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“We love writing music and we love being creative together. One of my favourite things about being in a band is being able to create something with my friends, so when it came to writing Promise Everything it was just a natural progression, it just made sense,” says Alex.


But not all was quiet on the Basement front. Following the band’s hiatus, Alex landed a position at Boston record label Run For Cover and relocated to the US. With the rest of the band still at home in the UK, Basement wrote the majority of Promise Everything within the confines of their respective locations. The writing process – although resulting in a sonically dense and matured record – had its ups and downs; the burden of distance proved difficult. “Not to say that it was a bad experience, but there were times when I would send over an idea and the guys would listen to it and have a practice without me. The idea would completely change, I would have no say and then when I would eventually come over to practice, the songs had morphed into something I wasn’t really sure of.” “We were working on parts and even writing on the day we were meant to be recording. I mean, we have always done stuff that way, but it would have been nice to have a bit more time. But you know, sometimes pressure is good, maybe it forced us to do the best we could in a short amount of time.”


Happy with the end result of colourmeinkindess, the band reunited with engineer Sam Pura for Promise Everything. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. “After doing colourmeinkindness and working with Sam, we had developed a connection with him, he contributed a lot of great ideas and we trusted him. We thought, “why try anyone else?” – so we flew Sam over to the UK and spent 10 days at Assault & Battery studios in London.” “Sam was really excited to work out of there because of all the great records that came out of that place. Co-founders Alan Moulder and Mark ‘Flood’ Ellis have produced some great records from bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, U2, The Killers, the list goes on. It was funny to see how excited he was. We would be walking down the corridor and Sam would shout, “Oh my god it’s Flood!” He would chat to them, and then we would go back to the Hotel and he would tell us all this crazy stuff that they had been talking about, so that was pretty funny.”


In light of his conversations with the Assault and Battery co-founder, Sam put into practice one of Flood’s tricks of the trade when recording the vocals for Promise Everything. “Towards the end of the recording, when the vocals were being finished up, Sam asked Andrew to sing every song one last time all the way through. Sam setup a microphone into the control room and setup a mini booth as Andrew was sitting there. He did this because when ever Flood had recorded U2, Bono would just sit in the chair Andrew was sitting in and would just have an SM58 on record. Andrew went through all the songs and did a few takes. I think that really helped on doubling up the vocals; it gave it a natural sound. Sam said that those takes was some of Andrew’s best.”


A notable part of Basement’s sound is the combination of both Alex and Ronan Crix’s guitar sounds. Each guitarist’s tone compliments the other and forms a dense wall of over-driven guitar layers. When it came to record Promise Everything, Alex made use of his 1980 Gibson Les Paul ‘The Paul’. “I’ve never had my own Gibson before,” says Alex. “Before that I had an Orville, which is an old Japanese copy, so I finally went and bought an actual Gibson. It’s my favourite guitar now and I used that throughout the new record.” Fellow guitarist Ronan on the other hand made use of a Fender Jazzmaster. “I think both guitars work really well together. Ronan used the Jazzmaster and it has such a bright sound and then from the Les Paul we would have that really nice warm, kind of gritty sounding rhythm track.”


As far as amps and pedals go, Alex admits he is not one for gear indulgence, “I’m not a crazy gear head, but I’m trying to learn. You know what, I’m not somebody who spends thousands of dollars on gear; I like getting a deal. I might be the wrong guy to talk about this stuff [laughs], I’m more of a nerd about camera gear.” 


Basement’s latest offering, Promise Everything, is available now through Run For Cover.