Basic Cable interview with Luca Cimarusti

November 26, 2013

Basic Cable interview with Luca Cimarusti

With six minutes of recordings being the only real proof
that they exist on the internet, Basic Cable might not be on many people’s
radar. But when I stumbled upon
their flexi-split with Endless Bummer on Notes + Bolts via Permanent Records
Chicago, I managed to track down what few details are out there about the ever
elusive Basic Cable.  I found a three track
demo on Bandcamp that smoked nearly every single I’ve heard this year right out
of the gate and promptly set about obsessively tracking these dudes down!  “Blonde Ambition” might be the best song of
2013 with it’s absolutely ridiculously blown out drums and guitars, echo and
reverb drenched vocals, strangled through the imploding sound that encompasses
the demo.  Not since The Mummies had I
heard a band that so brutally swept me off my feet with devastatingly catchy
hooks and guitar, choked through a pin hole of sound and viewed through the peephole
of classic 60’s garage rock.  As much
noise rock, punk and hardcore as they are classic garage and psychedelic, I
don’t think that Basic Cable really gives a damn what I, or anyone else, thinks
of them or their sound for that matter; and I think that’s a damn good
thing!  Basic Cable’s their own
band.  Forged from decades of combined
experience inside the Chicago scene and perfected in the crucible that is live
performance.  And don’t go thinking that
I’m just whistling Dixie here either folks, there’s a link below to back up all
of my clumsily made claims and make as many points of its own!  If you like music with more balls than brains
and enough brawns to back up any beef that might arise from the resulting situation,
Basic Cable is your band.  Click the
link, listen to some good f***ing music and read an interview with bassist Luca
Cimarusti, the only member of the band who owns a computer, so you know you’re
not going to read much elsewhere; soak it up where you can find it and spread
the good word!  Word on the street is
they might have something coming up soon on the Permanent Records label,
maybe…  You’ll just have to read on and
find out.

What is Basic
Cable’s current lineup?  Has this always
been the lineup or have there been any changes made since the band’s inception?
The current
lineup for Basic Cable is me, Luca Cimarusti on bass guitar, Michael John Grant
on guitar, Joel Bednarz on guitar, Ryan Duggan on drums, and Matthew Hord on
synthesizer.  Michael does most of the
singing, but Matt and I do some too.  This
has always been, and will always be the band’s lineup.
Are any of you in
any other active bands at this point? 
The more people I talk to the more I realize a lot of musicians these
days have more than one thing going and I love playing musical connect the
dots; nothing beats cheating though! 
Have you released any music with anyone else?  If so can you tell us about it?
We’ve all been
pretty active around town in the present and in the past, and mostly with each
other.  Our synth player Matt currently
plays bass and sings in the noise-punk band Running, whose last LP came out on
Castle Face Records.  For a long time he
and I were the rhythm section, him on bass, me on drums in Heavy Times (HoZac
Records).  Before that, Ryan and I played
together in a punk rock band called Loose Dudes where I was on bass and he was
on drums.  I also currently play drums in
the Disappears side-project E+.  Michael
has played around a bunch, mostly as a solo project and sometimes in
short-lived bands with the rest of us. 
Joel and Matt played together in a weird hardcore band like a decade ago
but he hasn’t done a whole lot since, which is too bad because he’s a really
good guitarist.  We’ve been in a bunch of
old bands over the years too like Catburglars, Alright Alreadies, Why
Intercept?, Black Ladies and a bunch others, but that shit’s all ancient
Where are you
originally from?
We all live in
Chicago, Illinois, AKA Chiraq.
What was your
first real exposure to music?  Was your
home very musical growing up?  Were
either your parents or your relatives musicians or extremely involved or
interested in music?
My first
musical memory is the opening synth line of “Born in the USA” by Bruce
If you had to pick
one defining moment of music in your life, a moment that changed everything and
opened your eyes to new possibilities, what would it be?
I saw Juicy J
over the summer and it was the best show I’ve ever seen.
Where is Basic
Cable located at these days?
How would you
describe the local music scene where you’re located currently?
There’s always
tons of shit going on.
Are you very
involved in the local scene?  Do you
prefer playing in town or on the road?
We’re definitely
involved in the scene here, and have been for a long time.  I used to be more so, like I’d go to four
shows a week sort of thing.  I’m an old
man now though.
Do you feel like
the local music scene has had a large influence on Basic Cable?  Has it influenced the way you sound or played
an integral part in your history?
We’ve got a ton
of friends who are super involved in town. 
Without those relationships we’d have nothing.
When and how did
you meet?
We’ve all been
friends for a very long time.  Most of us
have known each other for about ten years. 
Longer for me and Michael, we met each other in junior high.
How did Basic
Cable become a band and when did that happen?
The five of us
kind of had a weekly tradition of getting Sunday brunch.  We’d get pretty toasted on Bloody Marys and
talk shit.  One day we realized that we
could do the same thing with instruments in our hands.  After a brunch in January we went to the
space and that day wrote the three songs that made up the demo.  Everything went pretty fast after that.  I’m pretty sure our first show was in April.
Basic Cable seems
to be perfectly descriptive of the band’s sound but I can’t quite explain how
or why ha-ha!  Who came up with the name
and how did you go about choosing it? 
What does it mean or refer to in the context of the band?
I don’t know
what the band name means.  Someone just
told me one day that we were going to call the band that.
While we’re
talking so much about the band’s history can you tell us about your musical
roots.  I love your sound and I’m curious
to hear who you would site as your major musical influences?  What about the band as a whole rather than
I listen to a
lot of very ignorant hip-hop music like Juicy J, Migos and Nephew Texas
Boy.  I think the other guys in the band
might like more guitar-based music, so I’m sure that has something to do with
where the sound comes from.
Can you describe
Basic Cable’s sound to our readers who haven’t heard you yet?  I’m terrible at describing and labeling
punk rock 90’s Sub-Pop throwback outer space sci-fi bad vibes noisy rock and
What about Basic
Cable’s songwriting process?  Is there
someone who comes to the rest of the band with a riff or more finished idea to
work out and compose with the rest of the band? 
Or is there a lot of exchange of ideas and jamming in the practice space
that is distilled into songs?
One person
comes to the space with an idea and we try to turn it into a full song with as
little effort or time, and as much beer as possible.
Do you all enjoy
recording?  I think that most musicians,
myself included, can really appreciate the end results of recording.  There’s not a lot out there that beats
holding an album in your hands knowing that it’s yours and you made it.  Getting into the studio to actually record
that material though, that’s a whole other matter.  How is it in the studio for you all?
This has been
one of the first bands I’ve actually enjoyed recording with.  Most of my experiences in the past have
brought me a lot of exhausting, drawn-out sessions rife with headaches.  Everything with this lineup has been
super-fast and smooth.
Do you do a lot of
prep work before you record getting arrangements just the way you want them and
tightening stuff down or is it more of an organic experience with room for
change and variation?
Just make sure
it’s tight and jump into it I guess.
Let’s take some
time and talk about your recordings.  I
know you self-released a cassette tape of the four song Demo EP that’s up on
your Bandcamp page.  When was that?  Who recorded that material?  Where was it recorded and what kind of
equipment was used?
The demo was
recorded by us in our practice space one night. 
We just kind of used whatever equipment we had laying around.  I think we borrowed some mics from out buddy
Adam Mohundro.  It actually came out on
Priority Male Tapes, a label run by our synth player Matt, which is no longer
exclusive to tapes.

How many copies
was the Demo tape limited to?  Are there any
plans to re-release that material on a physical format?
I think Matt
only made about 25 of those tapes.  Not
sure if he has any plans to re-release it, but he’s never repressed anything
before so I doubt it.  He’s a big fan of
making things difficult for consumers. 
One of the tracks, “Blonde Ambition” wound up on the flexi split and
everything else was re-recorded for the LP.
You also had a
flexi 7” split with Endless Bummer on Notes and Bolts/Eye Vybe Records.  You contributed the track “Blonde Ambition”
to the split which can also be found on your Demo tape.  Is there any difference between the versions
that appear on the single and the tape?

It might be
remixed but I’m honestly not sure anymore. 
We had like four different mixes, so I’m not positive which one ended up
on the flexi.

How many copies
was that Endless Bummer flexi limited to? 
Is that out of print?  How did the
collaboration with Endless Bummer come about?
There should
still be some around.  You’d have to holler
at Kriss from Notes + Bolts or Karissa at Eye Vybe.  I only have one.  Liz and Lance from Permanent play in Endless
Bummer, and they’re friends, so the match-up was obviously a good idea.  Kriss offered to do it.  We had the material recorded, so we all
jumped at it.
You guys also have
your first full-length album coming I’m Good To Drive out on Permanent Records,
one of the absolutely best shops and labels out there, any time now!  Was the recording of the material for this
new album much different than the session(s) for your Demo tape?  When and where was the material for I’m Good
To Drive recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?
We recorded the
LP in a giant art gallery with Mike Lust. 
The room had like twenty-foot-high ceilings and cement floors, so
everything was reeeeeeally loud.  It was
done almost entirely live and everything just seemed to click on that day.  We did it over the course of two nights,
probably a collective, twelve or thirteen hours.  I think part of the reason it came together
so easily is because we, for once, weren’t too drunk.  Mike didn’t use any post-production effects
or anything, just wisely-placed room mics and excellent mixing skills.  He also drank a lot of our whiskey.

What can listeners
expect from the new album?  Is I’m Good
To Drive going to be a limited release? 
Is there a scheduled release date for that yet?
We got test
presses at the end of October so I’d imagine it’ll be out soon.  They can expect high-volume ignorance.
How was it working
with Permanent Records?  They’re one of
my favorite places in the whole world and their label kicks never ending ass as
well so I was stoked to hear your album would be dropping on P-Rex!  How did you originally get hooked up with
We’ve been
friends with Lance and Liz for a long time. 
Ryan’s done a ton of art work for the shop and Running’s first LP was on
the label too.  When we first put out the
demo, they were immediately interested, and it was kind of a no-brainer to go
with them.  Good people who we like a
whole lot and can trust, the label just seemed like the perfect home for this
LP.  They’ve put out stuff by a lot of
peers who we love and respect like Obnox, Cave and Brain Idea AKA Brian Idea.
Does Basic Cable
have any music that we haven’t talked about?
everything at this point.
Other than the
upcoming I’m Good To Drive 12”, are there any releases planned or in the works
at this point?
officially planned, but we work pretty fast so I’m sure we’ll have a bunch of
new songs real soon.
Where’s the best
place for our U.S. readers to pick up a copies of your music?
Probably the
Permanent Records mail-order site.
With these insane
international postage rate hikes what about our poor international and overseas
Order it from
Permanent.  Money’s just paper anyway.
And where’s the
best place for our readers to keep up on the latest news lie upcoming shows and
album releases at?
We don’t have a
Facebook or anything.  We have a Bandcamp
page.  I think that lists show we’re
playing?  I don’t really know how to use
computers, and I’m the only member of the band who owns one.
What do you have
planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year if any?  With the New Year quickly approaching what
about touring plans in 2014?
We’re in the
works for setting up a tour to SXSW with our friends in Radar Eyes.

You have played
with some seriously killer bands!  Who
are some of your personal favorites that you’ve had a chance to share a bill
They’ve all
been just peachy.
In your dreams,
who are you on tour with?
Do you have any
funny or interesting stories from live shows or performances that you’d like to
share with our readers here?
They’re all
pretty childish.  Not sure how many other
people would actually find them funny.
Do you have a
preferred medium of release for your music? 
With all of the options available to artists these days I’m always
curious why they choose and prefer the certain methods that they do?  What about when you are listening to and or
purchasing music?  If so why?
Nothing wrong with
a good ole vinyl record.
Do you have a
music collection at all?  If so can you
tell us about it?
I have a bunch
of records and tapes.  I download a lot
of stuff too because I’m kind of poor. 
Matt has the most physical music out of all of us probably.  My collection is about half the size of
his.  He’s rich.
I grew up around
music and there’s something awesome about physical products to me.  Having artwork to look at and liner notes to
read provide a glimpse into the artists’ minds that created it and makes for a
more complete listening experience, at least for me.  Do you have any such connection with
physically released music?
Yeah I feel the
same way.  Permanence is important.
As much as I love
my music collection I can’t take it with me on the go.  Even with my CDs and tapes I could never
manage to get what I wanted to listen to in the car with me on the go and not
manage to mess it up somehow.  Digital
music has changed all of that and when you team it with the internet it has
been even more of a game changer!  It’s
exposed people from all over the world to music that they otherwise would never
have the opportunity to listen to.  But
with the good comes the bad and digital music is rapidly changing the face of
the music industry as we know it.  As an
artist during the reign of digital music what’s your opinion on digital music
and distribution?
I just want
people to hear it, I guess.
I try to keep up
with as much good music as I possibly can, and I can spend hours wandering
around online listening to random stuff all I want but I always make it a point
to ask musicians such as yourself for their tips.  Who should I be listening to from your local
scene or area that I might not have heard of?
The best bands
in Chicago right now are Disappears, Oozing Wound and Rectal Hygenics.

What about
nationally and internationally?
Spray Paint.  Internationally: Brainbombs.
(2012/2013?)  Basic
Cable – Demo – digital, Cassette Tape – Self-Released (Limited to ? copies)
(2013)  Basic
Cable/Endless Bummer – Basic Cable/Endless Bummer split – 7” flexi – Notes +
Bolts Records/Aye Aye Records (Limited to ? copies)
(2013)  Basic Cable –
I’m Good To Drive – 12” – Permanent Records (Limited to ? copies)
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *