There’s something about a badass pure rock ‘n’ roll band that can get my blood stirring like nothing else. And when it comes to that genre, UK rockers Heaven’s Basement have, in my opinion, nailed that sound better than anyone else today. Every song on their debut full length album Filthy Empire is badass and if you haven’t heard it yet and balls to the wall rock is your kinda thing, you are sorely missing out!
So color me excited when a few weeks ago I was able to chat with guitarist Sid Glover over the phone about the band, their future plans, and life on the road! Head on below for this exclusive interview.
Bloody-Disgusting: How are you doing?
Sid Glover: Really good! We’re in North America at the moment. We were supposed to be touring with The Pretty Reckless but, unfortunately, Taylor [Momsen] got sick so we couldn’t do the tour. So, we’re over here doing press and hitting all the bars in N. America! [laughs]
BD: I was going to come check you guys out in Flint, Michigan…
SG: Yeah, it was just such short notice! But Taylor, she’s a trooper! She works through things that I couldn’t. She couldn’t even speak, man. There’s not really anything you can do. Hopefully we’ll get to reschedule some of the shows.
BD: It’s one of those things that comes out of nowhere and you can’t plan for it.
SG: Yeah, it’s just one of those things. It’s upsetting because they have their new album coming out that they worked really hard on.
BD: So listen, I’m really excited that we’re getting this chance to talk! Honestly, ‘Filthy Empire’ is, for me, one of the most badass albums I’ve listened to in a while. With a lot of debut albums there are some great songs but then there are a few filler tracks. That’s just what I’m used to hearing. But with ‘Filthy Empire’, there weren’t any! Every track on there f*cking kicks ass!
SG: [laughs] Well, thank you man! That means so much! That’s exactly what we set out to do. The whole point of the album was that we wanted it to have no filler on it! We wanted to go out, headline shows, play the whole album and have people f*cking love it, y’know? We grew up listening to Appetite For Destruction, Rage Against The Machine‘s debut album, Oasis‘ Definitely Maybe… We wanted every song to deserve its place on the album.
BD: For me, it all kicked off with “Fire, Fire”, which is pure balls to the wall, kick ass rock. I played it for a bunch of people and every single one of them loved it!
SG: That’s f*cking great, man! That’s what we wanted to achieve! The reason we put that out first is because we felt like it summed up the band for people who have never heard us before. It had the riffs and at one point I’m pretty sure all four of us are soloing [laughs] and it felt like a cool introduction.
BD: You guys are touring basically nonstop and I’m curious what it’s like having such a busy schedule ahead of you?
SG: It’s awesome! It’s all we ever wanted as a band. The only reason we did an album was to tour. We’re a live band. We come to life on stage. In the early days we would get shows and get people to let us play everywhere we could. The longer we did that, the more fans we built up. Then there came the demand for an album, so we did Filthy Empire. But it was only really so we could get some songs out and go touring. We live for this sh*t.
Somewhere along the way it became about touring to promote an album whereas it used to be an album was a souvenir you took away to listen to because you’re not at the show! We have that mentality. The album is something to tide you over until the next gig.
BD: Music is such an easy commodity these days. As you said, an album is something you took away from a show because you want to remember the experience. Now it’s more, “Let me buy a single, go to the show, and then not know the other tracks.”
SG: [laughs] Exactly! If you think about bands like Pink Floyd, who created albums, that worked as something to be played as a whole at shows, and now you can go and buy one or two songs and it kinda f*cks the whole work up!
That’s how we structured the album. We structured it like a live gig. We close on “Executioner’s Day”, which closed nearly every single set we’ve ever played.
You’ll hear people these days talking about the creative process and whether or not the song will be good for radio and it’s f*cking disgusting. It’s wrong. It needs to get back to how it was.
BD: Well, that’s the hope, right? That people go back to enjoying music as an art form and not as some sort of commodity.
SG: Well, I think people as a whole know what real music is versus what’s crafted for the radio. Take a band like The Arctic Monkeys in England. They recorded an album themselves, released it online, and gave it away for free and fans loved it. They became successful for that. And then when they put the album out, they still had the fastest selling album in England of all time since Oasis. So, real music still speaks to people. I think there’s a lot of industry bollocks that gets in the way. There’s too much emphasis on how many spins you’re going to get rather then how many people you’re going to move.
BD: Coming back to touring, you guys have a lot of festival dates coming up. Do you feel that these shows differ from standard touring gigs?
SG: Festivals are something really special. It’s amazing. I think it’s the energy because there’s so many fans there and so many creative folks, people playing. It’s an intensified version of a normal show. It’s a massive high and we love it. I love touring and doing festivals at the same time because it keeps you on your toes.
We got to do Kansas City Rock Festival and Rock on the Range, which we’re going to do again this year, Rocklahoma, and all these other amazing festivals in North America and we have such a good time. The crowds are awesome! And we get to play alongside a lot of American bands that we become friends with and look up to.
It’s different. I would say our headline shows are a more intense, specific gigs where the crowd knows you and you know them. But a festival is a friendly, open environment. And the great thing about them is that it’s a great place to spread the word and reach new people.
BD: So, I gotta ask, what’re the plans for a second album?
SG: Well, it goes like this. We’re in the sketch stage at the moment. We’ve not officially sat down as a band and worked on any songs. I know that we’ve each come up with some stuff. We’re probably very close to sharing our ideas and working on some stuff but we still have a lot of life left in Filthy Empire. We have tours in Australia, Europe, and America, so we’re still in tour mode. But we are, in the back of our minds, beginning the creation process for the new album.
BD: What is the best source of inspiration for new material?
SG: So, we finished up touring just before Christmas and we had all of January off. So, we’ve been touring for the better part of two, maybe three years. I think we did 180 gigs last year alone. So that can get quite hectic.
So, touring can provide quite a lot of inspiration. When you’re away from home for such a long time it causes issues with your home life versus your touring life. There’s inspiration that can be taken from there. You’re basically going through a roller coaster of emotions by going through a tour for a couple of years. Touring is its own inspiration.
BD: Your music has been in a couple of video games. Is there a song on ‘Filthy Empire’ that, when you hear it, you think it’d be perfect for a specific type of movie scene, video game, or anything like that?
SG: When we’re writing the music, no, we don’t really think of that. But in hindsight, I think “Lights Go Out In London” lends to that because our verses are very visual and dirty and gritty. I think that would work quite well. It’s one of my favorite parts of the album, it conjures up a certain kind of feeling.
BD: Alright Sid, it’s been a pleasure! Thank you so much for your time and I can’t wait to see you guys at some point this year!
SG: Thanks very much!