Friday, November 8, 2013

Basick Sickness : DoFunky Interview (Music)

Basick Sickness Interview for
 Shane Nightingale

Basick Sickness hail from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. With five releases under their belt and a growing fanbase, they continue to evolve. I was lucky enough to grab some of their time for the following interview a few weeks ago after reviewing their album 'Before It's Too Late' (which you can see - HERE) and becoming a fan in the process.

With every man and his dog (or cute/grumpy cat) releasing music these days on Youtube, Soundcloud and other mediums. It is hard to sort through the crap and find music that is worthy of listening to. Music that may not have seen the light of day in your own social group, area or even country. Basick Sickness is such a band, and I invite you to listen to their material for yourself via Basick

Shane: After the Hip-Hop release of ‘The Sickness is Spreading’, there seems to have been a quick shift into creatively tinkering with your sound leading into the ‘Get Some’ album. Was the change something that was based on outside influences?  Or was there a natural fascination to experiment with your sound and see where it goes?

Basick Sickness: A little bit of both. Everyone in the band has very diverse taste. So while the first release was mainly hip-hop, there were a bunch of wild sampled influences in it. Rock, rap, to classical. But, as the progression on the band went on, I think the group got more comfortable on the angry side of things. And we all love weird shit, so there is no where we are afraid to go musically.

Shane: How did the collaboration with DJ B Tips on ‘Got Some’ come about?

Basick Sickness: Btips is the bands DJ – at the time, a hiphop club dj. So it was a natural thing. He just took the acapellas and flipped a few of 'em. The awesome part is that the delivery of the vocals is so on point, that it can be laid on anything and still come out crisp.

Shane: For me there were hints of Nu Metal experimentation as far back as ‘(Pull) What you got’ from ‘The Sickness is Spreading’ album, and even electro metal experimentation leaning into an almost ‘Nine Inch Nails’ feel with tracks like ‘Whore’ on ‘Get Some’. Was there a specific light-bulb moment or event leading into the recording of ‘Before It’s Too Late’ that led to the band towards adopting more of a Nu Metal sound?

Basick Sickness: Growing up, we were all fans of nu metal, along with gangster rap, and industrial (nine inch nails – actually saw them last week) to alt rock. The only way to truly incorporate all those sounds together is to fall into nu metal. I actually recall into the recording of Get Some when the bulb went off..  I remember thinking that we make really good rap music, (we have done at least 150 straight up rap shows with great feedback), but we make awesome nu-metal, so that’s pretty much where we started going. But again, we are are hybrid nu-metal sound, infusing industrial, 90’s alt-rock, along with the more traditional nu-metal sound.

Shane: Was the transition from Hip-Hop to Nu Metal easy? What if any were the difficulties you faced? Was there any Fan backlash?

Basick Sickness: Very easy transition, especially since we always had a bit of that influence to being with. Now a days, most fans are very eclectic in their tastes, everyone likes to ride around to a nice groove, and everyone likes to get pumped up to some rowdy shit. So we didn’t really exclude anyone.  At the same time, I continued to do feature verses on straight up Rap songs, so it was business as usual. The biggest difficulty, was actually building a proper band (drums, guitar, bass, dj).

Shane: What are the bands musical influences?

Basick Sickness: Fuck…… I hate this question in interviews. I never know what to say – Do I list the bands that we grew up listening to? Or do I list what I am listening to right now? 99% of the time I name bands we grew up with. So for this time, I’ll skip my mp3 player 10 times and name what comes up. Cool? I hope so. 1. Ill Bill ft. Raekwon, 2. Method Man, 3. 2Pac, 4. Nine Inch Nails, 5. BB King X Jimi Hendrix, 6. Tyler, the Creator, 7. White Zombie, 8. Nirvana, 9. Danny Brown, 10. The Prodigy.

Shane: The first taste I got of Basick Sickness was the clip for ‘FMSC’, which led me to the clips for ‘Inches’ and ‘Attack’ from the ‘Before It’s Too Late’ release. ‘Attack’ had an instant impact on me with it’s energetic, grab you by the balls feel and ultimately led to this interview taking place. Which songs do you think represent Basick Sickness for a first time listener?

Basick Sickness: ATTACK 100% - that is pretty much spot fucking on, and what you felt, is exactly what we were going for.  However, I think at this point, Water has our most views, and I hope when people hear that, then step into our other stuff, they aren’t thrown for a loop, thinking we were gonna be some downtrotten down-tempo sounding ensemble.

Video Clip: Basick Sickness - Attack

Shane: The video clip for ‘Water’ shows haunting footage of the abandoned Six Flags at New Orleans (the US equivalent to Gold Coast’s Dreamworld) filmed shortly after Hurricane Katrina. How did you come across the footage?

Basick Sickness: We partnered with videographer Teddy Smith for that piece.

Shane: Was the song written prior to the devastation of Katrina? Or did Katrina serve as a catalyst to the song-writing process with ‘Water’ in any way?

Basick Sickness: So when that song was written, the actual music was inspired by a How To Destroy Angels song. I made the rough demo of it, then gave it to EO to make into the masterpiece you hear today (he is insanely talented). So once he gave me back his mix of it and the idea he had for how he wanted the song to be arranged. I sat on it for a little while, and on one rainy night after listening to it on repeat for about an hour, this is a few months after Katrina, the lyrics came to me. The lyrics are 100% related to Katrina. We are a very politically charged band, but with the cluster-fuck that happened there, and the feel of the song, Everything just fit perfectly, then luckily, a few weeks after it was recorded, the footage was acquired, and  again, perfect match. I couldn’t be happier with that whole project.

Shane: Since redefining the bands direction, do you still approach song-writing the same way as you did in the beginning, or have things changed?

Basick Sickness: I would say since the 2nd CD, the writing process has pretty much been the same. I start with a rough demo, lay a ton of vocals on it, let EO polish it up a bit, then we edit some of the vocals down, or I re-record, then he and I go back and forth on the demos rearranging and polishing up until we get where we like. To this day, we have never had an argument about a song or our sound.

Shane: You’ve released new material in 2013 with ‘Too Far Past Gone’. What sort of response/feedback have you been getting from your core fans?

Basick Sickness: Great feedback. They like the direction we have taken, and like how we have stayed true to ourselves, while not sacrificing our sound. Some “sickness is spreading” fans still joke with us to make a few straight up rap songs here and there.

Shane: Will Basick Sickness be gigging in the near future?

Basick Sickness: We are actually looking into doing a secret style type of show in a very intimate setting and filming the whole thing for a live DVD/CD project.

Shane: What is next for Basick Sickness?

Basick Sickness: There is no stopping… As I type this, I am waiting on 2 videos to upload – one of an old song we just found on a random hard drive, and one off of the new cd. The band still has a few more good years of going hard until we’ll have to hang it up.

Shane: If this interview had taken place in your home town, where would be sitting right now talking?  And what sort of beer would you be passing me?

Basick Sickness: We’d either be at the bar or in my living room. If in my home I’d be passing you one of my own home brew beers. If we were out, I’d say at a local shithole bar with good beer, I don’t drink shit beer, probably drinking a bitter ass IPA, or some weird bourbon barrel aged beer. (clearly you’ve seen my instagram and all the weird beer pics I put up. haha)

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