You couldn’t take your eyes off it, could you? That startling image is called ‘Flight of the Basics.’ I know what you’re thinking. There’s something strangely disturbing about seeing two ginger haired guys naked. Far be it from me to incite some sort of pigmentational prejudice, but that’s just not something you see too often.
Guitarist Tim Heath sighs. I’m sitting across from him, trying to forget about that image. Drummer and vocalist Willy De Backer sniggers as Tim tries to explain. He wasn’t too keen on the idea, he tells, crossing his legs. I can’t help but think of Basic Instinct.
“It wasn’t my idea. The other guys came up with it and I just had to go along. It was kinda weird.”
I’m tempted to ask more. I try to shrug it off by bringing up the massive touring schedule The Basics embarked on in 2008.
They spent most of the year travelling “to some of the most remote outback areas Australia has to offer.” It was a learning experience in many ways. One thing Tim recalls was having to adjust to doing matinee performances.
“We were used to having a few beers before we went on stage. Normally we play around ten at night, and all of a sudden we had to get used to playing sober at two in the afternoon. It was an adjustment.”
It was a busy and productive time for the band. Most of their new album was written while they were on the road. The new single With This Ship was released on February 24th.
Willy explains that it marks “a huge break from anything we have done in the past,”
“We have gone from retro styling to a more contemporary sound. This is proof of a more deeply personal and emotional part that has come out in each of us and you can feel that through all these songs.”
The familiar influences are still there. The old school soul, rock and pop sounds of the sixties still meander through their music. Their aim now is “crafting a sound of our own, one that continues to draw on these styles but implements them in a more original and progressive manner.”
The Basics are touring now to showcase some of their new songs in an acoustic setting. Tim says they’re “keen to get back on the road. Last year was great fun, driving from place to place and playing to new people nearly every day.”
Work is almost finished on their new album, with a release slated for later this year. Tight lipped as to when exactly, I can’t help but giggle when Willy tells me the name.
Keep Your Friends Close. Take another look at that picture and tell me that’s not funny.