Spring, 2017. The UK's Basement have just relaunched their acclaimed 2016 album, Promise Everything, as a deluxe reissue via their new label Fueled By Ramen and the future looks bright. The album has been fully remastered, with two songs going a step further -- "Aquasun" was remixed, while the title track was completely re-recorded and mixed by Andrew Scheps (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day). The band also turned in 4 bonus tracks to round out the deluxe offering.
Since forming in 2008 and releasing their debut album, I Wish I Could Stay Here, Basement's history has been dotted with breaks and rebirth. Over the years, the members have grown to embrace their own personal paths, spreading them to new homes (some in new countries), and still, a chemistry continues to thrive. The group's own brand of grunge-fueled melodic post-punk brings to mind a fusion of Weezer and Nirvana, while the band stays true to their own character, and loyal to their roots in DIY through hard work and passion.
In 2012, following the release of their second LP, Colourmeinkindness, and only a few shows supporting it, Basement made a bold decision. They took a break. Life took over the driver's seat -- Alex Henery moved to the US to take a job working with the band's then-label, Run For Cover, while Andrew Fisher pursued a teaching career near his home in East London, and relished in it. "I loved being able to witness young people building their own sense of identity and personhood. It's completely different because teaching is 100% about other people; my life was dedicated to focusing on anyone but me," said Andrew. "Even when I was trying to develop my skill set and abilities as a teacher, it was with the goal of it directly benefitting the students." He continued, "The band was all about me and what I want, which was never something I was truly comfortable with."
Still, in the band's absence, something happened. Their following grew rapidly. Another key turning point, and what eventually swayed Andrew, was some direct conversations with his father, who encouraged him to pursue the rare opportunity before him. "If the number one person in my life that I turn to for stability and common sense is telling me that I'm not doing the right thing and to take a chance with music, then I've got to do the right thing and take the chance." Andrew explained.
In 2014, Basement returned by simply tweeting, "Hi." Fans knew exactly what it meant. Soon after, the band delivered an EP called Further Sky, the recording of which went so positively, they all agreed it was time to play shows again. 11 US dates were announced and each sold out, including the grand ballroom of Webster Hall in New York City. For Alex, the line in the sand had been drawn. He made the choice to downsize his position at Run For Cover to take the next step in Basement's journey: To begin writing Promise Everything with his band mates, and dedicating himself to its pursuits.
"I see the meaning of Promise Everything in the sense that I'm going to promise everything to this band-- I'm going to give everything I have to it," Alex said. "To me, it's us all agreeing that we're going to commit to it and see what happens." Alex rejoined the band members in London to record Promise Everything at Assault and Battery 2 Studios (owned by Flood and Alan Moulder), and released it in January 2016. Over the next year, the band toured all over the world in support of the record, gaining interest from major record labels and eventually signing to Fueled By Ramen, who urged them to not rush through the cycle and let them re-issue the record. With that came the opportunity to revisit some arrangements, and record bonus tracks. Andrew explains, "When we recorded the album we didn't have the luxury of time. The concept of sitting on songs and making sure we were happy with their arrangement was alien to us. With the re-issue of the record we felt it was the perfect opportunity to go back and make the album even better."
All the myriad roads and winding paths travelled have led Basement here, to 2017, with a new chapter to dive into. The five lads from Ipswich have stuck together and taken each formidable step along the way in stride, and using their humble roots and DIY values to guide them. They've promised everything to the band and to each other, and now is the time to see where those vows will take them.