work together, so we just kind of keep it going.

(Chris) We both have a lot in common, there aren’t many bands that you can tour with and completely click with, but these guys are definitely one of them.

You’ve recently introduced a new member to your ranks (Rob – bass), how is he settling in?
(Richie) Yeah, it’s been really cool actually! We had a day of auditioning people, and Rob came down and I think I pretty much knew he was right from when I went to pick him up from the train station! We all liked him straight from the off, being in a band it isn’t necessarily about how you play, it’s more about your personality. You can be an average player, but your personality will carry you through.

(Chris) With everyone we auditioned, you pretty much know within about thirty seconds whether you feel like there’s going to be a connection on a personal level and then their playing comes second. The thing is the auditions were only a few days before we had to go out to Germany for a twenty date tour, so it was quite manic!

Having been a fan since the days of Hurricane Party it’s fair to say that you’ve had some difficulties between where you were then and where you are now.
(Richie) I wouldn’t say it’s been any more difficult than any other band really! All bands go through exactly the same stuff as we went through. I think the hardest thing is being able to differentiate between Heaven’s Basement, Roadstar and Hurricane Party because obviously a lot of the same members are involved, so people just automatically assume it’s the same band.

(Chris) Being in those bands we were in some pretty weird situations with regards to labels and management, but it’s been a good learning curve for us. Once we started Heaven’s Basement we had quite a clear vision of what we needed to do and the types of people we needed to work with.

Were there any times when you just thought it would be easier to give up?
(Chris) We have nothing else to do!
(Richie) It’s the only thing we know how to do, so if we give it up we’re kind of giving up on life, you may as well go and chuck yourself off a bridge!

Do you feel those difficult times have made you into the band you are today?
(Richie) Definitely! You can’t go through stuff like that and not learn something. A lot of people say to me that we’re quite a closed off unit, we don’t let many people in to the inner circle, but I think that helps us to maintain the single-mindedness of where we’re going as opposed to outside forces telling us we should be doing this and that. It seems to be working for us at the moment.

Are you all happy and settled where you are now, are you proud of being an unsigned band?
(Richie) I don’t think that’s something to be unhappy about, if anything, getting signed could cause more problems.

(Chris) There’s not really been any reason to get signed for the past year, we’ve looked at any interest that has come to us from labels and thought that signing to them would be a massive step back for us. All we’d be doing is giving things away that we don’t need to at the moment. We’ll only sign a deal when the time is right, we’re keen to get our debut album out, but we’re not going to sign a shit deal just to do that.

So far you have only released an EP under the name of Heaven’s Basement, is there an album in the pipeline?
(Chris) We definitely want to get it out as soon as possible, hopefully early next year.

Are you going to be playing any new songs in your set tonight?
(Richie) Yeah, I would imagine what we play tonight will feature on the album, but we’re writing all the time, so you never know. A lot of the stuff we wrote at the beginning for example, probably wouldn’t make it onto an album now. You never know really, maybe some of the songs we’ve just recorded will make it onto the album, but we’re definitely loading the set tonight with a lot of new songs. The whole idea was to have these songs, which we have already recorded, on our Myspace for people to hear before this tour, but that didn’t happen! So people are just going to have to hear them for the first time in the crowd head banging!

Do you have any personal highlights of 2009?
(Richie) For me it was the Papa Roach tour, the amazing venues and amazing crowds, and Papa Roach were an amazing band. It was a pleasure to get to know them on a personal basis as well. I found it really inspiring.

(Chris) I’ll say aside from the music and the gigs, is getting to visit loads and loads of interesting places. This year we’ve been to Berlin, Rome, Spain! We’ve been everywhere.

(Richie) It’s a weird life when people pay you to go on holiday.

(Chris) Yeah, we can literally go to one of these places with hardly any money and have an amazing time!

What does 2010 hold in store for Heaven’s Basement?
(Chris) Album, touring, and that’s it!

(Richie) More of this!

(Chris) When we’re not touring, we’ll be recording. At this stage of our career we can’t afford to take a month or two off, we’d pedal back six months if we did that! We’re going to do another tour in February or March, but it’s going to be all the towns that we didn’t play on this tour! Keep on truckin’!

Interview By Ben Connell
 Band Members

 Latest Releases
Heaven's Basement - Heaven's Basement
Release Date - 20th April 2009
1. Tear your heart out
2. Executioner's day
3. Graduation
4. Can't let go
5. Fear of getting off
6. Reign on my parade
 Band Related Links
Heavens Basement Myspace