Spoon, The Clash, Phoenix
Nick Craven (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Tom Spira (drums, vocals), Nick Beresford-Wylie (lead guitar, piano, sax, backing vocals) and Todd Gregory (bass)
The Smiths, Prince, The Shins
Unearthed artists we like
Performances in front of thousands at the Groovin’ the Moo festival and the national Make Poverty History concert, sold out shows in iconic interstate venues supporting some of the country’s best bands, a swag of new recordings and a debut video on the way – 2010 has been the culmination of a busy couple of years for Canberra indie-poppers Hancock Basement. Formed on ANU campus and named after an infamous uni lovespot, the band spawned from a chance meeting of four very different minds (sample subjects: Archaeology, Design, Law) united by their outwardly cool record collections and closet love of pop music. The lads swiftly gained a reputation for their, ahem, spirited live shows and were soon opening for acts like the Presets, Cut Off Your Hands, Datarock, the Sleepy Jackson and Operator Please. The group next decamped to Bigjesusburger Studios to record with Berkfinger (Philadelphia Grand Jury), Jorden Brebach (Dappled Cities) and Chris Townend (Silverchair,) and the resulting recordings saw them take out triple j’s Trackside Unearthed competition, with the track ‘Hey Kids’ added to rotation. A double A-side 7” vinyl ensued, and included the winning song and the glorious 'Don Juan’ (which made it to the semi-finals of the International Songwriting competition). The autobiographical 'Oh, Todd' followed shortly after, as did mammoth touring up and down the east coast of Australia taking in festivals and supports for bands including Bluejuice, Bertie Blackman, John Steel Singers and Wolf & Cub. Thanks to the band's appearance on an 'Artists to Watch' compilation in the US, which featured the likes of rap renegade Kid Cudi, the tracks were added to multiple US college radio stations and blogs. Knuckling down with hip-hop/RnB producer D’Opus (of D'Opus and Roshambo) and Ben Garden from electro masterminds Grafton Primary, Hancock Basement has been recording brand new material that takes a fresh look at its trademark big ‘n’ bouncy indie-pop sound. Keep your eyes peeled for the first taste, 'One in a Million Does', and the band's accompanying debut music video (http://vimeo.com/14629255), as well as a live recording of the boys performing their blistering show at a packed Northcote Social Club in Melbourne. HANCOCK BASEMENT has played festivals with the likes of VAMPIRE WEEKEND, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, SILVERCHAIR, CUT COPY, GOTYE and SPOON and have supported artists including THE PRESETS, BLUEJUICE, THE SLEEPY JACKSON, BERTIE BLACKMAN, WASHINGTON, OPERATOR PLEASE, DATAROCK, CUT OFF YOUR HANDS, THE SCARE, DIGITALISM, YOUTH GROUP, JOHN STEEL SINGERS, YOUNG & RESTLESS, THE BASICS, SOFT TIGERS and many more.
Hancock Basement are winners of our Trackside Festival competition. We were impressed by their recent upload 'Hey Kids'. They'll be playing alongside GYROSCOPE, THE LIVING END, CUT COPY and BLISS N ESSO on November 22nd 2008 in Canberra!
Tell us about your music - how did you develop your sound?
We’re all massive music geeks with ridiculous record collections, so that plays a huge role. In the early days we didn’t have a bass player, so Tom rode the kick drum heavily and Nick C played basslines on the guitar. None of us could play anything particularly well though! As our playing and songwriting improved we added bass, which has rounded off the Hancock Basement sound.
What can the Trackside audience expect from your live performance?
Expect all the usual rock cliches – scissor kicks, arm windmills, a miniature Stonehenge. We used to have a terrible audience participation chant where we’d shout, “when I say ‘Han’, you say ‘Cock’!” Maybe we’ll bring that back again…or maybe not.
You are named after a library at the ANU - that's not very rock n roll of you..
Well, legend has it that the basement of the Hancock Library is haunted. It’s also frequented by young student couples seeking somewhere dark and secluded to engage in extra-curricular activities between the compactors. What’s more, there are signs saying that if you stay down there too long you’re liable to suffocate. So, on the contrary, it is pretty rock n roll.
Aside from Trackside - what's coming up in the future?
We recently recorded a debut mini-album at Bigjesusburger Studios in Sydney with engineer/producers Jorden Brebach and Berkfinger, which will hopefully be released early next year. We’ve collaborated on a track with local hip-hoppers D’opus and Roshambo called ‘The Basement’, which is coming out soon. We’ll also be venturing out of the relative safety of Canberra to do plenty of interstate shows.
Australian music is?
Australian music is Nick Cave, it’s The Vines, it’s the Hilltop Hoods, it’s Pnau and more - it’s as diverse and interesting as the people who live here, and that’s why it’s so great!View Profile Hide Interview