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The Basics

The Basics are a three-piece band from Melbourne,  formed by Wally De Backer and Kris Schroeder in 2002. Their style has been described as anything from 'indie-pop' to 'rock'n'roll' to 'pop-rock', though their records show they span a wide range of genres including reggae, ska, country, and electro-pop.

Formed after Kris met Wally at a party in Melbourne. Initially they played around Melbourne as an acoustic guitar/drums combo, starting at The Opposition in Frankston and the House of Fools in Footscray. In late 2002 they met and later invited Michael Hubbard to join them on electric guitar. Though lacking any real experience with the instrument, Kris willingly purchased his first bass guitar and the trio was born.

During late 2002 and early 2003 The Basics recorded and released an album called Get Back (MGM) and began what was to become regular tours of the East and West coasts of Australia.

Tim Heath joined the group in June 2004, after Michael decided to pursue his solo career. Tim was reportedly the only person to reply to an advertisement in Melbourne's Beat Magazine looking for a new guitarist. Tim apparently answered the advertisement - which said the applicant "must have a love of 50s and 60s rock'n'roll" - thinking that he would be meeting "a couple of old guys to play with on the weekends over some beers". They soon recorded For Girls Like You (MGM)

In 2006, The Basics began recording what is to become known as Stand Out/Fit In. This took several months and was not completed until the end of the year, despite intentions to have it released in June. Instead, they held a successful 'album preview' where each of the tracks was demonstrated in 'rough form' accompanied by a music video for each (produced by Melbourne photographic artist James Bryans). The band also talked about the origins of the songs. This event brought a lot of attention to the band for the idea's originality. They pre-released a radio single 'Just Hold On' from the album. The band played the hugely popular Homebake Festival in Sydney. ("one of the highlights" wrote Sydney Daily Newspaper The Daily Telegraph).

In 2007, the band departed on a tri-state residency which saw them play Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane every week for the month of April - a bold move which brought further attention to the band for its original idea. Riding on the wave of this tour, The Basics departed on their first overseas tour which saw them performing 26 shows around Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Their song 'Rattle My Chain' was used in a series of commercials for Volvo Australia. The song 'Hey There!' featured in the British film The Bank Job - starring Jason Statham - and was used as the backing a short film directed by Tim Longhurst called The Rip (2007). Their song 'Better' was featured in a surfing documentary about the invention of the shortboard in 1967.

In 2008, the band appeared on Australia's Channel 9 for Australia Day celebrations, performing two of their songs - 'Just Hold On' and 'Hey There!' - to an estimated audience of 2 million. Securing an Australian Government grant, they embarked on a two-month tour of Australia, specifically targeting "culturally underprivileged groups" in rural and regional schoolchildren and Indigenous communities. The programme had them holding masterclasses and performing alongside Indigenous groups in the remote Northern Territory and Queensland.

Season two of Californication starring David Duchovny featured their cover of the classic 'Have Love, Will Travel', most famously covered by 'The Sonics'.

In 2009, The Basics received airplay with brand new singles 'With This Ship' and 'Like A Brother' which carried momentum for the band to travel overseas. The band was often seen in the Grafton Street Mall in Dublin busking to promote their concerts there. 

Season Eight of Scrubs featured the song 'Lookin' Over My Shoulder'. The band's album Keep Your Friends Close - produced and part-recorded by Peter Cobbin at London's Abbey Road Studios enjoyed many favourable reviews from credible publications in Australia. 

In 2010, following the band's fourth stint at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and the recording of a yet-unreleased live album, an indefinite hiatus was announced on the band's websites. This was in part due to the impending release of a new album produced by Wally for his Gotye project. However, this hiatus was soon broken with a two-month residency at the Northcote Social Club in Melbourne, which saw an apparent return to form.

On 20 August 2010, The Basics released their fourth LP /ðə'bæzɪtʃ/, which was recorded at the Northcote Social Club on 6 February, "in front of a live studio audience" and like the previous record mixed by Peter Cobbin at Abbey Road Studios. Technically a self-titled album, the phonetics spell out the accurate pronunciation of the band’s name. 

The band then took a three year hiatus, where Tim worked on the film The  Rise and Rise of Richard Latte, Wally launched Making Mirrors under his Gotye act and Kris Schroeder recorded a solo album titled, Patience in the Face of Control, before leaving Australia to work with the Red Cross in Kenya for a one year sabbatical.

2013 saw the return of The Basics with the release of two collections, Ingredients and LEFTOVERS plus a National Tour.  



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TheBasics.com.au Herald Sun article

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