JAMES BASICK - Top Albums of 2012 and more….
James is one of our PR team, making sure our bands get in front of the press, onto the radio and TV and are media ready. He can usually be found face down in a puddle of his own making at a festival, at the bar chatting to the press corps, running his own PR company - Hold Tight! PR, or on stage playing guitar in his band TesseracT (Century Media). Here are his top picks for 2012 and a little bit about his year.
James Basick - http://www.facebook.com/james.monteith79
Location - London, UK
Team Basick - Publicist, beard cultivator, vomit gymnast.
1. The Algorithm - Polymorphic Code
Producers have been splicing metal into electronica for years, but for me The Algorithm is the first to truely marry the styles into one cohesive sound. Bonkers, brutal and simply awesome.
2. The Elijah - I Loved I Hated I Destroyed I Created
The atmosphere and power this band create from very simple progressions is phenomenal, and the use of strings and synth layers really make it stand out as the best post rock release in a long time.
3. Knuckledust - Bluffs Lies & Alibis
UK Hardcore at its absolute best. Full of aggression, attitude and bad ass riffing… and one thing missing from a lot of modern hardcore… huge grooves.
4. Sylosis - Monolith
Killer blasts, riffs and some of the best metal guitar playing you can hear. Heavy fucking metal.
5. Meshuggah - Koloss
A stunning debut from this female fronted bunch of young pop punk upstarts… sound about right?
6. Between the Buried and Me - The Parallax II: Future Sequence
This band are truly at the top of their game, and have really found a sound that’s true to them on this record. Stunning arrangements, guitar work, and there’s even a spoken word passage performed by Amos of TesseracT.
7. Devil Sold His Soul - Empire of Light
Sounds like a Devil record, which is not a bad thing at all. In fact it’s a very good thing as I’m a DSHS fan, and they delivered exactly what I wanted and expected, Ronseal style.
8. Glass Cloud - The Royal Thousand
Josh Travis is one my my fave modern metal guitarists, one of the few people out there who has a really distinctive rhythm playing style and is hugely inventive. Mix that with accessible arrangements and massive vocals, and you get this stunning release.
9. Anathema - Weather Systems
This band always send chills up my spine and this record is no exception. Simply beautiful.
10. Veil Of Maya - Eclipse
Top rate tech metal with killer songs. They have really found the balance of technical excellence and memorable songwriting on this release, and after a few listens you’re guaranteed to have a whole bunch of hooks engrained on your subconscious.
What’s been your personal highlight/ of 2012?
Sitting next to Steve Hackett at the Prog Music awards and discussing music with some of the finest rock musicians in the world
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Moving house. at some point I really didn’t think I’d make it through that period alive
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Played more guitar
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Saying stupid drunk stuff to music industry people, that could potentially ruin my career.
Best Basick Records ‘thing’ of 2012?
Barley’s porn star tash.
Best film of 2012?
Skyfall. That’s not because it’s great, in fact it was pretty damn average, but as far as I know, it’s the only new film I watched this year.
TV show you watched the most in 2012?
What was your greatest musical discovery or rediscovery?
Knuckledust. UK hardcore done proper like innit.
Best gig or festival of 2012?
Download - I don’t really remember it, but I had a great time.
Biggest WTF moment of 2012?
How will you be spending Christmas?
Eating, drinking and keeping well away from emails!
Finally, a band wants to get signed to Basick in 2012, what’s your advice for them?
Be original. Basick is about forward thinking / new music, and that’s what we’re looking for.
Interview: Sean McEmerson (Basick Records) interviewed by Tom Hollings (The Arusha Accord)
In part two of our series of TEAM BASICK interviews, Tom Hollings from The Arusha Accord catches up with Sean McEmerson, Basick Records chief colouring in expert and pasta shell pictures aficionado. When he’s not busy making the Basick website pretty with glitter and pom poms, he’s designing merch, building apps, coding up stuff and generally being a clever little shit. As well as being good at almost everything, Sean plays bass in Glasgow band, Winters.
If you missed the first interview in our series, where Perry from Circles chatted to James Monteith (Basick/Tesseract/Hold Tight! PR) - then check it out over here!
NAME: Sean McEmerson
WEAPON: Code Monkey for Basick Records, IT guru, photo bomber, drunken Scot.
Tom: From what I gather, your role in Basick is to deal with the design / web element of everything that goes on (including our website). Would you care to give us a bit of a bigger picture of what you do for Basick on a day-to-day basis?
Sean: When I first joined the team it was solely to take care of the website and keep our other sites up to date (YouTube, Facebook etc.) but it’s moved on since then and branched out a little; designing merch, for example. At the moment my main project is completely redesigning and rewriting the website from the ground up. I’ve started referring to it as ‘The Death Star’ as it’s slowly becoming the hub of all our online activity. It will launch soon along with a slew of other new features across our sites. Busy - but exciting - times!
Tom: I know you are from Glasgow, which is one of our favourite places to play shows and have some very good friends such as Bleed From Within from that neck of the woods. How do you find the metal music scene up in Scotland as a whole?
Sean: I’ve been playing gigs in Glasgow since 2004 and have seen first hand the ups and downs of the scene (I actually played your last show in Glasgow at Capitol with my old band, ha!). Although there are good bands here there’s not much of a ‘successful’ metal scene, there seems to be a problem with bands being unable to move out of Glasgow and it’s been a while since we’ve produced a good quality metal band that can match the quality of bands from the rest of the UK. It’s great to see the success Bleed From Within are experiencing at the moment, they’ve worked really hard over the past few years and deserve it so it’s great to see it all work out for them. Three of the most promising metal bands right now are Dies the Fire and The Colour Pink is Gay and Sectioned, I’m really looking forward to seeing them push things forward.
Tom: Who is your favourite band on Basick?! Jokes, I know you can’t answer that. But who are some of your favourite bands?
Sean: Ooh! No Made Sense, The Arusha Accord, Fellsilent, Ion Dissonance and Chimp Spanner have put out some of my favourite albums of the last few years. It’s very exciting times for us with Circles, Aliases and Visions (amongst others) putting out great music recently too. The new Uneven Structure album is ridiculously good. The future is bright!
Tom : What made you want a job in the music industry and what drew you to Basick?
Sean: Basick is actually my second job and I do it all out of love for the music (on a scale of 1-10, how much did I sound like a dick there?). I’ve known Nathan for over 4 years now and started out by doing some work for him and the more work we done together the more I really got into what he was doing with Basick. It got to the point where I was doing so much he asked me to come on board and be a part of the team. We have a really strong team with ourselves, Lisa and James and recently we added Chad too. It’s incredibly rewarding to see your work help push things forward for music in the UK and the rest of the world.
Tom: You’re in a band called Winters. Can you tell us a bit more about the band, what it is you do and what the plan for the future is?
Sean: I am indeed! I play bass in the band with Niall, Ian, Iain and Curtis. We all have our own varied influences but the main ones are the likes of Cult of Luna, Converge and Botch as well as some great UK bands like Pariso, Bastions, Kerouac etc. I’ve been playing in bands for a long time now and there’s a few personal goals I’ve not achieved yet and fortunately the guys share these goals with me, we have only been together as a full band since March but we are well on our way to making these things happen.
Tom: I understand Basick are about to sign Limp Bizkit, can you tell us any more before it hits the press?!
Tom: Finally, are you going to any festivals this year, and if so where and when and who are you looking forward to the most?
Sean: Yes, so I may or may not have got round to answering these questions a little late. Unfortunately I never made it to any festivals this year. I did go to one weekender which made me want to stab myself but I will be nice and not name it. Next year I plan to kick it off early and go to Neurotic Deathfest in March to catch the return of the mighty Behemoth!! !
Not content with a little interview - we decided that each of the team should complete a little survey about their team mate as well….
1 - Sum up Sean in 3 words:
Barley: Geeky, stabby, legend
Chad: STAR WARS OBSESSED
Lisa: Clever little shit
James: Small, loud, incomprehensible
2 - What does Sean do at Basick:
Barley: Sean is head of IT (he loves this title). He also geeks out and stabs people
Chad: He’s the stylist to the stars!
Lisa: He exists solely to annoy me. He’s also master of the impossible deadline.
-Abuse staff daily
-Regularly remind me of my email password which I forget a lot, even though it never changes
-trades guest list places for hard liquor
3 - If Sean were an animal, which one would he be:
Lisa: Pussy cat, cute as a button, hairy, likes to sleep in folks laps!?
James: A lizard - small and striking with a sharp tongue
4 - Seans’ most attractive feature:
Barley: He always smells quite nice. I also like the fact that I can never understand a word he’s saying
Chad: His beard
Lisa: That smell - he always ALWAYS smells amazing. Next time you see him, sniff his neck. Amazing.
James: His short boons
5 - Seans’ most annoying habit:
Barley: Not speaking the Queen’s English
Chad: Not coming to visit me here in the States…lol
Lisa: Calling his friends when drunk, thinking they are taxi companies.
James: Not being able to speak English
6 - Rate Seans’ taste in music….
Barley: He works at BASICK, so his taste in music is impeccable by default.
Chad: Great…he always gives bands the fighting chance….but is honest about it all!
Lisa: Aye it’s ok. He loves Behemoth, which makes him ok in my book.
James: 10 / 10- not only does he have by far the best taste in music out of all the Basick lot, he passionately dislikes terrible music, which is very entertaining.
7 – I like Sean because……
Barley: He’ll never say no to a jaegerbomb challenge
Chad: because he is the Sh-IT!
Lisa: He’s just a genuinely good wee cunt
James: He’d rather eat a battered mars bar over a salad