Heaven’s Basement release debut album Filthy Empire
Out on 4th February, Filthy Empire is the debut album by Heaven’s Basement. Perfectly in keeping with the band’s no-holds-barred attitude and hard rock aesthetic, the twelve track LP doesn’t let off from the get-go, hitting you with a purpose to bowl you over.
The band has worked hard over the years honing their skills, touring with the likes of Papa Roach, Tesla, Halestorm and Bon Jovi. Filthy Empire is an accumulation of songs from this period and you can feel the confidence from the opening track, which kick starts proceedings like an electric shock to the heart.
We spoke to bassist Rob Ellershaw and lead guitarist Sid Glover on the release of Filthy Empire.
Where did the name of the band derive from?
Sid Glover: When we first got together and decided we were going to go at it as a band we were in a living room under street level, and I was originally just trying to name the room. I came up with Heaven’s Basement and it just stuck.
You’ve toured with some important names and played some big festivals. What have you learnt from those experiences?
SG: You learn to be as easy going and as relaxed as possible because it’s so chaotic that if you have too much of a plan of how you want things to go it won’t go like that at a festival.
Rob Ellershaw: Because we’re such a young band the important thing for us was to learn from everyone we played with. The best thing you can do is to learn from watching them.
Filthy Empire was produced by John Feldman. How did he get the best out of you?
SG: From pure conflict. It was great because we’d butt heads but when we were all happy with something it was special.
RE: The best thing about Feldman is that he’s such a fun guy to be around so it was an awesome environment to record our debut album in.
Do you enjoy performing rock ballads such as The Price We Pay, which appears on the record?
RE: We didn’t force an acoustic track but when it came out it was a cool thing to be able to show a different dimension to what we do.
SG: There was a real emotion behind that song. We wanted to show we’re not just a hard rock band – we wanted to do other things.
Who are your biggest influences musically?
SG: Neil Young, Muse, Rage Against the Machine, Pink Floyd, ACDC.
RE: I used to listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blink 182 a lot. You don’t just want to listen to ACDC all day.
SG: I don’t mind listening to them all day.
Filthy Empire is a non-stop hard rock bonanza. Are you proud of it?
SG: I’m really proud of it – to the point that I don’t really care what people think of it because I’m happy with it, and as a musician you can’t ask for more than that.
RE: We got given the first physical copies of it the other day and we popped it on in the van, and I was so happy about how big it sounds and the energy to it. It’s the best of what we’ve done.
The energy of the band’s live performances is evident on the LP. There is a clear ACDC influence, with thumping verses that crescendo into call and response type choruses in Fire, Fire and Long Goodbye. Tracks like Be Somebody, and the rock ballad The Price We Pay appeal more to the mainstream. This may be a welcome show of diversity to those needing respite from shredding guitars and heavy use of kick and snare, or it may be condemned as an obvious attempt to sell records.
Nevertheless, like most decent albums, Filthy Empire manages to end with the same purpose it began with, ensuring an impression is left on the listener. The album was produced by John Feldman in LA, and it seems the band enjoyed the process. This is a solid debut that sits within its genre but doesn’t blow it wide apart – a good first outing from the promising British hard rock band.
Filthy Empire is released on 4th February 2013.
Watch the video for Fire, Fire here: