Heaven's Basement

After touring with some incredible bands and really starting to make their mark on the rock scene, Heaven’s Basement released their debut full-length ‘Filthy Empire’ a couple of weeks ago. We had a chat with frontman Aaron Buchanan about what they’ve got coming up in the future, Red Bull Records and life on the road. Keep an eye out for these boys, because you could be seeing a lot more of them.

YOU’RE ON TOUR IN THE UK RIGHT NOW. HOW’S IT GOING?

It’s great. Really really good. We’re enjoying the venues. I like the way that it smells of England. We’ve spent a lot of time in America so it’s good to be back where the band belongs: in a shitty dirty little club. I enjoy playing shows in America, but Britain has got the best of everything. People that complain about it don’t know what they’ve got.

SO WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING OVER IN THE STATES?

We recorded in Los Angeles and did the album over there. We spent about three or four months in total over there and then we did the Halestorm tour and played with The Darkness at Club Nokia. That was a great show. And we’ve just done the Canadian tour with Buckcherry, which was great. They’ve got a great crew, they’re a good band and nice people. It’s always good to work with nice people because there aren’t many of them left in the world, but yeah, they were really good so hopefully we’ll get to play with them again. There are rumours but we shall see.

SEEMS LIKE YOU’VE BEEN VERY BUSY…

Yeah! When the album was done and dusted we came back to the UK and started a European tour with Halestorm. We played with The Darkness, Halestorm and Buckcherry and then we toured with Seether in Europe and straight after that we did our last shows of the year with Duff McKagan. That was pretty cool.

YOU’RE ON RED BULL RECORDS NOW. HAS THAT BEEN A BIG HELP TO YOU?

Yeah, hugely. I think Red Bull Records is a great thing. It’s a complete offshoot of what Red Bull is. I know someone slated them for being a big corporate thing, but that is not the case at all. They’re the same as any other record label that’s good at what they do. They’re just trying to do a good job, and they’ve been absolutely fantastic to us. The fact that they signed us enabled us to do all these tours, and they’ve supported the album immensely. There’s been a great amount of exposure, because people want to work with them. They’re good at what they do and they’re lovely people. We signed with them in August 2011, just after the first tour I did with the band. They came to see us in Manchester and sent us a contract pretty much immediately after.

‘FILTHY EMPIRE’ IS YOUR FIRST PROPER FULL LENGTH…

Yeah, the response has been insane. We didn’t expect anything like it. it was unfortunate about HMV because we did 1500 pre-orders with them, but Amazon, iTunes and Play have all been a huge help with distributing the album, so I think it all worked out anyway. But yeah, we can’t believe the response the album’s had. We like to call it a new take on old school rock.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOURING PLANS NOW?

We’ve got a very small break in March to catch our breath before the onslaught begins. First of all we head over to America for South By South West and then we’ll do some other festivals. When we come back we want to focus on the UK and Europe a bit more. That’s the beginning of the onslaught, because we’ll be on tour for the rest of the year and probably most of the beginning of next year as well. As I said, the label look after us well, and we’ve been very privileged to do all these tours before the album even came out. We’re very lucky that people at Red Bull care about the music and not just the money like a lot of other labels.

DO YOU ENJOY LIFE ON THE ROAD?

It has its moments. I enjoy playing all the shows, that’s what I got into a band to do, but people don’t realise how much work actually goes into it. You have good days, you have bad days. Sometimes we wanna kill each other, sometimes we feel great about life. It really does depend. If you have an argument sometimes it’s not even anything to do with the person you’re arguing with. The most important thing is we’re there to play a show and nothing should stand in the way of it and that’s why we go out and do it every single night. We’ve been holding it together for a couple of years so why not continue?

YOU RECORDED WITH JOHN FELDMANN. HOW WAS THAT?

Turbulent. There was a lot of friction during the recording process. But if there wasn’t that, it wouldn’t sound angry, it wouldn’t sound like there was something to say and it wouldn’t sound the way that it does, and that’s the thing that sells it because there’s so many bands out there that are trying to fake this anger thing. We were in there and we were pissed off and we had something to say, and I think that’s what people want to hear sometimes. They don’t always want to hear bands that sound like Enya. But yeah, it was good, it felt fresh. The response we’ve had from the album has proven that it is what people – I think – want to hear.

WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL?

It’s easy for bands to say they want to play arenas, but I don’t care much for stuff like that. All I wanna do is see progression. If this year we play to 400 people in a club and next year we play to 500 people in the same club that’s good enough for me. I want to see a constant progression. Because if we end up playing a stadium next week, that’s pretty much the end of the career. I mean, how do you improve? How do you sustain another two or three years of that? I feel that a lot of bands that get that, the longevity of their career is questionable at best. I don’t really want to be one of those bands. As a musician, I just wanna grow and that’s all that really matters to me. Every time I go to a show I wanna see more people and I wanna see people enjoy our show because we need to get better. We’re a relatively new band on the scene and we’re not the best band in the world. I’m not trying to undersell us but there’s a lot to learn and to make better and that’s what I want to achieve.

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