KEVIN MITCHELL * STEVE PARKIN * JOSH PYKE * KAV
They can’t decide if they’re more like The Travelling Wilburys, The Highwaymen or The Three Tenors, but one thing is sure – they’re none of those. They’re Basement Birds, a unique teaming of four of Australia’s premier singer/songwriters within the one group.
It would be easy to say that their debut album came together during an idyllic, boozy long, lost weekend on the coast. But with Kevin Mitchell’s highly successful Bob Evans guise, Josh Pyke’s ongoing solo triumph, Kav Temperley’s tenure as Eskimo Joe frontman and Steve Parkin headed towards a long-awaited debut solo album, it would take three years for this quartet to start its roll.
“Steve and I have a gazillion hair-brained schemes,” says Kav. “And I was determined that this hair brained scheme would actually see itself to its end.”
Hair-brained or not, once the idea was set in place its first steps happened in separate corners, bringing the other two protagonists into place.
The notion was now set in place as a reality, but the four were yet to convene in the same room together (in fact this has only occurred during four week-long writing/recording sessions that have taken place since mid-2009). Plenty of calls and emails were exchanged though, and the initial vision of recording an acoustic-based, organic release that referenced their mutual love of the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Wilco held true until the foursome were able to gather when new flavours emerged as momentum took shape.
“Luckily we all seem to have fairly similar tastes in music,” Steve says. “I think it’d be harder if we had someone who was into death metal and another into jazz fusion. That’d be tough (laughs). There’s enough common ground between the four of us.”
"You can throw references around but at the end of the day it's just become the sum of its parts," says Josh. "I reckon you can really hear each songwriter in each of the songs, whether it's harmonies or a little vocal line, which is a really cool thing."