The Basics

The Basics – Getting Political

The Basics are anything but.

Comprising of a triple Grammy award winner, Wally de Backer (better known as Gyote), a film maker, Tim Heath, and an aid worker, Kris Schroeder, the band could quite easily have their own reality TV show, but instead combine together to be one of the countries most dedicated and talented trio’s.

For the past 13 years The Basics have plied their trade throughout countless tours of Australia, as well as gigs in Japan, Norway, England and Iceland before deciding to take a bit of time off for ‘personal reasons’. This could prove a death knell for many bands, but The Basics actually found it helped revive their career. “Obviously Wally has had a bit of success over the last few years,” Kris laughed, “and I was off in Kenya and we didn’t really think that the band would actually be doing any more stuff but late last year we kind of arranged a gig or two and that exploded into 40 odd gigs and a new album so we must still have something to say!”

In the three years the band had their hiatus much has changed in the musical world, with music tastes and styles giving way to trends and fashions and many older bands becoming outdated, but Kris says it was a combination of their fans’ dedication and also their own growth in that period that convinced them their music was still relevant.

“Our shows were selling out really quickly,” he explained, “and the audiences were great and the new material that we were writing was getting a better response than probably anything we’d done before and people kept asking ‘are you going to do anything else?’ and we weren’t against it, it was more a question of why? There’s plenty of bands and music around but I guess the message from our new music and the way people responded to it has given us a reason to keep going.”

Kris says that after so long together that the members have had their share of disagreements, but in the end it boils down to one underlying factor. “We’re like a family really,” he mused. “I don’t think we inhabit one particular personality or the other. Sometimes Wally can be a bit of a perfectionist and Tim’s pretty loose and easy and I’m somewhere in between but that doesn’t necessarily apply in all situations. Sometimes I can be the real hard ass or Tim can be, we just carry each other depending on whatever the vibe is or whatever the song is. You’re never the same from night to night so sometimes you’re just there for each other.”

In the time the band spent apart, Kris says they learn a lot not just about each other, but more importantly about themselves. “It was great because when you’re in a band you can get to a point it where it feels really constraining and constrictive because you sort of wanna try things and people would be like ‘uh, I don’t really like that idea’ and you’re like ‘well I’m gonna do it anyway’ but that can create tension and whatever so it was great to explore some things personally, both in terms of professional and personal growth, sort of try some things out and get some things off your chest and get some things out of the way so now we’ve come back and we’ve learnt a lot about ourselves and about each other and I think we’re just a lot more patient and a lot more relaxed about what we’re doing so we’re not so desperate or push ourselves as hard or be as hard on each other.”

As for the time lapsed in terms of their fans opinions of their music and to whether or not The Basics music would be as relevant, Kris was quick to respond. “I think we were always a bit….. there was a quote someone said about us, they called us “fifty years behind but 1000 years ahead”, so I think…. We’ve always done our own thing. We haven’t ever been in a scene or belonged to a scene so I think people have gravitated towards us in the time that we were away. We seem to pick up new fans all the time. Our music never really grows old or outdated because it’s the message in the music, it’s not just about a groove or a sound. It’s the whole package with The Basics that people can engage with at any time of the day or any time of their lives so there’s plenty to discover and we’ve found it’s been getting more and more. This new material is definitely more politically and socially aware. There’s been a lot of bad stuff happen around the country and overseas in the last few years and I think we’re probably more relevant now than ever.”

Aside from their musical prowess, The Basics are also branching out into the world of politics, establishing a party called the Basic’s Rock and Roll Party (B.R.R.P) which hopes to contest in the upcoming Victorian ballot. “We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” Kris proclaimed, “and starting up a political party that might go National if things go well. Something that actually targets some peripheral issues because people are so caught up with refugees and climate control and stuff which is incredibly relevant but there’s a lot of other stuff that slips by the wayside – stuff like indigenous affairs for example – things that people don’t really engage in at the moment because they’re so bloody busy with all the other huge issues and we just want to be able to bring some attention back to some stuff here at home that’s also pretty important. We’re putting things together at the moment and the response has been great. I trained as a journalist and we’re all university educated so we have a bit of professionalism about what we do and a bit of brains to think when we’re not too tired or exhausted. So yeah, we’re just trying to put together some practical policies which can address some of these issues that have been long standing with a new, fresh approach. There’s too many career politicians in this country, pricks that come from wealthy families and go and study politics and they become politicians at 23 and they’ve never had a life. They have no idea so no wonder they talk shit about how poor people don’t drive cars and stuff. I mean, what the fuck do they know? They’ve never probably been out of Rose Bay so I guess we’re just about demonstrating to young people that there are other options, you don’t just need to put up with the shit we’ve got. You can actually do something about it yourself.”

B.R.R.P, you’ve got my vote.

Kris Peters

The Basics play at the Tanks Arts Centre on Friday, September 5 with support from the Starry Field from 6.30 pm
Tickets are available from or phone 1300 855 835

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