In Conversation with…THE BASICS

The Basics consists of three mega musicians and creative’s alike, with Tim Heath on vocals and guitar, Kris Schroeder on bass and vocals, and Wally De Backer on vocals and drums (whom some of you may know as Gotye). Each are successful in their own right, but when they come together it’s something really special.

I was lucky enough to get this exclusive interview with Kris Schroeder from the band to talk about life on tour, their fans and everything else in between.

Firstly, I’d like to say thanks for taking the time out to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. The Basics have been a band now for 11 years, having said that you must have so many great memories of being in this band together and you must have many great moments of your career together. So my question is, what’s your personal favourite memory or moment of your career to date?

There have been many as you’d expect, but one in particular was when we were doing the “For Girls Like You” Tour in 2005. We were travelling between Mt. Isa and Katherine and it got very dark very quickly and we were all quite poor at this point, so instead of taking up lodgings at one of the very-overpriced roadhouses, we just pulled off the road, set up the tent and built a huge bonfire. It was so incredibly dark and quiet in the Northern Territory outback, we just sat around singing songs and chatting and just enjoying the peace. It was a real experience between the three of us.

Do you remember the first song you ever wrote together and if you do, can you tell us a bit about it?

Well it’s not the first, but I do clearly remember sitting out on a friends’ lawn in Sydney with Wally writing “My Baby”. We’ve never actually done a studio recording of this song, but it does appear on the vinyl version of the live album. It was a real eye-to-eye session, with lots of funny nonsense lines that sound serious but are actually referring to all sorts of in-jokes. Great song live!

I heard that you play a different set list every night, I love that idea, every night will be special for that reason and because of that there will be surprises every night. Having such a big back catalogue of songs, makes it really rewarding for long time fans by doing this.

Yeah, and it keeps it interesting for us as well. We’re all a bit easily bored, so we need to be kept on our toes!

You are currently on a nationwide tour of Australia. How’s that going so far and has it been different from your previous tours, after taking a few years off to work on your other projects and coming back to touring with each other now?

It’s far more relaxed I’d have to say, after a few years apart musically and personally, the absence has made the heart grow fonder and we’re much more tolerant of each others’ quirks. That makes the time much more enjoyable and as a result we play better.

What’s a show for The Basics normally like?

It’s really hard to say, you know? As with our set lists, it seems to change every night. But generally we like to take the audience on a journey that explores the different aspects of rock’n’roll that we enjoy, from the fun stuff through to the blues and the deep soulful stuff in between. There’s usually a good deal of energy, some tongue-in-cheek humour and lots of smiles.

How do you fill your time while you’re on the road? What music have you been listening to? What TV shows have you been watching? What books have you been reading?

Well we don’t really have time for anything other than listening to some music while on the road, and we’ve all got pretty comprehensive music collections so it’s hard to pinpoint anything in particular! Definitely some new vibes that both Tim and Wally have discovered, while I don’t mind bringing out the old favourites like “Monty Python’s Ultimate Rip Off” which is an old road favourite of ours.

I couldn’t go without asking, can we be expecting any international touring to happen with The Basics in the near future?

We’re pretty keen to get to Japan, but people don’t seem to realise how much of a strain financially, physically and emotionally it is to go touring, especially overseas. Unless you’ve got a release there – even in spite of the few super-keen fans that say the shows will be sold out – there’s really no point. If that happens we’ll think about it.

We’re big supporters of new music here at Bitter Sweet Symphonies. Having said that, are there any new artists that have caught your attention recently that you’d like to share with us?

You should get onto our support band Hoy! They are great!

Do you have any tips for new bands starting out, any advice that you could give them?

Lower your expectations. Be nice to each other, and nice to your fans. Remember your audience.

You have a great relationship with your fans, is there anything that you’d like to share with them right now?

I’ve got a panini here that I’ve not finished… want a bite?


A special thanks to The Basics for this interview and for more info on the band, check out the following links below.

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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