It took Chris Rivers, drummer with UK’s loudest export, Heaven’s Basement, 10 years, three band names, and seven ex-bandmates to finally make it down to Australia for the Soundwave festival, stopping by Arena Joondalup on Monday, March 3. SHANE PINNEGAR gets the full story.
Formed in 2003 as Hurricane Party, the band released one EP before renaming themselves Roadstar the following year. Two albums followed before disbanding in 2007, then three quarters of the last Roadstar lineup returned the following year as Heaven’s Basement, and over the course of two EPs and last year’s excellent Filthy Empire album – and a couple more lineup changes – they’ve evolved into a formidable rock’n’roll beast.
Drummer Chris Rivers agrees that 2013 was when everything finally gelled.
“Yeah, definitely,” he says, “we had been on the road all year, touring both North America and Europe at the same time, really taking on the whole world in one go. Obviously that is extending with Australia for the first time and hopefully other parts of the world as well. So it was the perfect year, really.”
Rivers says the band name and lineup changes were necessary to get where they are now.
“The main difference with those bands,” he says with a deep breath, “The actual guys in the band were really cool, we got along really well but the organisation behind the scenes was not the best in terms of management and things like that. At the time we were a lot younger and naive to the way of the world and the way the actual music business works and stuff, so there was a lot of hindrance from that side of things.
“We wanted to get away from all of that and start fresh. Five guys, let’s go play some stuff and build it up from scratch, the way it should have been done the first place.
“So that’s how Heaven’s Basement started, really, and it’s only me and Sid (Glover, guitar) left from the last version of Roadstar and all the others left before the start of Heaven’s Basement. Now we are obviously a four piece and we have Rob and Aaron (Ellershaw and Buchanan, bass and vocals, respectively), they were the final pieces of the jigsaw.
“It is a case of the way the planets aligned really,” he continues, “For me, personally, Heaven’s Basement is a step up musically as well. Those bands were important in terms of getting experience and touring and things like that. It was all a step in the right direction for what Heaven’s Basement eventually became.”
Rivers says Soundwave audiences should prepare themselves for an immersive rock’n’ roll show.
“I think we’ll appeal to anyone who likes a live, energetic rock‘n’roll show,” he explains enthusiastically, “we are very much an old school mentality band in terms of our live show – it is just guitar bass, drums, vocals – it’s edgy and it’s unpredictable. There is nothing else apart from those instruments making the sound of the band. We are all about crowd interaction, so the more people that watch, the more off the hook it is going to be.”